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The Hero Syndrome (YA dark fantasy) - rev. #36

Fantasy Young Adult Fiction Adventure

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#21 Erevos

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 08:04 AM

I love your story! Your query, however, definitely needs work.

I think you focus on the wrong elements, rather the important ones.

New version!

I'll return the favor asap, promise.

 

 

 

Dear (name of agent):

 

 

When sixteen-year-old, hardcore gamer Malory seeks her best friends’ help in setting a video game, she knows it could lead to a fatal error. Part of this error is that they all dematerialize and get sucked into the game. Malory must face it: she hasn’t really leveled up as a heroine. I love the voice, but this can definitely be shortened. Try something like: "When sixteen-year-old, hardcore gamer Malory seeks her best friends’ help in setting a video game, she knows they could all dematerialize and get sucked into the game. Malory must face it: she hasn’t really leveled up as a heroine."

 

Like the coward she is, she tricked her best friends into an alternate world, that she accidentally locked up in a DVD-Rom long ago. Malory has been hooked on this world for years without anyone knowing. Anyone except J-L, the mysterious boss of the game. He twisted Malory’s dream so far beyond nightmare that she no longer feels up to facing him alone. She remembers a time when cupcakes were not swarming with cockroaches, when meadows were not haunted by sneaky monsters, when the sun rose, when innocents were not found dead. And when there were not slaves her age watching her every move. This definitely need some clearing. Why is she so hooked on this world? Why is the boss twisting her dreams? Can't she just close the game? I feel like you should focus on Why she wants to beat the boss and why she can't let go of it, more.

 

Malory can’t understand how it all has come to this. One thing’s for sure, there’s no rage quit about it: she and her two best friends have to beat J-L if they want a chance to return home. Such a nice friend... As Malory tries to guide them through, they gather items revealing pieces of Malory’s childhood. They realize these are keys to complete the game . . . but also weapons for J-L to use. I love this.

 

Malory is determined to restore her game no matter the cost. Restore the game? If only she could see that her guilt and fears are fueling her own game, she could keep it from feeding on her best friends as well. She could expose J-L and understand why he became the boss before he destroys every inch of them. Reword. Malory is determined to do that before the game and the boss feeds on her friends/blabla/blabla. Something like that.

 

MADNESS RIDERS: THE HERO SYNDROME (62,390 words) is a YA dark fantasy. My concept is similar to Heir Apparent and Dreamscape: Saving Alex but with a darker edge. This will appeal to fans of fantasy and gamers alike.

 

I’m currently studying French language and literature. Whenever I can I run writing, art and computer workshops for children. My first publication is a collection of dark erotica short stories titled Les Agonies de l’Innocence (Tabou Editions, June 2013).

 

Thank you very much for your time and attention.


My Query http://agentquerycon...a-high-fantasy/ Let me know if you want me to look at yours. Will happily do so.


#22 Vio Liddell

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 10:48 AM

Dear (name of agent):

 

 

When sixteen-year-old, hardcore gamer Malory seeks her best friends’ help in setting a video game, she knows it could lead to a fatal error.

 

Part of this error is that they all dematerialize and get sucked into the game. Malory must face it: she hasn’t really leveled up as a heroine. She has been hooked on this alternate world that she accidentally locked up in a DVD-Rom years ago. Anyone knows except J-L, the mysterious boss of the game. And he knows how much Malory loves to escape her life through it. The more he twists Malory’s world to wipe her out, the more she takes it as a challenge.

 

But now he twisted the game so far beyond nightmare that it’s unlivable for her. She misses the time when cupcakes were not swarming with cockroaches, when meadows were not haunted by sneaky monsters, when the sun rose, when innocents were not found dead. And when there were not slaves her age watching her every move. Malory no longer feels up to facing J-L alone. She tricked her best friends into helping her. Cowardice? Maybe.

 

One thing’s for sure, there’s no rage quit about it: Malory and her two best friends have to beat J-L if they want a chance to return home. As Malory tries to guide them through, they gather items revealing pieces of Malory’s childhood. They realize these are keys to complete the game . . . but also weapons for J-L to use.

 

Malory is determined to restore her game before it sucks her dry and feeds on her best friends as well. As the boss picks at every scab on them, time is running out for Malory to expose him and understand what’s fueling the world he lives in.

 

MADNESS RIDERS: THE HERO SYNDROME (62,390 words) is a YA dark fantasy. My concept is similar to Heir Apparent and Dreamscape: Saving Alex but with a darker edge. This will appeal to fans of fantasy and gamers alike.

 

I have a BA in French language and literature. My first publication is a collection of dark erotica short stories titled Les Agonies de l’Innocence (Tabou Editions, June 2013).

 

Thank you very much for your time and attention.



#23 Olive K. Aristen

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 04:08 PM

Dear (name of agent):

 

 

When sixteen-year-old, hardcore gamer Malory seeks her best friends’ help in setting a video game, she knows it could lead to a fatal error. I'm a gamer, but I'm not sure what you mean by "setting" when I read this. What do you mean by setting a video game? Because I don't understand, this hook falls flat.

 

Part of this error is that they all dematerialize and get sucked into the game. Is this part of your hook? Put it in the same paragraph, or put it alone for emphasis maybe. Malory must face it: she hasn’t really leveled up as a heroine. I'm a little lost here. She has been hooked on this alternate world that she accidentally locked up in a DVD-Rom years ago. Anyone knows except J-L, the mysterious boss of the game. And he knows how much Malory loves to escape her life through it. The more he twists Malory’s world to wipe her out, the more she takes it as a challenge. This ¶ is kind of messy. I don't really understand it...  :sad: 

 

But now he twisted the game so far beyond nightmare that it’s unlivable for her. This is kind of a switch in verb tense that threw me off. Keep to present. She misses the time when cupcakes were not swarming with cockroaches, when meadows were not haunted by sneaky monsters, when the sun rose, when innocents were not found dead. ?And when there were not slaves her age watching her every move. Malory no longer feels up to facing J-L alone. She tricked her best friends into helping her. Cowardice? Maybe.

