QueryDice #51: Awesome YA Query
The following is a query critique. Comments, suggestions and discussion are welcome and we hope you join in. I can only offer one opinion. The author of the query and I would love to hear yours.
Dear Ms. Ruth,
When sixteen-year-old (If this is YA, then I’m pleased you’ve told me that up-front. If it’s not I’m pissed off that you’ve tricked me into thinking it was.) Emma Hawthorne finds the body of her best friend, Lily, floating in the river, (you have my attention. Let’s see if you hang on to it) her hard-fought control of her empathic ability crumbles. Capable of picking up emotions from other people like a radio signal, she is too damaged to tune out the constant static. Emma wants to move beyond her grief and be free from what everyone else is feeling.
Then an encounter with a stranger’s violent emotions triggers a vision of Lily’s tortured soul and Emma is faced with a terrifying sense that the drowning wasn’t an accident – and that Lily isn’t resting in peace. Her search for answers attracts unwanted attention from Patrick, a man without emotions. Simultaneously repulsed and intrigued, she allows him into her life. And when he offers to take away her ability, along with the pain it causes, she is ready to accept.
But Lily is trying to warn Emma from beyond the grave. Patrick’s offer isn’t without a price – a price that cost Lily more than her life. As Emma unravels the twisted threads connecting Patrick to Lily, she discovers he’s more dangerous than she ever thought possible. Emma must find the strength to fight the growing supernatural hold Patrick has on her – not only to give Lily the peace she deserves, but to save her sanity and possibly her soul as well.
[redacted] is a 64,000 word YA urban fantasy with romantic elements.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
There is nothing wrong with this query. It was stellar! I know what the conflict is, that conflict has intrigued me and it has enough punch for YA. The way you divulged your book’s particulars flowed nicely and I wasn’t left needing information. I would even like to read this! My only criticisms are that I didn’t feel enough of Emma’s personality–what makes her unique–and also the only thing that made this YA was the character’s age. There is no mention of school, or typical internal conflict teenagers face.
Author, we’d love to hear the story of your query…was it rejected? How many requests did you receive? Most of all: did you get an agent?!
Posted on June 19, 2013, in Advice, book publishing, conflict, literary agency, manuscripts, publishing, queries, Query Dice, rejection, slush pile, submissions, voice, writers, YA and tagged conflict in ya, dos and donts, examples of good queries, how to write a query letter, Lauren Ruth, making your query interesting, making your query stand out, queries, query, query example, querydice, slush pile, standard query format, voice, voice in ya, writing, ya, young adult. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.