The query letter
“Fate intervened. Of course, with my family's history, what else could I expect? Fate has always ruled my life.” Thus begins A Simple Twist of Fate,
the 108,000-word, coming-of-age literary novel of fate versus free will, of the simple virtues of rural America set against the majesty of her greatest cities, of family redemption and undying friendship.
The problems of Nick Mason are not unlike those of most college seniors in the class of 1986: choosing a career, finding a girl, surviving a night in jail. But a shadow hangs over his life. Five centuries before his birth, the man after whom he would be named, the first Nicholas Mason, was sentenced to death. His crime? Standing in the way of his son's ambitions. As the executioner’s ax was poised to fall, the elder Mason damned his descendants to a common fate: Each man would live to see the day that the son would betray the father, as Nicholas’ son had betrayed him. For 500 years, this curse has held true. And thus it certainly would have with Nick. But then something unexpected happened; when he was only a boy, Nick's father was killed in a jungle in Vietnam. How can a son betray a father who's already dead?
Bound by fate but taxed with this seeming paradox, Nick has sought to break the curse in the only way he knows how—by living his life as he believes his father would have wished. But when his mother convinces him to drive a priceless work of art—a nasally, well-endowed garden gnome by the unmatched artist Thomas Kacker—from Boston to Birmingham, Nick finds his convictions about the future shaken. In a journey that takes him from the hallowed halls of Harvard to a Southern tent revival, from New York City to a football game in the heart of Dixie, Nick meets a woman who challenges his notions of fate and destiny and offers him a life free of the shackles of the past. But is she his salvation? Or the very temptation that threatens to condemn him to the same doom as each of his forefathers?
While having never been the subject of a centuries-old curse, I have embarked upon the same journey as Nick, only in reverse. A native Southerner, I received a philosophy and history degree from the University of Alabama before traveling to the Northeast, where I attended Harvard Law School. I thank you for your time and consideration of my novel, and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it.