Ask Daphne! About My Query LXVII

August 6th, 2010 • Kate

steampunk_shoesGot a special treat for you guys this week! Well, two, actually. First of all, I’m opening up to new About My Query posts to take me into the fall, so if you’d like to submit your query for posting and review on this site, please email it to me at with the subject line “About My Query” and your book’s title. If you’re confused about how the AMQ posts work, I invite you to check out the archives. Update: And we’re closed again. Thanks for those who’ve already submitted!

And so onto the second cool thing! This week, I wanted to share with you a query that worked, by new client Erin Danehy. Following is the exact email she sent me earlier this year.

Dear Ms. Testerman,

I am seeking representation for BOUND BETWEEN, my young adult fantasy novel with a steampunk/urban twist, complete at 94,000 words.

Naeva’s sorcery tends to break things. This affinity is supposed to be useful, but in school it meant she couldn’t sit near the heating
machines or use the lifts. Now that she’s finished school, Naeva goes out of her way to avoid sorcery society. But when her younger brother becomes indebted to Cassiel Vanden, a man who is both sorcerer and shifter — an anomaly — she agrees to pay the debt in her brother’s place. The price? Naeva must remove the binding that keeps Cassiel trapped halfway between his human and canine forms.

Then Naeva’s affinity “breaks” Cassiel’s binding, shifting him human as long as she touches him. But she can’t touch him all the time, for a variety of reasons. Instead of bringing Naeva closer to a solution, this effect of her sorcery raises new problems and drags her into the middle of a decade-old feud between the sorceress who bound Cassiel and Naeva’s family. To bring order back to her life — and Cassiel’s — Naeva must embrace her sorcery and uncover the truths about the past that threaten her future.

Set against the backdrop of a diverse, multi-tiered city with elements of steampunk, adventure, and romance, BOUND BETWEEN is a stand-alone novel with series potential. I’ve been following your blog and Twitter feed for some time and believe we share a similar sense of boundless optimism. I believe BOUND BETWEEN would find a wonderful home with you.

Below I’ve included the first three pages of the manuscript. I’d be happy to provide a larger portion or the full manuscript upon request.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Erin Danehy

So what do you think? Would it have worked for you, if you were playing agent? And any editor friends reading this — we’re submitting after Labor Day! Let me know if you’re interested in taking a look!

Filed Under: About My Query, Ask Daphne!

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10 Responses to “Ask Daphne! About My Query LXVII”

  1. Kristan Says:

    Hmm, so, I'm totally biased, but I think this query (and the manuscript) rock! ^_^

    If I were putting on my unbiased hat, I would say that this query works because I learn what the story is about, I am intrigued by the conflict (and the hint of romance!), and the world sounds fascinating. So I would definitely have requested a partial of this.

  2. Krista V. Says:

    Definitely sounds interesting. And I'll definitely be sending my query for you to critique!

  3. Jenn Says:

    This query rocks. It provides all the necessary details in a fascinating way.


    -first sentence gets right to the point

    -unique blend of 'young adult fantasy novel with a steampunk/urban twist'

    -she mentions that she has been following your blog and Twitter

    -says that it is a stand alone book but has series potential…sometimes I feel like people are so caught up in the potential of a series that their first book is just a filler for what could happen in the following books

    -no grammar/spelling errors 🙂

  4. Jess Says:

    It works for me – I love that we get a sense of the world without being weighed down with it, something I struggle with.

  5. Najela Says:

    She had me at Steampunk. =)

    It definitely sounds interesting. I’d be curious to read the first pages.

  6. Query statistics for BOUND BETWEEN | the random ponderings of e. f. danehy Says:

    […] My query letter for BOUND BETWEEN. Eeeeeeeeeep. […]

  7. Rissa Watkins Says:

    Oooh, this book sounds good. Gah! hate that we have to wait a few more years to read it.

  8. Deb Salisbury Says:

    Yup, I'd read on. I'm looking forward to seeing this book in print!

  9. Elizabeth Briggs Says:

    Ok… I want to read that book! Sounds a bit like Soulless but with even more of a fantasy setting. Good luck with the submissions!

  10. Heather Says:

    I liked the opening part, but it lost me in the middle. Is Cassiel evil, or misguided, or misunderstood? What is it about him in dog form that makes it a problem that Naeva can't touch him all the time? Should she be afraid of this connection to him?