Letter QQ is for query letter, and I fully intended to have a sample for today, from the first book of the trilogy I’m polishing. Alas this is, as far as I am concerned, one of the most difficult parts of writing. So this isn’t a proper query letter as much as it is a summary of the conflicts at the start of the book. From this, I hope in time to work out a proper query letter, back cover material, and elevator pitch.

Horse Power cover

Yes, this Horizon, a couple of centuries later.

Roi Laian doesn’t really want to be Regent of the Jarnian Confederation. He’d much rather be Healing people and animals, or creating art. But he was his R’il’nian father Lai’s heir by reason of having the highest Çeren index of the R’il’nian-Human hybrids, and he feels he’s stuck with the job. Certainly he doesn’t want his half brother, Zhaim, in that position.

Zhaim would love to be Regent, or anything else that would give him power. But while Roi follows his father’s teaching that the Confederation was formed for and at the request of Humans, Zhaim views Humans as animals, fit only for the convenience of R’il’noids. He’s not quite ready to let the Çeren index be the only way to judge people, since Roi’s is higher than his, but he considers that an aberration. After all, his decadent half brother, not allowed by the genetics board to reproduce, actually adopts Human slaves as his children. He thought he’d put a stop to that, pointing out that Roi was neglecting the Confederation with the time he spends with his “kids.”

But Zhaim, left in charge while Roi is away handling an emergency, “solves” the problem of the planet Horizon refusing to pay its taxes by authorizing slaving on that planet. Voting rules in the Councils make it impossible for Roi to reverse that decision, and in part to salve his conscience he begins again to rescue and adopt abused children—this time from Horizon. Zhaim is furious. and again does his best to convince other members of the Councils that Roi is neglecting his duty.

It doesn’t help that while Roi remembers quite clearly that Zhaim once tried to kill him, even his closest friends and colleagues have stored that memory away, and insist that Roi is paranoid for mistrusting his brother. Roi also remembers that his foster mother, Marna, dealt with the situation by giving Zhaim an artificial conscience, but warned that it needed to be reinforced every quarter century. Roi has done this twice since her death, but he has increasing doubts that he is succeeding.

He is right to doubt. Zhaim is slowly recovering his old powers and his old determination to take over the Confederation.

One thing I’m not sure of. This book is the first of a trilogy, with a cliff-hanger ending. All three books are written, and I’d like to release them about 6 months to a year apart. Should I mention this in the query letter?

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