 

One thing’s for sure, there’s no rage quit about it: Malory and her two best friends have to beat J-L if they want a chance to return home. As Malory tries to guide them through, they gather items revealing pieces of Malory’s childhood. They realize these are keys to complete the game . . . but also weapons for J-L to use.

 

Malory is determined to restore her game before it sucks her dry and feeds on her best friends as well. As the boss picks at every scab on them, time is running out for Malory to expose him and understand what’s fueling the world he lives in.

 

MADNESS RIDERS: THE HERO SYNDROME (62,390 words) is a YA dark fantasy. My concept is similar to Heir Apparent and Dreamscape: Saving Alex but with a darker edge. This will appeal to fans of fantasy and gamers alike.

 

I have a BA in French language and literature. This doesn't seem relevant. My first publication is a collection of dark erotica short stories titled Les Agonies de l’Innocence (Tabou Editions, June 2013). This seems relevant, but I'd word it like "I have a short story TITLED published in TITLE, a collection of dark erotica short stories."

 

Thank you very much for your time and attention.

 

 

I really hate to say this, but I don't understand what the story is. Is she in the game? Did she get trapped in there? Is she living within the game with this boss? I need it to be more clear. From the very first sentence, I'm sitting here squinting, trying to figure out what you mean. I'm a gamer too, so I should be able to get it. Previous iterations you called it "fixing" a video game. Like repairing? Writing? Coding?

 

Maybe try to think through how you could simplify. Sorry if I'm not more help!


Current query for critique: http://agentquerycon...ntasy/?p=340722


#24 KitCampbell

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 10:22 PM

Hello!

Dear (name of agent):

 

 

When sixteen-year-old, hardcore gamer Malory seeks her best friends’ help in setting (up?) a video game, she knows it could lead to a fatal error.

 

Part of this error is that they all dematerialize and get sucked into the game. Malory must face it: she hasn’t really leveled up as a heroine. She has been hooked on this alternate world that she accidentally locked up in a DVD-Rom years ago. Anyone knows except J-L, the mysterious boss of the game. And he knows how much Malory loves to escape her life through it. The more he twists Malory’s world to wipe her out, the more she takes it as a challenge. (This paragraph doesn't quite make sense to me either, I'm afraid.)

 

But now he twisted the game so far beyond nightmare that it’s unlivable for her. She misses the time when cupcakes were not swarming with cockroaches, when meadows were not haunted by sneaky monsters, when the sun rose, when innocents were not found dead. And when there were not slaves her age watching her every move. Malory no longer feels up to facing J-L alone. She tricked her best friends into helping her. Cowardice? Maybe.

 

One thing’s for sure, there’s no rage quit about it: Malory and her two best friends have to beat J-L if they want a chance to return home. As Malory tries to guide them through, they gather items revealing pieces of Malory’s childhood. They realize these are keys to complete the game . . . but also weapons for J-L to use. 

 

Malory is determined to restore her game before it sucks her dry and feeds on her best friends as well. As the boss picks at every scab on them, time is running out for Malory to expose him and understand what’s fueling the world he lives in.

 

MADNESS RIDERS: THE HERO SYNDROME (62,390 words) is a YA dark fantasy. My concept is similar to Heir Apparent and Dreamscape: Saving Alex but with a darker edge. This will appeal to fans of fantasy and gamers alike.

 

I have a BA in French language and literature. My first publication is a collection of dark erotica short stories titled Les Agonies de l’Innocence (Tabou Editions, June 2013).

 

Thank you very much for your time and attention.

You might be trying to be too gimmick-y here, because I'm confused about whether or not Malory and her friends are trapped in the game. It sounds like she's been able to travel into this game for a long time, but I'm not quite sure I'm reading it correctly. 

 

Also, what happens if time runs out and Malory hasn't figured things out? Clearer stakes might also help here.

 

Hope this helps!



#25 loopygoose

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 10:56 AM

Dear (name of agent):

 

 

When sixteen-year-old, hardcore gamer Malory seeks her best friends’ help in setting a video game, I don't understand what setting a video game means she knows it could lead to a fatal error. A fatal error is one which causes people to die. Part of this error is that they all dematerialize and get sucked into the game. Malory must face it: she hasn’t really leveled up as a heroine.

 

Like the coward she is, she tricked her best friends into an alternate world, that she accidentally locked up in a DVD-Rom long ago. I want to know why she tricked them into this world. When you says she's been hooked on it what does that mean? Is she addicted to it or is she stuck inside it? And how did she accidentally lock this alternate world in a DVD-Rom? Malory has been hooked on this world for years without anyone knowing. Anyone except J-L, the mysterious boss of the game. He twisted Malory’s dream so far beyond nightmare that she no longer feels up to facing him alone. She remembers a time when cupcakes were not swarming with cockroaches, when meadows were not haunted by sneaky monsters, when the sun rose, when innocents were not found dead. And when there were not slaves her age watching her every move. So is she trapped inside this game and controlled by J-L for everyone to watch? I like that. 

 

Malory can’t understand how it all has come to this. One thing’s for sure, there’s no rage quit about it: she and her two best friends have to beat J-L if they want a chance to return home. As Malory tries to guide them through, they gather items revealing pieces of Malory’s childhood. They realize these are keys to complete the game . . . but also weapons for J-L to use. I really like this detail.

 

Malory is determined to restore her game no matter the cost. What does restore her game mean?  If only she could see that her guilt and fears are fueling her own game, she could keep it from feeding on her best friends as well. She could expose J-L and understand why he became the boss before he destroys every inch of them. ​It sounds like this is a spoiler i.e. the key to riddle she needs to work out. Is it? If so, I'd save it.  

 

MADNESS RIDERS: THE HERO SYNDROME (62,390 words) is a YA dark fantasy. My concept is similar to Heir Apparent and Dreamscape: Saving Alex but with a darker edge. This will appeal to fans of fantasy and gamers alike.

 

I’m currently studying French language and literature. Whenever I can I run writing, art and computer workshops for children. My first publication is a collection of dark erotica short stories titled Les Agonies de l’Innocence (Tabou Editions, June 2013).

