If you ask any writer about the process of connecting with their agent (or publisher), the majority will say the most difficult part was querying. Not only the actual process of sending out the letters/emails, but formulating the query itself. In fact, I’ve heard more than a few authors say writing their query took them almost as long as drafting their book!
Some people have the talent of being able to summarize their book in a few sentences, but for those who don’t I wanted to provide a resource where writers could learn what works, and what doesn’t, in a query.
With that in mind, I’m pleased to share today’s successful query from Kim Chance. This great query connected her with Cate Rubino-Bradway at LKG Agency.
Magic always leaves a mark.
When the ghost of a 200-year-old witch attacks her, sixteen-year-old bookworm Lainey Styles is determined to find a logical explanation. But even with the impossible staring her in the face, Lainey refuses to buy in to all that “hocus pocus nonsense”—until she finds a photograph linking the witch to her dead mother.
After the library archives and even Google come up empty, Lainey gives in and consults a psychic. There she discovers that, like her mother, she’s a Keeper: a witch with the exclusive ability to unlock and wield the Grimoire, a dangerous spell book. But the Grimoire is missing, stolen years ago by a malevolent warlock known as the Master. Now that Lainey’s true heritage has been uncovered, she’s the Master’s only hope in opening the Grimoire, where a powerful spell is locked inside—a spell that would allow him to siphon away the world’s magic. In an effort to force her hand, the Master kidnaps Lainey’s uncle and offers a trade: the spell for his life.
With the help of her comic-book-loving, adventure-hungry best friend and an enigmatic but admittedly handsome street fighter, Lainey must leave behind her life of books and studying to prepare for the biggest test of all. She must steal back the book…before her uncle and the entire supernatural race pay the Master’s price.
KEEPER is a young adult contemporary fantasy, complete at 92,000 words. I have a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s in education. I currently work as a high school English teacher in the public school system where I enjoying working with my target audience. I enjoy vlogging about writing and have a growing YouTube channel with over 150,000 views and nearly 7,000 subscribers. When I’m not writing, I’m busy wrangling my 4-year-old twin daughters, binge watching shows on Netflix, and making death-by-cheese casseroles.
Oh man, I think I wrote and rewrote my query probably 25-30 times before I actually started querying with it. I’m a bit of a perfectionist and I could never seem to get it “just right.” I still don’t love the finished product, but eventually I just forced myself to send it and hope for the best! I got my first request about ten minutes after I sent one of the first queries, but I attribute that more to the agent personalization than the query content itself. I did a lot of research on agents and really tried to authentically personalize each one. I think that’s super important! Overall, I sent about 85 queries; I began in March and accepted my agent’s offer of representation in September. My best advice for queries? Clear stakes, agent personalization, and a dash of your own personality!
Kim Chance is an English teacher from Alabama, currently residing in Michigan with her husband and three children. When not writing, Kim enjoys spending time with her family and two crazy dogs, binge-watching Netflix, fangirling over books, and making death-by-cheese casseroles. Keeper is her first young adult novel. Kim is also a YouTuber who loves connecting with other writers. She posts videos at www.youtube.com/kimchance1 and is the creator of the #ChancetoConnect chat on Twitter. Connect with her on Twitter: @_KimChance, Instagram: kimwritesbooks, Facebook: @kimwritesbooks, and on her website: www.kimchance.com.