Monday, March 12, 2012

Climbing the Mountain

I reached the peak! I've actually sent out a few queries :) Hitting SEND was a mountain sized hurdle, but I did it! YAY!

Teetering on this precipice, I'm now terrified of what's to come--climbing all those other mountains. Looming in the distance are Mount Form Rejection, Mt. "No response means no", Close But Not Quite Mountain, and the worst one of all--Mt. Waiting, or more often called Patience Mountain. Aaaah, the agonizing climb that could take days, weeks, even months.

So, while I wait, and wait, and wait, I thought this would be a good opportunity to throw up my query for critiquing as I stand at the base of Patience Mountain.

Here's the 28th version of my query letter for MY PROTECTOR: THE CALLING:

Dear Agent,

Fourteen-year-old Eri sprints into the night seeking a beast that wants nothing more than to feast on her flesh. She knows this is suicide, but she can't deny the pull. The Calling is too strong. As the beast’s claws reach for her throat, a Protector slices off its head, saving Eri from a bloody death.

The Protectors are River Island’s only defense against the monsters roaming the darkness. The clandestine guardians use the Calling—the internal link to the man-eating beasts—to watch over the village. Being a Protector is an honorable, secretive position, and one only fit for men.

As the link grows within Eri, she finds herself repeatedly drawn beyond the borders, hoping to satiate the rage flooding her veins. But without proper training, the beasts will destroy her. And as a girl, Eri’s not allowed the education to become one of the Protectors.

Beast encounters increase. Villager deaths rise. Eri must secretly learn the skills to fight before there's nothing left to fight for.

MY PROTECTOR: THE CALLING is a young adult post apocalyptic novel complete at 68,000 words. Readers of Kimberly Derting's THE BODY FINDER and Maggie Stiefvater's THE SCORPIO RACES will connect with Eri’s journey—a girl shunned from the only profession that can give her the tools to control her inexplicable connection to seek out evil.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Thoughts? Tweaks? Suggestions? Questions?

I tweeted about sending out my first query last week, and Ellen Brook from Keytop, Inc. tweeted back about a great offer her business is currently promoting. "Keytop, Inc. is a multipurpose writing company that provides high quality professional creative content, including business writing, copywriting, editing, and proofreading." Right now, Keytop, Inc is offering a free critique of your query letter OR the first five pages of your manuscript. They're providing these free critiques until they have several solid examples for their portfolio on a first come first serve basis. Check out their blog HERE or find them on Twitter HERE for more information and a chance at a free professional critique.


  1. That sounds really interesting. Good luck with your querying!

  2. Good luck with querying! I'm sure it's a scary process, but I bet the view from the top of Mt. "I'm published" is awesome!

  3. The query looks pretty good Hope. Though I'm not an expert, there's a clear conflict and stakes for the MC are high. Very interesting. Good Luck!

  4. I think it looks really good. It's not confusing in anyway and I love how you have the two comparison novels. It shows that you are well read and know your genre. Good luck. Querying is such a nerve wracking thing. First the hovering over the mouse just to hit the send button and then the waiting! Oh god the waiting. lol :)

  5. First off, woohoo! You've started querying - that is so exciting! I'm wishing the best for you. :)

    I'm certainly no expert on query writing, but I like the fact that you alluded to yet another underlying conflict (besides the beasts, internal stuff, etc.): girls aren't allowed to do what boys are allowed to do.

    Keep us posted on your process. :)

  6. Ah, I love it! And I love that I've seen it go from version one to this :D Querying is scary, but fun too. Good luck!

  7. We can stand at the bottom of Patience Mountain together. I'll bring the popcorn, you bring the movies!

  8. Damn, girl! That is one fine query! The characters are introduced, the challenge is set, the stakes are high, the choice is in question...what more could anyone ask for?! Totally awesome job! You're gonna get requests. Lots of 'em. No doubt about it. Good luck!!

    Oh and, uh, BTW - You've been tagged! Go to my blog to check out the details!

  9. I don't know a lot about query letters, yet, but this one looks good. It makes me want to read your book!

  10. I'll join you, Jen and everyone else at the bottom of Patience Mountain.

    And I still get goosebumps reading that query :)

  11. Congrats for making the jump to querying! It's a great query letter, very pointed, but explains enough to make me interested in reading the book. :)

  12. Good luck with your querying! Don't worry about those rejection form emails because we all get them and you can make it past them. :)

  13. I couldn't possibly add anything about queries. They scare the ever-living out of me.