Ask Daphne! About My Query XXXIII

December 4th, 2009 • Kate

zombiestomperheelI’m so excited! I have the PERFECT shoes for this post. Check it. That being said, you all know how this goes: I post a query, give you my thoughts, you all chime in with your comments in the aptly-named comments.

Dear Ms. Unfeasible,

Eighteen-year-old Eden Rosenberg knows how to kill and she’s damn good at it. Until recently, her life was pretty easy – get a call from her team’s mysterious employer, jet off to a new location, kill some zombies.

But the most recent call is different from the others. Instead of being an isolated incident in the middle of nowhere, it’s an entire village at risk. By the time the team shows up, the village is empty, leaving only a handful of infected wandering the streets. Or so it seems until they’re ambushed by far too many zombies for their five-person team to deal with.

On the run and trapped within the valley, Eden is separated from her team when she tries to save a little girl from the inevitable fate of the bitten. To make matters worse, she’s forced to rely on Alejandro, the one man she swore never to trust again, to watch her back.

As Eden races to reunite with her team, she’ll have to deal with a homicidal priest who’s more than what he seems and a group of survivors she’s pretty sure are too stupid to live. But things are more complicated than she realized and soon Eden’s forced to confront the truth about the infection. It isn’t an accident and those responsible will do anything to ensure no one gets out of the valley alive.

My young adult novel, HUNTER OF THE DEAD is complete at 64,000 words. Sample chapters and a synopsis are available upon request.

Thank you for taking the time to consider my novel.


Oooh! Exciting! I think we can call this a pretty darn good example of a query. The first paragraph sets up the story very well: our main character kills zombies as part of a special forces-type team, funded as persons unknown. The next paragraph tells us why THIS mission is different, why it’s worthy of a book when others were not.

From there, K.R. moves right into the action — and check out the action words she uses: run, trapped, separated, forced, races. Reading these words, I know we’re dealing with a non-stop kind of thriller, and hearing Eden refer to some of the survivors as “too stupid to live” gives me a idea of her sense of humor, and that this book isn’t going to all serious.

A couple of minor quibbles: Eden is separated from her team, but still relies on Alejandro to watch her back. Does that mean both of them are separated from the rest of the team? Or is there some other kind of history with Alejandro, and he’s not part of the team now, but just happens to be in the village? Either way, I think you can explain this a little more. And I think you can link “the truth of the infection” with the following sentence actually explaining what that truth is by using a colon, rather than keeping the two sentences separate.

I don’t say this often about these queries, but this is something I would definitely like to see more of. K.R., would you send me the first five chapters and your full synopsis?

What do you think? Do you agree with me? Would you want to read more?

Filed Under: About My Query, Ask Daphne!

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19 Responses to “Ask Daphne! About My Query XXXIII”

  1. Daly Tolin Says:

    I definitely want to read more!

  2. amy sue nathan Says:

    I knew in the first paragraph that it was a good query — even with the few questions it raised.

    I think this is a good example not only of a good query but that everything doesn't have to be perfect in order for a query to work. I think sometimes authors work on queries for too long (as well as for too little time).

  3. Lisa B. Says:

    Having had the pleasure of reading K.R.'s work before, I can definitely say this is a great decision. 🙂

  4. Rissa Watkins Says:

    Congratulations K.R.! Yes, I agree, this query is very good. I would love to read this book.

    I also love the shoes! but alas, the link didn't work. Would like to see where they were born.

    Great job K.R.

  5. Krista G. Says:

    Sounds good to me, too! Not surprised Daphne Unfeasible wants to see more:)

  6. A. L. Sonnichsen Says:

    I think it sounds exciting. It makes me think of a super-virus — like the movie Outbreak or something — (which is very current with all the flu-fear circulating right now) but with the twist that zombies are doing the biting instead of monkeys. Eden sounds like a strong mc, considering she's only eighteen years old and doing a job most adults would have qualms about. I also like the romantic tension between Eden and this mysterious man she can't trust. Good writing, too. Kate, I don't blame you for wanting the partial.

    Good luck, K.R.!

  7. Rachel Bateman Says:

    I want to read this book. Now!

    I did question how she had to rely on Alejandro if she was separated from the group, but this just sounds so good, I didn't even care.

    You rock K.R.! I look forward to picking this book off a shelf someday.

  8. Hilary Smith Says:

    I love all of K.R. writing but this is amazing! I hope I can buy it some day at the store! 😉

  9. Jill C. Says:

    I guess I'll have to be the odd voice out, as I don't see what sets this apart from all the other typical zombie thrillers on the market. Don't get me wrong — I -love- zombie stories and would read this one. It just doesn't sound original enough to catch much interest in the current market. I see agents complaining about the glut of zombie lit almost as often as they complain about the glut of vampire lit, and I feel like I've experienced this story before.

    I also wish we'd been given a hint about why and how a teenager became a zombie hunter. Maybe it runs in her family, or maybe it's a Buffy-like "slayer" situation, or maybe there's some other explanation. Without one, I find the premise implausible and hard to relate to.

    It's a tight, nicely woven query, though. My opinion's just further proof of the whole "subject business" thing. ^_^

  10. Stina Says:

    Well, that one was easy to crit. 😀

  11. Kristi Says:

    I think the query is great – it reminded me a little of The Forest of Hands and Teeth which I loved. Best of luck K.R.

  12. Karen Says:

    This is a great query and it I just got the answer to something I'd been wondering…would Kate ever make a request from one of these About My Query submissions? So YAY for you K.R.! You have my initials and right about now I'm wishing I was you-lol. Good luck and keep us posted.

  13. Adam Heine Says:

    The plot reminded me a lot of Aliens, which in this case is a good thing because (1) I really like Aliens and, more importantly (2) enough details are given to show that this is not just a plot clone. Very nice!

  14. Jenny Says:

    Before I even got to the end of this query I was planning my email to Kate to ask if we could request more (which obviously I don't have to send). I'm so glad we're on the same page! I can't wait to read the partial!

  15. Katie Says:

    In response to Jill C:

    I think that in many ways I agree with you, at the end of the day this perhaps isn't so different. But the query does provide evidence of a tight writer with a sense of humour and I think there were maybe one or two questions that probably should have been answered in the query (i.e Alejandro) but the rest of the questions the query raises are the kind that make you want to see more. I also think that trying to explain to much of her past would bog down a query.

    At bear minimum the novel looks as if it will be well paced and humourous. If I were Kate I would definitely want to see more. Good luck K.R

  16. Carrie Harris Says:

    I really want to read more, AND I want the shoes. 😉

  17. K.R. Says:

    Hey thanks everybody for the great comments!

    When I read Kate wanted to read more, I about had a heart attack because that was the very last thing I expected when I submitted this. I hope my book lives up the the query. 😀

    And I LOVE those shoes!

  18. Lions, Zombies, and Nerf Guns–Oh My « Koreen’s Korner Says:

    […] My favorite shoe-obsessed agent, Daphne Unfeasible, had a sample query up on her blog this week This one caught her eye as a great query, but it made me think of the zombie wars going on at […]

  19. Angie Says:

    I like the query a lot, but the plot it describes is extremely similar to that of the Resident Evil 4 video game. You may want to check out a synopsis of the game someplace (or play it through if so inclined).