Ask Daphne! About My Query LXXXVIII

blueshoe_punamWe’re coming up towards the end of our two-week palooza of About My Query posts! Here’s today’s, and remember, please keep those comments coming!

Dear (Agent),

One day, thirteen-year-old Elena decides not to write stories during class like she normally does and instead writes that the class bully gets detention. He does a minute later. It’s got to be her new pen – everything she writes with it comes true.

But then the pen writes of its own accord about a mystical fantasy land being overrun by demons. After a demon kidnaps her family and hides them in the land, Elena will do whatever she can to save them. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as writing a happy ending – whenever Elena uses the pen, someone turns into a demon, and she could be next.

ELENA’S PEN is a 66,000-word fantasy upper MG standalone novel with series potential. I believe readers of The Neverending Story and Graceling will enjoy my book.

I am the author of a fantasy romance trilogy, [Series] – [Title1] (2009), [Title2] (2010), and [Title3] (2011) published with [Small Press]. I have also published nine short stories for anthologies, including [Anthology Title] by [Other Small Press], and many collections by [Another Small Press], with four more being published before the end of the year.

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

Best regards,

N.Z.

In the spirit of complete honesty, this is a query for a novel I’ve seen before, although this is a revised version of the query. Right off the bat, though, I still have questions that could be addressed. Who is Elena? What can you tell the reader about her? Right now, it’s all about the pen, which, given the name of the book is somewhat understandable, but I still think you want to describe or at least introduce your main character a little better. All I know is that she’s 13, and she normally writes stories in class. It is story-writing class? Is she doing it to avoid math, or science, or something like that? How did she come by the pen?

The next paragraph adds a further layer to the story — it’s not just about whatever Elena writes with the pen coming true. The demons that are created — do they appear in the real world, or in the mystical fantasy land the pen writes about?

I’d also love to know a little more about her relationship with her family. There’s so much drama in that in kids’ books, it seems well worth mentioning.

Your criedts are very good, and nicely played. Everything else sounds good. Readers, what do you think?

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