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 so 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 MarcyKate Connolly. This great query connected her with her agent, Suzie Townsend.
Most people remember their first crush, first kiss, and first day of school. Kymera remembers none of that.
But she will never forget her first breath.
When Father recreates her from the parts of her broken body, the wings of a raven, the tail of serpent, and a cat’s razor-sharp vision, he gives her life without memories or pain.
But not without a mission.
Kymera knows who murdered her. A wizard in the city of Bryre who is sacrificing the girls of the countryside one by one. He is monstrous and now Father has created a monster to stop him.
Kymera sneaks into Bryre each night, rescuing the captive girls and doing her best to avoid the city’s human inhabitants. Then one night she meets Ren, the king’s page boy, and her resolve weakens. Her nightly missions take on a dual purpose—save the other girls and steal a few moments with the boy who has yet to see her without her cloak.
As she lingers each night, Kymera begins to overhear things: a snide remark about Father, rumors of a hideous beast, and whisperings of a black market dealing solely in live, human goods. Ever since that first breath, she’s known exactly who she is, but now she is forced to ask who is the real monster here—the wizard, her father, or worse, herself?
MONSTROUS, a YA fantasy complete at 85,000 words, is Frankenstein meets the Brothers Grimm told from the viewpoint of the monster as a teenage girl. I believe it will appeal to fans of Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Graceling.
MONSTROUS was the 7th novel I wrote and the 4th I queried. In fact, I was thisclose to not querying MONSTROUS at all because I was burned out by a long, disappointing querying run on the previous book. But thanks to the combined force of my CPs insisting this book was special, and the outpouring of love for my entry in the first Writer’s Voice contest, I did (and thank goodness for that!).
You’ll notice I queried MONSTROUS as Young Adult. It was also signed by my agent as YA and went on submission as YA. But my brilliant editor immediately saw it was meant to be Middle Grade and bought it as such. She was 200% right! Making the book more solidly MG is hands down the best thing to ever happen to it.
MarcyKate Connolly is an author and nonprofit administrator who lives in New England with her husband and pugs and writes weird little books. She’s also a coffee addict and voracious reader. She blogs about all those things and more at MarcyKate.com and can be found on Twitter. Her work is represented by Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary and Media. Her debut upper middle grade fantasy novel, MONSTROUS, is out now from Harper Collins Children’s Books and the companion, RAVENOUS, will be out 2/9/2016.