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Author Topic: Query for THE MAGIC GROMMET  (Read 15273 times)
munley
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« on: December 21, 2014, 11:30:16 PM »

Dear Agent:

Thirteen-year-old Byron has always been a loser. That is, until one day, when helping his dad fold up a blue tarp they’d been raking leaves onto, one of the metal grommets drops out of the hemmed section of the tarp and goes rolling across his father’s shoe.

It just so happened that they’d  been arguing about Byron not being allowed to take the car on a date that night because Byron didn’t even have a license. When that grommet catches Dad’s eye, Dad lunges for it, thinking it’s a coin. He never even notices Byron grabbing his keys and taking off with the car.

From that day on, every wish Byron ever had comes true as he becomes endowed with a special power to distract  anyone— Mom, Dad, teacher, neighbor, cops — who refuses him anything. All he has to do is surreptitiously drop that grommet within their peripheral view and they go: “Ooh, what was that?”  Before you know it, Byron is scurrying away with whatever prize he was after, leaving the authorities crawling after the grommet in the dust. Byron never worries about anyone stealing the steel ring that gives him so much power. After all, it’s only a little grommet from an old blue tarp.

But he should worry. Someone somewhere will catch on, prepared to fight Byron to the death for that ring.

THE MAGIC GROMMET is a New Adult novel, complete at 73,000 words.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Munley
« Last Edit: December 21, 2014, 11:39:11 PM by Munley » Logged
Pandean
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« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2014, 12:29:43 AM »

I would actually read this: Not kidding.
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WHITE STAG, an internet phenomenon, has been acquired by St. Martin's Press/Wednesday Books for publication in Winter 2019
munley
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« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2014, 01:07:46 AM »

I would actually read this: Not kidding.

Hmmm. Maybe I should write it when I'm done my WIP.
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gckatz
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« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2014, 12:00:42 PM »

Quality of the book aside, this is a really well-written query. It's clear, concise, and well-organized. Not worst at all.
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munley
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« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2014, 12:16:17 PM »

Quality of the book aside, this is a really well-written query. It's clear, concise, and well-organized. Not worst at all.

I hate to say it, but it strikes me as a better query than anything I've ever come up with for the books I have written. It took me about 10 minutes to write it, too. Wondering why that is.

One guess it that, since I have not actually written The Magic Grommet, I'm not struggling what to leave out of the query. That has always been a major struggle for me with my real books.
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« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2014, 12:33:11 PM »

One guess it that, since I have not actually written The Magic Grommet, I'm not struggling what to leave out of the query. That has always been a major struggle for me with my real books.

This. I wrote a really intriguing query for NaNo before I wrote the book, and all subsequent attempts have SUCKED. Naturally, very little of what I wrote in that original blurb actually made it into the book...
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« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2014, 01:08:42 PM »

Am I the only one who wonders how you knew what a grommet was?
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WHITE STAG, an internet phenomenon, has been acquired by St. Martin's Press/Wednesday Books for publication in Winter 2019
munley
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« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2014, 02:44:33 PM »

Kodi  -  I've handled lots of tarps over the years, from using them as ground covers under camping tents to haul-aways for leaves, sod, and various dig-ups while working on a university landscape crew for nearly ten years. Tarps, thanks to their beloved grommets along the edges, also make good sunshades as well as rain covers and tie-downs at a campground and over a woodpile. I can think of so many more uses, that you'd have to smack me to get me to stop.

I love grommets!

SS - I think I'd go down the same road if I wrote this book.
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« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2014, 10:44:04 AM »

That sounds like a winner to me, Munley.

These worst queries are so much fun to write. Actually, I learned a lot from writing a few of these. My fake queries were so much more interesting than my real ones.

I once placed one of my fake queries in a batch of queries that would be read aloud and then analyzed by a panel of three literary agents and two editors during one of the morning sessions at a writers conference.

To my surprise, my query was the sixth one selected, from the pile of printed sheets, and read aloud. I used a pen name for fear I would ruin any chances of ever getting published, if the panel learned it was fake.

Two literary agents and one editor said they would request more from the writer. One agent asked if the writer was in the audience. I never said a word and did not stand up.

Daniel Lazar was the agent who asked if the writer was in the audience. I met him later in the day and spoke with him for about five minutes. I did not mention anything about the query that had been read aloud that morning. I later submitted my real query, for my suspense novel, to him by email. He rejected it.

