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Queries and Agents => Query Help => Topic started by: gckatz on July 29, 2015, 02:38:30 AM

Title: Successful queries
Post by: gckatz on July 29, 2015, 02:38:30 AM
I know people find it helpful to look at queries that worked, and I know several people here have gotten agents from queries that were posted here. Shall we start a thread collecting them in one place?

If you got an agent by querying, post your query below or link to its thread.
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: Sarah Ahiers (Falen) on July 29, 2015, 07:35:20 AM
Dear Agent,

In the Kingdom of Lovero, where families of assassins lawfully kill people for the right price, seventeen-year-old Oleander “Lea” Saldana sets out on a path of vengeance against the most powerful assassin family of all.

The list of things Lea can count on in her life has never been long: her mother will try to poison her to make Lea a better assassin, she can beat her boyfriend, Val, in a fight, and her bone mask will keep her safe from the angry ghosts as she kills someone in the night. But when she trusts Val, a member of the powerful Da Via family, with the secret location of her home, she is betrayed and her family is slaughtered while Lea barely escapes as the sole survivor.

Now there’s only one thing left to do: make the Da Vias pay.

The only problem is, the Da Vias have gone to ground and the one person who can find them is her missing uncle, banished from her family years ago. Even if Lea can find him before the Da Vias realize she escaped their knives, Lea can’t trust him. Hells, she can’t trust anyone ever again, and definitely not her uncle’s too-attractive-for-his-own-good apprentice, Alessio, no matter what her heart and body tell her. How can she trust Alessio when the last boy she loved destroyed everything? How can she fall for Alessio when revenge is all she should care about?

But when the Da Vias kidnap her uncle, Lea has a choice: use him as a distraction to finally kill the Da Vias, or trust Alessio and save all that remains of her family.

ALL THAT REMAINS is a YA fantasy novel complete at 99,000 words. It would appeal to fans of Kristin Cashore’s GRACELING trilogy and Leigh Bardugo’s SHADOW AND BONE. I have a BA in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota, served as the fiction editor for 2003 Wayfarer, the literary magazine of the U of MN, am a SCBWI member and have been accepted into Hamline University’s MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults (January 2014). My young adult horror short story “Smothered” appears in DARK MOON DIGEST YOUNG ADULT #1 and I have a story for the adult horror market in DARK MOON DIGEST #6.

[Redacted], editor at Harlequin Teen, read five pages for a critique session at the MN SCBWI October 2013 conference, loved them, and would like to see the manuscript when it’s ready for submission.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sarah Ahiers
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: TerryRodgers on July 29, 2015, 11:57:32 AM
You know what I like about your query Sarah, the meat of the query is 273 words long. That really helps show that there is no rule for how long an entire query needs to be. Congrats again on a awesome query letter.
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: Sarah Ahiers (Falen) on July 29, 2015, 12:01:58 PM
You know what I like about your query Sarah, the meat of the query is 273 words long. That really helps show that there is no rule for how long an entire query needs to be. Congrats again on a awesome query letter.

Thanks. My goal was always just to make it fit on one page. This one goes a bit over, but I had that extra stuff at the end and decided eff it.
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: gckatz on July 29, 2015, 01:08:30 PM
Here's mine. Oh, for the days when my manuscript was only 84k.

Quote
Dear agent:

Eighteen-year-old tomboy Valya and the boy next door, Pasha, breathlessly follow the adventures of Soviet air navigator Marina Raskova. When World War II breaks out and Valya discovers that Raskova is getting airwomen into combat, she's first in line. Valya hopes to become a fighter pilot, but Raskova assigns her to the night bombers. Instead of a high-tech Yak-1, Valya ends up flying a wood and canvas biplane no faster than a car.

On the front, Valya braves anti-air guns, blinding searchlights, and deadly Luftwaffe night fighters, all under the command of an air force that still believes women are only suited for the home front. When Pasha, now a Red Army radio operator, finds himself trapped behind enemy lines, one small aircraft might be able to slip through. Valya sees her chance to rescue the boy who has begun to capture her heart—but in Stalin's Russia, defying orders could land both of them in front of a firing squad.

Valya's regiment, the 46th Guards, really existed. Its aviators so terrified the Wehrmacht that the German soldiers nicknamed them the “Night Witches,” yet the brave Soviet women and girls who served in World War II are little known in the West. My 84,000-word YA historical novel, AMONG THE RED STARS, highlights many of these real-life heroes. It is a semi-epistolary novel that will appeal to fans of FLYGIRL and CODE NAME VERITY. It was an alternate in Pitch Wars 2014 and was also featured in PitchMAS 2014.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Gwen C. Katz
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: Pandean on July 29, 2015, 01:10:59 PM
Great queries guys! Looking forward to the day when I can share mine here.

And I didn't know you got an agent, Gckatz!
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: McG on July 29, 2015, 02:10:20 PM
Yeah, these are really helpful; hopefully more people have some to post. I love reading successful queries!
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: dreiner on July 30, 2015, 10:42:28 AM
Dear Ms. Nelson,

Fifteen-year-old Ry discovers his mother is poisoning him when Thelt, a tiny flying lizard telepathically linked to Ry, touches the deadly substance and becomes comatose.
 
To save Thelt, Ry enlists the help of three others: an expelled Ranger, a stable-girl wearing a curious bracelet, and a princess discarded by her family. Each hides a secret that could get them killed. They discover Ry’s mother is gone, her room in shambles. Before Ry can search for her, he is forced to help the priests of the Black Circle look for a child they believe can open a lockbox none of the priests will look at. The small cube is engraved with a poem Ry’s mother taught him, and Ry suspects the priests have kidnapped her.
 
Ry wants answers to his mother’s secrets, but rescuing her will put his new friends in danger, and he must decide if the risks are worth the life of a mother who tried to kill him. And when the Black Circle’s lockbox starts to whisper to Ry, he realizes why she wants him dead, and worse, he agrees.

THE GREY WARDEN, an UMG fantasy, is complete at 60,000 words. I’ve included the first ten pages per your submission guidelines. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: sparklyunicorn on July 30, 2015, 10:18:58 PM
Love this thread  :clap: Here's mine. It garnered me 4 offers of rep and 1 r&r. Also my book is way over 52,000 words now  :rolf:

Quote
Dear (agent):

All it takes is three letters—M.I.A—to send eighteen-year-old Sadie’s whole world crashing to the ground.

Her mama believes God will bring her sister back alive from the war, but Sadie knows the truth: Skylar isn't coming home. While everyone else prays for her sister's survival, Sadie copes by wrapping herself in the life Skylar left behind -- in her sister's nightmares and her boyfriend’s arms.

Skylar’s past haunts the corners of Sadie’s mind as secrets come to light. Like the postcards she finds describing a baby she never knew her sister had. Secrets that crush the perfect image she's had of Skylar.

