Mar 29, 2009

Revision 1-BROKEN

Click here to read the original query.
A second revision has been posted. Click here to read it.
Click here to read the most recent revision.

Dear [agent],
Psychologist Alec Sumner was standing on a busy London street, holding his friend Mirabell’s emerald green purse, and thinking about his last failed love affair when he saw Eli Burke take down a mugger with his cane. Alec was intrigued.
A few weeks later, he finds himself living with the handsome young man and three other housemates: Tony, a self-absorbed gifted artist; Lyle, the artist’s often exasperated best friend; and Ilsa, Alec’s former college chum and owner of the house.
Hoping for romance, Alec quickly learns that Eli is not and the heartbreaking reasons why.
BROKEN is a 63,000 word work of gay fiction that reminds us that no matter what scars mark you, there may be people out there who will support you through the pain, guide you past the fear, and love you back to life ... if you are willing.
Thank you for your consideration.

Revised Query--HENRY HAS NO HAIR

Click here to read the original query.

Thank you to everyone who posted feedback on my first query draft. I found the dialogue quite thought-provoking and it led me to do a complete re-write on the manuscript, involving a switch in point-of-view. Below I have included the newly drafted query (which reflects the drastic MS changes) and the first 200 words.


Dear Mr. Agent,

Life must be tough for Henry, the new kid. His baldhead looks silly and a bit odd. Lauren and I giggle about him on the way to school until her brother makes us stop. He said Henry’s probably sick or something.

But he doesn’t act sick. And he doesn’t seem to notice the other kids’ stares and teasing. He’s the best at kickball during recess and he sits with the loner at lunchtime. There sure is something different about Henry, besides his lack of hair. On the bus ride home, I find out what it is. He’s actually happy he’s bald. Weird. He tells me he’s glad there is no hair to get in his face or provide a target for his baby sister’s reaching hands to pull. Apparently, hats always fit him and he makes a great pirate for Halloween. He’s even got me believing that it would be nice to not worry about hair. Henry is most unique because he’s just happy to be Henry—and that makes me happy, too. Funny how that is.

HENRY HAS NO HAIR is complete at 1075 words. Readers witness a young girl’s prejudices and how they are challenged by a boy who does not allow the cosmetic debility of alopecia areata totalis to define who he is. Instead, she is roused by the way Henry embraces his unusual physical trait and is empowered by it. A subject close to my heart and home, my husband and I have the joy of raising our first son, a balding toddler with the spirit to take on the world.

Because of your interest in children’s picture books, as listed on your Publisher’s Marketplace page, I invite you to consider representing this manuscript, which is available upon request.

Thank you for your consideration and time.


Who is that, I wondered as I walked to the bus stop. I haven’t seen him before. He must be new. I eyed him up and down. What’s wrong with him? He looks funny and a little bit weird. He must be sick, I decided.

After he said goodbye to his mom, he looked at me and smiled. I turned so quickly I almost tripped on my way to stand under the tree by Lauren and her older brother, Thomas.

On the bus, the boy sat a few rows in front of us.

“Did you see his head?” Lauren giggled. “He’s balder than my daddy!”

“Mine, too,” I chuckled back.

“Shh, you guys.” Thomas reprimanded. “He’s probably got leukemia or something. You shouldn’t be laughing at him.”

“He still looks silly, even if he is sick,” Lauren whispered to me with a gleam in her eyes.

I watched him talk excitedly to an older kid in the seat next to him. His book bag rested on the floor in front of him with a red baseball cap hooked to one of its straps.

If I were him, I wouldn’t ever take off my hat, I thought.