 

Thank you very much for your time and attention.

 

If I understand your story correctly it sounds really good but it took me multiple readings of your query to get a sense of it. i think you're staying that Malory has become trapped in a game with J-L in charge. she can't get out and, in order to do so, she lures her friend in. They then have to gather and reveal parts from Malory's childhood in order to win the game, but she needs to keep her guilt and fears under control because they are helping J-L. If you describe the story in much more obvious detail it will sell itself. Good luck and I'll happily re-read your next instalment!



#26 secondstar87

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 06:07 PM

When sixteen-year-old, hardcore gamer Malory seeks her best friends’ help in setting a video game, she knows it could lead to a fatal error. Intriguing! And it seems unique to me -- especially the gamer being a young woman. 

 

Part of this error is that they all dematerialize and get sucked into the game. Malory must face it: she hasn’t really leveled up as a heroine. She has been hooked on this alternate world for yearsthat she accidentally locked up in a DVD-Rom years ago. Anyone anyone? knows except J-L, the mysterious boss of the game. And he knows how much Malory loves to escape her life through it. The more he twists Malory’s world to wipe her out, the more she takes it as a challenge. I like that she takes it as a challenge--she sounds feisty. But why does he want to wipe her out? The first sentence is very confusing and though it may be vital to your book, it doesn't seem to be for the query, other than to complicate things. You could try adding on to "she knows it could lead to a fatal error: getting sucked into the game permanently" or something of that sort. 

 

But now he has twisted the game so far beyond nightmare that it’s unlivable for her. She misses the time when cupcakes were not swarming with cockroaches, when meadows were not haunted by sneaky monsters, when the sun rose, when innocents were not found dead. And when there were not slaves her age watching her every move. Are these real people who are somehow caught in the game? Malory no longer feels up to facing J-L alone. She has tricked her best friends into helping her. Cowardice? Maybe. I like the last phrase -- cowardice? Maybe. Nice. 

 

One thing’s for sure, there’s no rage quit about it: Malory and her two best friends have to beat J-L if they want a chance to return home. As Malory tries to guide them through, they gather items revealing pieces of Malory’s childhood. They realize these are keys to complete the game . . . but also weapons for J-L to use.  J-L could use against her. 

 

Malory is determined to restore her game before it sucks her dry and feeds on her best friends as well I thought the risk was being dematerialized, not sucked dry?. As the boss picks at every scab on them, time is running out for Malory to expose him and understand what’s fueling the world he lives in.

 

MADNESS RIDERS: THE HERO SYNDROME (62,390 words) is a YA dark fantasy. My concept is similar to Heir Apparent and Dreamscape: Saving Alex but with a darker edge. This will appeal to fans of fantasy and gamers alike.

 

 

I have a BA in French language and literature. My first publication is a collection of dark erotica short stories titled Les Agonies de l’Innocence (Tabou Editions, June 2013).

 

Thank you very much for your time and attention.

 

I'd appreciate your thoughts on my query "To Sail the Stars!" 


http://agentquerycon...sail-the-stars/

http://agentquerycon...ique-in-return/

 

"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." - Mark Twain 

"There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds." - G.K. Chesterton 


#27 CS29

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 01:56 AM

When sixteen-year-old, hardcore gamer Malory seeks her best friends’ help in setting a video game, she knows it could lead to a fatal error. Certainly a good hook. I like it! 

 

Part of this error is that they all dematerialize and get sucked into the game As others have pointed out, this first sentence could probably go. Malory must face it: she hasn’t really leveled up as a heroine. I'd reword this. Make it simpler. She has been hooked on this alternate world that she accidentally locked up in a DVD-Rom years ago. Someone else mentioned this too, but I'd shorten this. Anyone knows except J-L, the mysterious boss of the game. And he knows how much Malory loves to escape her life through it. The more he twists Malory’s world to wipe her out, the more she takes it as a challenge. I like the story setup here, but it's a bit confusing. Can you elaborate more on exactly why he wants to wiper her out. Some reasoning or motive? 

 

He twists the game so far beyond nightmare that it’s unlivable for her. She misses the time when cupcakes were not swarming with cockroaches, when meadows were not haunted by sneaky monsters, when the sun rose, when innocents were not found dead. And when there were not slaves her age watching her every move. Are these real people who are somehow caught in the game? Malory no longer feels up to facing J-L alone. She has tricked her best friends into helping her. Cowardice? Maybe. I do like this last bit, but it could also hit harder if you followed it up with something. 

 

One thing’s for sure, there’s no rage quit about it Malory and her two best friends have to beat J-L if they want a chance to return home. As Malory tries to guide them through, they gather items revealing pieces of Malory’s childhood. They realize these are keys to complete the game . . . but also weapons J-L can use against them.

 

Malory is determined to restore her game before it sucks her dry and feeds on her best friends as well. As the boss picks at every scab on them, time is running out for Malory to expose him and understand what’s fueling the world he lives in.

 

MADNESS RIDERS: THE HERO SYNDROME (62,390 words) is a YA dark fantasy. My concept is similar to Heir Apparent and Dreamscape: Saving Alex but with a darker edge. This will appeal to fans of fantasy and gamers alike.

 

 

I have a BA in French language and literature. My first publication is a collection of dark erotica short stories titled Les Agonies de l’Innocence (Tabou Editions, June 2013).

 

Thank you very much for your time and attention.

 

Overall, your premise is intriguing and sounds interesting. There are some parts you can reword or trim down a bit. Others may simply be me being neurotic. All in all, it's quite good.



#28 Sataris

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 11:06 AM

A few things to consider:

 

 

When sixteen-year-old, hardcore gamer Malory seeks her best friends’ help in setting a video game, she knows it could lead to a fatal error.

