Tuesday, July 19, 2011

BlogFest Week 3: Query Critique Contest -- PART 2

Hey everyone! Thank you so much for your attention to detail and suggestions! I definitely took them under serious consideration, as you can (hopefully) see below. Here's the latest copy:

Dear [Agent],


After having visited your site, I see that you are looking for paranormal romance and adventures, and I’d like to show you GLOW, complete at 80,000 words.

Sundae has accepted her high-society life as a publishing exec, living out her father's dreams while giving up her artistic ambitions. Until, that is, she meets Brendan, a superhero-ish bartender who makes her question her choices. He’s statuesque, strong and confident – and could quite possibly be the first real man Sundae has ever dated.

But he’s not a real man at all. Brendan is an alien sent from another realm to adjudicate whether Earth is worth saving from a dark entity taking over the universe – and that's just the cherry on top. Beneath his human guise, Brendan and his crew must decide whether to allocate the Council’s protective powers – but, in order for Sundae to convince him her world is worth the risk, she must first convince herself.

With a dollop of humor, a drizzle of danger and a sprinkle of sweet-and-salty supporting characters, GLOW is a paranormal romance with depth, adventure and intrigue sure to satiate readers’ appetite for a unique voice and a compelling page-turner.

In addition to years of professional magazine, newspaper and online editing with Gannett-owned Captivate (those cool elevator screens), the Pulitzer-Prize-winning Eagle Tribune Newspaper in Mass., and multi-media technology company TechTarget, I have also published writing in both traditional print and online media.

Attached below is [requested materials], as per your request. I would be honored if you would consider representing GLOW.

Thank you for your consideration and attention,
Amber Plante

As you'll see, I left some things from the original, ditched others and embellished the teaser.
Reasons: I do think it's polite to not only show you did research on the agent by looking at his/her site before shooting off an email, but to also thank them for spending the time reading the query. Agents' time and attention are valuable, and not acknowledging their effort seems rude. Also, I like starting with an introduction – again, it's a polite factor – even though I know it's not standard.
I'm really hung up on the hook, though. I've never used one before, and I'm not really sure 1.) that I need one with the expanded description and 2.) that I want to be redundant. ... Any suggestions?

Thank you all so much, and good luck with your own queries! :) There's room on bookshelves for us all, and I can't think of nicer people to share them with one day!


  1. Great revision! I love the humor in this. I think an agent may request pages just to see if the book is as funny. Good luck.

  2. Really cool premise! I don't have much to critique here. Regarding your hook question, everyone was suggesting for mine that this go on top, and the agent details part go at the end. This is debatable among agents, however, so maybe tweak it depending on the agent and whether they give specific details on their website as to how they want the query to look.

    Also on the hook subject, you might tweak your first paragraph a bit so that you get to the juicy stuff a bit quicker. Like:

    Sundae thinks she's hit the jackpot when she meets Brendan, a superhero-ish bartender who is strong and confident and quite possibly the first real man she's ever dated. Except he isn't a real man at all.

    And the paragraph about humor, danger and supporting characters tells the story, instead of showing (though I love the descriptions!) The awesome voice you inject in the previous paragraphs shows those things, so that paragraph is unneeded IMO.

    Great job!!

  3. Angie -- Thanks for your support :) The voice of the story is the same as the voice of the query, so I hope so!

    Alexia -- Yeah, the hook thing I'm just not sold on. Thanks for the idea on revising that first teaser graph. I like it! Also, the grpah you mentioned was a late addition because everyone seemed to think I needed something to tie it all together -- good cut! Thakn you, your help was wonderful!

  4. Hi Amber
    I'm a new follower. I'm slowing getting to know everyone on Deana's blogfest - but it's hard to have time to 'meet' everyone. I'll get there in the end!
    Congratulations on being shortlisted for the contest.

  5. Hey -- Nice to meet you, as well. I like your pic, only I quit coffee cold turkey a few months ago :)


Thank you in advance :)