Dear Miss Snark,
I finished my first novel recently and have started querying agents. Here's the problem: my novel is a character driven thriller that just happens to have a time machine in it. There are two pages of outlandish explanation as to how the damn thing works and 348 pages of murder, snark, and sex. Am I doing the right thing querying agents who handle thrillers/suspense? Is a time machine an automatic big red X even if it's not science fiction? Should I maybe fail to mention the time travel aspect until they're knee deep in the middle of my exciting query letter?
Please help me get my sea legs, here. I'm trying so hard to get things right.
Query EVERYONE. SF, Mystery, heck query Dan Lazar and tell him he's lucky he's not dead in this one.
You don't have to have one query letter for everyone. For mystery focused agents such as moi, you emphasize the mystery. For SF agents, you emphasize the sf elements.
No one is getting huffy about genre much these days. Only purists do that and those guys are boring.
I happen to think cross genre stuff is very hot right now so I've actually (don't faint) read things that reallio trulio should be in the SF shelf but I call them mysteries, so there.