 

Part of this error is that they all dematerialize and get sucked into the game. I feel like you might want to lead with this; this actually seems to be the hook. Malory must face it: she hasn’t really leveled up as a heroine. She has been hooked on this alternate world that she accidentally locked up in a DVD-Rom years ago I'm not sure what this means: locked up? I'm not sure it's worth explaining here . Anyone knows except J-L, the mysterious boss of the game. And he knows how much Malory loves to escape her life through it. The more he twists Malory’s world to wipe her out, the more she takes it as a challenge. This is restated below

 

I think all we really need to know in the first part of your query is that : 1. Malory used to play this all the time to escape her daily life. 2. But a new, malevolent force has sucked her into the game and twisted it beyond all recognition. 3. Malory has tricked her friends into helping her, putting their lives at stake. 4. Malory must now find a way to beat the game, or she'll lose her life and those of her friends.

 

 

But now he twisted the game so far beyond nightmare that it’s unlivable for her. She misses the time when cupcakes were not swarming with cockroaches, when meadows were not haunted by sneaky monsters, when the sun rose, when innocents were not found dead. And when there were not slaves her age watching her every move. Malory no longer feels up to facing J-L alone. She tricked her best friends into helping her. Cowardice? Maybe.

 

This red bit is really, really cool, and you might want to consider having it be a part of the hook up top. Instant tension from a point like this. I think the slave line is really great too.

 

 

One thing’s for sure, there’s no rage quit about it: this is a good video game reference, but comes at the expense of the serious nature of the query and the high stakes you've created Malory and her two best friends have to beat J-L if they want a chance to return home. As Malory tries to guide them through, they gather items revealing pieces of Malory’s childhood. They realize these are keys to complete the game . . . but also weapons for J-L to use. This is probably better left for the manuscript, when you have room to fully explain it.

 

Malory is determined to restore her game before it sucks her dry and feeds on her best friends as well. As the boss picks at every scab on them maybe tries to turn them against each other?, time is running out for Malory "to kill him and save their lives" expose him and understand what’s fueling the world he lives init seems like her priority would be her own survival, and saving the friends she's put in jeopardy.

 

MADNESS RIDERS: THE HERO SYNDROME (62,390 words) is a YA dark fantasy. My concept is similar to Heir Apparent and Dreamscape: Saving Alex but with a darker edge. This novel will appeal to fans of fantasy and gamers alike.

 

I have a BA in French language and literature. My most recent publication is a collection of dark erotica short stories titled Les Agonies de l’Innocence (Tabou Editions, June 2013).

 

Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

 

I love love love stories like this. I don't know how you feel about anime (but I'm guessing I know how your audience feels about anime) but there's a whole subgenre of stories where characters get sucked into virtual worlds. It might be worth checking out a few of them (grimgar: of fantasy and ash is my favorite). Also, Ernest Kline's Ready Player One largely takes place in a virtual world and was wildly successful - like they're making a movie out of it successful - so it's definitely worth a read. Apologies if you've already considered all this!

 

I think the biggest thing about your query is to take a step back and see what you can get rid of; you've got a really cool idea that's going to make for great world-building, but as a result it's easy to fall into the trap of trying to explain too much. Like I said up top, a super brief version of this would just read:

 

1. MC hates her life and often escapes into a game where she's a hero

2. MC gets pulled into the game for real by a malevolent force

3. MC enlists her friends to help by deceiving them

4. MC must now defeat the malevolent force in order to preserve her life and those of her friends

 

I feel like that's a pretty succinct version of your main plot. from there, you could consider sprinkling in the most important subplots (the twisting of the world, the friends being tortured by the malevolent force, etc).

 

I think this is a really solid idea. Definitely one of my favorite genres too. Hope that was helpful. If you've got a minute, I'd appreciate it if you took a look at my most recent query here: http://agentquerycon...poc-ya-revised/


You can find my current query here.


#29 Vio Liddell

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 05:59 PM

@Sataris: thanks for your interest and kind words! Maybe I’m going to disappoint you, but... I actually never watch anime. You’re not the first person to comp my work to stories like .hack, Log Horizon, Sword Art Online etc. And you won’t be the last I guess :laugh: If 80% of my audience are anime fans, it’s purely coincidental because I know nothing of this world myself. But I check every reference people make and I can see there are a lot of anime/manga with characters getting sucked into virtual worlds. It’s often MMORPG-related though. I also know of Ready Player One. I can’t mention it as a comp title because it’s dystopia/sci-fi and has not much to do with my own work  :unsure:



#30 Vio Liddell

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 06:12 PM

New version! Hopefully this is more clear and concise. You tell me.

(A few of your questions are left unanswered. I absolutely have to avoid certain spoilers...)

 

 

When sixteen-year-old, hardcore gamer Malory seeks her best friends’ help in debugging a video game, she knows it could lead to a fatal error.

 

Like getting sucked into the game without a clue about how to play.

 

Malory must face it: she hasn’t leveled up as a flawless heroine. She’s more of a coward who has tricked her best friends into an alternate world. She could easily say it was an accident—like when she locked up that same world in a DVD-Rom years ago. Malory is addicted to it. Nobody knows except J-L, the mysterious boss of the game. And he knows what kind of life Malory escapes when she travels into it. The more he twists Malory’s dreamworld and establishes his authority, the more she takes it as a challenge and tries to regain the upper hand.

 

But now J-L is twisting the game beyond nightmare. Each new travel is more violent and dangerous for Malory. She misses the time when her cupcakes were not swarming with his cockroaches, when her meadows were not haunted by his sneaky monsters, when the sun rose, when innocents were not found dead. And when there were not slaves her age watching her every move.

 

Malory no longer feels up to facing J-L alone. Nor to keep such a weighty secret. That’s why she needs reliable help.

 

Once in the game, no cheat codes, no rage quit. Not even a map. Malory and her two best friends have to use their wits to beat the boss. Their only chance to return home in one sane piece—or more simply to stay alive—is to know their weapons. But also J-L’s.

 

MADNESS RIDERS: THE HERO SYNDROME (62,390 words) is a YA dark fantasy. My concept is similar to Heir Apparent and Dreamscape: Saving Alex but with a darker edge. This will appeal to fans of fantasy, anime lovers and gamers alike.

 

I have a BA in French language and literature. My most recent publication is a collection of dark erotica short stories titled Les Agonies de l’Innocence (Tabou Editions, June 2013).

 

Thank you very much for your time and consideration.



