April 19, 2011

Query Letter Blogfest: PRODIGAL MAGGIE

Erinn, Alicia, Pam, Quita, and Holly are hosting a Query Letter Blogfest today.

The rules are simple:
 
Post your query, then go to the original list and pick at least 5 other queries to offer feedback on.
 
Here is my query for PRODIGAL MAGGIE:
 
 
 
 
Dear Agent-name-spelled-correctly,

[Personal information tailored to the agent] which led me to believe you might enjoy my 82,000 word YA contemporary fantasy, PRODIGAL MAGGIE.

Seventeen-year-old Maggie loves her crazy Aunt Patti’s tales of the land of Eire. But when Maggie is attacked by a vicious carnivorous plant and rescued by brothers straight out of one of her aunt’s mythical stories, Maggie realizes there’s truth – and danger – to them.

Maggie's rescue comes at a steep price: the brothers have become outlaws by saving her, and due to an ancient accord, she's been absorbed into the Natural World, a pastoral society hidden amongst the modern Irish. Now Maggie's invisible to the Modern World, preventing her from ever returning to her family.

Maggie’s world is as off-kilter as a one-winged pixie: her family thinks she’s dead, the lack of indoor plumbing is killing her, and despite her family’s dysfunction, she kinda misses them after all. The only way to restore Maggie’s old life and return to the Modern World is with the help of the brothers – one unbalanced, the other enigmatic – and their spitfire sister. The siblings agree to help Maggie, but they all have very different reasons for doing so – some of which aren’t so good for Maggie’s health.

I believe PRODIGAL MAGGIE will appeal to fans of O.R. Melling's THE HUNTER'S MOON and Kiersten White's PARANORMALCY. I live in [my state] and am working full-time on my next YA novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Abby Stevens
[phone number]
[website]


Thanks! I look forward to your comments. And if you need any pointers on what kind of feedback everyone is looking for, check out Pam & Quita's blogfest entry.

15 comments:

KO: The Insect Collector said...

Hi Abby- how cool to read about your WIP!
Contemporary fantasy is not my usual fare, but you totally hooked me with "Maggie’s world is as off-kilter as a one-winged pixie".
LOVE that line.

I tripped up on the description of the siblings. It felt more tell than show (one unbalanced, the other enigmatic). Not that I know a better way to do it! :0)

I also think in the final paragraph the last sentence flows more this way:
The siblings agree to help Maggie, but they all have very different reasons for doing so – some of which aren’t so good for Maggie’s health.
I just love the punch of that final phrase, and hate it to get lost behind the details.
YAY! thanks for sharing, Kat

Holly Dodson said...

This is really, really good, Abby!! I do agree with Kat's suggestion about the last sentence. But I love the voice you've infused here. :)

Lori Ehrman Tinkey said...

Hi Abby, hope this is helpful for you:

Dear Agent-name-spelled-correctly LOVE IT, ALWAYS A CHALLENGE LOL,

[Personal information tailored to the agent] which lead NO 'A' me to believe you might enjoy my 82,000 word YA contemporary fantasy, PRODIGAL MAGGIE.

Seventeen-year-old Maggie loves her crazy Aunt Patti’s tales of the land of Eire GREAT. But when Maggie is attacked by a vicious carnivorous plant and rescued by brothers straight out of one of her aunt’s mythical stories, Maggie realizes there’s truth – and danger – to them YIKES! I MEAN, HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? WOULD BE GREAT TO GIVE A CLUE ON TIME AND PLACE ALONG THE WAY.

Maggie's rescue comes at a steep price: the brothers have become outlaws TO WHOM? by saving her, and due to an ancient accord, she's been absorbed into the Natural World, a pastoral society hidden amongst the modern Irish INTERESTING!. Now Maggie's invisible to the Modern World EXCELLENT -- THIS IS THE TIME AND PLACE I WOULD START WITH ABOVE, preventing her from ever returning to her family.