Sadie was right about Skylar, but not in the ways she imagined. She's coming home. Someone who looks and talks like Skylar, but not the same. But Sadie's not the person she left behind either. And it might just tear them apart. Sadie's already lost her sister once--can she stand to lose her again?

My YA contemporary novel, OF FRAGILE THINGS, is complete at 52,000 words. It will appeal to fans of THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE by Jandy Nelson, SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL by Trish Doller and THE IMPOSSIBLE KNIFE OF MEMORY by Laurie Halse Anderson. The full manuscript can be sent upon request.

I've interned for a year at [X Lit agency] and two years at [X publisher]. I've attended Book Expo America in 2009, 2012 and 2013 as well as the American Library Association midwinter conference in 2010. I will be attending the University of Denver's Publishing Institute in August [2014].
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: SamIAm on July 30, 2015, 10:55:42 PM
Here's mine! It got me 17 full requests and 3 offers of rep (and like gkcatz and sparklyunicorn, my word count has grown since. It's 78,000 words now):

Quote
Dear (Agent):

Nineteen-year-old Elise Jameson may live in a silent world, but that doesn’t stop her from hearing voices in her head.

Deafened and scarred in a freak accident when she was younger, Elise forgoes the probing eyes of her peers in favor of the characters she creates on her laptop. What started as a coping mechanism shockingly turned into a career when her novels hit the best-seller list. Society has since become obsessed with the books and their author, a striking girl on the back cover who bears zero resemblance to Elise. That’s exactly what she wanted when Elise sent the randomly Googled photo to her editor after only a minor panic attack.

When they begin filming a television pilot of her books starring heartthrob Gavin Hartley—a lickable God of a man who makes her tingle in all the right places—Elise is horrified to learn they expect her on set. Elise tracks down the anonymous girl from the back of her books and begs her to take her place in the spotlight. To her surprise, Veronica Wilde has spent years reaping the rewards of her fake writing career. She jumps at the chance to continue the charade and hires Elise as her “assistant”. However, Elise soon realizes it’s not easy to watch someone else live her life and get everything she desires, including the actor of her dreams.

As she finds herself edged further and further onto the sidelines, Elise reconsiders her choice to stay in the shadows. But revealing her true identity could come at the cost of her career, her fans, and what few precious friendships she has.

FLIRTING WITH FAME is a New Adult contemporary romance, complete at 69,000 words.

I have my Bachelor's Degree in English.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

I love all your queries and want to read alllll the books!
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: Pandean on July 30, 2015, 11:09:27 PM
Here's mine! It got me 17 full requests and 3 offers of rep (and like gkcatz and sparklyunicorn, my word count has grown since. It's 78,000 words now):

Quote
Dear (Agent):

Nineteen-year-old Elise Jameson may live in a silent world, but that doesn’t stop her from hearing voices in her head.

Deafened and scarred in a freak accident when she was younger, Elise forgoes the probing eyes of her peers in favor of the characters she creates on her laptop. What started as a coping mechanism shockingly turned into a career when her novels hit the best-seller list. Society has since become obsessed with the books and their author, a striking girl on the back cover who bears zero resemblance to Elise. That’s exactly what she wanted when Elise sent the randomly Googled photo to her editor after only a minor panic attack.

When they begin filming a television pilot of her books starring heartthrob Gavin Hartley—a lickable God of a man who makes her tingle in all the right places—Elise is horrified to learn they expect her on set. Elise tracks down the anonymous girl from the back of her books and begs her to take her place in the spotlight. To her surprise, Veronica Wilde has spent years reaping the rewards of her fake writing career. She jumps at the chance to continue the charade and hires Elise as her “assistant”. However, Elise soon realizes it’s not easy to watch someone else live her life and get everything she desires, including the actor of her dreams.

As she finds herself edged further and further onto the sidelines, Elise reconsiders her choice to stay in the shadows. But revealing her true identity could come at the cost of her career, her fans, and what few precious friendships she has.

FLIRTING WITH FAME is a New Adult contemporary romance, complete at 69,000 words.

I have my Bachelor's Degree in English.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

I love all your queries and want to read alllll the books!

Great query! I can see why it got 17 full requests! :) So excited to see it in Amazon/Stores/etc.
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: gckatz on July 31, 2015, 02:11:40 AM
Thanks everyone, I think this will be a very useful thread. Sparklyunicorn, I had no idea one could get an offer for a 52k YA contemporary (even if it becomes longer later). I'll have to stop haranguing people about their short word count.
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: Falthor on July 31, 2015, 07:42:24 AM
Gcatz,  50K is the "too short" border as far as I can tell...   I had to ask around because at one time my book was 48K.
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: CrawlingChaos on August 02, 2015, 06:14:15 PM
 These are all very well-done, and seeing them all together in one place is very helpful. Much more useful, dare I say, than some of the compilations on other websites, wherein the chosen queries all seem to break a million rules, haha.

 Makes me want to have another go at mine (in a quasi-exciting way), and that's something when it comes to a task that's almost always terrifying.
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: beccapie42 on August 14, 2015, 05:28:13 PM
Query that got my YA novel, Blood Princess, a contract!

Seventeen-year-old Laura White, princess of Karkonia, has been ordered to murder her older sister, Alicia.
The job should be easy enough; Laura hates Alicia for betraying their family and joining a rebellion set on usurping the King. Besides, Laura’s been killing at her father’s command since she was eleven.

But before Laura gets the chance to end her sister's life, she is dragged into the mess of the rebellion by none other than her bodyguard, Shane Kagae. As Laura and Shane uncover secrets that her father has been keeping for years, they realize that Alicia and the Rebels may have been right about the king all along. When their disloyalty comes to light, Laura is forced to choose between saving Shane's life and remaining loyal to her father. She choses Shane, and they flee the palace, Laura's heart breaking with every step.
When her father starts a war with a neighboring country, Laura fears she made the wrong choice. She struggles to decide whether she should return to her father's side and help him build a new empire, or give up her crown forever and help the Rebellion save the country she loves.
 
My YA Fantasy novel, BLOOD PRINCESS, is complete at 58,000 words. It would appeal to fans of Marie Lu and Cayla Kluver. My first novel was published by a small press company in 2011, and I am currently pursuing a degree in Creative Writing at the University of Louisville.
 
Thank you for your time and consideration.
 
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: Thulsa_Doom on August 17, 2015, 06:28:31 AM
If you look in the SUCCESS STORIES for each agent, sometimes you can see what query letter was used to hook them...
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: gckatz on August 17, 2015, 08:06:50 AM
If you look in the SUCCESS STORIES for each agent, sometimes you can see what query letter was used to hook them...