#31 Anadalya

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 09:21 PM

New version! Hopefully this is more clear and concise. You tell me.

(A few of your questions are left unanswered. I absolutely have to avoid certain spoilers...)

 

 

When sixteen-year-old, hardcore gamer Malory seeks her best friends’ help in debugging a video game, she knows it could lead to a fatal error.

 

Love the hook! :D

 

Like getting sucked into the game without a clue about how to play.

 

Malory must face it: she hasn’t leveled up as a flawless heroine. She’s more of a coward who has tricked her best friends into an alternate world. She could easily say it was an accident—like when she locked up that same world in a DVD-Rom years ago. Malory is addicted to it. Nobody knows except J-L, the mysterious boss of the game. And he He also knows what kind of life Malory escapes when she travels into it. The more he twists Malory’s dreamworld and establishes his authority, the more she takes it as a challenge and tries to regain the upper hand.

 

But now J-L is twisting the game beyond nightmare. Each new travel is more violent and dangerous for Malory. She misses the time when her cupcakes were not swarming with his cockroaches, when her meadows were not haunted by his sneaky monsters, when the sun rose, when innocents were not found dead. And when there were not slaves her age watching her every move.

I believe you would continue on that sentence  by placing a comma after "found dead," or just delete the period and make AND lower case. 

 

I'm a bit confused by the slaves her age watching her part, are they innocents? Are they more than NPC's? 

 

Malory no longer feels up to facing J-L alone. Nor to keep such a weighty secret. That’s why she needs reliable help.

 

Once in the game, no cheat codes, no rage quit. Not even a map. Malory and her two best friends have to use their wits to beat the boss. Their only chance to return home in one sane piece—or more simply to stay alive—is to know their weapons. But also J-L’s.

 

Just adding "But also J-L's." seems a bit clunky for some reason when reading it. It may just be me. 

 

MADNESS RIDERS: THE HERO SYNDROME (62,390 words) is a YA dark fantasy. My concept is similar to Heir Apparent and Dreamscape: Saving Alex but with a darker edge. This will appeal to fans of fantasy, anime lovers and gamers alike.

 

I have a BA in French language and literature. My most recent publication is a collection of dark erotica short stories titled Les Agonies de l’Innocence (Tabou Editions, June 2013).

 

Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

 

This seems like a really cool story!! I'd definitely read it! 


If you get a chance take a look at my fantasy query! Goddesses of War

 

 


#32 rccallahan

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 01:50 AM

New version! Hopefully this is more clear and concise. You tell me.

(A few of your questions are left unanswered. I absolutely have to avoid certain spoilers...)

 

 

When sixteen-year-old, hardcore gamer Malory seeks her best friends’ help in debugging a video game, she knows it could lead to a fatal error.

 

Like getting sucked into the game without a clue about how to play. (I feel like this doesn't need to be a fragment.  I see that you're going for a punchy feel, but the fragment pulls me out)

 

Malory must face it: she hasn’t leveled up as a flawless heroine. She’s more of a coward who has tricked her best friends into an alternate world. She could easily say it was an accident—like when she locked up that same world in a DVD-Rom years ago. Malory is addicted to it (the video game, the world... something else?) . Nobody knows except J-L, the mysterious boss of the game. And he knows what kind of life Malory escapes when she travels into it. The more he twists Malory’s dreamworld and establishes his authority, the more she takes it as a challenge and tries to regain the upper hand.

 

But now J-L is twisting the game beyond nightmare. Each new travel is more violent and dangerous for Malory. She misses the time when her cupcakes were not swarming with his cockroaches, when her meadows were not haunted by his sneaky monsters, when the sun rose, when innocents were not found dead. And when there were not slaves her age watching her every move.

 

Malory no longer feels up to facing J-L alone. Nor to keep such a weighty secret. That’s why she needs reliable help.

 

Once in the game,there are no cheat codes, no rage quit(this is another fragment and the missing verb is making it confusing). Not even a map. Malory and her two best friends have to use their wits to beat the boss. Their only chance to return home in one sane piece—or more simply to stay alive—is to know their weapons. But also J-L’s.

 

MADNESS RIDERS: THE HERO SYNDROME (62,390 words) is a YA dark fantasy. My concept is similar to Heir Apparent and Dreamscape: Saving Alex but with a darker edge. This will appeal to fans of fantasy, anime lovers and gamers alike.

 

I have a BA in French language and literature. My most recent publication is a collection of dark erotica short stories titled Les Agonies de l’Innocence (Tabou Editions, June 2013).

 

Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

 

Most of this is very clear and concise.  Bravo! I know you're trying to avoid spoilers, but there are a little more connections and clarifications necessary to make what details you do provide understandable.  Good luck! 



#33 Robin LeeAnn

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 08:24 AM

When sixteen-year-old, hardcore gamer Malory seeks her best friends’ help in debugging a video game, she knows it could lead to a fatal error. 

 

Like getting sucked into the game without a clue about how to play. This sentence feels awkward. Perhaps connect it with the sentence before? I'd at least put them both in the same paragraph.

 

Malory must face it: she hasn’t leveled up as a flawless heroine. She’s more of a coward who has tricked her best friends into an alternate world. She could easily say it was an accident—like when she locked up that same world in a DVD-Rom years ago. Malory is addicted to it. Nobody knows except J-L, the mysterious boss of the game. And He knows what kind of life Malory escapes when she travels into it. The more he twists Malory’s dreamworld and establishes his authority, the more she takes it as a challenge and tries to regain the upper hand. So she's done this many times before & only the character in the game has noticed? What kind of game is it? Why trick her best friend to come with her? Was she getting lonely?

 

But now J-L is twisting the game beyond nightmare. Each new travel is more violent and dangerous for Malory. She misses the time when her cupcakes were not swarming with his cockroaches, when her meadows were not haunted by his sneaky monsters, when the sun rose, when innocents were not found dead, and when there were not slaves her age watching her every move. I get what you're trying to say here, but this "and when" is getting a bit much. I'd perhaps have a couple of examples and then explain the rest by explaining the nightmare in a different sentence. - At least make the last sentence connected to the rest if not. It feels more strange by itself.

