Writer’s Voice Entry

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Query

Dear Fabulous Agent,

Bad news rides a fast horse. Kaelyn Diarmand’s bad news came on a dead horse ridden by her equally dead M’Eiryn uncle.

The M’Eiryn are warrior horse lords–barbarians invited to Tamarland after they helped the Tamarl king defeat the demon armies, forming an uneasy alliance. Her Tamarl mother’s people are civilized, building great cities and learning centers. Kaelyn is neither barbarian nor civilized, caught somewhere in between and belonging nowhere.

With the Tamarl king missing and her dead uncle blamed for it, old hatreds rekindle and civil war looms. Kaelyn has always dreamed of being a Far Rider like her father and knows they will be desperately needed if war breaks out. To that end, she bluffs her way into the women’s unit of the military academy to begin her training. Her mother, however, concocts a scheme to get Kaelyn out of the military in order to protect her, but instead nearly gets her killed. The plan exposes Kaelyn to a conniving baroness and a returned demon lord who are at the epicenter of murder, a web of political intrigue, and the destruction of two kingdoms. He must now destroy Kaelyn before she reveals him.

An aging sorcerer may be one of her few allies outside the women’s unit, but he wants to…well, who knows for sure? He’s senile.

If Kaelyn survives racial prejudices, her training, the demon’s deadly games, and the senile sorcerer, she may help save the women’s unit she’s grown to love and her life.

Far Rider is an epic fantasy with series potential, complete at 146,000 words. It will appeal to readers of Elizabeth Moon’s Deeds of Paksenarrion series.

I was a lead writer for Speedhorse Racing Report, a weekly horse racing magazine, for twenty-three years where I wrote race and human interest stories. I now write for Raincrow Studios, an indie game developer.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Julie Weathers

First 250

They say bad news rides a fast horse.

No one said anything about it riding a dead one, and the black courser my uncle now rode toward me had died two years ago.

The copse of trees shielded me, but he crossed the pasture as if he knew exactly where I stood. While he drew nearer, my mind ticked down a list of things I had eaten that might cause hallucinations. There wasn’t a mushroom in the bunch.

Beside me, a ewe stared at the approaching apparition, nervously flicking her ears. Then she bunted my leg, reminding me of the lamb still tangled in the witchberry vines. I knelt back down and finished cutting him loose. The lamb latched onto his mother’s swollen udder, but the ewe remained fixated on the rider.

As they drew closer, she stamped in apprehension and bounded away with her youngster. I wanted to follow, but my feet were as firmly rooted as the tangle of vines. Kael reined to a stop in front of me and dismounted, plunging the area into a deep, winter chill. Just below his pallid face, his throat had been sliced clean as a butcher’s cut.

My face felt as bloodless as his and it was all I could do to keep upright. He held out his hand to steady me.

I forced my gaze away from his gaping throat with its raw, red, flesh. The dried blood made the embroidered golden lion leaping across his tabard look mortally wounded also.

This Post Has 22 Comments

  1. Shawn D. Humphrey

    I like the concept and the writing. The tie-in between animal reactions and the POV’s desire to flee was solid.

  2. brianrschwarz

    I like it a lot Julie! Your comment today made me seek it out! πŸ™‚ Looking forward to reading the published copy someday soon. πŸ™‚

    You’ve got a fantastic voice. I’d expect nothing less. πŸ™‚

    1. Julie Weathers

      Brian, thanks so much for stopping by. I am so far behind I think I’m ahead. Your lips to God’s ear on the published copy.

      You’re very kind about the voice.

    1. Julie Weathers

      Maria, thank you. Yes, I enjoy writing interesting females. Thanks and good luck to you also.

  3. cassnewbould

    loved the voice in your 250 and the reaction of the sheep. Good luck πŸ™‚

  4. Sarah

    Such a great first line! Hooked me right away.

  5. michele

    Nice 250. Happy to see more female led fantasies outside YA

    1. Julie Weathers

      Michele, thank you. I hope she proves to be interesting to people. Good luck.

  6. Alexei Collier

    Hey, we’re genre-and-word-count twins! I remember your entry from another contest. It looks awesome!

  7. Julie Weathers

    Alexi, whoo hoo!! Thank you, you’re very kind. the word count is actually coming down. I’m on a revise and resend search and destroy. We shall see.

  8. Connie MacElroy

    I love the exotic setting, and the opening is poetic and engaging. Good luck!
    Connie

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