1. JGSmith

    JGSmith New Member

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    Query Letter Fantasy Adventure Query

    Discussion in 'Query & Cover Letter Critique' started by JGSmith, Feb 3, 2020.

    Hey everyone,

    I'd love some thoughts on my query.

    Thank you in advance.





    Dear Agent, (Personalise)



    I’ve been known by many names, Robin Hood, Peter Pan and of course, Puck. Right now I’m a warlock working in London as the ‘exterminator of the extraordinary’ and so what if I swindle the mortals along the way?

    I try to focus on my paranormal pest removal and monstrous murder solving, but I admit I’ve accrued quite the pantheon of enemies along the way. Worse, I get captured by my loving family and brought back to the land of faerie, where I am the exiled prince.

    There I learn one of my oldest enemies, Grendel, is still alive and he intends to use an ancient treasure to resurrect his mother, who happens to be a dragon I slew back in my days under the green hood. Her dragon-breath brought a literal plague to humanity when she lived and will do so again if I fail.

    Saddled with a young inventor, a granddaughter of Dracula and a demonic puppet, I set off on an adventure that takes us to the peaks of the French Alps, to the bowels of Viking ruins in Denmark. I come face to face with primordial goblins, starving tigers and even the dangerous alter ego of one of my companions.

    I must stop Grendel from resurrecting his mother and save my own neck in the process. Oh, and I guess saving the mortals is kind of a priority too. These are my memoirs.

    PAN HELSING, Book One in the MEMOIRS OF PUCK series, is an urban fantasy adventure novel at 111k. It’s Indiana Jones and the Mummy movies, meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Dresden Files.
     
  2. OB1

    OB1 Senior Member

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    For the record I am no expert, I am not an agent, nor have I submitted a work for publishing. However, I thought I'd put my 2cent in as there are a couple of things that struck me.

    By the sounds of things, your series is based on a dude who is the depiction of many stories of history. If this is going to be the case then I hope this is done well within the story.

    The main vibe is that the story is effectively a sequel to Beowulf, now I am not saying I wouldn't read it or enjoy it, but I can't help but think that an agent or publisher might find this difficult to sell. True a lot of modern stories are based on ancient myths and legends. But to directly refer to one could be difficult territory.

    That being said good luck on your journey.
     
  3. JGSmith

    JGSmith New Member

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    Thanks for taking a look, OB1.

    The novel isn't a sequel to Beowulf or any other folk tale, it just includes some mythical characters that often crop up in multiple works.
     
  4. OB1

    OB1 Senior Member

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    Ok, thing is from your synopsis it sounds exactly like a sequel to Beowulf and that is what the agent will think. I'd suggest showing how it is not similar to Beowulf but has the same characters! If you can do that
     
  5. JGSmith

    JGSmith New Member

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    Hmm, I'm not sure how it sounds like a sequel considering Grendel is only mentioned as being an enemy of the MC who is not Beowulf. Dracula is also mentioned, it doesn't mean it's a sequel to that either.
     
  6. OB1

    OB1 Senior Member

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    Grendel attacks Hrothgar's mead hall and Beowulf slays him and his mother who was supposedly a dragon seeks revenge on them by attacking, but Beowulf also slays her!!

    That is basically the story of Beowulf!

    Anyway its your story, do what thou wilt, I just thought I'd let you know from the outside what it sounds like!
     
  7. JGSmith

    JGSmith New Member

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    Yep, I'm familiar with the poem. I guess the confusion is because my novel has appearances from many well known characters from myth and legend. From Greek myth to Arthurian. (Although not Beowulf funnily enough.) Think the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series etc.
     
  8. JGSmith

    JGSmith New Member

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    Hi everyone, here's the revised version. I realised the query would work better in 3rd person.

    Let me know if it's an improvement.

    Thanks again.