 

Malory no longer feels up to facing J-L alone. Nor to keep such a weighty secret. That’s why she needs reliable help.  That sentence seems too telling. I could understand that already.

 

Once in the game, there are no cheat codes. She can't no rage quit. There's noot even a map. Malory and her two best friends (I thought it was just one.) have to use their wits to beat the boss. Their only chance to return home in one sane piece—or more simply to just stay alive—is to know their weapons. But also J-L’s.

 

MADNESS RIDERS: THE HERO SYNDROME, (62,390 words) is a YA dark fantasy, is complete at 62,000 words. Rounding is okay. My concept is similar to Heir Apparent and Dreamscape: Saving Alex, but with a darker edge. This will appeal to fans of fantasy, anime lovers and gamers alike.

 

I have a BA in French language and literature. My most recent publication is a collection of dark erotica short stories titled Les Agonies de l’Innocence (Tabou Editions, June 2013). They want to know about your other publications, not your major.

 

I think this query is getting good. Just need to clear up on some details. Good job!



#34 ShatteredSmooth

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 08:42 AM

New version! Hopefully this is more clear and concise. You tell me.

(A few of your questions are left unanswered. I absolutely have to avoid certain spoilers...)

 

 

When sixteen-year-old, hardcore gamer Malory seeks her best friends’ help in debugging a video game, she knows it could lead to a fatal error.

 

Like getting sucked into the game without a clue about how to play. I think this would be more effective if you put a : after fatal error and moved this up.

 

Malory must face it: she hasn’t leveled up as a flawless heroine. She’s more of a coward who has tricked her best friends into an alternate world. She could easily say it was an accident—like when she locked up that same world in a DVD-Rom years ago. but Malory is addicted to it. Nobody knows except J-L, the mysterious boss of the game. And he knows what kind of life Malory escapes when she travels into it. The more he twists Malory’s dreamworld and establishes his authority, the more she takes it as a challenge and tries to regain the upper hand.

 

But now J-L is twisting the game beyond nightmare. Each new travel is more violent and dangerous for Malory. She misses the time when her cupcakes were not swarming with his cockroaches, when her meadows were not haunted by his sneaky monsters, when the sun rose, when innocents were not found dead. And when there were not slaves her age watching her every move.

 

Malory no longer feels up to facing J-L alone. Nor to keep such a weighty secret. That’s why she needs reliable help.

 

Once in the game, no cheat codes, no rage quit. Not even a map. Malory and her two best friends have to use their wits to beat the boss. Their only chance to return home in one sane piece—or more simply to stay alive—is to know their weapons. But also J-L’s.

 

MADNESS RIDERS: THE HERO SYNDROME (62,390 words) is a YA dark fantasy. My concept is similar to Heir Apparent and Dreamscape: Saving Alex but with a darker edge. This will appeal to fans of fantasy, anime lovers and gamers alike.

 

I have a BA in French language and literature. My most recent publication is a collection of dark erotica short stories titled Les Agonies de l’Innocence (Tabou Editions, June 2013).

 

Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

After reading your query, I want to read the book! The structure here works for me, however, the sentences feel choppy and a little disconnected from each other. I had to read a few times to really make sense of it. The good news is that you can probably fix that by restructuring your sentences and playing around with punctuation. 

 

 

http://agentquerycon...ost-7/?p=342054



#35 secondstar87

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 12:40 PM

When sixteen-year-old, hardcore gamer Malory seeks her best friends’ help in debugging a video game, she knows it could lead to a fatal error. Nice! Concise, intriguing, and gives a quick context/character set up. 

 

Like getting sucked into the game without a clue about how to play. I think this would be better as part of your hook paragraph, rather than a stand alone sentence. 

 

Malory must face it: she hasn’t leveled up as a flawless heroine. She’s more of a coward who has tricked her best friends into an alternate world. She could easily say it was an accident—like when she locked up that same world in a DVD-Rom years ago. Malory is addicted to it. Nobody knows except J-L, the mysterious boss of the game. And he knows what kind of life Malory escapes when she travels into it. The more he twists Malory’s dreamworld and establishes his authority, the more she takes it as a challenge and tries to regain the upper hand. I crossed out that sentence because it seems unnecessary and was kind of confusing. 

 

But now J-L is twisting the game beyond nightmare. Each new travel what's a travel? is more violent and dangerous for Malory. She misses the time when her cupcakes were not swarming with his cockroaches, when her meadows were not haunted by his sneaky monsters, when the sun rose, when innocents were not found dead. And when there were not slaves her age watching her every move. This is definitely very interesting, I'm just confused about the slaves. Are they creations of the game, or actual people somehow forced into slavery? 

 

Malory no longer feels up to facing J-L alone. Nor to keep such a weighty secret. What's the secret--her addiction? That’s why she needs reliable help.

 

Once in the game, no cheat codes, no rage quit. Not even a map. Malory and her two best friends have to use their wits to beat the boss. Their only chance to return home in one sane piece—or more simply to stay alive—is to know their weapons. But also J-L’s. This last sentence falls a little flat. 

 

MADNESS RIDERS: THE HERO SYNDROME (62,390 words) is a YA dark fantasy. My concept is similar to Heir Apparent and Dreamscape: Saving Alex but with a darker edge. This will appeal to fans of fantasy, anime lovers and gamers alike.

 

I have a BA in French language and literature. My most recent publication is a collection of dark erotica short stories titled Les Agonies de l’Innocence (Tabou Editions, June 2013).

 

Thank you very much for your time and consideration.


http://agentquerycon...sail-the-stars/

http://agentquerycon...ique-in-return/

 

"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." - Mark Twain 

"There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds." - G.K. Chesterton 


#36 Vio Liddell

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 09:25 AM

When sixteen-year-old, hardcore gamer Malory seeks her best friends’ help in debugging a video game, she knows it could lead to a fatal error. Like getting sucked into the game without a clue about how to play.

