Tara Dairman (wheaties on QT) has signed with agent Ammi-Joan Paquette of Erin Murphy Literary Agency.
Gladys Gatsby has dreamed of becoming a restaurant critic for The New York Times—she just didn’t expect to be assigned her first review at age 11. Now, if she wants to meet her deadline and hang on to her dream job, she’ll have to defy her fast-food-loving parents, cook her way into the heart of her sixth-grade archenemy, and battle Manhattan’s meanest maitre d’.
In 2009, my new husband and I quit our jobs and embarked on a two-year, round-the-world honeymoon. I packed my novel-in-progress in my backpack and swore that when we came home, I’d have a finished draft. I managed a day of work here and there, but the real breakthrough came in September of 2010, when my husband decided to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro and I didn’t. Suddenly I was alone for six days in a small town in Tanzania with absolutely nothing to do but write. So I wrote all day every day and knocked out the last 40% that week.
Then I put it BACK in my backpack for another eight months while we finished our trip! When we returned to the states in June of 2011 I was finally able to type it up, share it with my writers’ group, and start revising.
Now that I don’t have the excuse of being on the road anymore, I’m trying to develop more of a “routine.”
If you need query help, the success stories here on QueryTracker feature great examples of queries that worked. And the “Agent’s Inbox” contest at motherwrite.blogspot.com is another great resource, as you can see peer and agent commentary on both queries and first pages.
Dear Ms. Agent:
Eleven-year-old Gladys Gatsby loves to cook, but no one in fast-food-obsessed East Dumpsford shares her passion—especially not her parents, who ban her from the kitchen after one teeny, tiny crème-brulée-triggered fire. Gladys finds a new creative outlet in an essay contest in which she writes about her dream job: becoming a restaurant critic for The New York Times. But when her essay lands on a Times editor’s desk, Gladys finds herself taking on that job a lot sooner than she expected!
Her first assignment: review Classy Cakes, a fancy new “dessert bistro” in New York City. To sneak into the city and the restaurant, Gladys will need help from every friend she’s got—and possibly from her worst enemy, Charissa Bentley. The most popular mean girl in the sixth grade is having a birthday party in Manhattan, and if Gladys can get herself invited, she just might manage to meet her deadline and hang on to her dream job.
GLADYS GATSBY TAKES THE CAKE is a 47,000-word, humorous middle-grade novel about a girl who can’t wait to be a grown-up, even if that means biting off more (delicious, gourmet food) than she can chew. The novel stands alone but has series potential.
I graduated from Dartmouth College with a B.A. in Creative Writing and have a play published in the anthology FISHAMBLE FIRSTS (New Island, 2008). My plays and screenplays have been shortlisted for several major awards, which are detailed on my website, taradairman.com.
I would be happy to send my complete manuscript upon your request and have pasted the first [however many] pages below. Thank you so much for your consideration.