43 Lamb and Lion Drive, Apt. B
Zion Heights 00000
Dear Mr. Forsythe,
I am a first-time author seeking representation for what I believe is a good book, Bible.
In the tradition of Gilgamesh and the works of Homer, Bible is an epic. Beginning with the Edens, a family of four that must unlock a series of puzzles to escape a mystical garden, Bible quickly unfolds to include thousands of characters stretching over generations, as well as alien beings inhabiting alternate dimensions that possess magical abilities, which they use for good and bad.
Bible takes readers to the edges of our flat earth, thrusts them into thrilling adventures (e.g. one chapter has a great flood!), into the fray of legendary battles, and up close at the complete annihilation of entire lands through acts of supernatural phenomenon and celestial intervention. And yet the real heart of Bible lies within its characters. Whether exploring intimate family dynamics (see chapter “Genesis 19”) or individual perseverance, the real story of Bible is the story of the human experience.
Readers will be introduced to Samson, a boy whose chance cosmetology choices provide him superhuman strength, but can he find the courage to finally ask secret crush Delilah to on a date? There’s Jonah, a nautical enthusiast whose unfortunate day of sailing results in an unlikely friendship with a monstrous fish named Gary, and together they learn that sometimes the most difficult storms to navigate are the ones inside of us. Unconventionality reigns supreme with King David, whose close friendship with the ambiguous Jonathan gets even more complicated with the arrival of the orphan Alicia, a 7-year old pickpocket that will steal even the most jaded reader’s heart. The cruel Jezebel, the tenacious Ruth, the flamboyantly fashionable Joseph, the wise Aunt Clara whose homespun advice is served alongside her award-winning cobbler, the young Bethany who investigates mysteries with the aid of Jawbone, her domesticated ass. These are just some of the many relatable characters that readers will love.
Romance and intrigue, gods and monsters, heroes and foes, fantastic lands and talking animals, I have a lot of faith in Bible’s appeal to an audience of all ages.
For your convenience, I’ve attached the first 25 pages, as well as a complete list of chapters. If you would like to read more, please respond with the included SASE.
ABOUT ME: I’m a single dad who juggles a lot of responsibilities and is probably a bit of a workaholic. My professional interests range from botany and zoology to philosophy, sociology, and misogyny. In my spare time, I enjoy fishing, learning carpentry, and making tapas.
Thank you for your time.
NOTE: This is a simultaneous submission.
Goodman & Forsythe Literary Agency
5534 W. 26th St.
New York, New York
Dear Mr. God,
Thank you for your most recent query. We appreciate you allowing Goodman & Forsythe the opportunity to review your fantasy novel, Bible. Unfortunately, it is not right for us at this time. Ours is an agency specializing in non-fiction: cookbooks, true crime, art history, finance. Fiction is not one of the markets we currently represent, although we are considering entering the Young Adult (YA) market.
While it is not our policy to offer advice to emerging writers, I will make an exception in your case. First, I felt there was an over-reliance on the word “begat.” As paints are important tools to an artist, words are a writer’s most important arsenal. Personally, I have found that the Word-A-Day calendar is an invaluable resource.
Next, Bible feels more like a series of short stories or novellas rather than an epic dictating a singular overarching narrative. Let me illustrate my point. You make mention that Mr. Eden is a clay man, but that fact is never again revisited. It stands to reason that a clay man would provoke more interest from other characters than it does. An unscrupulous carnie, for instance, might go to great lengths to exploit just such a clay man for personal gain, propelling the story forward. This is but one example of how the chapters seem unrelated and disjointed. Important events that take place in one chapter seem to have no bearing whatsoever on later chapters.
Lastly, some of the characters, while interesting, seem ill-suited to your particular narrative. Bethany and Jawbone, for example, could very easily become their own YA series, each book focusing on a different mystery, and written in a style that compliments the danger with the perfect amount of whimsy. If ever that is an idea you choose to pursue, Goodman & Forsythe would be very interested in reviewing it.
It is obvious, Mr. God, that you are passionate about your novel and that is admirable. As such, we wish you luck in your future endeavors.