 

Malory must face it: she hasn’t leveled up as a flawless heroine. She’s more of a coward who has tricked her two best friends into an alternate world. Malory has been addicted to that world for years. Nobody knows except J-L, the mysterious boss of the game. He knows who Malory is and what kind of life she escapes when she travels into the virtual lands. The more he twists Malory’s dreamworld and establishes his authority, the more she takes it as a challenge and tries to regain the upper hand.

 

But now J-L is twisting the game beyond nightmare. Each new journey turns out to be more violent and dangerous for Malory. She misses the time when her cupcakes were not swarming with his cockroaches, when her meadows were not haunted by his sneaky monsters, when the sun rose, when innocents were not found dead—and of course, when his teen slaves were not watching her every move.

 

Malory no longer feels up to facing J-L alone. That’s why she needs reliable help.

 

Once in the game, there are no cheat codes, no rage quit. Not even a map. Malory and her two best friends have to use their wits to beat the boss. Their only chance to return home in one sane piece—or more simply to stay alive—is to know their weapons. But they’d better know J-L’s as well.

 

MADNESS RIDERS: THE HERO SYNDROME (62,390 words) is a YA dark fantasy. My concept is a modern-day Jumanji that blends the plotline of Dreamscape: Saving Alex with the eerie atmosphere of American McGee’s Alice. This will appeal to fans of fantasy, anime lovers and gamers alike.

 

I have a BA in French language and literature. My most recent publication is a collection of dark erotica short stories titled Les Agonies de l’Innocence (Tabou Editions, June 2013).

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.



#37 rccallahan

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 10:00 PM

Hello!  

 

Here's the newest thoughts I've had on your query.  Thanks for taking a look at my work.  Hope this helps! 

 

 When sixteen-year-old, hardcore gamer Malory seeks her best friends’ help in debugging a video (should you mention it’s VR?) game, she knows it could lead to a fatal error. Like getting sucked into the game without a clue about how to play. (Who could get sucked in-- her, her friends, or both? Also, I’m wondering why she’s trying to debug it if she’s just a player… how does she even have the capability to debug if that’s the case.)

 

Malory must face it: she hasn’t leveled up as a flawless heroine. She’s more of a coward who has tricked her two best friends into an alternate world. Malory has been addicted to that world for years. Nobody knows except J-L, the mysterious boss of the game. He knows who Malory is and what kind of life she escapes when she travels into the virtual lands. The more he twists Malory’s dreamworld and establishes his authority, the more she takes it as a challenge and tries to regain the upper hand. (Is that where the bugs are coming from?  And why she needs her friends?  Also, is the video game world called the dreamworld? Should we know WHY he has it out for her, and/or why he would corrupt her form of escape?)

 

But now J-L is twisting the game beyond nightmare. Each new journey turns out to be more violent and dangerous for Malory. She misses the time when her cupcakes were not swarming with his cockroaches, when her meadows were not haunted by his sneaky monsters, when the sun rose, when innocents were not found dead—and of course, when his teen slaves were not watching her every move. (You drop this like it’s supposed to be important, but it doesn’t seem to be the biggest threat in the list, unless you make it so?)

 

Malory no longer feels up to facing J-L alone. That’s why she needs reliable help.

 

Once in the game, there are no cheat codes, no rage quit. Not even a map. Malory and her two best friends have to use their wits to beat the boss. Their only chance to return home in one sane piece—or more simply to stay alive—is to know their weapons. But they’d better know J-L’s as well.

 

MADNESS RIDERS: THE HERO SYNDROME (62,390 words) is a YA dark fantasy. My concept is a modern-day Jumanji that blends the plotline of Dreamscape: Saving Alex with the eerie atmosphere of American McGee’s Alice.(This is what came to mind when reading this!) This will appeal to fans of fantasy, anime lovers and gamers alike.

 

I have a BA in French language and literature. My most recent publication is a collection of dark erotica short stories titled Les Agonies de l’Innocence (Tabou Editions, June 2013). (I’ve heard that you shouldn’t mention previous publications unless you can relate it to what you’re seeking to publish now.  But it’s one of those conflicting things, so grain of salt?)

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.



#38 jaustail

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 06:16 AM

JMO:

 

I liked the plot of gamers going into a game, but query confused me.

 

 

When sixteen-year-old, hardcore gamer(she is a hardcore gamer but later it reads like she isn't that good in playing. hardcore made me think she's an ace) Malory seeks her best friends’ help in debugging a video game, she knows it could lead to a fatal error. Like getting sucked into the game without a clue about how to play.(does Malory want them to be sucked in the video game? maybe start as: Malory tricks her friends... because that is exactly what she's done)

 

Malory must face it: she hasn’t leveled up as a flawless heroine.(full stop) She’s more of a coward who has tricked her two best friends into an alternate world. Malory has been addicted to that world for years. Nobody knows except J-L, the mysterious boss of the game(is J-L the final villain in the video game or is J-L the owner of the game?). He knows who Malory is and what kind of life she escapes when she travels into the virtual lands. The more he twists Malory’s dreamworld and establishes his authority, the more she takes it as a challenge and tries to regain the upper hand(this doesn't go with her 'coward' adjective used at start of this paragraph).

 

But now J-L is twisting the game beyond nightmare. Each new journey turns out to be more violent and dangerous for Malory. She misses the time when her cupcakes were not swarming with his cockroaches, when her meadows were not haunted by his sneaky monsters, when the sun rose, when innocents were not found dead(I suggest remove the incidents here. or keep only one)—and of course, when his teen slaves were not watching her every move.

 

Malory no longer feels up to facing J-L alone. That’s why she needs reliable help.

 

Once in the game, there are no cheat codes, no rage quit. Not even a map. Malory and her two best friends have to use their wits to beat the boss. Their only chance to return home in one sane piece—or more simply to stay alive—is to know their weapons. But they’d better know J-L’s as well.

 

 

I think it's a fun novel.


JUPITER'S AMBITION, MIDDLE GRADE

Revised on Post#80

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#39 Erevos

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 10:11 AM

Hello Vio and thank you for your comments on my query!

 

Right now I feel your query has too much info. You need to trim them down and focus on the important stuff.

