Thursday, October 27, 2011

A name change, and a new query

The query below is something I wrote this afternoon. It represents, I believe, the fourth or fifth iteration of the query for my second novel, previously titled, EMPTY SPACES, and now retitled, RUNNING ON EMPTY.

At least, it will be titled that until I change my mind again. I'm fickle. What can I say?

Anyhoo.... The query is rough and not yet polished. But I thought I would toss it up here to get some early feedback. Let me know what you think, although as always please try to be nice. And if you can't be nice, at least be specific.

And also, as always, thank you!

Here goes:

Dear agent,

Grant Bachman is an ordinary junior college teacher, the kind of guy who says “excuse me” when he sneezes alone. When an armed student opens fire on an otherwise gorgeous New England morning, Grant is forced to use a fellow teacher’s desk-drawer pistol to stop him.

Once the smoke clears, Grant assumes the worst is over. He’s wrong.

Over the next five days Grant encounters an assortment of characters, all of whom will alter his life’s trajectory. Among them are a beguiling lost girl with the morals of a feral cat, a therapist offering the sweet hope of a restored life, his own self-absorbed wife whose affair with a roguish young cop is reaching critical mass, a pack of reporters hungry for a hero to tear apart, and a straight-arrow police sergeant hell-bent on solving an unspeakable crime.

When Grant’s estranged wife finds the school shooter’s cell phone hidden in her husband’s car and turns it over to her crazy boyfriend, the finger of blame turns toward Grant Bachman. With his lost girl tagging along, Grant finds himself on the run from the police, his wife, his therapist, and his old life. Now he must find the truth before his pursuers find him.

My novel, RUNNING ON EMPTY, is a fast-paced suspense/thriller complete at 91,000 words.

As a newspaper reporter, columnist, and editor, I’ve received more than a dozen national, regional, and state awards from the Associated Press and the Illinois Press Association for writing and reporting.

Thank you for your time and consideration.