Friday, October 3, 2008

The proposal letter I am using...

So here is the query letter I open with to get people to read my manuscript... This is the first thing they see so I need to know if it is compelling enough to get them to read the actual work... if it's NOT, please let me know so I can beef this thing up!

Please consider representing my completed fantasy novel about the dismantling of a family in a fading effort to abate a war. When his younger brother is seized as compensation for a perceived insult, twelve year-old Jagantha makes his own disastrous attempt at resolving the conflict. Riding Ten Thunders is Jagantha’s first-person account of an effort to save children from war at the expense of their freedom even as capricious gods make their own demands on the young. The novel emulates African folk tales to starkly address the devastating effects of tribal hatred and the callous warriors who do not behave like the heroic legends Jagantha was raised on.

The manuscript explores Jagantha’s journey through broken segments of a family unit: Mothers struggling to keep their sons from growing into warring men; children abandoned to the forest to shape their own twisted truths; and men lost in battle over patches of dirt where they will be remembered in infamy.

Riding Ten Thunders evolved from a short story of the same name published in the December 2006 issue of e-zine Reflection’s Edge. I have worked as a journalist for more than ten years but have spent a lifetime immersed in myths and legends.

Thank you for considering Riding Ten Thunders.

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Flame and Bone

When I was made from fire
Poured into the tender vessel of caution
That keeps my smoke from rising
Quickly did I discover that apart from crisp drizzles or falling snow
The world chilled my touched
Walking the narrow cornered gap between girders and cut stone
One learns to tuck his shoulders in or risk
Jostling a neighbor passing by rapt with want
For a clear path without the distraction
Of another man's boiling eyes
The tip of a finger
That oldest of all weapons
Grown deadlier and pristine in its invention
Gathers a mote of a cinder on its bare flesh
And turns pondering how best to scratch the impious itch
Prying open the tender seam
Where the oil of thought dews
Offering a new wick to ignite
Squirming alive as a salamander of mischief
That yearns for a taste of air it is so ready to devour
The steam of breath betrays me
Before the glint of orange spreads
In popping bright waves
Eroding the fibers feeding it
Leaving naught but ash
As my shell of quietude falls away