Status: Drafting the fourth book in the PERILOUS series!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Query Round #2

I took all of your suggestions and reworked Mark's query. (Mark and I did, of course.)

Here's the latest version. Tell me what you think.


Dear ??:

Keeper of the Key, my young adult adventure fantasy novel, is complete at 58,000 words. This is my first novel.

Peter is barely seventeen when dreams of his father’s death begin to plague him. Soon after the dreams start, his father reveals that he is really the Keeper, leader of an ancient city and holder of a mystic key. The power of the Keeper is passing; the key has chosen Peter as a new Keeper. It calls to him.

Peter leaves his home to follow in the old rites of the Keeper, training to be a leader and protect his people. But the key has its own agenda, and Peter’s path is different than previous Keepers. An enemy has arisen, one that wants the key—and the vault of power that it opens—for himself. Peter must protect the key, even as the elders of the city turn against him and divide his family.

Desperation sets in when Peter realizes if he succeeds, he will keep the key safe—at the sacrifice of everyone he loves.

This book fits right next to books such as ?? and ??, which you represented. If you are interested, I will gladly send you either the first three chapters of this story, or the complete manuscript. I have enclosed a synopsis and a SASE for your reply. If you prefer, you can send an e-mail. Thanks very much for your time and consideration.

Best wishes,


Elle Strauss said...

Here are my suggestions:
You can cut this is my first novel;

The first sentence of the second para can be tightened. ie: Peter is barely seventeen when his dead father begins to visit him in his dreams. (or is his father not dead, but Peter sees his impending death? you should be clear on this);

You could cut Desperation sets in when Peter realizes;

Last para tighten -- Keeper of the Key would appeal to readers of...(that way they don't have to be books they represent);

For your convenience the first chapter (10pgs if that's their guidelines) follows this letter. (or is enclosed with this letter if it's snail mail)(along with the synopsis if they requested that) I'd be happy to send the full manuscript at your request. (assume they're going to love it and want the whole thing!)
I'm submitting to other agents as well.

Thank you......

I hope you find something here helpful.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

Thank you, Elle, those are excellent suggestions!

Sara McClung ♥ said...

It's looking even better!!! :-)

Ditto everything that Elle said!

Kelly Lyman said...

I agree with everything Elle said. I also felt you used the word Keeper too much, especially in the first graph. maybe you could combine the sentences? The last of the first graph you use Keeper twice which sounded too much for me.
Great job though.
Good luck.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

Thanks, Kelly! I'll see what I can do to reword that!

Voidwalker said...

Red flag for me was the "this is my first novel," which seems to be unnecessary and possibly harmful to your presentation.

Also, I respectfully disagree about the suggestion from Elle to add "I'm submitting to other agents as well." I believe, based on information I've read from other agent/publisher blogs, that this statement is already understood (99.9999% of authors query multiple parties) and also comes across as a little abrasive. That's my humble opinion.

I would suggest running your query through "Query Shark." I have a link on my sidebar. That blog is particularly awesome at making your query the best it can be! :)

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

I think I agree with you, voidwalker, on the submitting to other agents. anyway, that stuff's not the important stuff, since each agent website often indicates whether the query needs to have that or not. so it'll be specific to each person.

the important stuff is the plot summary. That's what we're really focusing on.

Voidwalker said...

Well in that case... I actually find that story concept very intriguing. It honestly reminds me of a movie I saw when I was younger called "Night Train to Kathmandu." Very mysterious!

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