Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Query Meets Agent

So, I’ve had a lot of people ask me about my query letter. For those of you who are not writers, my query letter is what I sent to agents to see if they would be interested in reading my manuscript. Here's a blog that describes the enormity of the query letter and the tiny odds of landing an agent.

I certainly don't feel like a query pro, but you have asked and so you shall recieve. It took me several attempts to reach the query letter below and even it has been torn to shreds by writer critiques before. I know I've broken a few query faux pas(too long, it's a series, etc) but in the end it interested MY AGENT (still can't believe I can say that) and brought in 7 manuscript requests.

Dear Mr./Mrs. Agent,
(Personalized note) I hope to interest you in the first novel of my young adult science fiction series, THE APOLLO ACADEMY.
Seventeen-year-old Aurora Titon hates attention. As heiress to mega-corporation, Titon Technologies, she should be accustomed to the spotlight, but that couldn’t be farther from the case. When she is told she has been accepted into the Apollo Academy as their first female pilot astronaut, she’s terrified. Not only because she’ll eventually be responsible for flying a shuttle out of the Earth’s atmosphere at over twenty thousand miles an hour, but because of all of the attention she’ll receive training for it.
Getting accepted has been her only goal; she’s never even considered what would happen after. No matter what, she’ll just have to deal with the attention. All she’s ever wanted to do is attend the Academy, where astronauts are trained for the sole purpose of finding sources of raw materials and places to one day colonize, where students fly supersonic jets, and undergo demanding class loads, and intense physical training.
Striving to make peace with all of the unwanted attention, attend class, and prove that she belongs, she tries to connect with her peers, and soon finds herself torn between two boys who have issues of their own. Zane, the emotionally challenged genius orphan, and Sky, the academy’s over-bearing-know-it-all flight instructor.
Zane has secrets to keep, and the last thing he needs to do is get involved in Aurora’s very public life, but he just can’t seem to stay away from her. Will she unknowingly expose his deepest secret-a genetic anomaly that could get him kicked out of the academy? 
When Aurora finds herself in a series of unfortunate but potentially deadly coincidences, Zane and Skye suspect foul play. With everyone else willing to believe that Aurora’s death dive toward the earth from fifty-five thousand feet is only an aircraft maintenance problem, they are forced to work together.
Who’s behind her “accidents?” TerraUnited, a group that openly and violently opposes the alteration of space? Frontier Solutions, a Titon Technologies business rival?  Or a fellow student?
The journey to discover just how deep the plot goes reveals that things are far from what they seem. In the end a fellow cadet is arrested, a lover’s secret is revealed, and the social ramifications are wide spread.  And this is only the first semester of training…
As a graduate of Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and as a female pilot, I used these experiences to create THE APOLLO ACADEMY, a 83,000-word novel that’s full of adventure, romance, and spiked with aviation.
Thank you for your time and consideration.

Resources for Queriers: QueryShark Blog, Writer’s Digest has tons of free information & paid services, Brenda Drake is always hosting fantastic contests/critiques, join a writing group, Twitter (follow agents and hash tags like #askagent, etc)

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