So you can read my books

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Yes, that's right. "Team Roland." You see that's what I call all of you who have cared enough to submit input on my past queries. I took what insight you gave me and shaped another query to send to a new agent I discovered : Gordon Warnock {check my blog list to find the article leading you to his interview in GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS.} He talks about a new genre he has named "Monster and Disaster."

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES, starring Natalie Portman is soon to come out. ABRAHAM LINCOLN VAMPIRE KILLER is being made by Tim Burton. And JONAH HEX with Megan Fox will hit theaters this June. Thinking FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE fit his category, MONSTER & DISASTER, I submitted to him. And here is that query, polished with your generous insights :

Dear Gordon : {Look at his picture. Read his interview. He's a fellow that you address in a letter by his first name.}

Monster and disaster. I have never heard that particular phrase used before concerning genre, though it certainly fits a whole herd of novels out there -- including my own, FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE.

The narrator, Samuel McCord, is a monster himself. The Apaches whom he had fought nearly 200 years ago would call him a "gahe," a drinker of souls. Now, he is merely known as the legendary French Quarter jazz club owner of Meilori's, a place where practically anything can happen and most everything has.

It is the first evening following Katrina, and the predators, both living and undead, see their chance to prey on the helpless. Samuel McCord decides he has lost enough : his humanity, his family, his beloved wife. He will not lose his city -- not to politicians, not to predators in the shadows, nor to his life-long enemy returning for a final revenge. McCord has always lost to his enemy, who insists upon the name DayStar. But he discovers that if he loses again, the European Revenant Empire will over-run not only his city but his country. But DayStar is about to discover that McCord has saved his best for last.

I'm including the first three paragraphs of FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE to give you a feel for my writing voice :

It rained lies and death today.

I stood knee-deep in water outside my French Quarter jazz club, Meilori’s. My soul stretched tight across my chest. Everything I saw and heard in the shadows spoke to me ... in threats. The sudden, short explosion of an unseen gun. A quick, sharp scream in the distance. And the blue spurt of a lighted match at the far end of the street. My city bled slowly in the ripples of the flooded streets.

I leaned back against the door to my club as if for reassurance that something solid still remained to me. That it had survived Katrina was a mixed blessing. It was all that was left to me of my wife. Staying here was both penance and purgatory. Meilori’s was the kind of place in which almost anything was likely to happen and in which almost everything had. Inside, the fifty-one survivors of Katrina that I could house were huddled in shivering, too quiet clusters. Words have no meaning when a city dies. Nothing much does.

Somewhere distant in the hot, red darkness a shot rang out. Another called out to it like a wolf. But it came from a different direction. I smiled bitter. The predators had crawled out from their boarded shelters. They knew the restraint of law had died this day. Soon they would come for me.

You see, I had enemies in the night. And not all of them were human.

To get a better idea of my writing voice {and if you care to challenge the murky blog waters}, you may want to check out my blog, WRITING IN THE CROSSHAIRS,

If not, I understand. Some of those blogs are truly scary. I would tell you mine isn't. But I would sound too much like Richard Nixon claiming he wasn't a crook.

I am a former high school teacher, family counselor, and now a blood courier. The last a result of being evacuated from Lake Charles due to Hurricane Rita and having to support myself any way I could. I found I liked the job and the people with whom I worked.

Thank you for taking the time to read my query. I would be happy to send you sample chapters or the full manuscript. I hope that you find some gem in the flood of submissions that pour your way. May your New Year hold only happy surprises with some relief for punished eyes and swamped workloads.

Roland D. Yeomans M.A. {Wish me luck, my friends}

And here is the tune that was blaring from my speakers as my van streaked underneath the sliver of a moon at 5 A.M. as I battled fatigue and brought rare blood to a dying woman in Texas :


  1. Monster and Disaster. Sounds like a fun genre and it sounds like you've got a really dark, entertaining novel too.

    Best of luck with your query Roland.

  2. Not being a publisher/agent, I can't speak to how he'll respond to your query. But I am definitely intrigued and would love to see this book published so I can read it. :)

    Thanks for sharing the video as well. I haven't heard of 'Within Temptation' before, but I've started listening to some of their other stuff and really enjoying it. Thanks for turning me on to some great new tunes. :)

  3. I guess blogger ate my comment again.

    Great job with the new query. I like the fact there's a new genre out there designed specifically for you. Now may Gordon become your agent and all your dreams come true.

  4. Strong opening and I think you follow it up with good clean paragraphs that lead the reader where you want them.

    I would suggest cutting the paragraph about blogs being scary because it's not essential and makes the letter longer than it needs to be.

    Good work!


  5. I'm really rooting for you to get published. Your book sounds really good and you're a very talented author. And look at how your blog has grown! You've trippled in followers since I found you. Awesome job :-) I've been losing followers *sigh* I guess I'm just too boring. C'est la vie.

    I was surprised to see you were a school teacher. Any specific subject you preferred or did they just assign one to you?

  6. Everyone thanks for commenting. I've worked 34 of the past 48 hours with zero sleep. I thank you Anne for being there for me. Jai, you're right about the scary blog paragraph. I was flying on fumes when I wrote that query. Oakie, I'm glad You like Within Temptation. I like their STAND MY GROUND. Matthew, thanks for wishing me luck. Same right back at you. Chriti, I was an English teacher who also taught basic psychology courses. Like a friend once said to me, "Man, you've been everything but a pirate." But I once worked for a tax preparation firm when I was in college, so I've been that too! Roland

  7. Good voice. Love how spirited and fast it moves. I hope this does it for Gordon as it sounds like a very interesting book. Pure entertainment.

    I'd cut this from the query though b/c it is a negative in such an upbeat, otherwise thrilling read: If not, I understand. Some of those blogs are truly scary. I would tell you mine isn't. But I would sound too much like Richard Nixon claiming he wasn't a crook."

    Who knows though; it is a humorous line.

    Love the video. It fits my mood tonight so I'm stealing it for my own blog post. Maybe not the Batman version, though it awesome.


  8. Donna, I'm happy you like it. You may also enjoy their STAND MY GROUND I told Oakie about earlier.
    And remember what Robert Frost wrote :

    "Only where love and need are one,
    And the work is play for mortal stakes,
    Is the deed ever really done."

    Have a beautiful weekend, Roland

  9. Good Luck! Your book sounds like an interesting project and I hope the agent responds positively to your query!

  10. Hi Roland .. hope all goes well with the acceptance .. what a wonderful achievement. It's good that you've taken on board so much .. from the hurricane escape and are now helping others .. I hope that lady survived.

    All the best .. I'm not sure your genre is me .. but I'll be around! Have a good weekend .. Hilary