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Query Letter

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Old 09-24-2015, 02:50 AM
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Default Query Letter


I haven't seen much posted here about query letters, so I thought I'd post mine for both comment and introduction. While I'm 99% certain I'm self publishing my YA novel, producing a worthwhile query letter has been incredibly instructive.

Mainly, I gained a fabulous exercise working through how to talk about my book. You may not even be thinking about sending out a query letter, but so what? I couldn't recommend this exercise enough.

A great query letter reference: Query Shark. I used one of the best query letters I found as a starting point for my own.

Oh, and if you want to check out the story I'm introducing below, you can jump in with the Prologue. I've included two other chapters that follow.
Dear [Ms./Mr. Whomever]:

What if I told you Stonehenge was both a prison and a prism used to break the world in two--creating a world with magic and one without? It’s OK. You can say it. You don’t believe me.

Unfortunately, Charlotte doesn’t have the option of not believing. Morrigan, the witch imprisoned in Stonehenge, escaped and kidnapped Charlotte’s dad a year ago. Today Charlotte’s mom is obsessed with finding him. And soon animals three times their proper size will ask Charlotte to fight the witch and save the worlds. She might even get to rescue her dad.

It’s a lot to ask from an eight-year old.

Morrigan wants to finish the war she started 5,000 years ago. She should have an easy time of it since the wizards and witches who built Stonehenge gave up their magical powers to stop her. Only the fabled Champion can stop Morrigan now, but that powerful warrior is nowhere to be found.

Charlotte didn’t mean to become the Champion. She was just running away from her mom when she accidentally traveled to the magical world. But there she is, stuck in a world where magic threatens to kill her unless she learns how to use it. If only Charlotte had more than three days.

She doesn’t. Morrigan’s forces are ready light the world on fire. Charlotte’s mom is doing what she can stuck on Earth, but it’s up to Charlotte to stop Morrigan. Charlotte and her new friends: a goofy squirrel, a wolf who hates her, and a badger who knows much more than he’s telling.

CHARLOTTE GNOLL is an 84,000 word Young Adult fantasy with series and crossover potential. It will appeal to fans of Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series and C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia. I am an American economist living in Germany, writing into the ether at www.pswgear.com.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

p.s.w. gear

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Old 09-26-2015, 01:48 PM
Binx B
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I've been watching this, thinking eventually someone who's had some experience or success writing a query letter would respond.

I'm going to be useless. I don't read fantasy and I've never read Y.A. But having at least looked into the process a tiny bit, it looks good to me. I guess I am wondering how a wolf that hates Charlotte could be her friend.

I guess if you're not actually using it you might be wasting their time, but were you thinking about submitting this to Query Shark for the heck of it?

I haven't had to talk about my book, because know one knows I'm writing it. Well, except my spousal unit, and she doesn't seem to be all the interested.

Anyway, thanks for the heads up and link to Query Shark. It looks like a great resource.
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Old 09-27-2015, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Binx B View Post
I'm going to be useless. I don't read fantasy and I've never read Y.A. But having at least looked into the process a tiny bit, it looks good to me. I guess I am wondering how a wolf that hates Charlotte could be her friend.
Cheers, anyway! I appreciate the read through.

Originally Posted by Binx B View Post
I guess if you're not actually using it you might be wasting their time, but were you thinking about submitting this to Query Shark for the heck of it?
Well, I am legitimately looking to see if someone's super excited about the project. In my experience with this book, an editor will either respond in 2 weeks or won't respond at all. So I don't feel like I'm jerking them around...too much.

I doubt I'll submit this to Query Shark. For this book, I've done a lot of things backasswards, including the query thing. Next time up, I'll get the query done before the first edit (as long as I have a solid grasp on what the book should be). That way the query process (at least a month of time), can get going while I'm doing other things related to the project.

Originally Posted by Binx B View Post
I haven't had to talk about my book, because know one knows I'm writing it. Well, except my spousal unit, and she doesn't seem to be all the interested.
Hah, my partner is about as tired of this book as I am. 3 years is a long damn time.
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Old 09-28-2015, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by pswgear View Post

Hah, my partner is about as tired of this book as I am. 3 years is a long damn time.
Mine's mildly supportive. But it's not like she says, "Hey, I've got everything under control; kids, house, yard etc., and I don't need any time to myself. Why don't you go write your novel, and take all the time you need!"
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