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 Pete Catalano. This great query connected him with his agent, Eric Myers.
After reading about you on Publishers Marketplace, I would like to offer my MG urban fantasy novel, THE GRYPHON HOUSE OF THE FEARSOME, FRIGHTENING, AND FORMIDABLE, for your consideration.
In 1913 New York City, thirteen-year-old Connor McLaren is one of five apprentices at a failing creature catching shop. When Connor catches a boggart named Burnley, they devise a plan to take Burnley to the most famous landmarks in New York, release him, and then recapture him while some very frightened, very grateful people are watching . . . and lining up to hire them.
The plan is going well until a creature of enormous size and power smashes its way into an event at the American Museum of Natural History. The museum is nearly destroyed, and Connor and his friends must enlist the aid of H.G. Wells and his steam-powered weapons, and dinosaur hunter Barnum Brown to kill it. Should they fail, New York will be overrun and the creatures will either rule the world, or destroy it.
A book to be enjoyed by those that love fantasy, creature-catchers, and fast paced action, THE GRYPHON HOUSE OF THE FEARSOME, FRIGHTENING, AND FORMIDABLE is 48,000 words of Lockwood & Co. meets The League of Beastly Dreadfuls.
The main issue I’ve had with all the queries I’ve sent out up to this point was that my comp titles were always movies. The Sandlot, Home Alone, Despicable Me, etc. I loved the imagery they gave but Agents and Editors need to see how it compares to what’s currently in the market.
Pete Catalano’s debut novel ARTIFACTS will be published by Month9Books. He is represented by Eric Myers of Dystel & Goderich Literary Management and his books are written for kids of all ages — and adults who secretly never grew up. Living in Charlotte, NC with his adorably funny wife and two neurotic, massive Old English Sheepdogs, he was a theatre major in college and tries to keep the ‘suspension of disbelief’ in his life as much as he can. He spends his free time watching HOME ALONE, THE SANDLOT, and ELF. For more on Pete, check out his blog or follow him on Twitter (@Pete_Catalano).