Friday, 5 November 2010

QUERY LETTER : THE GUNPOWDER PLOT an ancient work of fiction complete in 1606 years

Dear Agent

Allow me to introduce my work of ancient fiction complete in 1606 years.

Spying and shooting; treachery and torture; kidnapping and a nasty way to go: THE GUNPOWDER PLOT has it all.

Hired-hand, Guy Fawkes, works to achieve equality of religious beliefs the wrong way when he gets involved in a conspiracy to kill the king.

Catholics, a religious minority, have reason to expect better treatment from the new king, James I. But old anger is hard to dissipate and disappointment soon brews more than discontent.

Guy, and others, meet to discuss how to make things better. Extreme but effective, they plan to kill the king by blowing up the House of Lords. When members of your own family might be caught in the attack, secrets are not easy to keep. Despite receiving a warning that their plot has been uncovered, they decide to press ahead with the attack.

Spies (Counterintelligence operatives: MI5-1605-style) become aware of the plot and an incriminating letter falls into the government's hands.

Fawkes is captured and tortured for information. The net closes in on his co-conspirators. Guy suffers the traditional punishment for traitors: hanged until half-dead; genital mutilation followed by incineration; bowel and heart removal; decapitation and dismemberment before being displayed for public viewing.

I do not envisage this character being part of a series.

New to writing, I am a qualified teacher and posses a passion for history.

Many thanks for your time,

Yours sincerely

Elaine AM Smith

Extracts from King’s Book: My Version of Events, written by James I and rushed into print within a month of the attack, feature in my fictional fiction.


  1. "Spying and shooting; treachery and torture; kidnapping and a nasty way to go" - very intriguing!

  2. Hi Susan
    It took hours to work on my query writing skills playing with real historical events. Reasearch stage, synopsis stage then condensing it all into a query letter that didn't run too far over the magic number. As always essential details in, unessential backstory out and trying to write both voices - thriller and humour. It was well worth the effort.
    Oddly, I start everyday with the query letter for my new wip - it is page one of the ms - it's like an inspirational plan.