Shannon Grogan (Shannywriter on QT) has signed with agent Sarah Davies of Greenhouse Literary Agency.
Because of prior bad experiences, when I started this story I opened up a file called ‘query’ so I could copy and paste or make notes to put in there as I went along. I also worked on my query for about 3 months, then had it critiqued, and then a little fine-tuning before I sent it out. I also picked a couple of agents that I wouldn’t have been devastated if they rejected me, to send out test queries. Sure enough, I got rejected on those two. I promised myself I wouldn’t query my top choice--who is now my agent--until I had received at least one full request.
So I tweaked the query a little bit. Then--and this is why everyone using QT needs to add in their comments on the agent pages--I was able to see one writer who had a YA thriller and noticed she had gotten many requests and offers. All of the agents she got requests on were on my list, so I was able to target them first, knowing they had just requested her suspense book. I received my first full request after my 5th or 6th query, and then the requests just kept coming. It was so different then the last story I queried.
Dear Ms. Davies,
I had the privilege of a manuscript consultation with you at the SCBWI Western Washington Conference (Seattle) in April 2011. You gave me awesome, specific feedback and nominated this story for a Most Promising Work in Progress and asked me to query you when I was finished. Your words stayed with me throughout the story, and finishing took a little longer than I expected but here it is!
Sixteen-year-old Kara McKinley thinks winning a national baking contest will help her escape her life, which includes her Holy Roller mom and the stalker who might have killed her sister.
Kara is alone.
She tries to be a girl who cuts class to smoke weed. But her sister isn’t around anymore to teach her, or to tell her what a cookie-baking loser she is. And even though her sister is dead, Kara can’t escape what she did to her before she died, or the creepy stalker notes she’s now getting at school.
He follows Kara, hiding and leaving her love notes. So when a teacher encourages her to enter a national baking contest, Kara sees her escape--the prize, a scholarship to culinary school in California.
Kara works on her plan for winning the contest but there are distractions: like that guy who hangs out in Mom’s café, the unanswered questions about her sister’s death, and her stalker--he’s getting closer, his notes more frequent and disturbing. Kara has no one she trusts enough to tell, and if she doesn’t figure out who he is, she’ll lose everything. Her chance to escape. And her life.
WHERE I WATCH YOU, my upper YA suspense, is complete at 79,000 words. The first 5 pages are below. Thanks so much for your consideration and it was wonderful to meet you!