Mar 13, 2009


Dear X,

[Intro explaining why I think agent X might be interested], I think you might like my YA fantasy novel EVONALÉ. Sprinkling elements of Shakespearean comedy in with modernized female gothic, it tells the tale of a justifiably paranoid girl in 70,000 words.

Tales of loathesome tyrants, seduced maids, prophesied saviors—many a child loves hearing such stories and wishes he could be the hero. But if you are the helpless, hapless prophesied-savior-but-still-little-girl stuck in the middle of the would-you-(please)-die? group, things aren't so fun. Evonalé has therefore fled the enslaved remains of her grandmother's kingdom, her two half-siblings who should've been her cousins, and her father who really should've stayed her uncle.

Trapped between a prophecy she sees no way of fulfilling and a realization that any ruler would do well to return her to her powerful and deadly father, she's terrified of being recognized. Due to her elf quarter, even her terror can cause problems for her. Fear makes her body temperature drop. (She's also justifiably afraid of her lethal and not quite insane faery godmother, but that's a side issue.)

But then King Aldrik inexplicably picks her up from his hunting grounds and personally ensures that she is unusually well-cared for, despite her uncanny ability to turn chicken feeding into a life-threatening experience. She's being taught in private lessons beside the king's own son and heir. His prophetess is giving her magic lessons. What does King Aldrik think he's doing?

Thank you for your time and consideration. May you have an excellent day (or evening, or whatever it is when you're reading this).


"Carradee" [actual name and penname to be included in actual query]


Marty said...

I know nothing about how to write a query letter.

Nevertheless, I find elements of this query intriguing. The first two paragraphs caught my attention but the query gets confusing in the third and forth paragraph.

Plus, the last line "May you have an excellent day (or evening, or whatever it is when you're reading this)" has got to go!

Good luck with your story... :D

Anonymous said...

I think you have an interesting story here, but the query needs a little work. There is way too much detail, and it leaves the reader confused.

You need to present the the heart of the story, and leave the subplots out of the query.

Pare down on the escape from her uncle part to one sentence, and focus more on the king who took her in if that is the focus of your story.

Good luck!

Rick Daley said...

Hi Caradee,

You query has voice and your story has a lot of action and intrigue. There are a few things you can work on to make it stronger.

This threw me: "many a child loves hearing such stories and wishes he could be the hero"

I think you should change the he to she. The overall tone of the query is directed to a female audience except this line.

I agree with Anon, keep the query's focus at a high level and the main plot. The sub-plots will be told in the MS and/or a synopsis.

Good luck, and thanks for submitting!

Anette J Kres said...

The fairy godmother definitely caught my attention. I wish I knew what this prophesy is. I’d suggest dropping “May you have an excellent…” This is a weak ending “What does King Aldrik think he’s doing?” Instead of asking a question to which we have no answer, tell us what Aldrik is doing. The agent can know the secrets and endings. I’d also suggest dropping the quarter elf bit, unless you’re gonna tell us why it matters if her temp drops. It doesn’t sound like an important enough detail for the query.