I don't think I'm ready to formally query BookEnd - for one I'm halfway through first revisions, for another I haven't actually written the end. This can also be stated another way "I haven't finished the book yet." But I feel that's just negative talk, too much of a downer. Also, I'm coming to terms with having written a YA book without really intending to. I didn't sit down and say, "Time to write a young adult book." It was more like, "What if this boy lived on a farm where the cattle were really people?" So now I'm educating myself on agents that deal in YA and I'm not done with my learning yet.
Having said all that, I'm going to the Pennwriters' Conference on May 13 and have signed up to have my query letter, pitch and synopsis reviewed and commented on by agent Barbara Poelle of the Irene Goodman Agency. I've already sent my goods to her and now I'm rethinking everything I sent.
So in the spirit of further evisceration, I'm including the query letter below for your delectation. Go on, rip it to shreds, I mean comment on it's strengths and weaknesses as it befits a nurturing, mannerly group of writing individuals. I'd love to hear what you think. For reals. Before we get to that here are some links to query-writing resources:
Pimp My Novel also has an interesting (non agent) take on queries
OK. Here's my query:
Dear Ms. Poelle,
I am seeking representation for my Young Adult novel, BOOKEND, complete at 75,000 words. I am enclosing a synopsis and sample pages. The sequel, BOOKBEGIN, is currently in outline form.
Finial Smith lives in a world where discarded book characters, called QRs (Quasi-Reals), come to be recycled or pressed into servitude. The Smiths are the last natural-born family living in a village of QRs. The Farm is renowned for the fine quality of Qr workers they produce. But being the only real boy for miles is getting on this fifteen year old’s nerves. Fin’s missing his dead mother, bored at school and tired of hearing his Da tell him about Nobless Oblige – the duty all natural-borns have to care and defend the dependent and weaker QR creatures.
When Fin meets Anne, a QR who breaks away from the herd, he finds a girl who is more alive and real than anyone he's ever met. A revolution is brewing in BookEnd with QRs determined to fight for the same rights as natural-borns. Fin has to decide whether to stand with his family and let Anne be destroyed, or to endanger the world he knows to save her. Knowing Anne will forever change how Fin sees his world and teach him what it means to be real.
Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.