    Dear Agent, (Personalise)

    Pan Puckles has been known by many names, Robin Hood, Peter Pan and of course, Puck. Right now, he works in London as the ‘exterminator of the extraordinary’ and so what if he occasionally swindles the mortals along the way?

    Pan tries to focus on his paranormal pest removal and monstrous murder solving, but he knows he’s accrued quite the pantheon of enemies along the way. Everything comes to a head when Pan is captured by his ‘loving’ family and brought back to the land of faerie, where he is the exiled prince. There Pan learns his old nemesis, Grendel, is still alive. Grendel intends to use an ancient treasure to resurrect his mother, who happens to be a dragon Pan slew back in his days under the green hood. Her dragon-breath brought a literal plague to humanity when she lived and will do so again if Pan fails.

    Saddled with a young inventor, Dracula’s granddaughter and a demonic puppet, Pan sets off on an adventure that takes him to the peaks of the French Alps to the bowels of Viking ruins in Denmark. He comes face to face with primordial goblins, starving tigers and even the dangerous alter ego of one of Pan’s companions.
    Pan must stop Grendel resurrecting his mother and save his own neck in the process. Oh, and saving the mortals is kind of a priority too.

    PAN HELSING, Book One in the MEMOIRS OF PUCK series, is an urban fantasy novel at 111k. It’s Indiana Jones and the Mummy movies, meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Dresden Files.
     
  9. Steve Rivers

    Steve Rivers Senior Member

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    After reading the first version just now for the first time, I was thinking "It starts off nice, being in the first-person, but then it goes on too long and starts detracting from it, making it sound like the guy is pretending to be the character, which is naff."

    So, after then scrolling down and seeing this revised version, I can wholeheartedly tell you this reads a LOT more professionally.

    An addition you might want to add, however, is something important for the publisher to understand :
    When does this take place? There is no mention of a period, century, or reference; only "Right now," which is far too vague.
     
  10. JGSmith

    JGSmith New Member

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    Thanks Steve. I'm glad it's an improvement. Yeah, you're right. I should probably give an indication the novel takes place in the present day.

    Thanks again and great display pic. :)
     
    Steve Rivers likes this.
  11. Gman

    Gman New Member

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    I like it. Mixing up all those well known characters is an interesting concept. Only problem I have is that you're comparing it to too many highly successful franchises. Agents tend to roll their eyes when they see that. Pick two. One well known and one not so well known. Put titles in all caps. Good luck!
     
  12. JGSmith

    JGSmith New Member

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    Thanks Gman, I'm glad you like it. Yeah, that's a good point. I'll take out so many well-known ones and add a lesser known.
     
  13. JGSmith

    JGSmith New Member

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    Hi guys,

    Here's my third, and hopefully final, version. I've mainly just added a tagline to pique interest straight away and made the book comparisons less huge.

    Thanks again.



    Dear Agent, (Personalise)

    Robin Hood, Peter Pan and the faerie Puck are all one in the same and the fate of thousands lies in his hands.

    Pan Puckles, as he’s known in modern times, works in London as an ‘exterminator of the extraordinary.’ Whilst focusing on paranormal pest removal, Pan has accrued quite the pantheon of enemies. Everything comes to a head when Pan is captured by his ‘loving’ family and brought back to the land of faerie, where he is the exiled prince.

    There, Pan learns his old nemesis, Grendel, is still alive. Grendel intends to use an ancient treasure to resurrect his mother, who happens to be a dragon Pan slew back in his days under the green hood. Her dragon-breath caused the bubonic plague when she lived and will do so again if Pan fails.

    Saddled with a young inventor, Dracula’s granddaughter, and a demonic puppet, Pan sets off on an adventure that takes him to the peaks of the French Alps to the bowels of Viking ruins in Denmark. He comes face to face with primordial goblins, starving tigers and even the dangerous alter ego of one of Pan’s companions.

    Pan must stop Grendel resurrecting his mother and save his own neck in the process. Oh, and saving humanity is kind of a priority too.


