Jan 25, 2010


Dear [Agent Name]:

[Personalized opening sentence] I am seeking representation for my Young Adult paranormal thriller, AILURANTHROPE, complete at 77,000 words.

Sixteen year old Nickie Leone will do whatever it takes to find her father—even if it means trusting a stranger with her most guarded secret.

When uber-handsome Xavian hints at knowing how to find her dad, Nickie notices his unnatural grace. But before she has a chance to question him, her body undergoes changes no teenager would expect—pointed ears and whiskers are not the fashion statement she wants to make. Too bad she’s not alone when it happens. Her worries are erased when Xavian transforms into a panther. With Xavian's help, Nickie is introduced to life as an Ailuranthrope.

As if that isn’t bad enough, she discovers the leader of an opposing clan wants to kill her father and adopt her into his pride.

Now Nickie must pair up with Xavian and find a way to win her father’s freedom—before she becomes a captive and her father becomes a murder victim.


I would be happy to send a complete manuscript of AILURANTHROPE upon your request.

Thank you for your consideration,

[Contact Info]


B.E. Sanderson said...

This sounds interesting, if a little like Rachel Vincent's werecat series. You need to focus on what sets your book apart from that, and I think you have a good start, but if I caught a similarity, agents might, too.

The main stumbling block I'm running into (even as I'm critting this query) is the title. I know the word is important to the story, but it's unwieldy and may turn agents off. (Yes, I know titles are subject to change anyway, but you have get your foot in the door before you get to that point.)

Other than that, the questions arising from your query for me are: Why doesn't she know she's a cat-person - especially if there's some sort of clan structure in place? Or am I missing something? If she doesn't know, is it her most-guarded secret or is the secret something else? If she does know, why is changing such a surprise?

I know all of this is in the book, but I think too many unanswered questions turn into a reason for rejection. And in this tighter market, none of us can afford that.

Good luck with this. The book really does sound interesting and I will probably buy it when it comes out. I'm a sucker for lycanthropes - whatever name they go by. =o)

Aimlesswriter said...

Good story! The title hung me up too but I don't read this type of stuff and had no idea what an Ailuranthrope is. If people who read the genre know it then there's no problem however if its not the commonly known then it might even stump the agent you're seeking.
I think the hook is good but the next paragraph kind of slows things down. I think we need the challenge moved up. I'm thinking the main issue is the threat to her father so bring that to the forefront.

Kelsey (Dominique) Ridge said...

This sounds interest, and you've got a nice voice, which is very good. There are just some minor points of concern.

"When uber-handsome Xavian hints at knowing how to find her dad, Nickie notices his unnatural grace." There's sort of a time continuum issue with this. The sentence implies that these events occur simultaneously, which could be possible, but isn't the most logical thing. They didn't happen in the exact same instant, after all.

"Her worries are erased when Xavian transforms into a panther." If some guy I just met turned into a panther right before my eyes, my worries wouldn't alleviate. They would multiply exponentially. If after ruling out hallucinations and possibly a brain tumor, I'd decided he was a werepanther, I would definitely run like heck.

Starving Writer said...

What is an Ailuranthrope?

Question. Why would Nickie worries be erased when Xavian transforms into a panther. I'd think she'd have more to worry about.

Not a cat person so I can't give more . Sorry.

RC Writer Girl said...

Great hook.

However, I, too have no idea what an ailuranthrope is. So, I think you've got a problem. Define it in your query.

Also, I think it might help to know a little bit more about Xavian. Not a huge bio, but two bits of information that could be incorporated into the current query structure:(1) how old is Xavian (it's not clear if he is her peer or older) and (2) how does he know her dad or how does he know this world? I'd like a sense of how Xavian ends up being her guide. Is he a member of her father's pride? Is he just some panther guy with a lot of knowledge.

Last thing, it's not clear that she knows her father is being held captive. You say she learns some guy wants to kill her dad (not that the guy has captured her dad; and if said guy has captured her dad and wants her dad dead, why hasn't the bad guy killed the dad?). So, there's a little disconnect within the query. I think if you clear that up, it will read very well.

Again, really liked the hook. It clearly explains who the MC is and her motivation for the entire book.

One last thing (really it is this time): that, "her worries are erased" phrase should be deleted. No one's worries are erased when someone transforms into a panther before their very eyes. Maybe, combine that and the next sentence for: When Xavian transforms into a panther, he introduces Nickie to life as an Ailuranthrope.

Sounds like a really interesting story.

Good luck with it.

Anonymous said...

Wow, great feedback everyone! Much appreciated...will tweak letter and brainstorm a different title.