Working the query…

With the help of the Book Doctors, I’ve worked on my query to see if there’s a way to get more interest. They said the text is great – it’s the query that’s not grabbing the agents. I am not sure if this does the trick: I’m really eager to get Nathalie’s personality into the query somehow. She’s a trickster, an actor, someone with confidence and something to offer, and perhaps less humility than is generally recommended. Not cocky, just capable and not demure about it. Since queries are not supposed to be in the first person, I find it hard to show her bad-assed-ness from outside. I would welcome any comments or thoughts from the Wider Peanut Gallery, as it’s really great to have fresh eyes on this stuff.

Nathalie Qadir, reluctant MI6 spy, is being frog-marched in broad daylight by two jihadists, disguised in sharp NYPD uniforms. She’s scrappy but reedy, and no physical match for them.

But Nathalie is much harder to get rid of than her 5’4″ frame would lead one to believe. A former actor, she has a gift for accents of every kind. That and her Palestinian heritage got Nathalie in at MI6, but it’s her fearlessness that has kept her alive. Disguised as both men and women, she’s gone from Jordan to Tajikistan and from the broken terrain of Syria to its porous Kurdish border. She’ll do anything to run to ground Abn al Sadr, notorious terrorist financier and mastermind of an of all things contraband. Back in New York chasing a lead, she is captured by the imposter cops and taken to her birthplace – Palestine – where she is tortured by Sadr himself. With Nathalie out of the way, Sadr’s four explosives-filled vans – driven by suicidals – will be able to reach their destinations in Manhattan just as he has done in London, Istanbul, Rome and Amsterdam. If Nathalie had only known that her day job as a salon owner – not the months and months of training to become MI6 material–would be the key to literally cutting free of her captives and saving not just the New York City targets, but her adoptive London, the only place she has ever called home.

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