Diary of a Contract Killer Query

When I first finished DoaCK (as I like to shorten it), I was very full of myself.  I had a couple of friends read it and say it wasn’t too bad, so I decided I’d let the publisher clean things up and decided to query (nothing like ignorance, eh?).

My first attempt was pretty bad.  I considered it a romance, not realizing I violated most of the tropes, and my blurb emphasized this.  I’ve since learned it’s just as important to screen out prospective readers that won’t like it as it is to attract interested ones.  The query and blurb below represent lots of thinking and false starts, along with input from the good people on Goodreads.


Hello <personalized>,

Because of <personalized> I think you’ll enjoy “Diary of a Contract Killer”, ~78K. An unconventional love story between trained killers. Adult contemporary fiction, with elements of spy, crime and espionage, tied together with the love story.


Enter the mind of an international contract killer.

Analytical, patient, and methodical, Seacay works alone since leaving the special forces; he sees any dependency as weakness. Seacay works when he wants, charges what he likes, and moves around the world anonymously. Picking up women – the more, the better – Seacay enjoys spending his money and building his secure mansion in the mountains.

Seacay’s life is perfect…until a gorgeous Brazilian spy complicates a routine mission. More intelligent than she is beautiful, Isabel has lightning-fast, deadly reflexes. Almost involuntarily, Seacay collaborates with Isabel and her team to complete his mission.

After they go their separate ways, Seacay’s left with feelings he’s never experienced and doesn’t understand. He throws himself into work just to clear out the cobwebs.

In the ensuing years, fate, and Isabel’s girlfriend, Tessa – a matchmaking fellow spy – conspire to bring Seacay and Isabel back together. But Seacay fights fate – and Tessa – until Isabel suddenly vanishes.

Can Seacay find Isabel? Should he?

Negotiating unfamiliar feelings, Seacay throws himself into this new rescue mission.

But will it be too late to save Isabel?


Seacay is an anti-James Bond, except when it comes to women. The story is like Tom Clancy’s “Without Remorse,” with less revenge and more love story. Similar to the original Mission Impossible TV series, with episodes tied together by the love story. It has parallels with the TV show “Burn Notice” where the MC explains why he does certain things or provides background for tools and techniques. Viewers who enjoyed the movies “Payback” or “Kill Bill” or the TV show “Covert Affairs” may like this. The novel is written in intense first-person (mostly present-tense) from a man’s POV. However, he interacts as equals with very strong, independent women.

Isabel and Tessa are bisexual characters who know what they want and are diligent about getting it. The genesis of the tragedy is not due to stupidity on anyone’s part, it naturally flows from who the characters are. There are prominent secondary characters that are gay and an older female arms dealer who sometimes requires Seacay to provide extra ‘service’ in addition to his cash payment. The violence and sex are non-graphical.

I’m a first-time author with a non-traditional background:

“Keith has had a wide range of careers from newspaper boy, fast food hamburger jockey, pizza delivery driver to plant manager, biochemistry laboratory specialist, MBA, inventor and programmer. He’s been a member of his country’s military and intelligence community. With an interest in research, he is co-author on several papers in biochemistry and operations research and has a hobby of writing business proposals.”

I’m working on building a social media presence and have the domain keithalanwriter.com where I blog and have excerpts, short stories and background for my writing and characters.

Though this book is stand-alone, I have already written follow-on work for a series.

Author: mitusents

Biochemist, MBA, then programmer. Now novelist, screenplay writer and hopefully director. What a strange trip it's been.