Ask Daphne! About My Query XXXXVII

BGM008_HEEL_LGThis gorgeous Badgley Mischka pump came up multiple times when I searched for an image for this post, so clearly, it was meant to be. Anyway, I got a number of queries when I asked for them recently, so while I’m going to be out of the office all next week for the Bologna Book fair, I’m going to be serving up an extra helping of AMQ posts for your comments. You may need to do some of the heavy lifting, though. I can trust you, right? I’ll also have another guest post from the fabulous Intern Jenny, one from kt literary client Amy Spalding, and one from the Web Monkey himself, about living with an agent (me).

But for now, let’s get to today’s query!

Dear Daphne:

In 2009, Charley Afortiori died; in 2014, she is resurrected. The first real success story, Charley is to cryonics as Dolly was to cloning. But not everyone ethically approves of her second chance at life, and Charley soon finds herself assaulted by hate mail and crank calls.

Although Charley is still seventeen, everything else has changed. Her friends have grown up and moved on. A new guy, Ryan Lewis, has moved in next door. Her parents’ marriage is deteriorating, and Charley suspects her dad is having an affair. As Charley tries to prove her dad’s infidelity with Ryan’s help, she discovers sinister secrets about her death.

Charley’s parents let her believe that she died heroically, driving off the road to avoid a collision with an oncoming car. But someone out there knows the truth, that she actually swerved the wrong way and they collided. That someone has gotten close to Charley. And that someone will stop at nothing to ensure that justice is served.

A YA science fiction novel complete at 45,000 words, FREEZING CHARLEY will appeal to fans of Scott Westerfeld and Robin Wasserman.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes,
D.Q.

This is really interesting! I don’t have a ton of comments, since I think you’ve done a good job with this — and, in fact, if you want to send me five chapters and a full synopsis, I’d love to read more. But I think you could go into a little more detail about why Charley doesn’t remember the facts of her own death. The over emphasis on “someone” in the third paragraph also reads as a little awkward, and makes me feel like maybe I know who that “someone” is already.

Ok, maybe I have a few more comments — which didn’t jump out at me the first time, because it’s a good hook. But if I’m going to be picky, in the line, “The first real success story, Charley is to cryonics as Dolly was to cloning”, I think you might want to identify what kind of success story Charley is. Maybe “The first real cryonics success story, Charley is to that burgeoning science as Dolly was to cloning.” Or maybe “Their first real success story, Charley is to the cryonics industry as Dolly was to cloning.” It just feels a little assumptive to me.

I also prefer that authors don’t assume their books “will appeal” to fans of other authors, but rather “might” or “should” appeal.

What do you guys think?

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