Thursday, June 21, 2012

Jeff O'Handley's Current Query

Do you all know Jeff? Better known as JeffO? He has a blog at The Doubting Writer, which you should definitely visit and follow. He also has an awesome mustache. Back? Excellent.

Here's his query:

Dear Agent,

For high school senior Chris Burke life has never been better. He's college bound, more popular than ever, and finally ready to tell best friend Madison Cooper how he really feels. But when long-time nemesis James LaValle takes his feud with Chris too far and kills Madison's dog, Chris kills James and loses everything but his life.

Thirty years later, Chris has paid his debt to society and is a free man. Now a counselor for troubled teens, he leads a quiet, anonymous life, shared with his parents and a few close friends, and that's good enough for him. Until Madison calls.

Madison needs Chris to help her come to grips with her lingering guilt over her role in James' death and the testimony that helped put Chris in prison. Her unexpected return brings old memories to the surface and, with them, feelings Chris buried long ago. Seeing her, he realizes not all prisons come with barred doors and wire-topped walls: the past can hold you as securely as any penitentiary. And it doesn't grant parole.

Complete at 93,000 words, PARALLEL LIVES is a work of literary/commercial fiction. Its past/present narrative traces Chris' changing relationship with Madison, his inevitable collision with James, and his struggle to reintegrate into a society unwilling to forget. A story of friendship, forgiveness, and taking ownership of the past, it might appeal to readers who enjoyed HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET and THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS.

That's it.

Please remember to save your feedback for tomorrow, and thank Jeff in the comments for sharing his query with us.

25 comments:

Sarah said...

Followed. I'll be back tomorrow, and welcome to Jeff!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I know Jeff!

Suzie F. said...

Now following Jeff. This sounds like one I'd like to read. I'll be back tomorrow.

Nick Wilford said...

I've seen Jeff around and now following. I'll be back tomorrow.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Definitely will be back tomorrow! I know just what I want to say!

Bryan Russell said...

Intriguing.

Donna K. Weaver said...

I've been a follower of Jeff's for a while. I'll be back tomorrow.

farawayeyes said...

Hey Jeff, thanks for sharing.

Nancy Thompson said...

I'm too close to Jeff & his query to comment, but I'll be back tomorrow to see what you have to say. What I can say is that Jeff is an amazingly talented writer and PARALLEL LIVES is a great read!

Michael G-G said...

I know the drill. Back tomorrow.

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

I have a feeling that Matt will not have much to say about this one. It's pretty good. Course I'll be saving my feedback for Friday.

As always Matt, you are my shifu.

Lisa Regan said...

I am quite interested to see what people have to say. Jeff is a truly amazing writer! The book behind this query was absolutely incredible! Just sayin'

Tasha Seegmiller said...

I follow Jeff and this sounds really, really intriguing!

JeffO said...

Thanks, everyone. With sweaty palms and dry mouth, I look forward to seeing what you all have to say!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for sharing this Jeff. I recognize you from following the same blogs. Looking forward to the critique tomorrow.

Christina Lee said...

Whoa, some powerful one-liners! Hi Jeff!

Maurice Mitchell said...

Nice one Jeff. Thanks for sharing!

Carrie Butler said...

Jeff rocks! :D

Colene Murphy said...

Wow. That really made my heart hurt! That sounds like such a powerful, awesome book!

Julie DeGuia said...

I remember seeing this one in a contest, but it was different... maybe with not as much information in the query. This query sounds great and I will be looking forward to the comments tomorrow.

I also remember really liking the first 250... something about pushups and then a phone call.

Sarah Ahiers said...

I probably won't be back tomorrow, since i have a conference this weekend, but i'll try and stop by on monday

Elana Johnson said...

Oooh, thanks for sharing, Jeff. I followed your blog, and will be back tomorrow!

DL Hammons said...

I've said "I'll be back" too many times and I fear Arnold retribution, so instead I'll simply say...my return is eminent! :)

Lydia Kang said...

Sounds very interesting!

Bonnee Crawford said...

Yay for JeffO :)