Thursday, January 27, 2011

Carolyn Abiad's Current Query

Today and tomorrow I'll be doing a sort of minor query workshop for my friend Carolyn Abiad. Old followers will be familiar with the format but I've picked up a lot of new followers recently thanks to my girl Shannon (hi guys), so I should probably explain.

Before I go on let's all make sure to go find Carolyn. Check her profile, but more importantly just be sure you visit her blog and become a follower.

So anyway. Today Carolyn is going to introduce herself and share her query with us. She knows it may need a little work, that's why she's here, but today isn't for critiquing her query, so please save your thoughts for tomorrow. Tomorrow I will post the feedback I have for Carolyn, and then ask you all to chime in as well.

For now I'll let Carolyn take it away:

The Broker/Realtor description of myself is: Multi-lingual Ex-Expat, Transplant, and Trailing Spouse. My husband is a Third Culture Kid (TCK). Any one of these labels comes with corresponding issues, but together...well, my writing is cathartic. :)

I've been fascinated by KizKalesi for a long time. Many years and three different starts later, I found Sybil's voice while researching the girl who might have inspired the fairy tale. And then things took on a life of their own and the castle became a metaphor.

The name of my blog "Serendipity" comes from the Persian Tale of The Three Princes of Serendip. The story is representative of the way ideas seem to link together for me and ultimately relate to my writing. Or, as Wikipedia puts it, my "propensity for making fortunate discoveries while looking for something unrelated."


And here is her query:

Dear,

I’m seeking representation for Burnt Amber, a YA fantasy complete at 75,000 words, inspired by the tragic fairy tale of Byzantine landmark, KizKalesi. The older voice and bittersweet ending will appeal to Kristin Cashore fans, and my experience living in Turkey helped me enrich the story with authentic details. (Insert reason specific agent will appreciate BA.)

Sybil isn’t a fan of “Once Upon a Time” and she’s certainly not interested in a Prince Charming, a Sultan, or an entitled Istanbulite who thinks his sappy guitar ballad will melt her American heart. She’s perfectly capable on her own, when the sun is up, but at night a Crusader haunts her dreams and leaves her seeking answers her adoptive parents can’t provide.

With two weeks left in her semester abroad, Sybil meets a fortuneteller with a unique tattoo similar to one she’s had for as long as she can remember. The connection might explain her premonitions and links her to enigmatic gypsies who channel the djinn. Her psychic awareness skyrockets when she bumps into Haydon, a familiar stranger who would look really irresistible in chainmail. She discovers that he shares her clairvoyance, but he also triggers a fiery energy she has trouble controlling -- the same djinn energy the gypsy warned her to keep secret at all cost. Aggressive amber orbs and visions plague her when she tries to forget him, so she’s tempted to try a short fling regardless of the consequences…until she connects a fanatical priest with the Maltese cross from her nightmare and everything suddenly makes sense.

Sybil learns that her biological mother risked everything to help her escape the chauvinistic clutches of the djinn world, knights and all. So she isn’t happy to be thrown back into it and discover that she’s not only been married to Haydon since she was five years old, but she’s the lost Queen of Cilicia. She just wants to get back to her old, predictable life. Instead she’s sucked into a power struggle with her djinn father’s rival and faced with a choice: bigamy with a chance at regaining her humanity…or a future cut off from both worlds forever.

More djinn lore along with Turkish customs and places described in the book can be found on my blog at www.carolynsnowabiad.com. Recently, the blog site of Turkish national newspaper Milliyet featured a post recognizing my positive portrayal of the advancement of women’s rights in my piece about former Turkish Prime Minister, Tansu Çiller.

Thank you for your consideration of my work,

Carolyn Snow Abiad

So that's it for today. Please say hello to Carolyn in the comments, and tomorrow we'll see if we can't polish Carolyn's query until it's as awesome as her story.

29 comments:

Jessica Bell said...

Wow! That sounds so great! Come on Carolyn, get it published! ;o) I want to read it!

Old Kitty said...

Oh wow Carolyn Abiad!!!! Yay that I now know a little of your book - I'm so so so intrigued!!!!! Sounds just so magical!!!! I have no idea about querying but I want to read this book!! :-) Take care
x

Natalie Aguirre said...

Wow! Your story sounds really unique. As an adoptive mom, I love the adoption theme. Not many books have it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hi Carolyn!

Laura Pauling said...

It does sound good! I don't see many books covering that setting either! Exciting.

Jess said...

Hi Carolyn :)

DEZMOND said...

love the plot of the BURNT AMBER!

Shari said...

Hi Carolyn. Nice to meet you!

Hannah Kincade said...

ooooh, I love your concept! Twists on fairy tales are a soft spot for me.

LTM said...

I've read it! I've read it! Neener neener neener!

OK, I'll stop now. :o|

This is a super-awesome story--fun and exciting--Carolyn is a fantastic writer, and yes, we have GOT to get this query polished so she can get this baby picked up! Haydon... Reow! :D

Back tomorrow~ xoxo <3 U, C&M~

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

ooh, i am quite fond of djinn, so this is exciting for me

Candyland said...

This sounds like a good one!!!

Joanne Brothwell said...

Wow, this query sucked me right in! The story sounds fresh and unique - I can't wait to see it in print!

Carolyn Abiad said...

Thanks guys! I like this query, but I don't LOVE it...it's too long, I think. But what do I know??? That's why I'm here with you and the amazing Matt Rush! Thank you, thank you Matt!

@LTM -you're too funny! :D Thanks for being a fab crit partner. :D

Em-Musing said...

Dijinn know I found the concept spellbinding? Can't wait to see the revised query.

Paul Joseph said...

Best of luck, Carolyn!

Colene Murphy said...

HI Carolyn!! Sounds really interesting!!

Christina Lee said...

Hi Carolyn! I love that title, btw (and your premise is so interesting). I'll come back tomorrow...

RosieC said...

Sounds really interesting. I'm glad I found my way over here to read this. Can't wait to see what people have to say tomorrow, too. Sounds like this definitely needs to find a publisher.

BTN Hip Hop said...

cool interview style

M Pax said...

I'm interested to learn more about your story, Carolyn.

Holly Ruggiero said...

It story sounds very interesting.

The Golden Eagle said...

It sounds like an interesting story!

Josin L. McQuein said...

Well frick. I typed out a query crit before I remembered day 1 one is for reading. I'll have to save it for tomorrow. :-(

You're story's intriguing, and I'm sure once you get some outside input on it, you'll be able to pare your query down to where it needs to be.

Myne Whitman said...

Def intriguing story, I look forward to the query crit.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Exciting story! A little tightening in the query will go a long way to making this premise really shine!

Donea Lee said...

Hi Carolyn! I'm sure you'll get this query perfect, because you've got some amazing content to work with! Sounds absolutely fascinating!

Deniz Bevan said...

I'd love to see this story in print! Kiz Kulesi is one of my favourite monuments [s]

Carolyn Arnold said...

I'm very excited about this book, so I wish you all the best in getting it published -- SOON! I haven't seen a book about djinn in awhile and this sounds great. I'm not sure how many words this is, but it seems a bit long for a query. Having said that, I am not an agent and I really enjoyed it!!