    PAN HELSING, Book One in the MEMOIRS OF PUCK series, is an urban fantasy novel at 111k. It’s the SIGMA FORCE series meets the DRESDEN FILES.
     
  14. OB1

    OB1 Senior Member

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    To be honest, I prefer your 2nd edition, but that is just me.
     
  15. SisterNight

    SisterNight New Member

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    I prefer #2 as well. The voice is great and I'm sure it will pique attentions!
     
  16. JGSmith

    JGSmith New Member

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    Thanks OB1 and SisterNight, that's good to hear.
     
  17. JGSmith

    JGSmith New Member

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    Any other opinions before I tweak it a little? Thanks again.
     
  18. matwoolf

    matwoolf Banned Contributor

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    Does the confusion of an English folk hero and the children’s literary character have to be established - can this not be discovered? It is rather cloying...whilst unsaid...the conceit ..if that’s the word...may come across as sublime, or maybe just my continental prejudice re earnestness is at play here. To put it another way he’s mixed his pokemon & his samurai. Or ‘don’t f@lk with Robin Hood genre, you Norman.’
     
  19. JGSmith

    JGSmith New Member

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    I see what you mean, but that's why I mixed the two.
     
  20. matwoolf

    matwoolf Banned Contributor

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    I'm glad one of us does. In the harsh light of Monday I'm not exactly sure of the tree upon which I was barking, umm...

    Dear Agent,

    The boy who wouldn't grow up has spent many lifetimes in Sherwood, in Kensington Gardens and among the Hobgoblins of Norse lands.

    Pan Puckles, as he is known to decent, modern and to ordinary folk, works in London, focusing on paranormal pest removal, Pan has accrued quite the pantheon of enemies. Everything comes to a head when Pan is captured by his loving family, brought back to the land of faerie where he is the exiled prince.

    Pan learns his old nemesis Grendel lives, and intends to use an ancient treasure to resurrect mother - a dragon Pan slew back in his days under the green hood. Her dragon-breath caused the bubonic plague and will do so once again if Pan fails in his missions...

    Saddled with a young inventor, Dracula’s granddaughter, and a demonic puppet, Pan is unleashed upon epic adventure, taking us to Mt Blanc, to Copenhagen's Little Mermaid statue. He comes face to face with primordial lizards, starving American tigers and even the dangerous vixen alter ego of companion Tinkerbel.

    Pan must stop Grendel resurrecting mother and save his own neck in the process. And save humanity in the final gripping chapter in progress.
     
  21. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

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    I like version Two much better than One, because it intrigued me.

    Version One just seemed to be throwing all sorts of characters from legend and story into a dubious mix. As if you'd opened a box filled with action figures of all different kinds and were cobbling a story together using all of them ...even the ones totally unrelated to the others. Version Two gives a much better idea of how the plot will progress.

    I'm still a bit confused about including Robin Hood along with Puck, Grendel, Dracula's daughter, dragons, however. Unlike the others you've mentioned, Robin Hood was never portrayed as a supernatural being, and he has no supernatural powers. He supposedly lived at a particular time in history (medieval, but not all that far back—the same time as the Magna Carta, King John and King Richard the Lionhearted were in play.) Outlaws like him—forced to live outside the bounds of civilisation for political reasons—certainly did exist. You might as well throw Long John Silver into the mix. Fictional, yes. Supernatural, no. Connection to the world of Faerie? No. Confused with Puck in the popular mindset? No.

    So I'm still left unsure as to where Robin Hood fits into this pantheon of supernatural beings. If he does figure into the story it might be an idea to include something about how. Instead, you've just dropped his name and left the concept dangling.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2020
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  22. JGSmith

    JGSmith New Member

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    Thank you Matwoolf and jannert. Yes, I agree there's a bit too many names mentioned and I could cut one for clarity's sake.

    It's interesting, but good that version 2 seems to be the preferred one.
     

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