Mar 26, 2009

How to Calculate Your Luck

Here's a query tip for you. We all know that there are many extenuating factors that impact our search for representation and publication, and at the end of the day, one of those biggest factors is luck.

Now, this begs the question: How do you know if you are lucky (or unlucky, as it may be)?

Here are several equations to calculate the luck factor in getting published. They use the following variables:

N= Good Luck
X= Bad Luck
D= Dumb Luck
Q= Query
A= Agent Preferences
P= Publishing Industry Demands
C= Contract

So therefore, if Q=(A*P) then N should result, yielding C.

However, if Q+P is not equal to A, then X. Also, if Q+A=C but is not equal to P, then X.

Of course there may be variations on this logic, such as if Q<(A*P) but the result is C, then D, pure and simple.

So you see, it's all very straightforward. N to all of you!


Query - Embrol (Revision 1)

Click Here to read the original query.

Olivia Ryan doesn’t know she’s a guardian of Earth. She doesn’t even know she’s not human.

After nearly dying in the car accident that takes her mother’s life, Olivia just wants her normal, happy life back. Jack Ellis, the new boy at school who is responsible for the accident, only compounds her pain. She feels drawn to him for reasons she cannot explain, but his revelation that she is an alien from the planet Hielos is difficult to accept. Despite Olivia’s conflicted desire to ignore him, her mother’s journal confirms her alien ancestry, and she learns that, like Jack, she has been endowed with many alien abilities.

Even after discovering she can control at least one of the five elements, Olivia resists the idea that she could be any kind of superhero. When a rogue Hielosian threatens her life and almost kills her friend, she is forced to accept the responsibility. With Jack’s help, she must find a way to stop the homicidal alien before he hurts anyone else. In the midst of all of this, Olivia struggles to understand her feelings for Jack and fights against the only thing she knows for certain--they belong together.

EMBROL, complete at 111,000 words, is a work of YA Science Fiction. While it is a standalone novel, the potential is there to extend it to a three book series. This is my first novel.

REVISION 1-Query-Larkin Shift and the Hall of Two Truths

Click here to read the original query.
A second revision of this query has been posted. Click here to read it.

Agent information,

Larkin Shift doesn’t want to be different. She doesn’t want to develop her magical powers, but they seem to have a mind of their own. She feels like a danger to everyone around her and the one person that can help her, Mr. Amurat has disappeared into Duat, the Egyptian underworld, leaving it up to her and her three friends to get him back safely. But the rescue mission comes with an unexpected consequence—one of their deaths.

As the myth goes, Ra travels through Duat at night reviving the recently deceased to make their journey to final judgment. When Ra’s light temporarily revives Benny, Larkin’s deceased friend, he has only hours until his condition becomes permanent unless she uses her unique abilities to make it to the Hall of Two Truths where she must face an omnipotent nemesis, thwart a plot against her, and overcome an unexpected betrayal—all before the next sunrise.

“Larkin Shift and the Hall of Two Truths” is a 45,000 word middle grade novel. Thank you for your consideration.

Thanks to the couple of people who left comments. I would love to hear if you feel this is more clear than the previous version because I definitely don't want to lose a potential agent because of confusion. I'm really glad I posted.

As for the change from YA/middle grade, I am really targeting the early teens (12, 13) and am having a hard time differentiating. Some sources say the genre is based on the age of the main character (13, in my case), but, to me, the story feels like intelligent middle grade.