I've been updating my query as per suggestions from my fellow authors and posted it below. I'm also working on a my new synopsis. As you can imagine these two short, but very important documents are very time consuming to write and rewrite, but are the only introductions an agent will have to my work. At best they spend about 30 seconds to a minute deciding whether they want to read more. Let me know what you think, thanks!
Teenagers in a sleepy frontier town, Joshua has a reputation as a devil-may-care troublemaker whereas his sister Sarah prefers to play the country coquette. At odds with their neighbors and each other, neither sibling is prepared when a French and Indian war-party destroys their settlement, leaving Joshua and Sarah to fend for themselves and a family of seven children. Faced with starvation, roving war-parties, and a vindictive French officer scouring the Blue Ridge Mountains for survivors, neither sibling can talk their way out of the hardships they must overcome if they hope to survive in the last cabin left on the frontier.
A historical novel set in Colonial America, The Last Cabin will appeal to adult readers of James Alexander Thom's Follow the River and also to young-adult fans of Elizabeth George Speare's Sign of the Beaver. Pubic interest in America's colonial frontier continues to surge with the advent of films such as The Last of the Mohicans and The Patriot, reality television shows like "Frontier House," and the HBO miniseries "John Adams" based on David McCullough's book. In addition, historical authors such as Bernard Cornwell, William Forstchen, and Jeff Shaara have each continued to publish multiple novels in the last few years set during the colonial period in America.
I published my first short-story in Moebius Magazine at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where I obtained my Masters degree in English and my Undergraduate degree in History with a concentration specifically on the American colonial frontier. Currently, I write by day as a Technical Writer at Google while continuing to pursue my career as a historical fiction author by night. I also travel extensively with my wife and have visited the historical sites in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains that provide the setting for my novel. I bring a unique perspective to historical fiction, not only researching my era in books, but also participating in farming, hunting, and historical reenactments in order to gain firsthand insights into the everyday lives of colonial Americans.
Novel length: 91, 179 words.