Over on Twitter just now, I’ve been discussing queries with and it occurred to me that it might be helpful if I shared my own query. For clarity/continuity/etc., I should point out that back before The Replacement was . . . well, The Replacement, I was calling it FE. Which I felt was an excellent title. Later, I was forced to admit that if you always have to explain the joke, it’s probably not a very good one.*
Without further ado, here is my query:
Dear Wonderful Agent
Mackie Doyle is the dirty secret that no one in his family talks about. All he wants is to pass for normal—and maybe get a date—but he’s running out of convincing explanations for why his eyes turn black in dim light and why the smell of stainless steel makes him sick. To top it off, his allergy to iron is getting worse and despite his sister’s best attempts to come up with a miracle cure, the prognosis isn’t good.
When he encounters a tribe of grisly-looking faeries living under the local slag heap, he doesn’t want anything to do with them. However, when they offer a concoction that will restore his health on the condition that he put in a few hours a week as their courier, it seems like a small price to pay. The job isn’t quite as easy as it looks, though, and soon Mackie finds himself caught between a pair of powerful rivals. Now there are two clans vying for his loyalty, two sides to every story, and with the lives of his friends and family at stake, no way to stay out of the skirmish. Either alliance means honoring an age-old sacrifice, and the simplest solution is to pay out some blood. The problem is, he didn’t think to ask how much.**
A contemporary YA fantasy, complete at 70,000 words, Fe will appeal to fans of Holly Black and M.T. Anderson.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Update: I feel like I should expand on this and add tips and tricks and all that, but Maggie does an excellent job of breaking down the query letter here on her blog and I would just wind up saying the same things she does, only not as well, so instead, I’ll suggest that you visit her handy list.
*Sometimes, I’m not nearly as funny as I think I am. There. I said it.
**You might notice that this part sounds a little different from how it all goes down in the actual book. Due to a mysterious process known as editing, the various words used in The Replacement are often different words than the ones included in the manuscript version, FE.