Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tricia Sutton's Current Query

I've still got several queries waiting in the queue, so today we have to get back to work. But don't worry, I haven't made it through all the blogs that took part in the Origins Blogfest yet, so if you didn't see me yesterday, expect me today.

Now, today's post is to introduce you to Tricia Sutton. She keeps an interesting blog, here, but it's a wordpress blog, so you'll have to sign up via RSS if you want to "follow." Please keep in mind, today is just an intro, and so that you can see Tricia's query without my red pixels all over it.

Here we go:

Dear Agent:

They are naïve. They are uncivilized. They are an Oklahoma family adjusting to 1970s California culture shock (shocking the culture, is more like it). Meet the Austens.

Actually, Patty, the elementary-age youngest member, would prefer that you didn't. Not if she plans on fitting in. Her family, whose outrageous antics often leaves her hiding in embarrassment (even their cat is a regular in the police blotter), is only half the problem.

Patty’s the other half. She practices every religion, for good measure, has inanimate objects for friends, i.e., Aunt Jemima syrup bottle and a pet rock, and believes in luck, charms, and signs. Clearly, her family’s not the only one a straw short of a haystack. But she craves a normal life. Normal isn’t for the hearing impaired. She’s too deaf for the hearing world and not deaf enough to ignore what folks are saying about her family, about her. Normal isn’t being the only white girl in an all black school. And when they move—and they move a lot—it isn’t being the only poor hillbilly among old-money privilege.

When her dad purchases a psychedelic hippie-band tour bus as their new residence and then parks it in their upscale neighborhood, she realizes that maybe she is meant for something different, that ordinary life is not for her. Being a society reject breeds an isolation that can lead one to amazing and unexpected things. Or life in the loony bin.

In alternating timelines, adult Patty (our unreliable narrator) is in the hospital recovering from back surgery. Either from side-effects of morphine or perhaps from too many episodes of Jerry Springer, she believes she may actually be in the psych ward, contrary to what the staff tells her.

PSYCH WARD, a spotlight of my achievements, is a 99,000-word family saga told in a nonlinear frame-like narrative with one protagonist, two storylines, and two plots. My story of the bullied misfit is softened with humor like that of THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN and of FORREST GUMP.

This novel reflects my own experiences growing up hearing impaired, which has enabled me to write with authenticity about my protagonist. I've had publications in Slow Trains, Turtle Quarterly, Halfway Down the Stairs, and various print and web magazines, including excerpts of my novel. For a list of publications, please visit http://dfmil09.wordpress.com/publications/

That's it.

Please thank Tricia for her courage, and for sharing her query letter so that we all can learn, and save your feedback for tomorrow, when I will give her mine.

21 comments:

Em-Musing said...

Thank you Tricia for sharing. What a fascinating story!

SA Larsenッ said...

Wow! This sounds fantastic and so different!

A Daft Scots Lass said...

Brilliant tale.

Dawn Ius said...

Oh - unique. Looking forward, as always, to the query crit :-)

Marta Szemik said...

Thanks for sharing Tricia. The story sounds intriguing. Looking forward to tomorrow.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hey Tricia!

Tricia said...

Oh, what a happy surprise. I'm excited. And scared. I can't wait for all the suggestions.

Thank you.

Christina Lee said...

Wow! Definitely different and intriguing!

Brinda said...

I look forward to tomorrow.

Jay Noel said...

Whoa, that plot sounds intriguing to say the least. Sounds like Austens put the FUN in dysfunction.

Tricia said...

Wow, Jay Noel, one of my earlier query versions said that very thing. That the Austens put FUN in dysfunctional. I cut it because, as you can see, I had no space to be witty. It's too long as it is. If I didn't already have a subtitle, I'd put it there.

Nancy Thompson said...

Didn't I see this in Cupid's Speed Dating Contest? It's very rich and interesting. Can't wait to see Matthew perform his magic!

Angela Brown said...

Thanks for sharing your query, Tricia. I'm all excited from reading it and look forward to tomorrow.

Tricia said...

Nancy, yes, I'm over there, too. It's scary stuff being exposed like this all at once.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Can't wait for your feedback, Matt. Very intriguing premise. :D

farawayeyes said...

Hey Tricia,thanks for your courage and willingness to share.

I want to say WOW, what an interesting premise. Can't wait for tomorrow.

Jemi Fraser said...

Sounds like a fun story! Looking forward to the crit :)

Kristen Pelfrey said...

Hi Tricia!
Thanks so much for sharing your process with us. I admire you for having a project ready to sail forth into Query Land!

Tricia said...

Thank you, everyone, for your support.

Jade Hart said...

Your story sounds great, I particularly like the title :)
And hey Matt - thanks for being my 100th follower :) You get a special mention for pushing me into triple digits :)

Francesca said...

Amazing story, thank you fro sharing it. Happy belated Valentine Day from your friend in Rome!