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IF ONLY YOU KNEW

Womens Fiction

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#1 Christine Michael

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Posted 05 April 2018 - 11:59 AM

Dear xxxxxxxxxx,

 

Céleste has been on a downward spiral ever since her parents’ death. Using Europe as her personal playground she runs from her past, love and herself. But someday she will have to face it all. And ‘someday’ may come quicker than she wants.

 

Karolina, your preferences state you are attracted to books with social observation, relationships and interesting settings. IF ONLY YOU KNEW embraces those same passions. Raised in an abusive home, Céleste must deal with her grief in the aftermath of her parents’ horrific death.  Eager to abandon her past and reinvent herself, she leaves her native Québec to become a European Tour Guide. There, she guides large groups from the Red Light District to the Acropolis, yet doesn’t know her own direction in life. She recites detailed histories from Paris to Istanbul, but cannot face her own past. And when love stares her in the face, she does what she does best – she runs, ignorant to her emotional speed bumps along the way. No matter how far she travels, she cannot run from herself. She must decide, does she want to be a victim to her past? Or a victor for her future?

 

Similar to the character in your published book COMMONWEALTH by Ann Patchett, my protagonist, Céleste has to come to terms with her losses and guilt and learn from their ripples.. IF ONLY YOU KNEW, is a work of women’s contemporary fiction set in Europe, complete at 100,000 words. This is a stand-alone book, or a part of a series.

 

I was born in Québec, Canada. I had an unbelievable adventure leading tours through Europe and Russia. And just for fun, I continued to travel for 5 years through Australasia, China, South Africa and India. I studied in Canada, England, France and the USA. I taught ‘Abuse and Neglect’ and ‘Women across Cultures’ in American university. I’ve infused my rich experiences in all my writing. I presently live, love and laugh in the United States. 

 

 Thank-you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Christine Michael

 



#2 jpfranco

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Posted 05 April 2018 - 01:45 PM

Dear xxxxxxxxxx,

 

Céleste has been on a downward spiral ever since her parents’ death. Using Europe as her personal playground she runs from her past, love and herself. But someday she will have to face it all. And ‘someday’ may come quicker than she wants.

 

Karolina, your preferences state you are attracted to books with social observation, relationships and interesting settings. IF ONLY YOU KNEW embraces those same passions. This sentance is out of place. Put it above with your personalization. 

 

Raised in an abusive home, Céleste must deal with her grief in the aftermath of her parents’ horrific death. So they were abusive, but their death was horrific? It seems like she might be eager to be rid of them if they were abusive.  Eager to abandon her past and reinvent herself, she leaves her native Québec to become a European Tour Guide. Not sure if tour guide needs to be capitalized. There, she guides large groups from the Red Light District to the Acropolis, yet doesn’t know her own direction in life. She recites detailed histories from Paris to Istanbul, but cannot face her own past. These two lines are redundant. Combine them or leave one out. And when love stares her in the face, she does what she does best – she runs, ignorant to her emotional speed bumps along the way. No matter how far she travels, she cannot run from herself. She must decide, does she want to be a victim to her past? Or a victor for her future? What is it that's going to make her decide? What happens? I get that it's a love interest, but we need more. 

 

Similar to the character in your published book COMMONWEALTH by Ann Patchett, my protagonist, Céleste has to come to terms with her losses and guilt and learn from their ripples.. IF ONLY YOU KNEW, is a work of women’s contemporary fiction set in Europe, complete at 100,000 words. This is a stand-alone book, or a part of a series.

 

I was born in Québec, Canada. I had an unbelievable adventure leading tours through Europe and Russia. And just for fun, I continued to travel for 5 years through Australasia, China, South Africa and India. I studied in Canada, England, France and the USA. I taught ‘Abuse and Neglect’ and ‘Women across Cultures’ in American university. I’ve infused my rich experiences in all my writing. I presently live, love and laugh in the United States. 

