Mar 18, 2009

QUERY: AMELIA'S MONSTERS

A revision has been posted, click here to read it.

Dear X,

Since she was twelve, Amelia’s nights have been plagued with visits from monsters who lurk in her closet and try to lure her away from the safety of her bed, calling her Amelie and saying that they have been searching for her, waiting for her return. Two years later, at the request of her therapist, her and her family—along with her adopted cousin, Lily—are moving for a third time.

With a fresh start in a brand new home in a gated community, Amelia hopes that all her fears and problems will go away. But when the monster returns one night and takes Lily away, Amelia must face her fear of the dark and enter the monster’s world to rescue Lily, all along the way discovering a tangled past and an unresolved fight between a great hero—Jeanette—and the Monster King that connects her to their world and the one they call Amelie.

AMELIA’S MONSTERS is a 90,000 word young adult fantasy that explores the rationalities and irrationalities of our fears and how we can overcome them to save and protect the ones we love.

7 comments:

Marty said...

I do not know the format for such thing but 90,000 thousand word seem a bit much for a YA novel. Nevertheless, to me this is a great query - very interesting with one minor stumble. In the line "...a tangled past and an unresolved fight between a great hero—Jeanette—and the Monster King...." remove "Jeanette" as superfluous to the query letter. The revised line would read: "... a tangled past and an unresolved fight between a great hero and the Monster King..." This is enough to convey the complexity of the story without overloading it with name information. Good Luck! :D

Judy said...

Once again, I am not an expert, since I am construtcting my own query. :)
I do like your opening paragraph, especially the first sentence.
I also agree with Marty about the rewriting of the sentence with Jeanette. It makes it flow nicely.

Good luck!!

Barbara Early said...

"her and her family" from paragraph one should be "she and her family."

And your sentences are a bit long and difficult to read. I'd consider breaking them up a bit.

Anonymous said...

There is an error: her and her family? And it's such a basic mistake, it's the only thing I noticed in the query. Aside from whether or not the content is good or bad, this would make me stop reading.

And the thing that really surprises me is that only one other person, Barbara Early, has commented on this mistake so far.

You can usually tell whether or not it's correct by dropping the "and" from the sentence.


Her is moving for a third time, is wrong.

She is moving for a third time, is correct.

Rick Daley said...

This has an interesting premise...a teenager who discover the monsters in the closet are real. You have a defined plot and conflict, which is good.

I think the first sentence is too long, you can end it at "the safety of her bed."

For me, "adopted cousin" raises questions, so you may not want to call out Lily's relation. Typically, you would have an adopted sibling living with you, not a cousin; why does the cousin live with them and not the Aunt and Uncle? These questions distract me from the heart of the story, which you don't want. For the purpose of the query, she could be referred to as "a family member."

In the first paragraph you have monsters, plural, but in the second paragraph it is "the monster returns" and "monster's world" singular.

"an unresolved fight between a great hero—Jeanette—and the Monster King that connects her [who is her, Jeanette or Amelia?] to their world and the one they call Amelie [What connects her to their world, the fight or the Monster King?]"

Amanda said...

I tried to a this comment earlier, but it seems to have gotten lost somewhere, so I'll try again.

Your story sounds great, I'd love to read this.
But your query seems to lack voice (something I learned from Query Shark) and seems a bit dry.
I feel like if you threw in a few words about how Amelia feels about all of this we'd get a better sense of her character and then the query would be stronger. Like, "Amelia is sick of the monsters who lurk..." or "Amelia is so afraid of the monsters who lurk..." or something to that extent.
Also, the last paragraph makes the book sound preachy. Maybe drop it?

Hope this helps. I'd love to see this one on the shelves. :)

Anonymous said...

90,000 is not too long for YA, but honestly this strikes me as middle grade or younger. I don't know very many teens that would pick this book up. It seems better aimed at 5th graders, and the title made me think picture book.

I also would like to see it on the shelves, but as middle grade not young adult.

PS I agree with all other previous statements to improve the query.