Here is my latest draft for a query:
Karen Dales, Managing Editor
Dark Dragon Publishing
Dear Mrs. Dales:
HAUNTED is a supernatural novel set in a seaside town. HAUNTED features a clairvoyant widow, Rosemary Bell who wants to grieve her husband alone. A cursed seaweed ridden ghost, Jonathan, begs her to find his killer so he can rest in peace. I think some of your earlier versions were better. I remember this one:
When Rosemary Bell isolates herself in an old Victorian home in Pleasant Bay, she hopes to find peace after the death of her husband. Instead, closing doors, scent of seaweed, and dreams of a drowning man haunt her.
I wonder if you could do something like, "After the death of her husband, Rosemary Bell isolates herself in an old Victorian home wanting nothing more than to find peace (or something about the circumstance that's unique to her situation).
Instead, closing doors, scent of seaweed, and dreams of a drowning man haunt her.
But after moving settling into her new home in Pleasant Bay, [province?], the odd scent of sea weed fills her nose in the (kitchen?) and doors slam in her face. And the ghost of a man named Jonathan Fraser materializes, begging her to help solve his murder. I don't know if this is accurate, but you could use something like this.
Rosemary is grieving, which she pushes aside to help him. Rosemary discovers Jonathan was murdered via her dreams and her psychic abilities. This reads a bit like a list. Rosemary this, Rosemary that. Does that make sense? Her friendships with her neighbors become strained the closer she comes to the truth.
The climax of the novel involves all of the elements of horror, sacrifice and suspense. Don't tell this. Show it.
It culminates in a frightening confrontation between Rosemary, Jonathan and Duncan who is the killer. Leave the ending to the synopsis. She is forced into an impossible situation- send Jonathan’s soul to eternal light or die at the hands of Duncan. In order for her
to come to terms with move past/continue living her husband’s death, Rosemary must solve Jonathan’s murder before his killer strikes again. This is really out of order. I think you need to revise.
My writing is published in Nosetouch Press - Wax and Wane: A Gathering of Witchy Tales, The Dark Ones: Tales and Poems of the Shadow Gods, Circle Magazine, Witches & Pagans magazine and Eternal Haunted Summer Ezine. I’m a member of the Writers Federation of Nova Scotia and the Horror Writers Association. The novel is about 70,000 words. I have also enclosed the first five pages.
Thank you for your time and consideration.