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DARIUS CARLYLE (newest version in #204)


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#1 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 07:58 PM

I edit my stuff. A LOT. I get itchy haha, so my bad in advance. Thanks so much for your help guys!

Thanks again!

JJW


My Perpetually Metamorphosing Query

 

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#2 giffordmac

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 05:18 PM

It may be that I'm not familiar with your genre, as it's not something I read, but I really don't get what the first paragraph is telling me.

 

  • Is it a note to the agent that's supposed to be ironic?

 

  • Is it part of the 'journal entries'? Are you setting up an expectation of irony within the story?

 

  • Is it simply an attempt to be creative?

 

  • And, finally (again perhaps from not being conversant in horror), what does the phrase "the Flow cannot exist without an Ebb" actually mean?

 

I'm sorry, I just don't understand. I think your query is actually contained in the second paragraph. I'd suggest expanding on that instead of starting with something so unexpected.

 

Best of luck.


“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” ― Elie Wiesel

 

~~~

 

 

 

 


#3 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 06:43 PM

Actually, those are very good questions. Suffice it to say I broke my hand the day after I began the final chapter. I found that ironic (or serendipitous), so I thought of tying it into the hook within the first paragraph. It was another author who suggested that, since I had handwritten the rough draft I could "play" with the concept that MAYBE there were actual consequences to the "magick" in the book.

So yes, it's an attempt at an unconventional hook.

It may be that I'm not familiar with your genre, as it's not something I read, but I really don't get what the first paragraph is telling me.

  • Is it a note to the agent that's supposed to be ironic?
  • Is it part of the 'journal entries'? Are you setting up an expectation of irony within the story?
  • Is it simply an attempt to be creative?
  • And, finally (again perhaps from not being conversant in horror), what does the phrase "the Flow cannot exist without an Ebb" actually mean?

I'm sorry, I just don't understand. I think your query is actually contained in the second paragraph. I'd suggest expanding on that instead of starting with something so unexpected.

Best of luck.

My Perpetually Metamorphosing Query

 

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#4 anthonymbriggs

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 12:58 AM

I agree with the previous commentor. From the articles/interviews I've read and podcasts I've heard, agents have little interest in gimmicks like this opening paragraph. I'd recommend leaving it out.

 

The second paragraph doesn't tell me much. A man comes home, gets married and receives an ominous letter. The phrase "his course is plotted for him down crimson rivers of inhuman cruelty, and into his darkest, most harrowing hour" really doesn't tell me anything and is on the purple side. Did someone set a trap for him? Is someone going to kidnap his kid?

 

Something has come up and I do not have time to finish this response. I will try to write more later.



#5 punitrastogi

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 01:21 AM

I guess if you are not actually writing your query by your hand, there is no impact of the broken hand idea.

 

Because once the document becomes digital, the impact dissolves.

 

Also, there might well be some time gap between your accident (I am sorry for that btw) and you actually handing out the query.

So you might need to either maintain that consistency, or that plaster. (Bad joke)

 

Its your call.

But I would suggest that even if you keep that warning, you should still follow the recommended structure of the query.

 

Hope it helps. :)



#6 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 02:20 PM

Yeah, after consulting with a friend (who albeit deals with talent agents rather than literary agents) he gave me a general rule of thumb: the more disturbing the story, the more professional the pitch. And so....


Dear [Agent],

Ancient werewolves, Jack the Ripper and black magick ebb and flow through this grievous account of damned love, the journals of a mystical werewolf hunter in Victorian England.

Returning home after a century-long spiritual sojourn, Darius Carlyle takes up his inheritance as Lord of Wolfstone Manor, and begins setting down his memoirs. Happening upon the indomitably alluring Katherine Harrow, he is smitten for the first time in his long life, and writes her letters. Years pass, and Darius spends blissful days with his 'dearest Kate,' now his expecting wife. By moonlight, however, and with the aid of his loyal associate, Hargreaves, Darius does what the Wolven have done best for millennia: hunt the werewolves that persist in the shadows. But when he receives a letter from an old friend in the fateful autumn of 1888, Darius Carlyle incurs the malice of an ancient werewolf with a personal vendetta, drawing him inexorably toward his darkest, most harrowing hour.

Illuminated with illustrations facsimiled from Darius's own, handwritten journal, and with potential for sequels, THE PERSONAL ACCOUNT OF DARIUS CARLYLE aspires to tell the 'quintessential' werewolf tale through an epistolary dark fantasy/horror thriller of 92,000 words