Yes, but this thread exists to gather them in one place so you don't have to hunt for them. (And don't assume the version posted for critique is the final version.)
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: bswb97 on August 17, 2015, 11:51:02 PM
Per request from the Success Stories forum, here's my query. My final stats:

-This was my third novel I queried over seven years.
-I sent about 100 serious queries (and 10 with "no chance in hell" due to genre but I figured why not because I liked them on social media/blog posts)
-I got responses or certain CNRs on about 80 of them
-16 requests (10 full, 6 partial, and funny enough split down the middle between commercial and SF)
-4 offers and one additional withdrawal on my part

As I mentioned, I split between commercial and SF. There were two variations for the post-hook blurb. I'll paste both below:

The main hook:

"Kin Stewart thought parenting a teen couldn’t get any harder, but then he got separated from his daughter -- by a century.

Before that, he was a normal family man, working and parenting teenage Miranda -- a far cry from his old job as a time-traveling secret agent from 2142. Stranded in suburbia since the 1990s because of a botched mission, he’d spent the last 17 years thinking about soccer practices and family vacations instead of temporal fugitives.
 
But when his rescue team suddenly arrives, Kin is forced to abandon his family and return to 2142, where everyone -- including his fiancee, who’s unaware of time travel -- thinks he’s only been gone weeks, not years. Ordered to cut all contact with the past, Kin defies his superiors and attempts to raise his daughter from the future. Until one day he discovers that Miranda’s being erased from history...and it might be his fault.

With time running out, Miranda’s very existence depends upon Kin taking a final trip across time, no matter the cost. Break time-travel rules, tell his fiancee about Miranda and his secret family, even put his own life on the line; those are risks Kin will take because there’s only one thing more important than the past and the future: doing right by his daughter."

CF Blurb
"HERE AND NOW AND THEN (90,000 words) is a father/daughter novel with a time-travel twist: the character-driven time travel of The Time-Traveler’s Wife written with the mainstream sensibilities of Nick Hornby."

SF Blurb
"HERE AND NOW AND THEN (90,000 words) is science fiction for people who hate science fiction. An intimate character-driven look at how far people will go for the ones they love, I believe the blend of sci-fi elements and traditional themes can go beyond genre readers and into the mainstream. Think The Time Traveler’s Wife as written by Nick Hornby with a dash of Torchwood."
 
Bio
"A lifelong writer, my published credits include contributions to Thirsty? San Francisco, Fox Sports, SB Nation, Yahoo Sports, NYTimes.com, Maple Street Press, and various local arts magazines. I also run a freelance writing business."

Hope this helps!

Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: Lora Palmer on September 21, 2015, 04:34:04 PM
(Per request from the success stories forum, here's the query for THE MIRRORMASTERS that garnered a contract!)

Leah Ellis never knew why she was abandoned on the beach at two years old. That is, until her life takes a bizarre turn when she begins seeing images in mirrors she can’t explain--cloaked figures using powers that manifest like lightning bolts, or flash-frozen beaches on another world beneath a purple sky.

She practices mirror-gazing, driven to understand these images and their possible connection to her forgotten past, and discovers a wild, boundless power coursing through her veins. Soon, she learns to control what the mirror shows her.

When new neighbors move in, Leah is shocked that they're dead ringers for the people in her visions. According to Brian, with the gorgeous ice-blue eyes, and his father, she is a MirrorMaster--an alien with a gift that lets her travel through mirrors, even to worlds light years away. Her birth parents sent them to take her back to her homeworld of Jantyr.

But Leah’s long-lost birth sister activated an ancient device to trigger a cataclysm on Jantyr as a bid to consolidate her own power. Leah must return to Jantyr, master her newfound ability in order to disable the device, and thwart her sister’s plans. Otherwise, the destruction will consume the entire galaxy, including Earth and everyone she loves.

THE MIRRORMASTERS is a 98,000-word science fiction/fantasy for young adults. I have earned a graduate degree in Psychology from Widener University and work at a local residential facility serving autistic children and teens. My short science fiction/apocalyptic story, “Defying the Darkness,” is published through Novelty Fiction. Most recently, I have a short story accepted in an upcoming anthology [details redacted, but I hope to be able to announce them soon :)]. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

Warmest Regards,
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: Pandean on September 21, 2015, 05:26:23 PM
Great query! Something about it seems familiar! Have you posted it anywhere before?
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: Lora Palmer on September 21, 2015, 05:33:44 PM
Thanks, X!

I have posted versions of it (it's been through about a million and twenty drafts!) at AQC and WriteOnCon, so maybe you've seen it in one of those places. Or from other pitching opportunities over the years :)
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: Pandean on September 21, 2015, 05:55:58 PM
Thanks, X!

I have posted versions of it (it's been through about a million and twenty drafts!) at AQC and WriteOnCon, so maybe you've seen it in one of those places. Or from other pitching opportunities over the years :)

Yes! WriteOnCon, that's where I saw it!

...I'm banned from AQC. Long story.
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: Lora Palmer on September 21, 2015, 06:02:10 PM
Thought that might be where you came across the query:) I so miss WriteOnCon this year! Hopefully it will be back again next August...

Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: Pandean on September 21, 2015, 06:20:02 PM
Thought that might be where you came across the query:) I so miss WriteOnCon this year! Hopefully it will be back again next August...



Same!!
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: Missus Braidyhead on September 21, 2015, 11:35:43 PM
Fun thread! I like seeing all these queries in one place. I have two...

The more recent one:

As a young girl, Nima was found wandering in the desert by the Tribe of Sand. Now at seventeen, she’s the storyteller for her adoptive tribe, weaving tales for their entertainment and yearning for the wholeness that, she believes, can only come from knowing the truth of her past.

When the sultan from the nearby Tribe of Stars demands that Nima be brought in as his new storyteller, she has no choice but to go. She plans to escape his dark, stifling palace, even though it means traveling back through a desert full of windhaunts—memory-stealing spirits that roam the dunes. The tribespeople speak of the Old Unity, a time when the Tribes of Sand and Stars were one, and as Nima grows closer to one of the sultan’s sons, she discovers more about the Old Unity, as well as secrets of her missing parents and an impending invasion of windhaunts. The only chance the tribes have of defeating the windhaunts is through working together. Nima must use her stories to discover—and create—the truths of her past and the shared history of her tribes in order to preserve her freedom, save her people from windhaunts, and reunite the Tribes of Sand and Stars.

TALES OF SAND AND STARS is an 89,000-word young adult fantasy reminiscent of One Thousand and One Nights that will appeal to fans of Rae Carson’s The Girl of Fire and Thorns.

