Hi again, Philippa,
You’ve been really helpful and thorough here. Thanks so much.
I’m waffly about the genre because I can’t pin it down. I looked up ‘Ice’ and notice it’s described as slipstream (the fiction of strangeness). I think slipstream could fit mine, maybe more so than thriller. It’s been said that AnGal is a book like no other (also by Joanna Barnard, who critiqued it), so I really ought to play on that. The comparison to Dolly is very apt because in both we’re asked to believe in the outrageous in a perfectly natural setting with down-to-earth characters. And in mine the outrageous is believable, because there is always an alternative and logical answer to everything strange.
The word count: Joanna said I should try to cut, but admitted there was no fat that could easily be cut. Since it was critiqued I’ve managed to lose 2000 words, so 137,500 is about as low as I can get without distorting the plot, or short-changing the characters, both of which I can’t do. And, I do think it’s better to be straight in the cover letter. It’s a dilemma, because I agree I could be putting off potential interest.
I’m going to include your ideas in a revised version. Yes, zing. That’s what my current letter doesn’t do.
And if you want any 2nd opinions, just ask.