if it’s too difficult for grown-ups, write for children

Ask Daphne! About My Query IX

spaceFor the Stormtrooper in your life, these space age shoes. And for B.R., the final “About My Query” for the week. I have more in my inbox to get to, but we’ll spread them out a bit moving forward, ok? If you want our esteemed guest panel’s review of your query, you can email it to daphne.unfeasible@gmail.com with the subject line “About My Query,” followed by your book’s title. It’s a book you’d like me to consider representing, those queries still need to follow my submission guidelines and be sent to queries@ktliterary.com. With that out of the way, let’s get to today’s query!

Dear Ms. Unfeasible,

317 year old Amy has spent 300 years asleep in cryostatis. Elder has spent all of his seventeen years on board a generation space ship bound for a new planet. Born to become the leader of the space ship, Elder has no idea there is a group of people cryogenically frozen in a hidden level of the ship. When Amy wakes up fifty years early, she teams with Elder to discover who unplugged her—because whoever it was is now unplugging the others, and they’re not surviving their unbidden early wake-up call. Amy’s desperate search to find a home on the ship she’s trapped on is matched only by her search to stop the murderer before he unplugs her parents. The murderer, however, has a plan: use his strategic killing to make Elder, who is next in line to rule the ship, discover a terrible secret. Now Amy and Elder must decide: is it better to tell the truth or let everyone else live in happy ignorance?

Building on the fear of isolation and containment in Jeanne DuPrau’s CITY OF EMBER and the psychology and philosophy in Mary Pearson’s THE ADORATION OF JENNA FOX, my novel, A LONG WAY HOME, is a YA science fiction light on science but strong in character development.

I am currently a high school world literature teacher and an active member of SCBWI, having been published in and working as the copy editor of the state SCBWI magazine. Additionally, I run a blog on writing for MG and YA audiences which receives between 100 and 150 hits a day.

I am prepared to submit the entire manuscript upon your request. Thank you for your time and consideration with this project.

Sincerely,
B.R.

This is a great query to end on, since it hits most of the main things I want to see in a query dead on. Hook-like opening paragraph? Check! More general description, with comparative titles? Check! Short bio and credentials? Check!

It’s short, but does what it needs to do. Sure, I want to know more — a murderer with a plan to make sure people know stuff seems a little lame, and didn’t you already tell me Elder is next in line to be the leader? And how is it that he can be the next leader of a generation ship, and not know about the frozen people? — but that’s what the pages are for.

What do you think?

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