Kindest Regards,

My Perpetually Metamorphosing Query

 

At vahrai u ihlókéon. At u Atavithion. 


#7 lsprochnow

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 04:53 PM

Yeah, after consulting with a friend (who albeit deals with talent agents rather than literary agents) he gave me a general rule of thumb: the more disturbing the story, the more professional the pitch. And so....


Dear [Agent],

Ancient werewolves, Jack the Ripper and black magick ebb and flow through this grievous account of damned love, the journals of a mystical werewolf hunter in Victorian England. Interesting...I think this is pretty good for a hook. It has a good tone to it

Returning home after a century-long spiritual sojourn, Darius Carlyle takes up his inheritance as Lord of Wolfstone Manor, and begins setting down his memoirs. Happening upon the indomitably alluring Katherine Harrow, he is smitten for the first time in his long life, and writes her letters. Years pass, and Darius spends blissful days with his 'dearest Kate,' now his expecting wife. By moonlight, however, and with the aid of his loyal associate, Hargreaves I'm not sure you should mention Hargreaves by name. Maybe refer to him as his "most loyal associate" , Darius does what the Wolven have done best for millennia: hunt the werewolves that persist in the shadows. But when he receives a letter from an old friend in the fateful autumn of 1888, Darius Carlyle incurs the malice of an ancient werewolf with a personal vendetta, drawing him inexorably toward his darkest, most harrowing hour.

 

I think this is a good start, but it doesn't give me a vivid picture of the plot or what's at stake. I assume Katherine's life will be in danger though you never mention that outright. Most of the query is about Darius's relationship with Katherine and the malice of the ancient werewolf is mentioned almost as an afterthought. I would expound on the ancient werewolf's vendetta and up the stakes a bit. Keep it up!

 

Here's the link to my query if you wouldn't mind taking a look.  http://agentquerycon...ing-ya-fantasy/

Illuminated with illustrations facsimiled from Darius's own, handwritten journal, and with potential for sequels, THE PERSONAL ACCOUNT OF DARIUS CARLYLE aspires to tell the 'quintessential' werewolf tale through an epistolary dark fantasy/horror thriller of 92,000 words great ending

Kindest Regards,



#8 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 06:09 PM

Thanks, Isprochnow! I think I know how to pull off your suggestion. Just a sec...

How about...

Dear [Agent],

Ancient werewolves, Jack the Ripper and black magick ebb and flow through this grievous account of damned love, the personal journals of a mystical werewolf hunter in Victorian England.

Returning home after a century-long spiritual sojourn, Darius Carlyle takes up his inheritance as Lord of Wolfstone Manor, and begins setting down his memoirs. Happening upon the indomitably alluring Katherine Harrow, he is smitten for the first time in his long life, and writes her letters. Years pass, and Darius spends blissful days with his 'dearest Kate,' now his expecting wife. By moonlight, however, Darius does what the Wolven have done best for millennia: hunt the werewolves that persist in the shadows. But when Darius receives a letter from an old friend in the fateful autumn of 1888, he incurs the malice of an ancient werewolf with a personal vendetta, and his dearest Kate is turned into his darkest fear. And in his most harrowing hour, Darius Carlyle will have to learn if he has the strength to break his own heart.

Illuminated with illustrations facsimiled from Darius's own, handwritten journal, and with potential for sequels, THE PERSONAL ACCOUNT OF DARIUS CARLYLE aspires to tell the 'quintessential' werewolf tale through an epistolary dark fantasy/horror thriller of 92,000 words.

Kindest Regards,

My Perpetually Metamorphosing Query

 

At vahrai u ihlókéon. At u Atavithion. 


#9 Arty90

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 06:34 PM

Clean and precise. Good work. I do like your overall prose and can see a clear writer's voice, even though it's just a query. Although not related to the query itself, which is great as is, I think the names 'Darius' and 'Wolfstone Manor' aren't all that eye-catching.

 

Darius is a Persian name and this is set in Victoria's England. Wolfstone Manor sounds like an estate from just any typical Victorian horror. But it's just an opinion, or preference rather. I'm not sure how others would react to it man, but like i said, it's just an opinion. I would recommend asking a few people how they feel about it.

 

Also, try to clarify the circumstances surrounding Darius receiving this letter. It's an important twist to the story, and I think it needs just a bit more explaining. How did Katherine become a werewolf? How was Darius not able to protect someone he loved this much, especially from something as grand as an ancient werewolf? I'm curious to know how Darius was responsible for letting loose this ancient werewolf. You have a bit more room to explain a good irony here.

 

Besides that, you have a solid query, worth its weight. Best of luck to you!


Query Letter(s):

 

Project: DIVE
 

the (1).png

 


#10 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 06:38 PM