Maggie’s world SOUNDS LIKE A WHOLE OTHER WORLD -- I'D SUGGEST ANOTHER WORD is as off-kilter as a one-winged pixie: her family thinks she’s dead HOW DOES SHE KNOW?, the lack of indoor plumbing is killing her LOVE IT, and despite her family’s dysfunction WE ONLY KNOW ABOUT THE NOT-SO-CRAZY AUNT, she kinda misses them after all VERY WELL TOLD. The only way to restore Maggie’s old life DO YOU MEAN RETURN HER TO THE MODERN WORLD? THAT WOULD BE COOL is with the help of the brothers – one unbalanced, the other enigmatic – and their spitfire sister. The siblings agree to help Maggie, but they all have very different reasons for doing so – some of which aren’t so good for Maggie’s health INTERESTING! LONG SENTENCE. I WOULD LOVE A BIT MORE OF A HINT SO I'D KNOW WHAT SHE IS UP AGAINST.

I believe PRODIGAL MAGGIE will appeal to fans of O.R. Melling's THE HUNTER'S MOON and Kiersten White's PARANORMALCY. I live in [my state] and am working full-time on my next YA novel.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Abby Stevens
[phone number]
[website]

Fun story!

Abby Stevens said...

Kat - Thank you so much! I completely agree. I have adjusted accordingly.

Holly - thank you! As soon as I saw Kat's comment, I was like... yep!

Thank you both for commenting on my query! I appreciate it!

Alicia Gregoire said...

Abby, this is really fantastic! I'm ready to read this NOW.

I agree with Kat on that last sentence to punch it up and I too love the "as off-kilter as a one-winged pixie." The description about the siblings comes at an odd place, but I can't find another place where it would fit naturally.

Then, one final, nitpicky thing. On your comp title sentence, I'd can the "I believe" part. It reads stronger that way.

Abby Stevens said...

Oh, thank you Alicia! I am slightly unsure of the siblings' description, but I've been wracking my brain trying to figure something else out! Hopefully it will come to me (or someone else has a suggestion!). Also, re: "I believe," I wondered about the same thing, but I'm worried if I take it out, I might come across too cocky? What do you think?

Lori M. Lee said...

Iiiii have nothing to add LOL. Sorry to be useless, but I think it sounds great (and I know I've read that query before... yalitchat? possibly another blogfest?). I'm interested in knowing more about these brothers and this Natural World vs the Modern World!

mooderino said...

I wanted to know what abou tthe brothers made her realsie they were out of her Aunt's stories. Pointy ears?

The carnivorous plant seems not very Irish, felt a bit random.

one-winged pixie line is great.

unbalanced and enigmatic are both very vague.

I think you need to be more specific about what people are after and what Maggie is risking. I realise you don't want to give away stuff, but a query is about selling the idea, which means you have to show the hook, the stakes, and the options. It got a bit too general at the end, imo.

Hope that helped.

regards,
mood
Moody Writing

Angie said...

Seventeen-year-old Maggie loves her crazy Aunt Patti’s tales of the land of Eire. But when Maggie is attacked by a vicious carnivorous plant and rescued by brothers straight out of one of her aunt’s mythical stories, Maggie realizes there’s truth – and danger – to them. I WAS FOLLOWING ALONG GREAT HERE UNTIL I GOT TO THE LAST BIT. WOULD MAKE MORE SENSE TO JUST END WITH THE PHRASE THAT EIRE IS REAL.

Maggie's rescue comes at a steep price: the brothers have become outlaws by saving her, and due to an ancient accord, she's been absorbed into the Natural World, a pastoral society hidden amongst the modern Irish. THIS SENTENCE TRIPS ME UP BECAUSE TOO MANY THINGS ARE INTRODUCED, AN ANCIENT ACCORD, A PASTORAL SOCIETY, THE NATURAL WORLD (IS THIS THE SAME PLACE AS EIRE?) Now Maggie's invisible to the Modern World, preventing her from ever returning to her family. COOL PREMISE!!