And the older one:

One month before her sixteenth birthday, Amalia’s only desire is to become a Companion—a “wife” to the Dolces, the old male witches who rule her non-violent coven. Because male witch infants haven’t survived since the Caust virus destroyed most of Witch and Humankind seventy years ago, it is considered an honor to mate with the Dolces and continue the pure lines of Witchkind.

But as soon as Amalia is chosen to be a Companion, her mother tells her a shocking secret: Amalia has a twin brother, smuggled from the city-coven and into the nearby Black City when he was only one day old. Witch twins need each other to survive past age sixteen, so Amalia must sneak out of her city-coven to find him. Amidst the Black City’s populace of mixed-breed thieves, dark creatures, and flesh-traders, Amalia has one month to restore the powerful twin magic fueled only by their connection. If she fails they will not only lose their powers, but their freedom, and ultimately, their lives.

THE KEY TO SELENE is a 91,000-word fantasy that will appeal to fans of Caragh M. O’Brien’s Birthmarked and Veronica Rossi’s Under the Never Sky.
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: Pandean on September 21, 2015, 11:37:58 PM
Good queries, MB!
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: lb92 on September 22, 2015, 09:05:09 AM
Okay, different versions of my query have been all over the internet, through WriteOnCon (I miss it), Critique Sites and Sun vs. Snow. Stats: 60+ queries, 5 full Requests, 1 offer of rep.

Dear ___________

In a city plagued with dastardly villains and monsters, seventeen-year-old superhero The Vine Vixen is Caperville’s only hope. No one suspects quiet, mild mannered Susan Black to be the mysterious Vine Vixen. When an arrogant new superhero, The Gray Eagle, rolls into town, he becomes an instant celebrity and a pain in her ass. His habit of swooping in at the end of battles to “save the day” and ending up on the five o’clock news to take the credit, has gone from annoying to infuriating.
 
After The Gray Eagle plants a surprise kiss on The Vine Vixen on live television, Susan is positive his sole purpose in the world is to humiliate her. To make matters worse, he enrolls at her school as his alter ego Grayson Clark. Thanks to his X-ray vision, he recognizes her immediately and tries to strike up a friendship. Susan is put off by his carelessness with the two personas. With each day, Grayson’s popularity grows and the line between him and The Gray Eagle blurs, putting Susan’s own secret identity at risk. Now that The Vine Vixen and Gray Eagle’s “relationship” is the talk of the town, she worries the attention he’s giving her might raise her peer’s suspicions. There’s only so much a mask can hide.
 
In spite of their differences, the heroes become partners in crime fighting to stop a new villain Grayson followed into Caperville. As the two bond, and their friendship develops into something more, Susan’s concerned that Grayson might not be what he seems. He’s spewing lies and half-truths, and as the secrets pile up between them, Susan wonders if her true enemy has been staring her in the face the whole time.

 SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF is a 61,000 word YA superhero romance.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

ME!

Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: Lora Palmer on September 22, 2015, 09:47:12 AM
Missus Braidyhead, I love twin stories and can't wait to read this! 

Ooh, wow! Somehow I missed that query at WriteOnCon, but lab1992, that story sounds like so much fun. Must. Read. Now. :)
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: Missus Braidyhead on September 22, 2015, 10:34:21 AM
Missus Braidyhead, I love twin stories and can't wait to read this! 

Ooh, wow! Somehow I missed that query at WriteOnCon, but lab1992, that story sounds like so much fun. Must. Read. Now. :)

Thanks, X & Lora! Sadly, that one got me an agent but no editor. Maybe later when the market's more accepting of dystopian again, or I might update/revise some day.

Lab, I love the superhero elements, & this sounds like fun!
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: CillanXC on November 06, 2015, 07:59:29 AM
Here's the final query that got me both the offer from Month9 books and from my new agent:

Quote
The Empire seals its borders in blood. Torien Risto knows that; he’s seen dissidents dealt with before. He knows the young local girl who just knifed him will hang for assaulting an Imperial officer. And he swears on his life to keep that from happening, because he knows—whatever the authorities say—it isn’t justice. Someone inside the provincial government is kidnapping Imperial citizens and selling them across the desert to the salt mines, silencing anyone who tries to intervene. The girl’s brother is one of those who has been taken. Rejected by the courts, she’s waging personal war against the Empire as a last resort. Determined to save her life, even if it’s too late for the boy, Torien sets out in search of answers on the Salt Road, the ancient trade route running deep into the heart of the desert—territory claimed by the hostile Mayaso tribe.

His guides are signi, condemned to military service as punishment for violent crime, known to have sold their swords to the Mayasi in the past. His fellow officers all seem to be harboring secrets of their own. His adjutant, the only person he knows he can trust, is dead their first day on the Road. Surrounded by deception, corruption, and the very real threat of a Mayaso spear in his back, Torien uncovers a conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of the Imperial government. The Emperor’s own guards are using profits from the mines to fund a coup—and, faced with unsettling truths about the royal family’s own brutality, Torien is no longer sure where his own loyalty lies, or how far he must go to honor his oath.

BLOOD ROAD (91,000 words) is adult fantasy set in a world inspired by Ancient Rome.

I pitched it as New Adult to Month9, since I've been told that really it could go either way (the MC is 19, and it is sort of a coming-of-age story). But in my mind it's really more adult.
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: DownNineUpTen on November 08, 2015, 07:45:32 AM
This is a great thread. I just read through it and can tell I'm going to be back to reexamine these beauties. Thanks everyone. Hopefully I'll be back someday to post my own query...
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: Bernie on January 11, 2016, 06:43:34 PM
What an amazing thread.  So inspiring.
I will definitely be re-evaluating my letters from now on.  I can see myself revisiting this thread over and over.
Thank you all so much
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: MaryL on January 13, 2016, 06:42:50 PM
I'm not even sure I can accurately remember my query letter. It was super short and went something like this: 

Dear Ms. _____,

SHATTERED SOULS is a 70,000-word young adult paranormal romance about a sixteen-year-old reincarnated ghost mediator with past life amnesia being pursued by a demon who wants her dead and a hot guy from her past lives who, well... just wants her.

Prior to law school, I received a B.A. in English Literature from University of Houston. I'm a member of RWA, WH-RWA, and The Writers' League of Texas.

Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.

Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: kaytee on April 20, 2016, 06:16:53 PM
My stats are a little strange, because I got an offer on my first full request and had only queried 20 agents in two weeks. For this query, I had:
7 rejections
1 partial request
4 full requests
1 offer

This is the second manuscript I've queried (and I only started it because waiting to hear back on manuscript #1 was making me miserable -- write something new!), and I sent my first ever query in October 2014.

I got a lot of great advice when I posted in Query Help, and I agreed with most of it. But, as you'll see, I didn't wind up really changing the query much...  :emb2: I was struggling with how exactly to spruce it up and then figured, what the heck, the general response was enthusiastic. I decided content trumped perfection, and I would test it out. So even though I wasn't 100% on it, it worked well enough! But I do want to thank everyone for being so supportive through this entire process. It's made everything much easier.

