Thursday, September 30, 2010

3 Query Letter #14

Query Letter #14
Name: Suzie Musin
Title: TIME WILL TELL
Genre: Young Adult Scifi

Dear Ms. LaPolla,

I'd love to interest you in TIME WILL TELL, my 70,000-word Young Adult novel about Vera, a teenage girl used as a pawn in a war between time travelers who wishes she could choose her own future.

Vera’s hard-hearted father kidnapped her when she was three from 16th century France. Like him, fifteen-year-old Vera will gain the genetic ability to time travel, earning an elite position in the covert Guild of Travelers. In hopes of impressing her father, she earns a trip to ancient Rome for perfect grades. In Rome, she encounters Ethan, a Guild operative. He already knows her name and reads her like a book.

When an enemy agent attacks them in an ongoing war that pits Guild members against Guild defectors who believe changing history is immoral, Vera’s traveling powers activate years before it’s thought possible. Untrained in leading a time jump, she fumbles through the experience and Ethan never makes it back to 21st century Chicago. He could be anywhere, anytime, unable to travel, dead or alive.

Back home, Vera meets Felix, her genetically compatible match whom she’s expected to marry one day, and also a confrontational boy with sharp intelligence...named Ethan. Now he’s her age and by law, she cannot reveal his unfortunate future. In pursuit of the elder Ethan’s location, Vera discovers the enemy knows what sparked her premature abilities. They’ve waited years for her activated powers to set their plan into motion.

I enjoy your blog and your literary tastes are in tune with mine, so I thought we might fit. I’m pursuing a degree in history and children’s literature. I blog here: http://www.forgottenstory.com

Thank you for your consideration.

Best regards,

Suzie Musin

3 comments:

  1. Suzie,

    Hi! Nice job, I think it's come a long way. The biggest trouble I had was with the first two paragraphs:

    "I'd love to interest you in TIME WILL TELL, my 70,000-word Young Adult novel about Vera, a teenage girl used as a pawn in a war between time travelers who wishes she could choose her own future." Don't say I'd love to interest you, she knows that. She assumes that's why you sent a query. Always eliminate obvious sentences like this to look a bit more professional, nothing like, "I wrote a fictional novel" novels are fiction for example. Another little thing - you don't have to say both "teenage girl" and "Young Adult" novel. Both indicate the same thing. Small beans I know, but I thought I'd point it out, to streamline as much as possible. Try: In my YA Fantasy, TIME WILL TELL, Vera becomes a pawn...

    Now:
    "Vera’s hard-hearted father kidnapped her when she was three from 16th century France. Like him, fifteen-year-old Vera will gain the genetic ability to time travel, earning an elite position in the covert Guild of Travelers. In hopes of impressing her father, she earns a trip to ancient Rome for perfect grades. In Rome, she encounters Ethan, a Guild operative. He already knows her name and reads her like a book."

    You skip right from when she's three to fifteen. Just put in a word like, "Now, at fifteen..." Plus I was left wondering why if her father kidnaps her in the first sentence, she'd want to impress him. It sounded negative to me. And I don't think you want any questions like that or confusion right off the bat. Because then she may not go on to read your fabulous summary or more important still, your novel!

    I wish you best of luck on your journey. I'm sure you will find a home for such a creative book. In the meantime, just keep writing. The more you do, the better you get, the more opportunities will come your way. That's my best advice for everyone - including myself!!

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  2. Great story Suzie. I really enjoyed the query and your story. I agree with Lisa's comment about how to start the first paragraph. I'd take out the part about her father kidnapping her in paragraph 2 and just start with Vera at 15 like Lisa suggested.

    I think you go on to explain the story well and I could follow it. I wasn't confused. My only suggestion is to end with a stronger choice at the end. Good luck. It sounds like a great story.

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  3. I agree with the two comments above. I also think you may have a few too many characters in your query - the MC, her father, Ethan, Felix, and the shadowy enemy. It's a bit much to digest in only 300 words.

    If the father is important to the rest of the plot (working for the enemy perhaps?), then a hint of that later in the query would make more sense.

    Felix really doesn't need to be named, unless he plays a VIP role aside from romantic foil. And Ethan confused me - I thought immediately he was the love interest, but only later is he "her age" and that threw me.

    Overall, a good query and a very intriguing project! Best of luck!

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