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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Query for Mourning Dove

MOURNING DOVE is not complete. I have a chapter-by-chapter outline, character studies, and eight written chapters done, as I write these words. The query letter I will use for the novel, obviously, will not be used until MOURNING DOVE is finished. However, I am curious what folks have to say about it. So, here it is:


MOURNING DOVE will be 80,000 words. Its genre is Post-Apocalyptic Climate Fiction (Cli-Fi).

Jen Darlington’s family is isolated on top of a mountain in Northwest Alaska. Jen has never seen another human being other than her family: her mother, her father, his parents, and her two brothers. Jen's mother, Karana, works hard to be her closest friend. Jen adores her mother, a physician, whom she calls, “Mom."

As the novel opens, Jen is in the command bunker, with her grandfather. A flash snowstorm begins coating the ground only minutes before liftoff. Outside, Jen’s older brother, Fred, stares straight up, watching the flight, as he takes a step backward into the strong wind. His foot slips and he starts to fall. He is on a narrow mountain path, overlooking a steep drop. Jen’s mother notices and dives to catch him before he can go over the cliff. But as she grabs him, they continue sliding and go over the edge together. Jen's father shouts in horror and helplessness outside in the storm. In the bunker, Jen screams, “Mommie!” Her grandfather hugs her as they watch her mother and brother die.

In her grief over the next few days, Jen remembers her mother’s voice giving her a most-important task once their last few rockets are launched. Her mother said it was up to the two of them, the two healthy women, to make certain that their family succeeds in reaching the remnant of human civilization in Antarctica. Now it is her heartfelt mission to see that she and her family make that trip and survive. That was her mother’s last command to Jen.

Ballantine Books published my novella "Oceans Away" in Stellar Short Novels. My op-eds appeared throughout the country under the name Paula Hawkins, U.S. Senator from Florida. I was her ghost. I narrowly escaped a Masters in creative writing and I carry scars and bruises from years in The Vicious Circle writer’s workshop. My day job is Beltway bandit wordslinger.

Thank you for your time and consideration.