The Winter Campaign and Beyond

I have determined that from a marketing perspective FAILUR is a hybrid freak. My werewolves go to dinner. They argue about whose turn it is to do the dishes. My monsters wish they had better jobs. There is suspense in the story, healing but it is not primarily an action/adventure – in a sense the story is about the protagonist’s quest to find suspense.

Early on, I stressed the exotic and adventurous part of the story to agents (the serial killer, the ghost, the doomsday prophecy). I got some interest. But the agents who read a portion of it said it “didn’t develop fast enough” or something else indicating it was slow. I’d set the wrong expectation. They were expecting a fast paced, hard-boiled, urban fantasy.

Last time I told you that I changed my strategy for how I present the novel to agents. For one thing, changed the name for the novel from “FAILUR: A Werewolf Love Story” to just “FAILUR.” I’ve also changed my query. I think the new query more accurately reflects the contents and tone of the novel. I like it because it is storytelling as much as it is a sales pitch. The risk is that some agents will think this is gimmicky.

Please consider representing my story FAILUR. Though it has been a while since my fifteen minutes of fame, you may recall my role in stopping the “Harbinger” serial murderer. The mainstream media’s version of the event was sensationalized and manipulated by politicians and special interests. FAILUR will be the first time real story is told.

FAILUR is about my life leading up to the events at ‘the Altar’ on the so called Night of the Penultimate Motion. I hadn’t planned to become a werewolf. No one does. At first, I did what was expected. I went to the support groups. I medicated and quarantined myself. It was killing me. I’m not sure how I would have stilled the electricity in my limbs or the spinning wheels in my mind, had I not met Amanda Cross.

Amanda was not as she had been portrayed in the media. She was a creative free-spirit who loved to laugh (admittedly, she did have a bit of an edge). We were malcontents. Our lives were not going as planned. We were sick of the fake choices others offered us. When the prophecy seemed to come true, and the world started falling apart around us, we thought that we had just as much right as anyone to do something about it. We really didn’t know what we were doing. At first we were just wandering. We were reckless. We didn’t really mean to find trouble.

FAILUR is not just a book for werewolves. It will appeal to anyone who knows what it’s like to feel a little lost when their life plans have been derailed. It’s a story for anyone who has had trouble finding their own way.

I have included the first pages of the manuscript. The complete manuscript is 109,000 words and it is available upon request.

NOTE: While I am willing to work with editors to emphasize parts of the story they feel are of public interest, I will not comment on Ms. Cross’s present status (for reasons that are made clear in the narrative). I hope this is not a deal breaker.

I’ve used this pitch for two batches of queries. While I did not get agent representation from the first batch, I feel like I got better rejections. I can’t prove this. It is a subjective observation. I still got more form rejections than anything else. But I did get a few people wanting to read some pages, and some of the rejections seemed better thought out. My query even prompted at least one agent to go to my website.

I sent out another batch of 20+ queries recently. I’ve already received a number of form rejections. Most haven’t responded yet and maybe never will. Two agents liked the query, they read a few pages and they wanted to read more. It is normal for it to take agents between 4-8 weeks to read a manuscript. I’ve keep you posted.

One comment

  1. Gabrielle says:

    I’m late on the comment, but… I think there’s room for those domestic moments in a werewolf story. I don’t think it makes it unsellable. Personally, I like that sort of thing because it makes the characters more emotionally accessible and real. But if a lot of people are telling you there are pacing problems, it may not be a matter of setting the right expectation with the query, it may be things that need resolution on the manuscript level — things that don’t necessarily exclude giving your characters that quiet time.

    Also, industry standard is a third-person past tense synopsis, regardless of the tense and POV of the novel. There will always be exceptions, but in general a first person “character” query is considered bad news.

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