Yma’s Final Query Letter
Dear Ace/Rock Books,
Set in the post-apocalyptic Blast Lands, Oracle Jack chronicles the journey of a fallen sorcerer-priest as his addiction to red penance fuels a life of increasing violence and criminality. In a world where traffickers and addicts are always shot on sight, Oracle Jack awakens from an overdose to find himself locked up with a junkie called Hanged Man and awaiting an unknown fate. This science fiction novel weaves symbolic imagery from the major arcana of the tarot deck with allegory around mass incarceration, substance abuse, and pharmaceutical experiments on prisoners.
I selected Ace Books for its history of publishing iconic cyberpunk books like Phillip K. Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” and William Gibson’s “Neuromancer.” Oracle Jack is a complex anti-hero in the tradition of bounty hunter Rick Deckard and console cowboy Henry Dorsett Case. He is a marginalized fringe-dweller hustling in a landscape of social decay and unrestrained corporate greed. Novels by Samuel R. Delaney show Ace/Rock Books commitment to the subtleties of world building and craftsmanship at the sentence level.
With two decades as a journalist in San Juan, PR and Ann Arbor, MI, I have seen how poverty, addiction, untreated mental illness, and a society unable to manage these issues leads to rampant incarceration. Oracle Jack comes out of these experiences and my work teaching poetry at a women’s prison.
My short story, “Captain Blood is Coming”, has been accepted for publication in the “Encyclopedia Project Vol. 3 L-Z” edited by Tisa Bryant and award-winning author Miranda Mellis. “August Lokken” will be published in an H.P. Lovecraft-inspired story collection “Chtulhu Lies Dreaming” (Ghostwoods Book, England). “A Bed for Damaris” won first place in the 2012 Current Magazine Poetry and Fiction Contest. In 2015, I received an honorable mention from Glimmer Train’s Very Short Fiction Contest. I am a master’s candidate in the creative writing program at Eastern Michigan University.
This book will appeal to readers who enjoy science fiction and dystopian novels. The United States marketing strategy includes readings, a book tour, reviews, and interviews networked through my contacts at Eastern Michigan University, the Ann Arbor Area Writers Group, University of Michigan, the Ann Arbor Observer, Drexel University, Aignos Publishing, and Davidson College. I also have editorial connections in England, Portugal, and Puerto Rico. I intend to work with The Michigan Center for the Book and the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association to coordinate regional author events.
My international digital strategy targets the major English-language markets: the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and India. I also plan to market in Latin America with a focus on Puerto Rico. I will use my online presence as an exploration point for the exploding e-book markets in Turkey and China.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.
Yma A. Johnson