Thursday, June 4, 2009

Query letter #10: Lin W

Dear Agent ,

MYSTICA is a completed 90,000 word YA fantasy tale where the strong heroine in A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY meets the suspense and conflict in THE CITY OF BONES.
[Avoid mentioning other people's novels completely or, if you have to do it, wait until the end of the query. If you mention them this early, I will think your work is derivative - and that's if I recognise the novels you mention. If I don't recognise them, I just won't understand what you're telling me. However, agents in Australia have to work across the whole gamut of titles - we usually can't afford to specialise - so we won't know all the big novels in any given genre. Agents in the US can and do specialise, so my advice would probably be different if you're querying in the US, as those agents may expect these sorts of references.]

Anastasia never believed in ghosts, though they have always haunted her glamorous city. But then she encounters Duncan Fae – a charming druid ordered to suicide for treason years ago. [Rock and roll! I like this story already.] When Duncan declares himself her birth father, a deep anger resurfaces from within Anastasia’s memory, enabling her to unlock a power that is more of a curse than a blessing. [I'm still interested.]

Commoners and nobles alike fear her unique ability to summon flames – as well as her inability to tame them – especially when nobles are murdered and orphans vanish without a trace. Unsure of whom to trust, yet desperate to save her city, Anastasia must venture into a labyrinth of class war and forbidden love, a world of haunted vaults, abandoned ruins, and extravagant palaces. Duncan Fae is willing to do anything for revenge, and murder is just the beginning of his plans. [It's still rock and roll - nice work.]

My magical realism story [which story?] captured 1st place in the 2009 Joshua Weinzweig National Postcard Fiction Contest, while my speculative prose poem placed 3rd the 2009 OddCon Speculative Fiction contest. For more information, please visit my writing blog: [It's good to mention the URL but please also tell me a bit about you - why do you write in this genre, when did you start writing - and don't forget to tell me why I should read your novel.]

Thank you for considering my query.

Lin W

Status: provisionally APPROVED - I need more information about the author but the lack of it wouldn't stop me wanting to read the manuscript.


Lin said...

Thank you so much for critiquing my query letter! This is still a draft, as I'm still in the writing/editing phrase.

It is great to know I'm heading in the right direction. Thanks also for the suggestions.

Havock21 said...

THAT, was very interesting to read, given in th not to distant future I plan I having to do the same.

well one, and its great to see the comments too.