Thursday, September 30, 2010

3 Query Letter #18

Query Letter #18
Name: June Goodwin
Title: Paying for the Sins of My Father
Genre: Young Adult

Dear Ms. LaPolla:

Hell is just a few states south of New Jersey. When fourteen-year-old Sky Forrester moves from New York to South Carolina, she learns that some of the inhabitants of her new hometown are not what they appear to be—and they have plans for her.

Sky’s father has bilked a lot of people out of a lot of money. When he’s incarcerated, she thinks life can’t get any darker. She’s wrong. One victim believes her own special brand of punishment is called for. This woman has connections, but they’re not of this world. Immortal avenger, Ryan, is part of “the network”, evil and deadly. His mission: make sure the sins of the father are passed on to the next generation. That means Sky. Leading her astray and ruining her life is the perfect fix. There’s just one problem. Ryan doesn’t want to do it. He wants to be a normal boy, a good boy. And he’s falling in love. That is definitely not part of the plan.

The network is not going to allow a rogue member to go unpunished or the mission to be aborted. As Sky and Ryan struggle through love for the first time and try to survive the wicked forces set into motion, they discover it is possible to transform and be someone better than you were, but you may have to pay a price for it.

Paying for the Sins of My Father is a 95,000-word, young adult novel. At the present time, I counsel emotionally disturbed children. I’m a member of SCBWI and regularly attend writer conferences and workshops. Thank you. Your time and consideration are appreciated.


June Goodwin


  1. The length of this query seems good--not too long for busy agents. I like your first paragraph; it creates immediate interest, especially the first sentence. The second paragraph reads well, except perhaps for a few too many short, choppy sentences. I'd combine a couple for more variety and a less-choppy sound/feel.

    I'm not sure attending conferences and workshops is a worthy credential to mention. Even bad writers can attend conferences. LOL I usually say, "I'm an active member of the SCBWI." That implies conferences and retreats w/o actually saying so, and it's shorter (a good thing). I remember reading this at the beginning, and you've definitely improved your query! Congratz!

  2. This sounds like a fun story. I agree with Carol. Also, you may want to cut a little here and there.

    Such as this ---> "struggle through love for the first time and try to survive the wicked forces set into motion" To this ---> struggle to survive first love, they have to dodge the wicked forces set in motion ---> or something like it.

    This ---> "The network is not going to allow a rogue member..." Could be this ---> The network won't allow a rogue member ---> or such

    Just watch out for wordiness. Other than that, I think you give us the premise of the story. I hope this helps. Good job! :D

  3. I think your query has come a long way! It sounds like a complicated story to try and articulate in a one page letter. Any quibbles I have have already been stated and I've no doubt that you'll be getting requests off this letter!


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