Sunday, January 31, 2010



Dear Mystery Agent,

Sixteen-year-old Maria is addicted to memory-loss magic. Shattered from grief over her fairy mother’s death, Maria sees no other way to cope with life’s problems: she swallows memory-loss magic and forgets. However, an addiction to forgetting is more dangerous than she realizes. Her forgotten past holds a terrible secret that could potentially destroy her future. From childhood, Maria has been promised to the Second Vampire Aleron, the insidiously evil shadow king to all vampires, witches and shifters. Aleron covets Maria for one reason: she unknowingly possesses the fairy power to revive the dead. If Aleron gains control over this power, the world will be destroyed.

Maria wants to stay far away from Aleron, but her addiction to memory-loss magic hides an even deadlier secret. She also unknowingly possesses the fairy power to compel ardent love by shedding blood. By accident, she has compelled her human best friend Chris. Whereas Maria cannot remember their love, Chris cannot forget. In his blind adoration, he will follow her anywhere, even into the depths of the supernatural world. To save him, Maria will have to surrender her powers to Aleron, to the cost of her soul, and the world.

COMPULSION is a complete 78000-word young adult urban fantasy novel, set in the sprawling multicultural suburbia of Sydney, Australia. Narrated in Maria’s flawed but candid perspective, COMPULSION will appeal to fans of Rachel Caine and Cassandra Clare.


  1. I like the premise here 'addicted teen, self destructing and putting herself in danger', but this query has far too many words and to much world building.

    You need to simplify and get more voice into it. I think you have something here, but you need to get it across quicker and with more punch. Best of luck

  2. Although much is going on here, I think the query is fairly good. But your plot confuses me no end - and I apologize if I'm being dense.

    To elaborate, if she has to keep taking this memory loss drug, why doesn't she remember the love between her and Chris when she runs out of the drug? And I can't figure out how Aleron can destroy the world simply by stealing the power to revive the dead.

    Please forgive me for being so harsh - I'm just really confused, and there's the slight possibility an agent might be also.

    Best of luck with this.

  3. I loved this query. I would definitely read this one. An addicted teenager, danger and a love story all rolled into one. Great!

    Good luck with it.

  4. I think the story sounds intriguing, but it could be tightened up a bit. One thing that confuses me is that you seem to have two nearly separate plot lines with her human friend and the evil king. It would help if a thread somehow combined the two in the query--because I'm sure they are combined in the book.

    Good luck!

  5. Thanks for your constructive comments! Whenever I'm judging my own work, I definitely have blinkers on. I appreciate your honesty, and I'm definitely applying the suggestions when I revise the query again. :)

  6. Hi there, I disagree to some degree with the previous comments (except for Trish). It's obvious that there is a lot going on in your story and that's what makes it compelling and exciting. I don't see two different plot lines - I see Chris's devotion creating some pretty exciting scenes where Maria is forced to make dangerous decisions. I do agree that you could probably tighten up some of the language, maybe try using some connecting language to indicate that Chris is a *complication* so it creates the layers of plot that you want. You could probably lose the sentence that starts 'Her forgotten past holds a terrible secret.' It flows just as nicely without it. But don't try to answer all the questions in your query; it is simply not possible to answer all the questions about your plot in a query, and queries aren't supposed to answer all the questions (or why would you read the book). This query catches my attention and it's attached to what is obviously a great story, and I didn't have any trouble following it. Please, make sure you believe in yourself and get your query out in front of agents. Since it's set in Australia, do also try Australian agents as well as American agents.


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