Sep 10, 2010

QUERY SHARDS OF THE GLASS SLIPPER (ROUND II)

Click here to read the original query.

I revised my query based on all of the great suggestions you all have provided, again many thanks! this would be the more generalized version of the query, with a more accurate word count.
if anyone wants to find out more information about my story, you are welcome to visit http://www.roymauritsen.com (you can watch the book trailer there.)

thanks everyone- here's the query:

Dear_______,

Enclosed is an introduction to my story's plotline, along with some additional information about my novel.

In the aftermath of Happily Ever After, Cinderella has risen to the throne, although the once-innocent princess has now become a far more wicked prodigy of her stepmother. She reigns over her kingdom with tyrannical abandon. A rebel band of fairy tale heroes, led by General Snow White and her dwarven resistance fighters, discovers Cinderella's plans to invade Alice's Wonderland. Time is running out as Snow White, Rapunzel, Goldilocks, and others mount a desperate attempt to stop Cinderella before her plans destroy the kingdom and everything they hold dear. The rebels' only hope of success rests on the shoulders of a young girl named Patience Muffet. Patience carries the fabled shards of Cinderella's glass slippers, as well as the dark secret of who murdered the last of the fairy godmothers.

SHARDS OF THE GLASS SLIPPER, at about 118,000 words is YA fantasy novel with strong female heroes. Classic fairy tale characters are faithfully reinterpreted from their fabled origins and are woven into an ensemble cast with the benefit of pre-existing familiarity. Although SHARDS OF THE GLASS SLIPPER can be stand-alone story with resolution, it has great potential to be made into a series of books.

As a professional graphic artist, I have had the opportunity to build exposure for this concept. I was awarded Best in Show for my artwork from SHARDS OF THE GLASS SLIPPER and have gone on to display at several fantasy convention art shows,including DragonCon. I have received enthusiastic feedback and great interest in this story while in attendance at these events.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

Roy Mauritsen

11 comments:

Mesmerix said...

Looks pretty good to me. Couple small suggestions.

1) Cut the first paragraph. It's unnecessary in a query. Don't be afraid to start right in with, "In the aftermath of..."

2) 1st sentence of the 3rd paragraph reads poorly. It should say, "SHARDS OF THE GLASS SLIPPER is a 118,000 word YA fantasy novel with strong female characters." You don't need to say "about" as the agent knows you're rounding, it's expected.

Otherwise, looks good to me. I love fairy tale spin-offs. This one reminds me of Fables graphic novels, and I think your artistry work adds something special to the query.

Best of luck!

Roy Mauritsen said...

Thank you Mesmerix! Good suggestions. I get that Fables comparison a lot, it's a good series, but mine is different. (I'd liken it to Into The Woods, but without all of the singing!)

Mesmerix said...

Roy: Into the Woods is also wonderful. Yours sounds like fairy princess meets battle for Middle Earth, which is very exciting for fantasy nerds like me. :)

Best of luck and hope your querying lands a deal quickly!

Scribbler to Scribe

Zee Lemke said...

Er. Best in Show in what show? Kinda crucial.

I don't think "prodigy of" is a usual construction. I just realized that you might mean protegée of, in which case that's a deadly mistake (one on Janet Reid's insta-fail list). Fix it either way. This whole thing needs a good proofread. There's at least one missing "a" in P3 and I'm not sure I'm catching everything.

I'm dubious about P3 overall. I'm worried that you're boasting ("great potential"), that you're telling not showing ("strong female heroes"), that you're over-analyzing or doing the agent's job ("benefit of pre-existing familiarity"). Wait, isn't that last one redundant anyway? Triple check for redundancy on your proofread.

This is still a strong query. Your content paragraph has content and you've got some truly excellent lines.

Roy Mauritsen said...

zee- you have a fresh and excellent perspective on lines I have read over hundreds of times.

Zee Lemke said...

I went and checked out your website. I have two quick comments before my lunch break is over.

1) I am immediately turned off by the hyper-sexualized "strong female heroes" in your art. doesn't mean they won't sell, as I'm sure you know.

2) Only two people have read your manuscript, neither is a published author worth naming on their blurb, and they are both raving about it? Are these critique partners or yes-men?

Very big turn off for me personally, but I'm not sure how an agent would see it.

Roy Mauritsen said...

zee- thanks for taking some time to check out the website. I know this is not going to be everyone's "cup of tea" includings agents for that matter. Sorry that it's not yours. I have been getting a lot of great response from the art and the concept over the years. I am surprised that you consider these hyper sexualized, my intent was to convey a more of a D&D fantasy feel than anything else, without the buxom blondes in chainmail bikin's and swords ala Frazetta and Boris ( google Grimm's comics and fairy tale anime for some real culprits if you want to compare.) I'm sorry if I offended.

As for #2... They are the only two people that have read the entire thing "cover to cover". To me that makes them important. If I could get the MS in to an interested author's hands, I would but it's not my focus right now. In the meantime a sincere compliment is a compliment whether it is from a name dropped author or not. What is being said, rather than who is saying it is, I feel, more important.

Mesmerix said...

Zee: Which pages were you looking at? I don't see anything near what you're describing... :/

Zee Lemke said...

M: I just googled his name and clicked the Shards banner. I think I'm going to find most contemporary fantasy art overly sexual, so this is nothing against the Shards art particularly. Certainly the 4th Ed D&D book frequently makes me want to puke (THE REPTILES HAVE BREASTS WHY?!?) and I can only play Magic if I turn off my picture-brain.

There were two little blurb-type quotes front and center. The weird thing wasn't the rave quotes from test readers, it was also mentioning that they were the only two who had read the book--as if it was a good thing? Very strange feel overall. A lot like mentioning the attendance at DragonCon, actually.

Roy Mauritsen said...

I don't think it weird to describe the marketing of a concept that relates to the manuscript as potential exposure and potential fan base. It's probably uncommon for the typical writers to do this sort of thing which is why i do bother to point out the artistic side of it in my query. It is common to describe a convention based on it's overall attendance. My art was displayed in a juried (formal) art show at that convention open to view by all of the 30,000 plus attendees. In essence I'm telling the agent there is already a potential selling market out there should they pick up the book.
(This is presently moot because at your suggestion, I've since removed that attendence # from my original query).

Zee- I appreciate all of your observations and insight with my query, thank you for that.
I do wish you success in your endeavors.

Zee Lemke said...

Roy-- you are totally right about the interesting marketing angle, and you are definitely a good enough artist that your website is a plus not a minus when selling the book. In general, as with the query, you are marketable and interesting and will probably succeed, and you bring that across well. As with the query, I'm doing the golden rule thing: I want to know what the flaws are in my awesome pitch so I can make it more awesome; therefore I try to give flaw-finding advice to others rather than compliments.

I probably shouldn't have mentioned my personal aversion to the school of art you're part of. It was unprofessional of me.

My comment on the quotes from your beta readers stands. You can keep the compliments if you frame them differently. The first person to read my WIP all the way through was my mother; you don't want to imply that's a possibility. Just "comments from beta readers" is fine. It was mentioning that there are only two of them that weirded me out.

I also recommend going over your site with the same fine-tooth grammar comb you want applied to your manuscript; if an agent is going to look at it, it should be correctly written even when it's merely functional. You yourself have a relatively high level of natural errors--which is not a problem--so you might want to get a friend to do the reading for you. (Yes, I saw at least two errors (not differences of opinion or typos) in the 30 seconds I looked at the site.)