Dear agent,

All Zoie has ever wanted was to be the main character of a novel. She’s spilled more sweat and aced more tests than anyone else at the character training school. When she graduates top of her class, she’s sure she’ll be assigned a leading role in the next bestseller.

But when her first assignment finally arrives it’s for a bit part in some no-name dystopia. Worse, when Zoie enters the story, she finds out that she and all of the other minor characters are going to die. And not in a blaze of glory taking down an orc king or saving the world. She’ll be just another nameless extra lost along the way to the conclusion.

No character has ever changed a book’s plot before. At least, not successfully. She’s heard the rumors: stories imploding, killing everyone inside, and plots turning perilously unpredictable.

But Zoie figures, there’s a first time for everything. And if she’s going to die, she won’t settle for staying anonymous.

THE WRITER is a 69,000 word YA fantasy novel. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
kaytee
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: Munley on April 20, 2016, 06:41:28 PM
Kaytee,

I remember this query. It's really a good one based in a very creative idea.
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: SamIAm on May 31, 2016, 01:03:00 PM
My stats are a little strange, because I got an offer on my first full request and had only queried 20 agents in two weeks. For this query, I had:
7 rejections
1 partial request
4 full requests
1 offer

This is the second manuscript I've queried (and I only started it because waiting to hear back on manuscript #1 was making me miserable -- write something new!), and I sent my first ever query in October 2014.

I got a lot of great advice when I posted in Query Help, and I agreed with most of it. But, as you'll see, I didn't wind up really changing the query much...  :emb2: I was struggling with how exactly to spruce it up and then figured, what the heck, the general response was enthusiastic. I decided content trumped perfection, and I would test it out. So even though I wasn't 100% on it, it worked well enough! But I do want to thank everyone for being so supportive through this entire process. It's made everything much easier.

Dear agent,

All Zoie has ever wanted was to be the main character of a novel. She’s spilled more sweat and aced more tests than anyone else at the character training school. When she graduates top of her class, she’s sure she’ll be assigned a leading role in the next bestseller.

But when her first assignment finally arrives it’s for a bit part in some no-name dystopia. Worse, when Zoie enters the story, she finds out that she and all of the other minor characters are going to die. And not in a blaze of glory taking down an orc king or saving the world. She’ll be just another nameless extra lost along the way to the conclusion.

No character has ever changed a book’s plot before. At least, not successfully. She’s heard the rumors: stories imploding, killing everyone inside, and plots turning perilously unpredictable.

But Zoie figures, there’s a first time for everything. And if she’s going to die, she won’t settle for staying anonymous.

THE WRITER is a 69,000 word YA fantasy novel. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
kaytee

Um, this sounds AMAZING and I need to read this book. What an awesome plot!!!
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: Pandean on May 31, 2016, 02:10:47 PM
I did have quite the alternative path but in the end my query was successful so here it is:

Dear


Don’t show fear. Don’t attract attention. Don’t forget who the monsters are. Those are seventeen-year-old Janneke’s three rules to surviving in the Permafrost. Her family is dead, her village burned to the ground, and now she’s a slave in a court of merciless goblins. Though her master, Soren, offers her a small sphere of protection, it comes at the cost of abandoning humanity and their ways for good.

When the Goblin King is defeated in a fight, it ignites an ancient competition to become the next King. The goal is simple: kill the sacred White Stag before the other goblins kill you. Soren sees it as the perfect opportunity to shape Janneke’s acceptance of the goblins’ way and give in to the hatred and violence festering inside of her.

Janneke’s only hope for survival is to outrun, outfight, and out-kill every creature in her path, all the while dealing with Soren, whose fierce desire for her to be a goblin is shadowed by his fascination with her human heart. Hunting the Stag is Janneke’s best chance at revenge over those who enslaved her, but to succeed, she’ll have to watch her humanity bleed out like the creatures she’s sworn to kill.

WHITE STAG is an 87,000 YA High Fantasy inspired by Northern Germanic folklore and the poem “ Der Erlkönig” by Johann Wolfgang van Goethe. It is a standalone with series potential that will appeal to fans of Sarah Ahiers’s ASSASSIN’S HEART and Sarah J. Maas’s A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES.

A first draft of the novel is on Wattpad.com where it has garnered over 120,000 hits, a large following, and a consistent rank in the top twenty fantasy books on the site.
Thank you for your time.


Thank you for your time and consideration. The first ten pages are below as per your guidelines.
Sincerely,

Kara Barbieri
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: kaytee on May 31, 2016, 03:09:03 PM


Um, this sounds AMAZING and I need to read this book. What an awesome plot!!!

I'm glad it sounds amazing to someone, because I'm literally in the middle of reworking it right this moment and it's sparkle is really wearing off. :( I just have to push through! Thanks for the maybe inadvertent encouragement.
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: Pandean on June 01, 2016, 09:14:35 AM


Um, this sounds AMAZING and I need to read this book. What an awesome plot!!!

I'm glad it sounds amazing to someone, because I'm literally in the middle of reworking it right this moment and it's sparkle is really wearing off. :( I just have to push through! Thanks for the maybe inadvertent encouragement.

It DOES sound amazing. I remember when I first saw the query and was like "I would totally read that!" Good luck!
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: Falthor on June 01, 2016, 09:37:52 AM
I remember that query too...  inventive story idea.
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: JessicaOhSoRabbit on June 01, 2016, 10:28:06 AM
I did have quite the alternative path but in the end my query was successful so here it is:

Dear


Don’t show fear. Don’t attract attention. Don’t forget who the monsters are. Those are seventeen-year-old Janneke’s three rules to surviving in the Permafrost. Her family is dead, her village burned to the ground, and now she’s a slave in a court of merciless goblins. Though her master, Soren, offers her a small sphere of protection, it comes at the cost of abandoning humanity and their ways for good.

When the Goblin King is defeated in a fight, it ignites an ancient competition to become the next King. The goal is simple: kill the sacred White Stag before the other goblins kill you. Soren sees it as the perfect opportunity to shape Janneke’s acceptance of the goblins’ way and give in to the hatred and violence festering inside of her.

Janneke’s only hope for survival is to outrun, outfight, and out-kill every creature in her path, all the while dealing with Soren, whose fierce desire for her to be a goblin is shadowed by his fascination with her human heart. Hunting the Stag is Janneke’s best chance at revenge over those who enslaved her, but to succeed, she’ll have to watch her humanity bleed out like the creatures she’s sworn to kill.