Maggie’s world is as off-kilter as a one-winged pixie: LOVE THIS SENTENCE. her family thinks she’s dead, the lack of indoor plumbing is killing her, and despite her family’s dysfunction, she kinda misses them after all. THE AFTER ALL DOESN'T WORK HERE BECAUSE YOU HAVEN'T ESTABLISHED THAT SHE HAS ANY PROBLEM WITH THEM, IN FACT YOU SUGGEST THAT SHE FINDS HER AUNT ENCHANTING. The only way to restore Maggie’s old life and return to the Modern World is with the help of the brothers – one unbalanced, the other enigmatic – and their spitfire sister. The siblings agree to help Maggie, but they all have very different reasons for doing so – some of which aren’t so good for Maggie’s health. I LIKE THIS SENTENCE, BUT IT'S A LITTLE VAGUE BECAUSE I'M NOT SURE WHAT IT MEANS. IS HER LIFE IN DANGER OR IS SHE GOING TO BECOME ONE OF THEM? IF YOU MAKE IT MORE CLEAR THEN IT WILL HELP TO ESTABLISH WHAT THE STAKES ARE AND WHAT MAGGIE HAS TO do IN ORDER TO GET BACK TO HER WORLD.

OVERALL LOVE THE PREMISE. SOUNDS UNIQUE AND I'D LOVE TO SEE SOMETHING IRISH IN YA! GOOD LUCK WITH IT. :)

Marie Rearden said...

Interesting concept!

Just a few things. This paragraph:

Maggie’s world is as off-kilter as a one-winged pixie: her family thinks she’s dead, the lack of indoor plumbing is killing her, and despite her family’s dysfunction, she kinda misses them after all. The only way to restore Maggie’s old life and return to the Modern World is with the help of the brothers – one unbalanced, the other enigmatic – and their spitfire sister. The siblings agree to help Maggie, but they all have very different reasons for doing so – some of which aren’t so good for Maggie’s health.

can probably be shortened to that she misses her family and the siblings agree to help. I love the last line (some of...). When did the spitfire sister come into play?

I would read it!

Thanks for sharing!

Marie at the Cheetah

Claire Dawn said...

I love the voice. I thought the off-kilter pixie and lack of indoor plumbing were great imagery. Good luck!

Marquita Hockaday said...

First off I love your salutation ;P

Prodigal Maggie sounds like awesomesauce :D I would LOVE to give that a read if need be. Anywho, here are my thoughts on the query!

Um--one of the best queries I've ever read. Truly. I get the conflict right away, I learn about the major characters, and I know that something tricky is going to happen with Maggie and these siblings. I guess if I have to offer any criticism I would say to put the descriptions of the brothers "The only way to restore Maggie’s old life and return to the Modern World is with the help of the brothers – one unbalanced, the other enigmatic – " when you mention them the second time- in the "Maggie's rescue" paragraph.

Other then that, bravisimo (sp)Abby! Oh, and you shall get an e-mail from myself and Pam VERY SOON.

Kate Larkindale said...

I think this is really good. You get a good sense of the book's voice and the character sounds interesting. The only thing I'm a little confused about is the two worlds. Perhaps find a different word to 'world' for one of them. That would make the two places more distinct.

Perri said...

This is a really good query. I like the description of the brothers-- and the fact they aren't the generic hero type. Perhaps a little more specificity or detail there?

The conflict is quite clear already and the motivation.

RosieC said...

Hi Abby,
I think you've got an interesting idea here, but I see a couple of little things with it (and I haven't read previous comments, so my apologies for duplicates).

First, I'm not sure what Maggie's being rescued from. I see there's a POTENTIAL for danger in your first paragraph, but no real reference to her being in danger. But the second paragraph starts right in on her being rescued. I had to reread it a couple of times to make sure it wasn't just me, and you don't want to make an agent reread. :/

I love the "Maggie's world is as off-kilter as a one-winger pixie" line. It's great. But I'm a little confused, based on it, as to who Maggie is. Is she a Pixie? What's the land of Eire? I think there's a tiny bit of background info that could be added to make this a little stronger.

All in all, I like it. I would read it. Thanks for sharing, and thanks for your thoughts on mine as well!

Rosie
East for Green Eyes

You might also like...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...