Sunday, January 31, 2010



Dear Mystery Agent,

Vicious, omniverous creatures are infesting the Eden Peninsula, and they’re hungry! The first encounter involved a little boy called Sammy, whose finger was bitten off by one of the creatures while playing in his garden. No-one else has seen them and lived to tell the tale. Panic spreads as grotesque killings escalate uncontrollably, and the Peninsula is to be firebombed to prevent the spread of the menace to mainland Australia. Sammy’s teenage sister Sorrel, with her friends and her dog Angus, believe they have found a means of eradicating the plague. They stow away on the Peninsula after it has been evacuated. Through many adventures, their theory is proven and the Peninsula is saved.

That’s the story of “Sorrel and the Green Menace,” a young adult novel of 83,250 words, the first in a trilogy.

I’ve won half a dozen awards for speculative short stories. Now I have started to submit for publication, with two acceptances so far in anthologies, notably “Festive Fear” by Tasmaniac publications celebrating the horror that is Christmas - I love a nice bit of horror. I review for the monthly newsletter Aurealis Online, a flagship Australian SF&F magazine, and this year I’ll be doing a review column for the print Aurealis as well.

I’d be happy to send a partial or full copy of “Sorrel” if required.



  1. I'm not a huge fan of horror, so please aim off for personal taste.

    I understand that agents prefer that a novel stand on its own. Thus, mentioning that it's part of a planned trilogy might be a turn-off.

    I also wonder if some more specific images in the pitch paragraph would heighten the tension. You lead off, after all, with an incredibly tension-building sentence. If your pitch built from there, it might really reach out and grab the reader by the throat.

    Your credits sound awesome. Congratulations.

  2. This sounds really gruesome, but you told me that it all ends happily-ever-after. Don't give away your ending - that's in the synopsis.

    Also, I know you're just beginning to query, but don't say you'll send something if "required." Maybe you'll be happy to send a partial or full upon request. Which is probably what you meant to say in the first place.

    I wish you the best of luck with this.

  3. I think girls will love this as well as boys. Sounds like a great adventure to me. I would read it.

    Good luck.

  4. There is a lot of world-building in the first few sentences, but I don't get a sense of Sorrel and her friends. I feel like it is important since it is essentially their story you are telling. Basically I'd like to know a few more of the challenges they actually face.

    The premise sounds interesting and you've got good credentials. Good luck!


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