Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My query!

Hey guys! Sorry for the long radio silence. I was on vacation for two weeks - one week with my parents in Florida, and one in beautiful San Diego, California. And also, some of you may have seen my various cryptic comments about good news. There have been many more developments since my last post. Expect to see a post about that within the next few days. But know that it's pretty awesome stuff!

And in the meantime, I wanted to share my query with you all! It is certainly not perfect, but it lead to my... good news. (I know, I'm such a tease.) Also, compared to the query from my last project, the difference in request rates was about 40%. Maybe that means the premise was more intriguing, but I like to think I got better at queries? Maybe? I will still always be jealous of people with the ability to write kickass queries, though. (THE LIAR SOCIETY, SOULLESS, Gennifer Albin's upcoming CREWEL... I could go on, but we'd be here a while.)

Anyway. Here's mine!

Dear [Fabulous Literary Agent],

The city of Surya was devoured by the ground itself. Sixteen-year-old Kalinda grew up hearing the story, but she doesn't believe it - no one does anymore. And even if it were true, no one’s been down to the ground for hundreds of years. They’re supposed to be safe.

When the entire population of a nearby city vanishes overnight, Kalinda sees the parallels to Surya, but she volunteers for the search team anyway. Her dream of joining the prestigious Inspectors force might be out of her reach - young and female isn't a winning combination, and her own self-doubt isn't helping - but maybe this way she can help someone. That is, if there's anyone left to help. The city lies undisturbed, as if everyone suddenly stood up and walked away.

But the city isn't empty. Its people reappear at sunset, replaying the moments before their disappearance. Piecing these echoes together may be the only way to figure out what happened that night. But the more Kalinda learns, the more she suspects that someone tried to recreate Surya - and she knows how that story ended. The missing people might be beyond her help after all. But to run away means proving her worst fear true: that she's as weak as everyone thinks she is.

At least she got her wish. Someone's finally noticed her.

THE HUNGRY GROUND is a young adult fantasy manuscript with elements of horror. It is complete at 74,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Now, this is obviously the bare bones format, but that last paragraph has lots of space for personalization.

I think this is probably the eighth draft or so. I stuck fairly close to the first draft for the first six revisions, until I was told to start from scratch. My first reaction was, "But... but it took me so long to get even this far!" But as soon as I started rewriting, it really clicked for me. So if you struggle with queries like I do and find yourself repeatedly hitting a wall, definitely try starting over. It really frees things up.

That's it for me today. Stay tuned for the good news!


  1. I've seen THE HUNGRY GROUND in logline and excerpt contests and such, and have always thought it sounded awesome! Best of luck with it :)

  2. Wow, thank you so much, Jess! I'm so happy that it made an impression on you! :D

  3. It's awesome to read at last the query that goes with the logline. I'm always jealous of our agents who get to find out more about these awesome-sounding projects!