Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Query of the Month

I know I harp on "brevity" as being a key aspect of good query writing but you can write a longer query if you execute the form superbly. Below is a fine example of a query that "oozes" writer-smarts (chops). It's one of the best fiction queries I've ever read:

October 31, 2007

Dear Justin,

In the spirit of Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, Beyond Coincidence is a modern quest for personal fulfillment, directed by dream signs and played out along the California coast. A battle between free will and destiny ensues, enhanced by teasing skirmishes of luck, love and immortality. This women’s fiction novel is the tale of a divinely unfulfilled love triangle between Emily, a compulsion driven photographer, her dead husband Daniel, and an unnamed and unfocused shadow.

Emily Elliott’s life was neatly categorized and pigeonholed. She approached her life with the same zest and ambition as a stapler salesman. That is, until the day Daniel died. Having acknowledged that she and her husband lived at opposite ends of life’s spectrum, Emily unavoidably finds she is horribly unbalanced.

Oddly, Daniel’s death does not delete him from view. Instead, he becomes a guide in Emily’s pursuit of peace. Daniel brings a shadow to Emily. This hazy, vague spirit has a voice that speaks to Emily’s soul and a wit that challenges her sanity.

An arsenal of highly detailed memories and recurrent dreams of gingerbread men launch Emily’s journey to regain her happiness. Abandoning her corporate ways for the passion of modern art, she embraces the camaraderie of the beach community. An art gallery owner encourages Emily to use her photography to bridge her dream world with reality. Back in her dreams, the enticing introduction to the obscure shadow captivates Emily’s imagination and finding him in reality becomes her mission.

The accidental discovery of the fourth floor home, the source of her dreams, in a forsaken Los Angeles neighborhood, blurs the boundaries of time with rays of reality. As Emily nears her journey’s end in a Malibu coffee house, she realizes she is a pearl, a solitary grain of sand evolved into a gem. And she finds Richard. Never again will the reader be able to doubt the validity of dreams, the true meaning of déjà vu, or that a resounding YES is the answer to the question, “Is there anything more?”

After several years in journalism writing for two New England newspapers, I worked many years as a trade magazine photographer and writer. The basis of the fourth floor is born from my own recurring dreams and this is only one of its stories. Beyond Coincidence is an amusing and poignant tale of the layered lives of the people who touch our souls while offering a surprisingly quirky twist on fate. I look forward to your reply.



Saturday, October 27, 2007

Autumn 2007 Non-Fiction Reading List And Commentary

If you think you "know" the Holocaust but you haven't read:

Hitler's Willing Executioners, Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust, Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, Knopf, 1996

A Moral Reckoning, The Role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust and its Unfulfilled Duty of Repair, Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, Knopf, 2002

Then you've missed out on important scholarly works that should be required reading on the topic. Also of interest is:

Nuremberg, Infamy On Trial, Joseph E. Persico, Penguin, 1994

While Daniel Jonah Goldhagen's writing is at times dry and a little belabored in places for my taste, his scholarship seems superb, and his books are well worth reading. Hopefully, his contributions will awaken others, as it did me, to a core truth of the Holocaust that is vastly under-publicized: that there were many willing executioners, and assistants, who as ordinary citizens helped torture and kill Jews despite having a CHOICE not to do so, and that by extension today there are many willing executioners who will not fight against true evil (anyone who, for example, claims that the Holocaust did not happen or that Israel should be wiped off the map) or protect the Jews any better than Germans, many of whom were their neighbors, or Christians in general and the Vatican in particular did during the Nazi occupation.

These individuals are almost all gone now but the lesson is so appropriate for our era. And it's disgusting to see all the double standards out there concerning under-reactions to sources of well-organized, well-financed, and intentionally murderous anti-semitism (is it necessary to mention which "religion" I'm talking about by name?) and gross over-reactions to disgust or impatience that is so often mislabeled as "racism" and then an incredibly big deal is made over the act while the same people remain absolutely silent about anti-semitism.

So when Imus says "nappy headed hos" or Isiah Thomas of the Knicks calls a woman a "bitch" THAT, to some people, is a big deal, and those same people will not be or act bothered, in the least, when some wacko President of a country says that the Holocaust did not happen or that Israeli Jews should be exterminated.

The Holocaust is still not deeply understood enough for what it was: an insight into how easily humans get drunk on entertainment and religion in combination with a cult of personality and politics. Proof of this is when Israeli leaders negotiate with Palestinians, Arabs, and other middle eastern countries, who financially and morally support the armed thugs who are actively living out their Holocaust fantasies, one Israeli at a time, every day, right now, in 2007.

There is nothing to negotiate with these people over. Not until every last one of them stops killing Jews, accepts Israel's right to exist, and renounces violence as a means of negotiating political solutions.

And if you can't renounce violence, then don't whine about not having a land or a country or a job or whatever the hell it is you claim to want because sensible people who understand the Holocaust DO NOT NEGOTIATE WITH VIOLENT ANTI-SEMITES.

Or, at least, should know better!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Southern Sunrise Agency Profile

Full Service Literary Agency

Representation: 10% Commissions. 4% Commissions Available for certain projects/authors (quoted on a project by project basis).

Managing Agent Justin E. Fernandez is a licensed attorney, published book author, and a former professional book editor, with NYC and LA Entertainment/Literary Agency experience -- trained in the Literary Agenting business by Sandra Martin of Paraview, Inc., New York, NY. Prior book sales include: Millennium Prophecies, Mark Thurston, Kensington (while with Paraview); The Positive Power of Praising People, Jerry Twentier, NTC-Contemporary Press (now McGraw-Hill); and Viscount Victorious, Seeking Celeste, and By Way of a Wager, by Hayley Ann Solomon, three Romance Novels to Kensington/Zebra Books. Mr. Fernandez is also the author of Drug Illegality is Bad Public Policy: The Other End of the Chain, 25 University of West Los Angeles Law Review, 151-191, (Summer, 1992); an article on Literary Agenting in the 2000 Writer's Digest Guide to Literary Agents, and three books for Chelsea House Publishers (library market young-adult non-fiction).


1. Send your query via e-mail to:

2. Don't sweat it, just do your best to write a concise factual e-mail with TITLE, GENRE, and WORD-COUNT (at minimum).

3. Please mention if you were referred here, or where you found Southern Sunrise Agency.

4. Follow-up in one month if you hear nothing.

If you are looking for an agent with a large client list, or celebrity clients, or a NYC-based operation, then Southern Sunrise is probably not the right agency for you.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

From Coast to Coast AM's site, a call for personal anecdotes

We're looking for personal anecdotal stories from people who have had spiritual enlightenments or awakenings. For example, people who have had intuitive experiences, people who tried exercises from Worker and were able to see the future, find peace and solve problems through meditation, discover aspects about themselves, engage in lucid dreaming, and determine that there is an alternate reality that's as real as our everyday reality. We're looking for these stories to publish them in our sequel book to Worker in the Light to be called WORKERS IN THE LIGHT. Please send correspondence to

--George Noory
--William J. Birnes

Attention Antioch College Grads

Now that Professor Capecchi (Antioch 1961) has won a Nobel Prize for Medicine it is time for all Antioch College (Yellow Springs) grads who have a "platform" to consider banding together to help make sure that Antioch returns from its planned 4-year shut-down. For any of you who have ever been to Yellow Springs, and visited the campus, you know how important Antioch College is to the local scene. Professor Capecchi's recognition is the latest proof of Antioch's contribution to Ohio and to the world.