Hana Lee (K_Hana_Lee on QT) has signed with agent Paul Lucas of Janklow & Nesbit Associates.
Some agencies have guidelines on their website for what the query letter should look like. I tried to tailor my query to fit their guidelines--if they said the pitch should only be a single paragraph, I sent a single paragraph. But the only version of my query that I had much success with was the long-form version structured in the typical way: 1 paragraph housekeeping, 2-3 paragraphs pitch, and 1 paragraph bio. I don't think the short form was enough to convey the heart of my story.
Dear Mr. Lucas:
I am an admirer of your client, R. A. Salvatore, for his character Drizzt's longstanding influence on the Dungeons & Dragons community. Since my novel was inspired by a tabletop RPG campaign, I thought it only fitting that I should send you a query.
VALIANT, a dark adult fantasy complete at 120,000 words, features a nonbinary shapeshifter protagonist who combines the false-facing exploits of Scott Lynch's THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA with the reluctant heroism of Martha Wells's THE MURDERBOT DIARIES.
Akita's life is a lie, an endless parade of stolen skins. After years of scraping by in a coastal city, witness to every human vice under the sun, Akita has learned one lesson: they cannot trust humans with their secret. The lawless North welcomes no one, least of all a half-breed kumiho.
When Akita is kidnapped by slavers, they meet Casmir, an ex-knight who seeks an honorable death. As the pair fight their way to freedom, Akita comes to trust Casmir. He's brave, virtuous, and believes in Akita's potential for good. Just one problem—everything Akita tells him about themselves is a lie.
Casmir's determined to take the slaving operation down, even if it costs his life. Akita can only save him by using their monstrous abilities to kill the slavers first. Akita isn't like other monsters, but their kin's bloody reputation is damning. If Casmir discovers their secret, it won't just destroy their friendship—he might kill them.
Akita faces an impossible choice: maintain the lie and risk Casmir's life, or risk their own by revealing the truth.
I am biracial Korean-American, and my stories revolve around being a child of two cultures. VALIANT draws inspiration from the kumiho, a shapeshifting vulpine trickster from Korean legend. Although I'm not a medieval fantasy protagonist, I live out my Dark Age dreams by fencing, doing archery, and trying not to catch the plague.
Thank you for your consideration.