WHITE STAG is an 87,000 YA High Fantasy inspired by Northern Germanic folklore and the poem “ Der Erlkönig” by Johann Wolfgang van Goethe. It is a standalone with series potential that will appeal to fans of Sarah Ahiers’s ASSASSIN’S HEART and Sarah J. Maas’s A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES.

A first draft of the novel is on Wattpad.com where it has garnered over 120,000 hits, a large following, and a consistent rank in the top twenty fantasy books on the site.
Thank you for your time.


Thank you for your time and consideration. The first ten pages are below as per your guidelines.
Sincerely,

Kara Barbieri


This query was amazing. I love goblins, I really do. And I love the fact that you got right to the point. I like when you said, "inspired by," I may use that, once its ready again.

On another note, I actually started adding a story on watt pad, I hope that it grows just as much as yours did. Those are pretty impressive stats.
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: Pandean on June 01, 2016, 10:54:24 AM
I did have quite the alternative path but in the end my query was successful so here it is:

Dear


Don’t show fear. Don’t attract attention. Don’t forget who the monsters are. Those are seventeen-year-old Janneke’s three rules to surviving in the Permafrost. Her family is dead, her village burned to the ground, and now she’s a slave in a court of merciless goblins. Though her master, Soren, offers her a small sphere of protection, it comes at the cost of abandoning humanity and their ways for good.

When the Goblin King is defeated in a fight, it ignites an ancient competition to become the next King. The goal is simple: kill the sacred White Stag before the other goblins kill you. Soren sees it as the perfect opportunity to shape Janneke’s acceptance of the goblins’ way and give in to the hatred and violence festering inside of her.

Janneke’s only hope for survival is to outrun, outfight, and out-kill every creature in her path, all the while dealing with Soren, whose fierce desire for her to be a goblin is shadowed by his fascination with her human heart. Hunting the Stag is Janneke’s best chance at revenge over those who enslaved her, but to succeed, she’ll have to watch her humanity bleed out like the creatures she’s sworn to kill.

WHITE STAG is an 87,000 YA High Fantasy inspired by Northern Germanic folklore and the poem “ Der Erlkönig” by Johann Wolfgang van Goethe. It is a standalone with series potential that will appeal to fans of Sarah Ahiers’s ASSASSIN’S HEART and Sarah J. Maas’s A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES.

A first draft of the novel is on Wattpad.com where it has garnered over 120,000 hits, a large following, and a consistent rank in the top twenty fantasy books on the site.
Thank you for your time.


Thank you for your time and consideration. The first ten pages are below as per your guidelines.
Sincerely,

Kara Barbieri


This query was amazing. I love goblins, I really do. And I love the fact that you got right to the point. I like when you said, "inspired by," I may use that, once its ready again.

On another note, I actually started adding a story on watt pad, I hope that it grows just as much as yours did. Those are pretty impressive stats.

Thanks. I'm kind of an anomaly because of how quickly I became popular, etc. My stats right now are at 158,000 reads and I get around 1-2 thousand per day.

Good luck!
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: Falthor on June 01, 2016, 11:07:47 AM
On another note, I actually started adding a story on watt pad, I hope that it grows just as much as yours did. Those are pretty impressive stats.

ah you need to lok us all up on wattpad, built in group of followers,etc...   I started a thread on wattpad usernames a couple weeks ago if you want to start there.
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: Pandean on June 01, 2016, 11:23:42 AM
On another note, I actually started adding a story on watt pad, I hope that it grows just as much as yours did. Those are pretty impressive stats.

ah you need to lok us all up on wattpad, built in group of followers,etc...   I started a thread on wattpad usernames a couple weeks ago if you want to start there.

Just a reminder that my success on Wattpad is an anomaly and that vey few stories are even picked up or anything. Honestly; you have better chances getting an agent.

ETA:

Of course that doesn't mean that you shouldn't post. It's fun. But it's not like a easier or foolproof way to become agented/etc. and I actually think the traditional route is easier. That being said you might not even care about that aspect.

I mainly just wanted to point out that getting a high amount of stats and all is probably less important than editing and querying and doing other things if you want to traditionally publish.

But Wattpad doesn't hurt you by any means.
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: JessicaOhSoRabbit on June 01, 2016, 02:15:20 PM
ah you need to lok us all up on wattpad, built in group of followers,etc...   I started a thread on wattpad usernames a couple weeks ago if you want to start there.

Oh this is perfect, where can I find this?
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: Falthor on June 01, 2016, 03:35:54 PM
Should be in the anything goes board on here.
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: Munley on February 19, 2017, 11:57:34 PM
Here's mine! It got me 17 full requests and 3 offers of rep (and like gkcatz and sparklyunicorn, my word count has grown since. It's 78,000 words now):

Quote
Dear (Agent):

Nineteen-year-old Elise Jameson may live in a silent world, but that doesn’t stop her from hearing voices in her head.

Deafened and scarred in a freak accident when she was younger, Elise forgoes the probing eyes of her peers in favor of the characters she creates on her laptop. What started as a coping mechanism shockingly turned into a career when her novels hit the best-seller list. Society has since become obsessed with the books and their author, a striking girl on the back cover who bears zero resemblance to Elise. That’s exactly what she wanted when Elise sent the randomly Googled photo to her editor after only a minor panic attack.

When they begin filming a television pilot of her books starring heartthrob Gavin Hartley—a lickable God of a man who makes her tingle in all the right places—Elise is horrified to learn they expect her on set. Elise tracks down the anonymous girl from the back of her books and begs her to take her place in the spotlight. To her surprise, Veronica Wilde has spent years reaping the rewards of her fake writing career. She jumps at the chance to continue the charade and hires Elise as her “assistant”. However, Elise soon realizes it’s not easy to watch someone else live her life and get everything she desires, including the actor of her dreams.

As she finds herself edged further and further onto the sidelines, Elise reconsiders her choice to stay in the shadows. But revealing her true identity could come at the cost of her career, her fans, and what few precious friendships she has.

FLIRTING WITH FAME is a New Adult contemporary romance, complete at 69,000 words.

I have my Bachelor's Degree in English.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

I love all your queries and want to read alllll the books!

All of the queries posted are good examples of effective queries. This one, though, strikes me as the best query I have ever read. Ever. And I've read zillions.

For one thing, the story is unique in its circumstances, but the fix Elise is in has universal elements most readers could translate to dilemmas in their own lives. You think you've fixed some problem, only to be propelled into an ever troubling one and faced with having to make a terrible choice.
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: slightlysmall on February 20, 2017, 04:12:37 PM
Here's mine! It got me 17 full requests and 3 offers of rep (and like gkcatz and sparklyunicorn, my word count has grown since. It's 78,000 words now):

Quote
Dear (Agent):

Nineteen-year-old Elise Jameson may live in a silent world, but that doesn’t stop her from hearing voices in her head.

