Query Letters – Update Vol. 1

I was tweeted by Rachelle Gardner. Does that make me a twit? Whatever, it was way cool! I have also received a slew of awesome query letters from aspiring writers just like me. It has been truly a joy, and a learning experience, reading through them. The talent waiting to be discovered is both awe-inspiring, and humbling. It causes uncertainty within me when I read the quality of work being slow-brewed out there. But if I’ve learned one thing over the past eighteen months delving into the literary/publishing world, it’s that no matter how many books you’ve sold, self-doubt comes with the territory.

Not everybody has been as accepting of my offer however. A few members of forums I posted to had suspicions about my motives and questioned my standing to pass judgment over your queries. What I told them, and what I’ll reiterate again here to you, is that I have no standing. I’m a regular Joe (or Jill) . . . like you. I am not judging, critiquing, or evaluating these queries. I am simply posting those for books that I personally would be interested in reading. Nothing more . . . nothing less. It’s not a contest. There is no contract waiting to be signed. Just a little bit of exposure on an obscure blog existing of the fringes of the internet.

I’d also like to say that in doing this I’m gaining a better understanding of the struggles agents go through. I’ve read some beautifully written letters for stories that demonstrate the power of imagination. But no matter how meticulously prepared the letter, if the material isn’t something that stirs interest in me I can’t honestly post it here. Although I’ve experienced just a taste of the process, I can see how an agent could agonize over sending a rejection letter to an author. Not because their work isn’t good, but rather it just isn’t right for them.

That being said . . . here is one I’ve put on my list to watch for. It’s targeted for the young adult market, but my wife says that’s what I am anyway (the actual term she uses is adolescent). But seriously, this is one I would pick up for my son. I’ve redacted (that’s the second time I’ve used that word – I’m on a roll) the personal information.

I wish the author the best of luck!

DL

Dear Query Guy,

When bizarre things start happening to her, high school student Madelyn Tate discovers a connection between her brother's childhood ghost stories, an ancient book of prophecies, and the stone gargoyle that has gone missing from the roof of her family's Victorian home.

Maddie is a volleyball player for East Arken High, sub par student, and social climber extraordinaire. But when she takes a wrong turn running from the police and is implicated in a church fire, her social status plummets and her volleyball career is cut short. She meets mysterious and charming Jesse Slater, who has a penchant for pyrotechnics, and aloof Charlie DeLuca, who bears an uncanny resemblance to the stone statue that has disappeared from her roof. To add to her problems, Maddie discovers that her brother Sean isn't the only one with a secret to hide. The Tate family has a dark history of witchcraft, and the strange abilities that lay dormant for centuries have awakened themselves in her. And Maddie isn’t the only one waking up; a magic wielder known as the Dark Son is gathering strength. Now Maddie must decide whether to suppress her new found abilities and allow the Dark Son to wreak havoc on the city, or to plunge herself into a new, mysterious world.

GARGOYLE MOON is a 65,000 word young adult novel. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

4 comments

  1. That query is fabulous! I'd buy the book.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sounds intriguing to me. I'd at least open it up and look at the first page.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great setup. I have a class of 9th graders who'd read this story. Maybe I'm just a smidge jealous of the ingredients in the plot.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The author says she's not completely finished with the book and won't be ready to query proper for a couple months yet.

    Let's hope that 2010 is a good year for her.

    ReplyDelete

 

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