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The following pieces are from the actual Query Letter we have sent out as we shop for a literary agent for my husband and his new manuscript. The only things excluded from the actual query are his bio and contact information.

Once you've read it, please post your feedback, such as Does is make you want to read more?, *What tone (heavy, light, humorous, etc.) does it set for the story in your mind?*, etc. Any and all thoughts will be appreciated!
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When it's all said and done, two books will be remembered for their satirical treatment of history, love and lust, religion, justice and divine intervention. One of them is "The Bible" and the other is "A Week In Agony, Texas."

The year is 1968; the week is history. While the rest of the world is held captive by the news of a Kennedy assassination, mourning the loss of a King and growing weary of the ongoing Vietnam War, the residents of Agony, Texas are neck-deep in their own problems.

Carla Speck and her son Charlie have recently found themselves in Agony by way of Chicago, Illinois. Still reeling from the death of his father, Charlie is sorely disappointed in the reality of life in Texas as it compares to his dreams of the Wild West. For lack of anything better to do, he soon finds himself entangled with the nefarious sons of Roman Mulligan, boys best-known for their stolen auto parts and high-grade marijuana. In Charlie, the Mulligans assume they have found a patsy; in the Mulligans, Charlie finds nothing but distaste.

Mayor Milo Tuck, Oilman Kick Onyx and Reverend Angus Stump have one week to make sure their upcoming centennial celebration goes smoothly, although it is soon revealed that it most assuredly will not. By mid-week a young man with the burdensome name of Jesus (“Not Hey-Zeus, man!“) Cabrera has been accused, found guilty of and then hanged for stealing Roman Mulligan’s horse, Pilot. Constable Henry Entwhistle is unsure how to proceed, considering the oldest law on the books allows for the hanging of horse thieves, even though no one’s taken it seriously (or stolen a horse, for that matter) in about six decades. Complicating the situation further is the fact that the body of the crucified man has disappeared in a most unusual fashion.

In the blink of an eye things go from bad to worse: children are missing, including the new kid Charlie Speck; a group of local hippies believe they have discovered the messiah wandering through the desert and are eager to spread his word; the town is beset by a flood of biblical proportions; and the local radio personality is locked away in the station, drunk and broadcasting everyone’s agonizing secrets. And when Jesus comes back, there could be hell to pay!
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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Daphne wrote Jan 18, 2009
    • I like it!  As a reader, I would definitely be inspired to pursue this story.  

      The tone is heavy and potentially very painful, yet i feel a certain hopefulness because of the naked truths being shared through the DJ’s broadcast.  This is usually a segue for finding commonalities and strengths where there was previously thought to be differences and weaknesses.

      Let me know when it’s in print!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Daphne wrote Jan 18, 2009
    • Wanted to add...LOVE the names you’ve chosen for your characters!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Linni wrote Jan 18, 2009
    • yes, i would definatley read this book!  

      suspence,and issues that some of us have probably dealt with in one way or another!

      the names for the folks in the book are great! im looking forward to getting this book! :)



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tuliplady wrote Jan 18, 2009
    • Yes, this makes me want to read more, although it doesn’t leave me with a clear idea of who the central character is.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Robinesque wrote Jan 18, 2009
    • Yeah, Daphne!  Kick Onyx is wicked!!!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Feathermaye wrote Jan 18, 2009
    • Kick’s teenaged daughter is named Oleandra, and the boys call her Ollie, lol. There’s also Tootie, CiCi and Solo, just to name some others. The cast of characters is a fun read all by itself.

      I really appreciate the feedback y'all are giving.

      I’m a little concerned that the query is setting the wrong tone for the book (I think maybe the word “satirical” is getting missed in the intro), but the feedback is good. We‘re monitoring and discussing as y‘all give us more information. We‘re sending it forth in stages. The first round went out this week, and we’ve had a few requests for “more pages“. Now we‘re hanging back and seeing if we should proceed as we have been, or if we need to change it up a little bit.

      There is suspense, shades of romance (although like I mentioned in the question about genres, it deals more with what happens in romantic entanglements rather than the romance itself), and also deals with greed, lust, coming of age, success and failure, religion and much more!

      There are some heavy themes, but there is an overall comic tone that, until you read the dialogue and actually hear Travis Drylander (the DJ) on the radio, you don't really get a feel for. That's on purpose.

      Tuliplady, the town of Agony itself is the closest thing to a central character the novel has. For the most part, it is a multiple POV tale.

      Lori, 3 storylines sounds about right, but there are so many subplots at work that you just may lose count! Fortunately, Scott’s woven them quite well.

      I think I’d like to allow for a little more feedback, and then perhaps post a few pages for further discussion. Scott actually has the whole book posted at a site run by Harper Collins publishers already, so if you’d like to just cut to the chase and start reading the book in it’s current form, private message me and I’ll point you in the right direction.

      Please keep the feedback coming!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Holly Beck wrote Jan 18, 2009
    • I like it - I am interested in reading more. I’m not good at articulating why, exactly, but I read a lot, and I do like it.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Psalmist wrote Jan 18, 2009
    • yeah, feathermaye, actually, i stopped reading after i saw “satirical” in reference to “The Bible.”  That may be just me, but that was a major turnoff for me.  I’ll try to read the rest now...



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tuliplady wrote Jan 18, 2009
    • Ok, that was the impression I got was that the town was the central character, but wasn’t quite sure.

      Sounds like the sort of book I would definitely read.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sis Howell wrote Jan 28, 2009
    • NICE... This did feel heavy to me - I would read it.  

      YES... This would be wonderful, post a few pages for further discussion. That would be great!

      Good for him



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