Thanks man! I explain it in the book (& expand on it in the synopsis), but 'Darius' is used simply as a kind of 'Anglicization' of his Wolven name, 'Tharios'...this query just BARELY scratches the surface of the actual book, and it was frustrating to get it here...but trust me when I tell you there's more to this book than JUST a horror romance.

And Wolfstone is a personal callback to an ultimately rejected nomenclature from my old mythology. So there. Haha :)

Much appreciated!!

My Perpetually Metamorphosing Query

 

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#11 CM_Fick

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 06:43 PM

Thanks, Isprochnow! I think I know how to pull off your suggestion. Just a sec...

How about...

Dear [Agent],

Ancient werewolves, Jack the Ripper(,) and black magick ebb and flow through this grievous account of damned love, the personal journals of a mystical werewolf hunter in Victorian England.

Returning home after a century-long spiritual sojourn, Darius Carlyle takes up his inheritance as Lord of Wolfstone Manor, and begins setting down his memoirs. (is this where your story begins?) Happening upon the indomitably alluring Katherine Harrow, he is smitten for the first time in his long life, and writes letters to her. Years pass, and Darius spends blissful days with his 'dearest Kate,' now his expecting wife. By moonlight, however, Darius does what the Wolven have done best for millennia: hunt the werewolves that persist in the shadows. But when Darius receives a letter from an old friend in the fateful autumn of 1888, he incurs the malice of an ancient werewolf with a personal vendetta, and his dearest Kate is turned into his darkest fear. And in his most harrowing hour, Darius Carlyle will have to learn if he has the strength to break his own heart.

Illuminated with illustrations facsimiled from Darius's own, handwritten journal, and with potential for sequels, THE PERSONAL ACCOUNT OF DARIUS CARLYLE aspires to tell the 'quintessential' werewolf tale through an epistolary dark fantasy/horror thriller of 92,000 words

Kindest Regards,

 

Hi JeffJustWrites,

 

While I like the premise of your story, I'm sorry to say, that this seems vague - like a lot of set-up and some backstory, with little, actual plot. Also, to me the hook isn't catching. 

 

From what I gather, this novel is a compilation of his letters and journal entries? I personally think you need to start with a hook about the wolven and Darius' conflict with the ancient werewolves with a vendetta. You need to explore your character's motivations, not just the journey they go through. 

 

I think that there needs to be more fleshed out from your story here. This may be frustrating to have such a differing opinion, and I understand that feeling, but I truly think this could be a lot more interesting with some more work. 

 

Cheers,



#12 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 07:05 PM

Isn't that sort of thing best saved for the synopsis though? From what I gather, a query letter is basically supposed to be your "elevator pitch", no? I just feel I'd have more room for that in the synopsis at this point, and the most obvious aspect to sell the book on WOULD be Darius and Kate's damned love.

My Perpetually Metamorphosing Query

 

At vahrai u ihlókéon. At u Atavithion. 


#13 CM_Fick

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 07:57 PM

Isn't that sort of thing best saved for the synopsis though? From what I gather, a query letter is basically supposed to be your "elevator pitch", no? I just feel I'd have more room for that in the synopsis at this point, and the most obvious aspect to sell the book on WOULD be Darius and Kate's damned love.

not all agents require or even request a synopsis. your query is supposed to be 3 parts, according to my understanding of my research. There should be the hook, a mini synopsis and a bio. your query should be anywhere between 250 and 350 words and is a littl emore than an elevator-pitch in my opinion. I suggest looking through and reading other's queries to see what I'm referring to. Now all follow this format, but I think you should have more content than you do here. 



#14 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 08:02 PM

Hi JeffJustWrites,

While I like the premise of your story, I'm sorry to say, that this seems vague - like a lot of set-up and some backstory, with little, actual plot. Also, to me the hook isn't catching.

From what I gather, this novel is a compilation of his letters and journal entries? I personally think you need to start with a hook about the wolven and Darius' conflict with the ancient werewolves with a vendetta. You need to explore your character's motivations, not just the journey they go through.

I think that there needs to be more fleshed out from your story here. This may be frustrating to have such a differing opinion, and I understand that feeling, but I truly think this could be a lot more interesting with some more work.

Cheers,


So, after giving it some thought haha, here's the new ending to the second paragraph, with a bit more plot. Let me know what you think!

But when Darius receives an unexpected letter from an old friend in the fateful autumn of 1888, he unwittingly incurs the malice of an ancient werewolf with a personal vendetta, and Kate is turned into his darkest fear. Darius is forced into a frantic search for a cure that might not even exist, all the while resisting his own Wolven nature that compels him to kill the monster his dearest Kate has become. And in his most desperate hour, Darius Carlyle will have to learn if he has the strength to break his own heart.