Deafened and scarred in a freak accident when she was younger, Elise forgoes the probing eyes of her peers in favor of the characters she creates on her laptop. What started as a coping mechanism shockingly turned into a career when her novels hit the best-seller list. Society has since become obsessed with the books and their author, a striking girl on the back cover who bears zero resemblance to Elise. That’s exactly what she wanted when Elise sent the randomly Googled photo to her editor after only a minor panic attack.

When they begin filming a television pilot of her books starring heartthrob Gavin Hartley—a lickable God of a man who makes her tingle in all the right places—Elise is horrified to learn they expect her on set. Elise tracks down the anonymous girl from the back of her books and begs her to take her place in the spotlight. To her surprise, Veronica Wilde has spent years reaping the rewards of her fake writing career. She jumps at the chance to continue the charade and hires Elise as her “assistant”. However, Elise soon realizes it’s not easy to watch someone else live her life and get everything she desires, including the actor of her dreams.

As she finds herself edged further and further onto the sidelines, Elise reconsiders her choice to stay in the shadows. But revealing her true identity could come at the cost of her career, her fans, and what few precious friendships she has.

FLIRTING WITH FAME is a New Adult contemporary romance, complete at 69,000 words.

I have my Bachelor's Degree in English.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

I love all your queries and want to read alllll the books!

All of the queries posted are good examples of effective queries. This one, though, strikes me as the best query I have ever read. Ever. And I've read zillions.

For one thing, the story is unique in its circumstances, but the fix Elise is in has universal elements most readers could translate to dilemmas in their own lives. You think you've fixed some problem, only to be propelled into an ever troubling one and faced with having to make a terrible choice.

It is an excellent query. And it's out now (https://www.amazon.com/Flirting-Fame-Love-Disguise-Book-ebook/dp/B010MH1AW2/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1487628606&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=flirting+with+fame)! It's SO GOOD, and if it's possible, the sequel (which features Veronica Wilde) is even better.
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: Rachael846 on April 24, 2017, 05:26:25 PM
Kind of late on this, but thought I'd contribute here. This is the query I actually sent out. I think it's a little bit different from the one everyone liked in my query critique thread. Obviously my agent wasn't turned off by the query, but I don't actually know if it's what sold her on the concept. She's only ever mentioned how much she liked my first pages. (She asks for the first chapter with queries, but my first chapter is just one three page scene, so that's all she got from me.) So it might not be a great query, but it was good enough to get her to read the pages and then ask for the full, and then the manuscript did the heavy lifting.

I think the difference between what everyone liked and what I sent out was in the third paragraph, relating to the stakes. There was a sentence that flowed better but was more general, but I decided to err on the side of specificity. Like I said, I have no idea whether that mattered at all.

-----
Dear (Agent),

Fifty-two days ago, magically-inept Eliaga Hetzel was skipping school and considering joining the local rebels, while her sister, magically-gifted Yazelia, was dreaming about attending the continent's most prestigious university.

But that was fifty-two days ago—before the long-simmering civil war finally found its way to their doorstep, leaving their hometown in ruins after a devastating battle. With both armies desperate for fresh recruits, Eliaga knew the dangers her sister would face if they stayed. As they traveled through treacherous territory with other refugees by boat, dragon train, and on foot, her only goal was to keep Yazelia safe.

Now, the only valuable thing Eliaga has left is her own story. When a journalist offers to pay to hear it, Eliaga knows it's her best chance of keeping Yazelia's dream alive. But if she slips up and reveals the one part she can never share, not only will Yazelia's dream die, Eliaga could end up deported back to a war zone. Getting through the story won't be easy, not with all of the heartache and anger and magic threatening to boil over, but after everything that's happened, she's not going to let her sister down, not again.

RUIN AND REFUGE is a 91,000 word YA fantasy that combines the lush secondary worldbuilding of Marie Rutkoski's The Winner's Curse with the unreliable narrators and emotional twists found in Elizabeth Wein's Code Name Verity and Ruta Sepetys' Salt to the Sea. [One sentence of personal info.] Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
Me
My Twitter and Instagram handles
the other usuals...address, phone, email
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: Sarah Ahiers (Falen) on April 25, 2017, 08:15:50 AM
So it might not be a great query, but it was good enough to get her to read the pages and then ask for the full, and then the manuscript did the heavy lifting.

When I teach query classes the one thing I repeat over and over again is that the only job a query has is to get the agent to read the sample pages (or request pages if there are no samples.) So as long as it does that, it's an effective query.

All that said, I DO think this is a good query. Or at least I would read the sample pages if the query came to me.
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: Rachael846 on April 25, 2017, 05:03:47 PM
Thanks guys. :) It was really helpful to read all of these when I was working on it. Hopefully someone else can learn from mine now.
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: ejmccay on August 11, 2017, 01:56:11 AM
This is the query I sent out for an adult contemporary romance, Love in Reality.

Dear Agent:

Since you like romance, I think this might be right up your alley. Two broken hearts, and one sweet love story.

Dog groomer Penelope Cooper is happily single. The toilet seat is always down, and everything’s always where she left it. But her identical twin sister Paige thinks Penelope needs a little excitement. When she hears about the show Celebrity Proposal conducting a contest, Paige auditions as Penelope…and wins. Now, Penelope must play the game or her sister could face serious trouble.

Angus MacLachlan loved being Hollywood's hottest leading man until a bitter, high profile breakup with his agent—and subsequent bad behavior—soured audiences against him. Now he's got to charm everyone back into the theaters. What better way than a reality TV show where he supposedly falls in love? Instant image-fix and a great way to show the world he's back to being his charismatic, fun-loving self.

Penelope has no interest in Angus and the feeling is mutual; but ratings are ratings. Their on-screen fiery interactions leave the audience wanting more, and the producers seeing green. They’ve got twelve weeks of living together in a massive Montana lodge. And based on their interactions, the house isn’t big enough for the two of them.

LOVE IN REALITY is a complete Adult Contemporary Romance at 53K.

Per your guidelines I have pasted the first three chapters below.

Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you.
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: mafiaking1936 on August 15, 2017, 09:39:38 AM
If it's of interest to anyone, there's a post for successful queries in /r/pubtips: https://www.reddit.com/r/PubTips/comments/6slgyd/pubtip_agented_authors_post_successful_queries/ (https://www.reddit.com/r/PubTips/comments/6slgyd/pubtip_agented_authors_post_successful_queries/)
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: Munley on September 20, 2017, 01:16:18 AM
So it might not be a great query, but it was good enough to get her to read the pages and then ask for the full, and then the manuscript did the heavy lifting.

When I teach query classes the one thing I repeat over and over again is that the only job a query has is to get the agent to read the sample pages (or request pages if there are no samples.) So as long as it does that, it's an effective query.

