Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Working on my query - whaddya think?

Dear Ms. Literary Agent,

Turns out my billionaire father is like 300 years old. I have five older siblings (seventeen-year old quintuplets) and it turns out mental powers run in our family. Maybe because, as it turns out, we’re descended from Nephilim, fallen angels – like in the book of Genesis.


Anyway… some time in the past, like lifetimes ago, my father made a terrible mistake and some really bad people came looking for him. And not just one group, but a whole bunch. Like the Verticiles: high-tech pagan commandos, the Cobles: soil-borne demons, and the Nepheel Inquisitors: something worse than the other two combined. And lets not forget the mass-freaking-media – they’re a whole special kind of evil themselves. Long story short: they blew up our mansion on stilts, took our father away, broke into his secret lab to steal our bassinet (that one’s a little tough to explain), and now they’re after us.

I don’t know why, we never did anything to them, but they want us bad. The only thing we’ve got going for us is a few fake credit cards, some tae-kwon-do training, and our vicious, sarcastic wit. Yeah, we’ve got mental power too, but they’re nothing compared to that wit thing I mentioned.

So okay, we’ve also got a backpack full of ants. Sounds weird, I know, but it turns out to be important. You’ll see why if you take a chance and read our story.

FIERSOM’S BROOD is a one-hundred-fifteen thousand word urban fantasy for teens. It’s my tenth novel, all juvenile to young adult, and while they’re all unpublished, I did win the top prize in a short story contest that publishes in anthology. I’m a thirty-seven year old surgical technologist who proudly stands for God, family, and country. I’m a former children’s pastor, a blissfully married father of four, and an infantry combat veteran from Desert Storm. On the less intense side, I love Spiderman, Playstation, guitars, and yo-yos.

With many sincere thanks,

Ray Veen

(that last paragraph there is probably the biggest thing I'll change)


bunnyjo georg said...

Is the book written in the same hip-teen voice? Also, is it male or female? Sounds female. I think if you said yes to those questions, this is a good sell and definitely piques interest as you read it.

I noticed some grammatical and other slight edits you will want to make in that part of the query letter. If you want, I can edit what I noticed and send it back to you. Do you run Windows 2003? As for gets a little wordy at times. Maybe I'll just play with it and email it to you to see what you think.

Ray Veen said...

Yes play with it. But don't break it. It's my fave.

bunnyjo georg said...

It should be your fave - the voice is great and it conveys a sense of fast-moving, exciting action which is exactly what you want in a query letter for a story like this, n'est ce pas? I think you perfectly convey the concept "Show, don't tell."

Hey, if you don't mind, could you post your email address for me so I can email you my edits? And don't worry, I didn't break it. The test of a great editor is that he or she (in this case, she) is able to refine the author's voice without contaminating it with her own. And I do consider myself a great editor. :)

Ray Veen said...

Thank-you for being so interested, little bunny, I really appreciate it. You can find my email address beside my profile picture.

There's a few things you should know that I didn't bother to mention in my post:

This is a first draft, so I kind of regret posting it. I just thought y'all would like to read the summary of what I've been working on lately.

My biggest problem with it is that it's too long, so I've already marked three sentences for execution. "Yeah" stays. I like "Yeah".

The last paragraph has been destroyed. It's no longer fashionable to include biographical information unless agents specifically say they're interested in that sort of thing.

And some of the grammatical errors are deliberate. The trick there is to use proper grammer and punctuation everywhere else, so that when the errors do occur, the agent or editor can easily conclude that you do know what you're doing. "My goodness," they'll say, "these other incidents must be intentional - how stylish."

Last thing: my main character is a fourteen-year old guy. I'm open to suggestions on how to work that little info-nugget in. But it has to be organic, use minimal words, and have a hip and jaded attitude. Otherwise, I'm inclined to leave it out.

I'm still interested in seeing your edits. Thanks again, Lau... I mean, 'Bunny'.

(dang, my comment is almost longer than my post)

Ray Veen said...

Whoops. Forget to mention that I run Word for Windows 97. I'm cheap that way. Any plain text file should open, though.

Have I ever told you that I don't know what 'n'est ce pas' means?

bunnyjo georg said...

N'est ce pas means "right" as in, "I shouldn't write in French since most people don't know it, right?" ;)

bunnyjo georg said...

In sencha my edits today by email. You may have to open the email message to view the drawing object in the right place, but if you have any questions, you can always call me. 867-5309 ooops, I changed it, you'll have to check the bathroom walls at the Rendezvous if you want my new number.

Ew, is that just gross or what?!?!

Mary O. Paddock said...

This is an interesting approach, Ray. I did get that this was a teenager and decided it was probably a girl, but you'll want to be sure that's mentioned. I also noted that you didn't mention the girl's name. I've heard that agents sometimes prefer you leave the name out. Was this why?

Let me know if you need any more thoughts on it when you get closer to sending it out. It sounds like a great story.

Anonymous said...


bunnyjo georg said...

Hey, did you get the edits I sent by email? Please know, my feelings won't be hurt in the least if you didn't agree with my edits.

One point of amazing news - my average blood sugar level is now 109 for the past two weeks. Yay!