I no longer attend as many conferences as I did years ago, but When I do, I always enjoy meeting other writers and people in the industry. I tend to be a bit more serious than I was back in those days.

Here is a bit of advice for new writers. Become a volunteer at writers conferences. You'll get to spend quality time with literary agents, famous writers, and publishers. Don't spend that time pitching. Spend it learning from the person sitting across the table from you at dinner, or lunch, or seated next to you on that drive from the airport.

Don't worry. They know you are a writer and are busting at the seams to tell them about your story. Wait until they ask you, and they will. Then give it your best. You might have exactly what they want.

Sorry, Munley, I got off topic. I have that a problem often.









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Author of humorous short stories, mainstream suspense, mystery, and thriller novels.

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« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2014, 06:05:52 PM »

Dear Munley,

I received your query and first chapter, and would like to read your full manuscript, immediately.  I can spot a good story, and boy, have you got a winner here with series potential that could make the both of us a tarp-load of money.

Please tell me you've already started on the next book of the series.  I imagine they are writing themselves, how could they not?  Your grommet comes from a family, a family in which every member has his or her own special ability.  Right?  I'm guessing they leave the tarp and go in search of their lost kin, having to dodge the ever-so-power-hungry humans along the way while also avoiding train tracks that could flatten the magic right out of their perfectly round bodies. 

I'm hoping the next one has either the power of invisibility after it rolls into a corner where it seems there is no possibility of escape, but it can't be found, or the ability to lie perfectly flat and mess with skateboarders. 

How many grommets are there to a tarp?  Most specifically, how many from the particular tarp in your story?  I'm trying to calculate the number of books I could contract you to write, while also keeping in mind a prequel after the series has run its course so we can drop a story about how they all came to have their magical powers so we can renew interest in the series, increasing sales again.  It's more moolah for you and I.   

Sincerely,

Ima Round
Oblique Literary Agency
100 Circular Drive
NY, NY
« Last Edit: December 28, 2014, 06:08:27 PM by ece007 » Logged

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munley
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« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2014, 11:02:07 PM »

N-Butt,
What a great story! It has a welcome spot in this thread. Now that I think of it, there's a certain irony in writing the bullsh** queries. As an author "launching a publishing career," the stakes for me are non-existent as I come up with the conflict and stakes for my protagonist. What, me worry? Maybe I just write better when I have absolutely nothing to lose.  zen

Dear Munley,

I received your query and first chapter, and would like to read your full manuscript, immediately.  I can spot a good story, and boy, have you got a winner here with series potential that could make the both of us a tarp-load of money.

Please tell me you've already started on the next book of the series.  I imagine they are writing themselves, how could they not?  Your grommet comes from a family, a family in which every member has his or her own special ability.  Right?  I'm guessing they leave the tarp and go in search of their lost kin, having to dodge the ever-so-power-hungry humans along the way while also avoiding train tracks that could flatten the magic right out of their perfectly round bodies. 

I'm hoping the next one has either the power of invisibility after it rolls into a corner where it seems there is no possibility of escape, but it can't be found, or the ability to lie perfectly flat and mess with skateboarders. 

How many grommets are there to a tarp?  Most specifically, how many from the particular tarp in your story?  I'm trying to calculate the number of books I could contract you to write, while also keeping in mind a prequel after the series has run its course so we can drop a story about how they all came to have their magical powers so we can renew interest in the series, increasing sales again.  It's more moolah for you and I.   

Sincerely,

Ima Round
Oblique Literary Agency
100 Circular Drive
NY, NY

Dear Ms. Round:

I think you're in the wrong business. You should write that amazing, complex story and find an agent for yourself.

Alas, my MC is simple and unique, and so is his magic grommet. He is Lord of only One Ring. You must be disappointed.

By the way, I'm withdrawing my work from your consideration.  You're too goddamn greedy.

Author

Munley
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munley
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« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2015, 07:58:38 PM »

I can't believe it!  I sent out a dozen queries, but somehow I got requests for 62 Fulls and 81 Partials. 

Go figure.

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Munley
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« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2018, 06:43:24 AM »

I'm beginning to wish I had actually written this book. I'd be a zillionaire by now.
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