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A Query Sample

Wednesday, 9 May 2012  |  Posted by Brenda
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Queries are difficult to master. I decided to post my query as a sample. This is for my upcoming debut novel, LIBRARY JUMPERS (Month9Books 2014). It was bought in a three-book deal at auction. Queries, I find, work best when they are short and enticing. Here it is. I’ve participated in many contests and workshops to get this query right. I hope it gives you ideas on how to construct your query.

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Dear Agent,
Sixteen-year-old Gia Kearns would rather spar with boys than kiss them. That is, until Arik, a leather-clad hottie in the Boston Athenaeum library, busts her staring at him while she’s studying with her friends.
When he suddenly disappears, Gia swipes the book of world libraries he abandoned. As she skims the pages, she unwittingly speaks the key that sucks her and her friends into a photograph and transports them into a Paris library, where Arik and his fellow Paladijns–magical knights charged with protecting humans from the creatures traveling across the gateway books–rescue the three from a demonic hound.

Gia learns she’s a missing Paladijn and now that she’s been found, must train with an eccentric father she never knew existed. Gia and Arik commence a heated relationship as they jump into some of the world’s most beautiful libraries and travel to the Mistyk world hidden behind bookcases to stop an apocalyptic force from destroying both worlds. If fighting unfathomable creatures weren’t bad enough, Arik’s French vixen of an ex-girlfriend is hell-bent on keeping Arik and Gia apart, and a High Wizard’s hot son is determined to win Gia’s heart away from Arik.

(Credentials here)

Combining elements of fantasy and romance, LIBRARY JUMPERS, a young adult urban fantasy is complete at 93,000 words.

Thank you for your time and consideration. 
Best regards,
Brenda Drake
19 Comments
  • T.L. Bodine says:

    Mm, look at all that delicious tension! I especially appreciate how you unapologetically include the worldbuilding stuff. That’s the part I have the hardest time with — resisting the urge to explain all of the terms/world mechanics right in the query.

    If you don’t mind sharing, do you remember how many times you used this query before landing your marvelous agent?

  • I’ve wanted to read this from the first moment I saw one of your queries. So proud of you & can’t wait until I can buy Library Jumpers!! 🙂

  • Brenda Drake says:

    I got so many partial and full requests with this query, I can’t count them. I had an issue with the manuscript, which my agent found and had faith in me to fix. We worked on edits and she sent it out and I had several offers from publishers. Month9Books gave me the best deal with three books. I’m so excited to be working with the talented Georgia McBride, I can’t even express it properly. 😀

  • Thanks for sharing! It’s always helpful to see successful queries.

  • Darci Cole says:

    Wow! I feel like there was SO much in there, but said very concisely! And the tension is definitely there. So awesome! Congrats on your deal! <3

  • Dahlia says:

    Congrats again! Sounds like there are a bunch of beautiful and interesting settings in this book, and Arik is one of my favorite Israeli names. (Well, nicknames.)

  • Wow, Brenda!

    I agree with Darci_Cole. Your query had so much to offer, and at the same time was very concise. And the premise is amazing.

    Can’t wait to read your book(s)!

    …and I’m really glad I met you. Thank you so much for hosting The Writer’s Voice contest. I didn’t get picked, but I’m so happy that I met such wonderful writers.

  • Jamie Grey says:

    This is a really fantastic query – it’s voicey and full of tension, so yeah I cannot WAIT to read this 🙂

    And what an excellent example to use in our own query-drafting. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Tim says:

    Thanks for sharing your successful query with us. It all helps.

  • SueJay says:

    Thanks for sharing, Brenda. This is the hardest part for me, as I’m sure it is for a lot of us. Seeing good examples helps so much more than you know.

  • Julia King says:

    I worked and reworked my query over and over again. It was worse than writing the book. haha But somehow it snached me up Lauren. Phew!

    And your book sounds incredible. What a super fun concept. Nice!

  • Kimberly says:

    This is an awesome query. I can’t wait to read this. I’m like many of the others in that the query is so darn hard.

  • Donna says:

    I just want to say that your blog is beautifully done, just visually gorgeous and memorable. Congratulations on your book deal!

  • Good stuff, Ms. D. Reading TLB’s comments, I realized how much I don’t know and I plan to use this as a companion when I’m critiquing queriers on QT. Thanks for sharing and really, for all you do. You’re aces.

  • *accidentally commented on the wrong post. oopsies! this is where it belongs*
    can’t wait to read this! congrats on your pub deal! i can really identify with this post because i feel my query is right on (finally…phew!) weighing in the interest i’ve gotten from agents. HOWEVER, there’s something going on with my ms that is pushing the same agents away. i’ve hired an editor, searched beyond my sanity to figure it out, but just haven’t caught it (and maybe i simply haven’t found the right match in an agent). anyway, i hope someone out their loves my ms enough that they’ll take a chance on it! ok-book length comment…sorry.

  • I can’t wait to read this! I just added it to my TBR list. Congrats on your publication deal!! I’m a new follower. I would love it if you could check out My Latest Review!

    Thanks!
    Riya

  • I absolutely ADORE this query!

    Great job–great voice 😉 So can’t wait to add this to my TBR list!

  • Heidi Schulz says:

    I can see why your query worked. Looking forward to reading it one day!

  • Jayme says:

    Wow, that sounds amazing! Who doesn’t want to jump into some of the world’s most beautiful libraries with a handsome fella? 😀

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