All that said, I DO think this is a good query. Or at least I would read the sample pages if the query came to me.


It's easy to lose sight of this one simple principle  -- what the query's job is. This is a good reminder. Thanks.
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: JBeachum on March 15, 2018, 09:40:30 PM
[Agent],

I saw in your profile on WritersDigest.com that you have a passion for romance and angst. That immediately reminded me of my high school years, so I figured we'd be a great fit for each other.  I have written a book that combines the quirky comedy and love triangle goodness of the STEPHANIE PLUM novels with the mysteriously complicated, supernatural heroine elements of JESSICA JONES in NECROMANTIC, a 96,000-word paranormal mystery with romantic elements.
 
When Jesselyn -- a forever-twenty-seven-year-old necromancer -- spots her prey in a Manhattan night club, she assumes it’ll be like every other kill: a little flirting, a little teasing, and then a whole lot of vigilante justice. But after she murders her mark, who just happens to be a slick womanizing rapist, things get a little complicated. The body is found, the cops are called, and Jesselyn finds herself facing the slight inconvenience of a homicide investigation.

Oh, and she might have been caught on video. Thanks for nothing, drunk bachelorettes.

The cops aren’t a problem; Jesselyn’s been dodging cops for decades. And with the help of her new hacker friend, she can probably get her hands on that video before the police do. But the lead detective, a no-nonsense investigator named Cade Lane, is more perceptive than she’d like him to be -- and he seems to be spotting the holes in her alibi.

As Jesselyn continues to reanimate murder victims in order to identify and eliminate their killers, she must balance staying ahead of Cade with doing the unthinkable: falling for him.

More than anything, Jesselyn wants to break the curse that binds her to a life of killing, but doing so means facing the grievous sins that earned her that curse back in 1863.

She’s not ready to relive the mistakes of her youth in antebellum Mississippi, but a girl can only take so much of the law into her own hands, and at some point, Jesselyn will have to decide whether love or honesty is more important -- and whether she can truly have one without the other.

Writing has been my passion for a long time; that’s actually how I began my marketing career long ago -- moonlighting as a freelance copywriter while serving as an intelligence officer in the Air Force. Now, I’m a senior marketing consultant with a digital marketing agency in Alabama. Although it stands on its own, my hope is that Necromantic will be the first in a series, or at least the first of many novels in a long writing career. I have several other projects in the works currently, both fiction across multiple genres and nonfiction in two different areas.

I am querying other agents, and several are currently considering the full manuscript. I look forward to hearing from you.

Warm regards,

Joey Beachum

[Contact info]
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: Munley on April 25, 2018, 09:12:29 PM
Great query, JBeachum!
Congratulations on getting representation.  :up:
Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: pamelalpan on April 09, 2019, 02:34:08 PM
This is well-written. I love it!



I did have quite the alternative path but in the end my query was successful so here it is:

Dear


Don’t show fear. Don’t attract attention. Don’t forget who the monsters are. Those are seventeen-year-old Janneke’s three rules to surviving in the Permafrost. Her family is dead, her village burned to the ground, and now she’s a slave in a court of merciless goblins. Though her master, Soren, offers her a small sphere of protection, it comes at the cost of abandoning humanity and their ways for good.

When the Goblin King is defeated in a fight, it ignites an ancient competition to become the next King. The goal is simple: kill the sacred White Stag before the other goblins kill you. Soren sees it as the perfect opportunity to shape Janneke’s acceptance of the goblins’ way and give in to the hatred and violence festering inside of her.

Janneke’s only hope for survival is to outrun, outfight, and out-kill every creature in her path, all the while dealing with Soren, whose fierce desire for her to be a goblin is shadowed by his fascination with her human heart. Hunting the Stag is Janneke’s best chance at revenge over those who enslaved her, but to succeed, she’ll have to watch her humanity bleed out like the creatures she’s sworn to kill.

WHITE STAG is an 87,000 YA High Fantasy inspired by Northern Germanic folklore and the poem “ Der Erlkönig” by Johann Wolfgang van Goethe. It is a standalone with series potential that will appeal to fans of Sarah Ahiers’s ASSASSIN’S HEART and Sarah J. Maas’s A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES.

A first draft of the novel is on Wattpad.com where it has garnered over 120,000 hits, a large following, and a consistent rank in the top twenty fantasy books on the site.
Thank you for your time.


Thank you for your time and consideration. The first ten pages are below as per your guidelines.
Sincerely,

Kara Barbieri

Title: Re: Successful queries
Post by: BeeJul on May 06, 2019, 09:11:48 AM
Dear AGENT,

I'm currently seeking representation for my first novel, TO TASTE THE STARS. Inspired by the true story of Veuve Clicquot, the book (complete at 105,000 words) traces five generations of women through the lead-up and immediate aftermath of two world wars as they turn their family business into the world's most glamorous house of Champagne. The story will appeal to readers of Kate Quinn's The Alice Network,  Kristin Hannah's The Nightingale, and Martha Hall Kelly's Lilac Girls. I hope you will agree that I'd make a good addition to your list.

When Marianne Talbotier’s father, the scion of France’s most prestigious house of Champagne, commits suicide in 1900, he leaves her mother Eleanor with a choice. Should she do what it is assumed she will and allow someone else to run the family business, or defy society’s expectations and take the reins herself?

With the help of her husband’s vintner, Eleanor accepts her new role as the head of Maison Talbotier. But the vintner is an abusive and bitter man, and when he violently attacks his own son, René, Marianne kills him while trying to save her friend. Bonded by the secret of the vintner's death, René and Marianne become each other’s closest confidantes. René doesn’t reciprocate Marianne’s desire for more, however, and so eventually, Marianne has a choice of her own to make. Widows may inherit property, but unmarried women cannot; to keep Maison Talbotier, Marianne marries a childhood friend, Viktor.

Viktor is German, though, and is expelled from France as World War I looms. When he returns as weinführer at the outbreak of World War II, bent on revenge and responsible for ensuring that Reims' best Champagne ends up in Nazi hands, Marianne is faced with one last choice: reconcile with Viktor and save herself from the hardships of occupation, or maintain her independence and risk his wrath?

For Marianne’s daughter Delphine, the decision is easy. Horrified to learn that her father is a Nazi, she organizes Reims’ Champagne producers in resistance. Working together with the other women of Maison Talbotier, Marianne and Delphine find that standing up for yourself doesn’t mean standing alone, and Marianne, Delphine, and Delphine’s baby daughter Aurelie survive to celebrate the end of the war.

I am a communications professional and a life-long Francophile, having spent several months surfing in Biarritz, cutting wild lavender on a mountainside farm outside Grasse, and studying at the Sorbonne. And while my French remains regrettable, I try to make up for it with my prodigious consumption of Champagne. 

Thank you for your consideration.