Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Starcaster Hook

I am going to keep my current hook for Starcaster in this post and on my sidebar.

Tory is new spy for the nation of Alden. She's also a lady. Therefore, she's dismayed when her director, Mr. Bradburn, pressures her into using her feminine wiles to seduce state secrets out of unsuspecting fascists. While Tory appreciates the implied compliment, she's also a starcaster--one who can use a sneaky form of nighttime magic--and she thinks he's wasting her talents. When she learns that he's spreading rumors that question her loyalties, she wonders what's really going on.

She doesn't realize that what Bradburn really wants is a patsy, and he's set up the entire conflict in order to make her look untrustworthy. When enemy spies try to steal a prototype that enhances starcasting ability, Tory thwarts them and traces the spies back to Bradburn. Before she can gather evidence against him, he frames her for the theft of the prototype. Now, everyone wants the prototype and Tory's dodging villains like ladies evade louts at a ball. Her pursuers include corrupt policemen, spiteful femmes fatales, and a frightening spy with a penchant for disfiguring the faces of female spies. Not to mention her own fellow operatives.

Clad in an apron filled with lockpicks, revolver and other spy paraphernalia, assisted by a trio of quarreling gentlemen, and thwarted by rogues both foreign and domestic, Tory must figure out what Bradburn is up to before she ends up in the gallows.

I wrote STARCASTER out of a slightly malicious desire to place a character who might have come out of a Jane Austen novel into a harrowing spy setting. When I'm not writing, I run a review blog called Fantasy Debut, where I have showcased and reviewed debut fantasy novels since June of 2007. Currently, Fantasy Debut attracts over 100,000 visits a year.


  1. Now that sounds like a fun read! And not just because I happen to like you. Will it be a stand alone or a series?

  2. Both! I envision it as an open-ended series, rather like The Sword-Edged Blonde. Each story will be self-contained. I have five books in mind to start with.

  3. This sounds great, Tia. Fun, fast-paced and intriguing. I can definitely see this on the shelves!

  4. Thanks, Jen! I hope you're right!!

  5. Oh, yes, nice and tight, that's the way to make 'em. Good query, Tia! They're soooo hard.

  6. Thanks, Kimber. It took some work. Thank you for the feedback you provided a few weeks ago. I think you'll agree that this version is quite different from that one!

  7. GREAT synopsis, Tia! I wanna read that book!

  8. Thank you, Lisa! I hope to be able to supply you with an autographed copy one day!

  9. sounds good! Not only does it capture the action and tone it also demonstrates your writing kills.
    You KNOW I want to read it-and all the future ones. They can't publish it quickly enough for me!
    I'm sure you'll find an agent and publisher. I hope you come to Boston area for a book signing.
    Typed from my way cool iphone

  10. I wish I had a way-cool iphone. I do have a Treo, but it currently is only a phone and PDA.

    Lisa and Lisa, thanks so much! I actually have tweaked it even further and I like my next version even better. I don't think I want to cover my blog with version after version of my query letter, though. That might get old, fast.

    Next up: synopsis. Ugh. I have an initial draft, but it REALLY needs work.

  11. Could have used your input 6 months ago, geez.

    What's your word count on this? I've heard a lot on it and apparently it's supposed to resemble "back cover copy" at around 300 words.

    Also, have you been getting any positive responses?

  12. Thanks, TD, for all the comments! My final word count was about 230 words, I think. The version I went with is quite a bit different than this one.

    I don't really blog on responses, but since this is a comment, so far I'm at a 50% positive response rate--three requests and three rejections, two of them "encouraging." I have eight queries outstanding. I need to bring it back up to 10 this weekend. I'll be sure to query Prospect--they are definitely a match for Starcaster.


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