 

 Thank-you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Christine Michael

 

I think this query needs a little more of what makes your story unique. Make the agent aware that it's not the same thing they've seen a thousand times. Women who are their own worst enemy are a dime a dozen. Who is she? What makes her interesting? It sounds like you've got a great base for the setting, and the exotic locale is exciting, now make her story interesting. You reference social observations and relationships, but I don't see any of that in your query. Bring that up so the agent can see how that figures into your story. Good luck!



#3 RosieSkye

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Posted 05 April 2018 - 02:23 PM

Dear xxxxxxxxxx,

 

Céleste has been on a downward spiral ever since her parents’ death. Using Europe as her personal playground ("playground" doesn't really coincide with a downward spiral. I'd use a different word here) she runs from her past, love and herself. But someday she will have to face it all. And ‘someday’ may come quicker than she wants. (This is vague.  I'd rework this into a short, snappy hook.)

 

Karolina, your preferences state you are attracted to books with social observation, relationships and interesting settings. IF ONLY YOU KNEW embraces those same passions.  (Stick with your plot and move this business to the bottom.) Raised in an abusive home, Céleste must deal with her grief in the aftermath of her parents’ horrific death. (These ideas seem to contradict themselves - her parents were abusive, but now she's grieving their loss?  Of course people grieve for their parents even if they were abusive, but in the limited context of a query, you want to impart only the most essential information, and right now I don't understand what her upbringing was like.)  Eager to abandon her past and reinvent herself, she leaves her native Québec to become a European Tour Guide. There, she guides large groups from the Red Light District to the Acropolis, yet doesn’t know her own direction in life. She recites detailed histories from Paris to Istanbul, but cannot face her own past. (You're basically saying the same thing twice here.)  And when love stares her in the face, she does what she does best – she runs, ignorant to her emotional speed bumps along the way. But no matter how far she travels, she cannot run from herself. She must decide, does she want to be a victim to her past? Or a victor for her future?

 

Similar to the character in your published book COMMONWEALTH by Ann Patchett, my protagonist, Céleste has to come to terms with her losses and guilt and learns from their ripples.. IF ONLY YOU KNEW, is a work of women’s contemporary fiction set in Europe, complete at 100,000 words. This is a stand-alone book, with series potential. or a part of a series.

 

I was born in Québec, Canada. I had an unbelievable adventure leading tours through Europe and Russia. And just for fun, I continued to travel for 5 years through Australasia, China, South Africa and India. I studied in Canada, England, France and the USA. I taught ‘Abuse and Neglect’ and ‘Women across Cultures’ in American university. I’ve infused my rich experiences in all my writing. I presently live, love and laugh in the United States.  (Previous publishing credits only at this stage.)

 

 Thank-you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Christine Michael

 

 

What's missing for me here is, I don't get a feel for the meat of your story.  A grieving woman runs off to Europe to become a tour guide - that's your setup, but it constitutes the bulk of your query.  What specifically happens when she's there?  Not knowing her life's direction and not facing things aren't actions.  You say she runs away from love, but what's the scenario?  Does she literally run off somewhere, or does she just shut the guy out?  Is he an important character in your story?  If so, introduce him and give us his name.  

 

Hope this helps!



#4 Springfield

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Posted 05 April 2018 - 03:20 PM

Dear xxxxxxxxxx,

 

Céleste has been on a downward spiral ever since her parents’ death. Using Europe as her personal playground she runs from her past, love and herself. But someday she will have to face it all. And ‘someday’ may come quicker than she wants. This is all too vague and short.

 

Karolina, your preferences state you are attracted to books with social observation, relationships and interesting settings. IF ONLY YOU KNEW embraces those same passions. I assumed that was a character. Did you just address an agent in the middle of the query, by first name? What is happening? 

 

Raised in an abusive home, Céleste must deal with her grief in the aftermath of her parents’ horrific death. Why is she grieving? Eager to abandon her past and reinvent herself, she leaves her native Québec to become a European Tour Guide. There, she guides large groups from the Red Light District to the Acropolis, yet doesn’t know her own direction in life. She recites detailed histories from Paris to Istanbul, but cannot face her own past. You literally just said that. And when love stares her in the face, she does what she does best – she runs, ignorant to her emotional speed bumps along the way. No matter how far she travels, she cannot run from herself. She must decide, does she want to be a victim to her past? Or a victor for her future? Nothing has actually happened and I don't know her problem, what she does, the stakes, anything -- this is mostly a pile of vague cliches.

