The Writer’s Voice: One Way Down

Dear Writer’s Voice Coaches,

I am seeking representation for ONE WAY DOWN, a weird western novel set in the Old West. Complete at 86,500 words, it can either start a series or stand alone. I have a publisher who has requested an exclusive first look at my next novel.

When disgruntled werewolf detective Colton Fen arrives in the desert town of Peridot, he’s less than pleased with his new assignment. He doesn’t mind investigating the string of disappearances, but he’s not too keen about his new partner. Rennick Dalton is a gambling, extravagant theater owner who beds both men and women. Colton’s distaste grows when he learns about Rennick’s regular abandonment of lovers, specifically Mary Silva, a woman who not only worked for Rennick but loved him. When Rennick disappears as well, Colton realizes how much they underestimated their enemy, and how much he needs his new partner.

The creature known as Kaga has been preying on Peridot for some time. He calls himself a demon and has pieced together a body from the people and animals he has killed. When he finds a way to control Rennick, he forces him to attack Colton. Faced with survival or murdering the annoying new partner, Colton finds he can’t kill him. His hesitation leads to his capture. Kaga claims that he shares much in common with Colton, and the frightening part is that Colton is beginning to believe him.

My previous publications include a steampunk short story included in Pink Narcissus Press’ Rapunzel’s Daughters. The anthology was named an Editor’s Choice title by Independent Publisher Online. More recently my fantasy noir story, “The Mysterious Disappearance of Charlene Kerringer”, was a semi-finalist in the Zharmae Publishing Press’ Spring 2012 Writer’s Competition and was picked up for their RealLies anthology.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

ONE WAY DOWN (1st 250 Words)

The Lucky Horseshoe was obviously the biggest attraction in Peridot. The theater was overflowing with people, laughter, and spirits; but Colton Fen wasn’t pleased to be there. This was where he had to locate his new partner, a man who Colton only knew by name: Rennick Dalton. It wasn’t exactly the place where you expected to find a fellow supernatural investigator, but that alone isn’t what bothered Colton. Everyone knew Rennick. Colton had asked three separate people, and each of them had an excellent opinion of the man. Agents were supposed to be secretive since they had such deadly work to perform. No Agent should have as many friends as Rennick did, or be so well liked by their neighbors.

Peridot was a small town born from the railroad like so many other places out in the western frontier. People out west were superstitious, more than most, and they were prone to talk. Peculiar behavior ought to spread like wildfire, so why was it that Rennick had such an excellent rapport? As soon as he stepped off the train, Colton had begun his investigation, hoping to get a better handle on what and who his new partner was, but not a single person had a bad word to say. Colton couldn’t even unearth any competition or jilted lovers. It was ridiculous. All he knew was that Rennick was a theater owner and an exceptional gambler. Somehow those two traits excused any faults.

Above the stained bat wing doors was a large sign done in shiny black and red paint, complete with fancy lettering.

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