My Perpetually Metamorphosing Query

 

At vahrai u ihlókéon. At u Atavithion. 


#15 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 08:06 PM

not all agents require or even request a synopsis. your query is supposed to be 3 parts, according to my understanding of my research. There should be the hook, a mini synopsis and a bio. your query should be anywhere between 250 and 350 words and is a littl emore than an elevator-pitch in my opinion. I suggest looking through and reading other's queries to see what I'm referring to. Now all follow this format, but I think you should have more content than you do here.

To be frank, I HAVE been composing this on my phone haha, so maybe my word count is smaller due to the curse of the screens.

As far as 'prior' work, I self published a fantasy novel five years ago; this book, while it doesn't touch on that story, I personally consider THIS book a 'soft reboot' of the werewolf mythology I've cooked up (meaning the Wolven, languages, alphabets–and symbolism, which is more recent)...would that be a red flag for some agents?

My Perpetually Metamorphosing Query

 

At vahrai u ihlókéon. At u Atavithion. 


#16 CM_Fick

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 08:14 PM

So, after giving it some thought haha, here's the new ending to the second paragraph, with a bit more plot. Let me know what you think!

But when Darius receives an unexpected letter from an old friend in the fateful autumn of 1888, he unwittingly incurs the malice of an ancient werewolf with a personal vendetta, and Kate is turned into his darkest fear. Darius is forced into a frantic search for a cure that might not even exist, all the while resisting his own Wolven nature that compels him to kill the monster his dearest Kate has become. And in his most desperate hour, Darius Carlyle will have to learn if he has the strength to break his own heart.

 

A smaller wordcount isn't necessarily a problem in a query, as long as you provide all the pertinent information. Your addition to the ending is much more engaging, and I believe on the right track, but I believe there are still issues with the beginning that this doesn't resolve.  

 

Mine is just one person's opinion and you are free to do with it as you choose :)

 

As for your red-flag question, I wouldn't imagine it would. 



#17 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 12:03 AM

How does this sound? More backstory.


Dear [Agent],

Ancient werewolves, Jack the Ripper and black magick ebb and flow through this harrowing account of damned love, recounted in the personal journals of a mystical werewolf hunter in Victorian England.

Wolven hunt werewolves, and thus it has been since before Antiquity. Born in 1687 in the Lost Colony of Roanoke, Darius Carlyle is half-human and half-Wolven–a race of mystical werewolf hunters as old as the werewolves, but with abilities as subtle as the werewolves are savage. Though raised in the ancient ways of Wolven, Darius has learned from samurai warriors and Shaolin monks alike; meditated with gurus and lamas, and acquires a wealth of esoteric wisdom while hunting werewolves, halfbreeds and berserkers.

Returning home after a century-long spiritual sojourn, Darius takes up his inheritance as Lord of Wolfstone Manor, and begins setting down his memoirs. Happening upon the indomitably alluring Katherine Harrow, he is smitten for the first time in his long life, and writes her letters as the years pass. While Darius spends blissful days with his 'dearest Kate,' now his expecting wife, by moonlight Darius does what the Wolven have done best for millennia: hunt the werewolves that persist in the shadows. But when Darius receives an unexpected letter from an old friend in the fateful autumn of 1888, he unwittingly incurs the malice of an ancient werewolf with a personal vendetta, and Kate is turned into his darkest fear. Darius is forced into a frantic search for a cure that might not even exist, all the while resisting his own Wolven nature that compels him to kill the monster his dearest Kate has become. And in his most desperate hour, Darius Carlyle will have to learn if he has the strength to break his own heart.

Illuminated with illustrations facsimiled from Darius's own, handwritten journal, and with potential for sequels, THE PERSONAL ACCOUNT OF DARIUS CARLYLE aspires to tell the 'quintessential' werewolf tale through an epistolary dark fantasy/horror thriller of 91,889 words.

Kindest Regards,

My Perpetually Metamorphosing Query

 

At vahrai u ihlókéon. At u Atavithion. 


#18 CM_Fick

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 01:38 AM

Hi JeffJustWrites, This looks like a step in the right direction, but I think you should get a few more eyes on it as well. I'll take a closer look in the next day or so, but I suggest exchanging critiques with a few others for a fresh perspective. It's marked as solved, so I would change that as well. 



#19 JeffJustWrites

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 01:43 PM

Changed up the opening hook for clarity.

Dear Agent,