 

Similar to the character in your published book COMMONWEALTH by Ann Patchett, Bad comp my protagonist, Céleste has to come to terms with her losses and guilt and learn from their ripples.. IF ONLY YOU KNEW, is a work of women’s contemporary fiction set in Europe, complete at 100,000 words. That's long, and an overwritten query doesn't help the case for it.

This is a stand-alone book, or a part of a series. Eh?

 

I was born in Québec, Canada. I had an unbelievable adventure leading tours through Europe and Russia. And just for fun, I continued to travel for 5 years through Australasia, China, South Africa and India. I studied in Canada, England, France and the USA. I taught ‘Abuse and Neglect’ and ‘Women across Cultures’ in American university. I’ve infused my rich experiences in all my writing. I presently live, love and laugh in the United States. 

 

 Thank-you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Christine Michael



#5 PureZhar3

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Posted 05 April 2018 - 04:36 PM

Dear xxxxxxxxxx,

 

Céleste has been on a downward spiral ever since her parents’ death. Using Europe as her personal playground she runs from her past, love and herself. But someday she will have to face it all. And ‘someday’ may come quicker than she wants. ​Hmm. Think how many books this could apply to (heck, substitute Europe with the word "place" and you have a ton.

 

Raised in an abusive home, Céleste must deal with her grief in the aftermath of her parents’ horrific death.  Eager to abandon her past and reinvent herself, she leaves her native Québec to become a European Tour Guide. There, she guides large groups from the Red Light District to the Acropolis, yet doesn’t know her own direction in life. She recites detailed histories from Paris to Istanbul, but cannot face her own past ​I'd be a lot more interested if I knew what this past was. And when love stares her in the face, she does what she does best – she runs, ignorant to her emotional speed bumps along the way. No matter how far she travels, she cannot run from herself. She must decide, does she want to be a victim to her past? Or a victor for her future? ​Rhetorical questions are deeply frowned upon by agents.

 

Karolina ​I would not use the agent's first name, your preferences state you are attracted to books with social observation, relationships and interesting settings. IF ONLY YOU KNEW ​no bold necessary embraces those same passions. Similar to the character in your published book COMMONWEALTH by Ann Patchett, my protagonist, Céleste has to come to terms with her losses and guilt and learn from their ripples.. IF ONLY YOU KNEW, is a work of women’s contemporary fiction set in Europe, complete at 100,000 words. This is a stand-alone book, or a part of a series.

 

I was born in Québec, Canada. I had an unbelievable adventure leading tours through Europe and Russia. And just for fun, I continued to travel for 5 years through Australasia, China, South Africa and India. I studied in Canada, England, France and the USA. I taught ‘Abuse and Neglect’ and ‘Women across Cultures’ in ​what university? American university. I’ve infused my rich experiences in all my writing. I presently live, love and laugh in the United States. 

 

 Thank-you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Christine Michael

 

​Your main problem is that this is entirely vague, and it isn't - so far as you've presented it to us - much of a story. What is unique/different about your story/plot? If you tell an agent that you've written a book about (as you essentially are doing in this query) a girl having to face her inner demons, they will want to know what the story is (a story inherently implies inner conflict, so telling us about how she has inner conflict, without telling us much about what it is or what's it over, is actually pretty redundant). Please go more in-depth about her past, too, because struggling over the death of her parents will likely not be enough to hold the book aloft. That said, also talk to us about the love interest. Remember, the story is in the specifics.


If you have time, I'd appreciate it if you took a look at my query: http://agentquerycon...-realismsci-fi/


#6 Christine Michael

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Posted 06 April 2018 - 09:18 AM

Thank you so much to the kind souls who responded - helps a lot!







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