Ok… I’ve tried to put all your advice to good use. This is the first draft of the bio bit I’ll tack on at the end. Any thoughts?
I was born in Hungary but have lived in Australia since I was five. In my twenties I taught French and Japanese. Later, I used my teaching skills to write technical manuals for computer software. For the last ten years I have been learning the craft of writing fiction. ‘Vokhtah’ is the first science fiction novel I have written that combines my passion for biology, politics, language, science fiction and martial arts.
Thank you for the opportunity to submit ‘Vokhtah’ to Harper Voyager.
p.s. should I mention the title somewhere at the beginning as well? Sorry if that sounds stupid.
Hi guys, I need your help!
As some of you will know I have decided to be brave and submit my novel to the Harper Voyager Open Submission. Yesterday I finished the final edits suggested by my lovely editor Laurie Boris. The MS is now ready to go but life is never that simple or easy.
When I got up this morning I checked the submission guidelines and discovered that I need to submit both a ‘query’ letter and an excerpt along with the MS. Never having submitted anything anywhere before, I had to look up what the hell a query letter was. Correction: I tried to find out what a good query letter would be like. The word ‘hook’ came up many times. I think I’ve got it right… maybe, but I really need some feedback from people who’ve done this before. I also need some feedback on the short excerpt I’ve chosen. The guidelines stipulate it has to be from the first 1000 words of the MS. Ugh. There are far better bits later on but I can’t use them.
Anyway, here are my efforts. Please tell me what you think.
The novel I am submitting to Harper Voyager is an 88,000 word science fiction story for adult readers. It contains graphic scenes of violent mating between its alien protagonists. The story takes place on a harsh planet in a binary solar system.
Vokhtah is an unforgiving world ravaged by two suns. The creatures who rule there are psychopathic hermaphrodites called Vokh. They live solitary lives, attended only by their smaller cousins, the iVokh.
The Blue is a powerful iVokh healer who must fight the prejudice of its fellow healers and the savagery of the wild to save the Guild of Healers from the Six of Needlepoint. The Six, a powerful, cunning Vokh, is on a collision course with the Guild because the healers believe it is an abomination, and they have sworn to kill all abominations.
Together with its unlikely companion, a young Trader Apprentice, the Blue must find a way to survive the wild and manipulate the other Vokh into keeping the Guild safe. On a world like Vokhtah, neither task will be easy. And time is running out.
[Enough? Too much? All wrong? Have I forgotten anything?]
The Blue’s face remained expressionless as it folded its fingers around the broken shard and began to squeeze. A droplet of blood oozed through its clenched fingers. That droplet was followed by another and another until a trickle of pale yellow flowed from its hand.
The sand at the Blue’s feet was stained a dark gold before the rigidity of its face finally melted into a grimace of pain. Opening its fingers one by one it let the bloody shard drop, its expression now thoughtful – apparently some things became more dangerous broken than they ever were whole. There was a lesson to be learned from that; the Yellow faction had broken its power in the Council but in doing so they had unleashed something new that might yet be their undoing.
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Thank you all. Your help is really, really appreciated.