Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Query: Cherry? or Query: Cheery?

How do you pronounce:  Query?  I'm a query:cherry gal myself... :)  And here's my latest query for my YA Magical Realism novel - The Glass Prince.  Posted as part of Deana Barnhart's Gearing Up For and Agent Blogfest!!  You can check it out by clicking on the picture:

Check It Out HERE!

Dear Agent X -

A stranger’s uninvited kiss at Clara’s seventeenth birthday party, in front of all her friends and long-time boyfriend, kick starts her journey toward high school social suicide. Suddenly, the invitation to spend the summer in New Windsor, New York, from a grandmother she’s believed dead her entire life, goes from “‘very bad idea’” to “very ‘convenient escape’.”



So Clara hops her first plane ever from Utah to New York, fingers crossed and hopes high. Night one at granny’s house gets her the silent treatment. Nice. When Grandma does pay attention to her, it’s only to introduce her to a family heirloom— a glass prince figurine that springs the family curse on Clara with one touch. It’s the same curse that killed her father, good ol’ granny explains, and it will kill her, too, unless she can find a way to break it.


The kiss-crazy stranger himself is the one guy who can help her out.  He’s Snow White’s son, cursed by the not-really-dead evil Queen who finally got her revenge . And Clara’s family line suffers because her ancestor was the prince’s one true love who pledged her family’s legacy to helping him break his curse of immortality.  On the flip side, though, the Knight's have only a short time to help or they face an early death.

With an unexpected nemesis and maybe even her own grandmother plotting against her, Clara must decide just how far out of her sheltered comfort zone she’s willing to go to secure her future.


THE GLASS PRINCE is complete at 61,000 words and the ten pages your requested are pasted below.  Thanks for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
ME!  (Ok - yeah, don't use this as your closer...)


So...what do you think?  Are you querying yet?  What do you find the most challenging?  Perhaps blog-hopping Deana's query contest can answer your questions or give you some ideas. 
Best of Luck!! :)

8 comments:

Jen Daiker said...

First off - HI! It's been too long! Why have I not visited more often! Grr!!! (yes that's me mad at myself).

Second - Holy cow I love this! What's funny is the fact that you've told me about your story before and I've watched you pitch to agents (loving it) waiting to hear the good news but in the query it just HIT me.

I love how you surprise the reader/agent with the "Oh but wait, this guy is someone special" so I think you have a great hook within there. I also love the characters voice. I do believe it could be tigthened up just a tad but other than that I'm not one to offer too many suggestions.

Third - I'm about to query come September and my query is looking top-notch (of course I'm allowed to say that).

Kelley said...

I think the book sounds great! I agree with Jen that i love that the random kiss turns out to be someone she needs to find again. And as a side note i think for me its generally query:cheery :)

Donna K. Weaver said...

Nice query. Not that I'm any kind of person who would know. I've read a lot around the blogosphere. Having read only the first few chapters of your book, it's nice to know where you're headed. =D

Btw ... in your sentence "On the flip side, though, the Knight's have only a short time to help or they face an early death" Knight's is written as possessive, when I think you mean it to be plural: Knights.

Nicole M. White- said...

I REALLY like this story.
I like the voice.

The query is a bit long. I wish I was better at editing so I could give you something concrete. Here is what I came up with [comments in brackets]:

A stranger’s uninvited kiss at Clara’s seventeenth birthday party, in front of all her friends and long-time boyfriend, kick starts her journey toward high school social suicide. Suddenly, the invitation to spend the summer in New Windsor, New York, from a grandmother she’s believed dead her entire life, goes from “‘very bad idea’” to “very ‘convenient escape’.”



So Clara hops her first plane ever from Utah to New York, fingers crossed and hopes high.[delete this first line] Night one at granny’s house gets her the silent treatment. Nice. When Grandma does pay attention to her, it’s only to introduce her to a family heirloom— a glass prince figurine that springs the family curse on Clara with one touch. It’s the same curse that killed her father, good ol’ granny explains, and it will kill her, too, unless she can find a way to break it.


[I would start the next paragraph with "Clare must seek help from the kiss-crazy stranger, the son of Snow White, who also needs help to break his curse of immortality." and cut out the first two lines. I then find the rest of the paragraph confusing]
The kiss-crazy stranger himself is the one guy who can help her out. He’s Snow White’s son, cursed by the not-really-dead evil Queen who finally got her revenge. And Clara’s family line suffers because her ancestor was the prince’s one true love who pledged her family’s legacy to helping him break his curse of immortality. [confused here- if he has a ‘one true love’ why is he kissing other girls] On the flip side, though, the Knight's have only a short time to help or they face an early death. [also confused here- not sure who the Knight’s are, if it’s Clara’s last name put it up in the first line of the query]

With an unexpected nemesis and maybe even her own grandmother plotting against her, Clara must decide just how far out of her sheltered comfort zone she’s willing to go to secure her future. [this sounds fine]

THE GLASS PRINCE [a YA magical realism novel]is complete at 61,000 words and the ten pages your requested are pasted below. Thanks for your time and consideration.

Hope this helps. Good luck.

Ru said...

I agree, it's a tiny bit long, but still interesting! I'd love to read it.

Here's my attempt at editing. (Feel free to disregard suggestions, my editing experience comes from my college newspaper, so it's all about cutting and rewording to make things shorter.)

A stranger’s uninvited kiss at Clara Knight’s seventeenth birthday party, in front of all her friends and boyfriend, kick starts her journey toward high school social suicide. Suddenly the invitation to spend the summer in New York with a grandmother she’s believed dead her entire life goes from “very bad idea” to “very convenient escape.”

Unfortunately, once she arrives, Grandma introduces her to a family heirloom — a glass prince figurine that springs (unleashes?) the family curse on Clara with one touch. It’s the same curse that killed her father, good ol’ granny explains, and it will kill her too, unless she can find a way to break it. (The curse or the figurine? Or both?)

(Transition, something like - "Fortunately, Clara's not alone in her quest." Only less cliche.) The kiss-crazy stranger himself is Snow White’s son, cursed by the not-really-dead evil Queen who finally got her revenge. His one true love? Clara's ancestor, who pledged to help the prince break his curse of immortality and only ended up bringing a curse of her own onto the Knight family. (You need some curse synonyms - hex, enchantment, spell, etc.)

With an unexpected nemesis and maybe even her own grandmother plotting against her, Clara must decide just how far out of her sheltered comfort zone she’s willing to go to secure her future.

(I would change this final paragraph a bit - obviously, if the curse is going to kill her, her comfort zone is irrelevant - she's got to fight back or die. Maybe put something in about the prince? Does she have to choose between breaking her curse or his? Does she plan to help him after he's helped her? I think you need a stronger conflict set up before you end the query. When the choice is "something or die," obviously everyone chooses "something.")

Good luck! Hope my suggestions weren't too pushy.

Caitlyn (Cait) said...

Cheery! :)
Have I read the completed 61,000 words? I think you've changed some things since the last time I read it.

Trisha said...

Yep, it's 'cheery' for me too.

alexia said...

Hey, Donea! I echo Jen; long time no see!

I really love the voice here and your premise! A couple minor things: the sentence about Knights confused me - is the Knight the Prince? Sorry, I'm not good with my fairytale facts :)

Also, I think your closing sentence could have more tension, maybe focus more on the curse/death thing more. Maybe something like: With an unexpected nemesis and maybe even her own grandmother plotting against her, Clara must figure out how to break the curse, or her life will be over - literally.

Awesome job!! Good luck with this!