First of all, many people -including me- has trouble understanding what debugging means. I understand that this boss is altering her world, and that Malory led her friends into a "trap" so they can help her, but this does not come easy to the reader. Moreover, you mention without a clue about how to play, but this contradicts your statement that she is a hardcore gamer, and that J-L knows her because of her constant trips inside the game.

 

When sixteen-year-old, hardcore gamer Malory seeks her best friends’ help in debugging a video game, she knows it could lead to a fatal error. Like getting sucked into the game without a clue about how to play.

 

Malory must face it: she hasn’t leveled up as a flawless heroine. She’s more of a coward who has tricked her two best friends into an alternate world. Malory has been addicted to that world for years. Nobody knows except J-L, the mysterious boss of the game. He knows who Malory is and what kind of life she escapes when she travels into the virtual lands. The more he twists Malory’s dreamworld and establishes his authority, the more she takes it as a challenge and tries to regain the upper hand.

 

 

But now J-L is twisting the game beyond nightmare. Each new journey turns out to be more violent and dangerous for Malory. She misses the time when her cupcakes were not swarming with his cockroaches, when her meadows were not haunted by his sneaky monsters, when the sun rose, when innocents were not found dead—and of course, when his teen slaves were not watching her every move.

 

Malory no longer feels up to facing J-L alone. That’s why she needs reliable help.

 

Once in the game, there are no cheat codes, no rage quit. Not even a map. Malory and her two best friends have to use their wits to beat the boss. Their only chance to return home in one sane piece—or more simply to stay alive—is to know their weapons. But they’d better know J-L’s as well.

 

MADNESS RIDERS: THE HERO SYNDROME (62,390 words) is a YA dark fantasy. My concept is a modern-day Jumanji that blends the plotline of Dreamscape: Saving Alex with the eerie atmosphere of American McGee’s Alice. This will appeal to fans of fantasy, anime lovers and gamers alike.

 

I have a BA in French language and literature. My most recent publication is a collection of dark erotica short stories titled Les Agonies de l’Innocence (Tabou Editions, June 2013).

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

 

 

 

I decided to write a quick sample query based on yours. If it helps, then feel free to take it as a basis.

 

"When J-L. the vile boss of her virtual world. takes over her game, sixteen-year-old Malor must seek her friends' help to defeat him. Even if it means risking them being trapped forever. <- This last sentence needs a bit of work, I admit.

 

But J-L, knows Malory - her fears, her secrets and the reason she escapes reality to travel into the virtual lands.

 

Without any hints or help, Malory and her friends  must collect pieces of Malory's childhood that could help them escape. But................ "  <- Here some words about J-L perhaps? I feel the strongest part of your query should be the pieces about Malory's childhood and how they connect to the game and the boss. Perhaps if I knew more details, I could help more.

 

 

Let me know what you think!

 

 


My Query http://agentquerycon...a-high-fantasy/ Let me know if you want me to look at yours. Will happily do so.


#40 fernet

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 03:46 PM

I think some of the video game jargon sprinkled in works well in some places but in others it feels like it's reaching, and just makes the query confusing. I guess overall I'd like to see more about her real-world problems and how beating the game might resolve those. The game setup provides good, clear stakes--beat it or die!--but we have to care about why she turns to the game in the first place, and what's going to be different for her once she gets out.

 

 

When sixteen-year-old hardcore gamer Malory seeks her best friends’ help in debugging a video game, (I also am confused about the debugging--makes it sound like she works in QA or something!)  she knows it could lead to a fatal error. Like getting sucked into the game without a clue about how to play. (Why doesn't she have a clue how to play if she's been addicted to the video game world for years?)

 

Malory must face it: she hasn’t leveled up as isn't? (here for example -- I don't think sticking in more video game language helps set the mood, it just distracts) a flawless heroine. She’s more of a coward who has tricked her two best friends into an alternate world. Malory has been addicted to that world for years. Nobody knows except J-L, the mysterious boss of the game. He knows who Malory is and what kind of life she escapes when she travels into the virtual lands. The more he twists Malory’s dreamworld and establishes his authority, the more she takes it as a challenge and tries to regain the upper hand. (eh, unnecessary? just get to the current problem in the next line)

 

But now J-L is twisting the game beyond nightmare. Each new journey turns out to be more violent and dangerous for Malory. She misses the time when her cupcakes were not swarming with his cockroaches, when her meadows were not haunted by his sneaky monsters, when the sun rose, when innocents were not found dead—and of course, when his teen slaves were not watching her every move. (This list of dangers is kind of all over the place. Are the teen slaves particularly important? There is a general sense of threat but it isn't exactly coherent. Is this all happening in the virtual world or are game events bleeding into Malory's actual life?)

 

Malory no longer feels up to facing J-L alone. That’s why she needs reliable help. (This is kind of abrupt. I think we need to know more about Malory and her friends -- the best friends just seem to be along for the ride, without any personality or agency. Do they know about the problems that Malory is trying to escape? From this it sounds like she just wants them along to help with the game, and doesn't actually care about them. Especially since you said earlier she tricked them in -- seems like there should be repercussions.)

 

Once in the game, there are no cheat codes, no rage quitting--not even a map. Malory and her two best friends have to use their wits to beat the boss. Their only chance to return home in one sane piece—or more simply to stay alive—is to know their weapons. But they’d better know J-L’s as well. (This end, and the emphasis on weapons, kind of comes out of nowhere. I think you need to tie in the real-life stakes here, too -- her life at home -- is she going to be able to fix her real-world problems if she gets out of the game? Has she actually improved anything for herself, or solved any problems, or is it just a question of getting out alive and then being stuck right back where she was?)

 

MADNESS RIDERS: THE HERO SYNDROME (62,390 words) is a YA dark fantasy. My concept is a modern-day Jumanji that blends the plotline of Dreamscape: Saving Alex with the eerie atmosphere of American McGee’s Alice. This will appeal to fans of fantasy, anime lovers and gamers alike.

 

I have a BA in French language and literature. My most recent publication is a collection of dark erotica short stories titled Les Agonies de l’Innocence (Tabou Editions, June 2013).

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.







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