A young man receives a journal allegedly belonging to his father. This book is that journal. Ancient werewolves, black magick and Jack the Ripper ebb and flow through this ineffable tale of damned love, the harrowing personal account of a mystical werewolf hunter in Victorian England.

Born in 1687, Darius Carlyle is half-human and half-Wolven–a race of mystical werewolf hunters as ancient as the werewolves, but with abilities as subtle as the werewolves are savage. These two races have been embroiled in a bitter blood-feud that predates Antiquity. Though raised in the ancient ways of Wolven, Darius has also learned from samurai warriors and Shaolin monks alike; meditated with gurus and lamas, accumulating a wealth of esoteric knowledge while hunting werewolves, halfbreeds and berserkers across the known world.

Returning home after a century-long spiritual sojourn, Darius takes up his inheritance as Lord of Wolfstone Manor, and begins setting down his memoirs. Happening upon the indomitably alluring Katherine Harrow, he is smitten for the first time in his long life, and writes her letters as the years pass. Darius spends blissful days with his 'dearest Kate,' now his expecting wife; by moonlight, Darius does what the Wolven have done best for millennia: hunt down the werewolves that persist in the shadows. Then, in that fateful autumn of 1888, Darius receives an unexpected letter from an old friend that brings him to the bloody streets of Whitechapel. Unwittingly incurring the malice of an ancient werewolf with a personal vendetta, Kate is captured and turned into Darius's darkest fear. Thus forced into a frenetic search for a cure that might not even exist, Darius must resist his own nature that compels the Wolven within him to kill the monster his dearest Kate has become. And in his most desperate hour, Darius Carlyle will have to learn if he has the strength to break his own heart.

Illuminated with illustrations facsimiled from Darius's own handwritten journal, and with potential for sequels, THE PERSONAL ACCOUNT OF DARIUS CARLYLE aspires to tell the 'quintessential' werewolf tale through an epistolary dark fantasy/horror thriller of 92,000 words.

I appreciate you taking the opportunity to evaluate my query; to better assist you I have included the opening pages of my novel. The following would be my traditional publishing debut; I thank you in advance for your time and consideration.

My Perpetually Metamorphosing Query

 

At vahrai u ihlókéon. At u Atavithion. 


#20 samlat77

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 01:58 PM

Changed up the opening hook for clarity.

Dear Agent,

A young man receives a journal allegedly belonging to his father. This book is that journal. Ancient werewolves, black magick and Jack the Ripper ebb and flow through this ineffable tale of damned love, the harrowing personal account of a mystical werewolf hunter in Victorian England. I won't lie. I don't really like this hook. Do we see the young man the hook mentions or is this solely about Darius Carlyle?

Born in 1687, Darius Carlyle is half-human and half-Wolven–a race of mystical werewolf hunters as ancient as the werewolves themselves, but with abilities as subtle as the werewolves are savage. These two races have been embroiled in a bitter blood-feud that predates Antiquity. Though raised in the ancient ways of Wolven, Darius has also learned from samurai warriors and Shaolin monks alike; meditated with gurus and lamas, accumulating a wealth of esoteric knowledge while hunting werewolves, halfbreeds and berserkers across the known world. I think the rest can be stricken. Just mention something about how deadly he is or something...

Returning home after a century-long spiritual sojourn, Darius takes up his inheritance as Lord of Wolfstone Manor, and begins setting down his memoirs. Happening upon the indomitably alluring Katherine Harrow, he is smitten for the first time in his long life, and writes her letters as the years pass. Yeah, not a fan of this sentence. Darius spends blissful days with his 'dearest Kate,' now his expecting wife; by moonlight, Darius does what the Wolven have done best for millennia: hunt down the werewolves that persist in the shadows. Then, in that fateful the autumn of 1888, Darius receives an unexpected letter from an old friend that brings him to the bloody streets of Whitechapel. Unwittingly incurring the malice of an ancient werewolf with a personal vendetta, Kate is captured and turned into Darius's darkest fear. Thus Now forced into a frenetic search for a cure that might not even exist, Darius must resist his own nature that compels the Wolven within him to kill the monster his dearest Kate has become. And in his most desperate hour, Darius Carlyle will have to learn if he has the strength to break his own heart.

Illuminated with illustrations facsimiled from Darius's own handwritten journal, and with potential for sequels, THE PERSONAL ACCOUNT OF DARIUS CARLYLE aspires to tell the 'quintessential' werewolf tale through an epistolary dark fantasy/horror thriller of 92,000 words.

I appreciate you taking the opportunity to evaluate my query; to better assist you I have included the opening pages of my novel. The following would be my traditional publishing debut; I thank you in advance for your time and consideration.

I love the idea of this! But you've got waaaaay too much details in this query. It's bogging it down so much. Best of luck and I hope I've helped!






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