Ask Daphne! About My Query XC

November 18th, 2011 • Kate

AlafemmeMcQueen6Last one! I look forward to your helpful comments, and will add my thoughts this weekend.

Dear Ms. Testerman:

Thank you for hosting an “About My Query” session. I am a huge fan of your blog and Tumblr. I would appreciate your consideration of BLOOD PACT, my young adult fantasy novel complete at 67,000 words.

Best friends Faylinn and Luke were born to die.

In rural Alabama, where the cruel Unseelie faerie court has become the ruling class, the annual human sacrifice is the only thing keeping the tenuous peace between humans and fey. But as they prepare for their upcoming execution, seventeen-year-olds Faylinn and Luke uncover some disturbing truths: they’re half-fey themselves, and this year, their deaths won’t be enough to satisfy those in power. The Queen is hungry for blood, and if her twisted plan succeeds, the entire human race will be brutally annihilated.

With only each other to trust, Faylinn and Luke flee the Queen’s deadly hunt and set off on a quest to seek intervention from their people—the Seelie Court. Alone and on the run, the two grow closer than they’ve ever been, but as their relationship deepens, so do the layers of deceptions. Luke knows more about the Queen’s maniacal plan than he’s letting on, and Faylinn’s been hiding a lifelong secret of her own: she sees spirits.

Luke and Faylinn were once inseparable, destined to live and die side by side. Now, with the fey courts at war and the lives of everyone they love at stake, the teens must overcome their growing mistrust and fight together for what they believe in. But as they come into their own otherworldly powers, Luke and Faylinn face an even bigger battle: what if they no longer believe in the same thing?

I am an active member of SCBWI, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, YALitChat, and the Lighthouse Writers Workshop, where I continue to study creative writing with Sarah Ockler, author of Twenty Boy Summer. I also manage a blog, Twitter, and Facebook page for YA book lovers.

I appreciate your consideration and look forward to hearing from you.


And just to thank you all for commenting on these queries for the last two weeks, I’m thrilled to open up submissions once again for weekly About My Query posts. Not counting next week, since the (shopping) day after Thanksgiving counts as a holiday in my house, there are five more Fridays until the end of the year. I’ll post one a day, so the first five authors to send their queries to me at with the subject line About My Query: [your title] will get a spot, and the rest of you will have to wait until January. Cool?

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5 Responses to “Ask Daphne! About My Query XC”

  1. Lindsay F Says:

    This is a great query in my opinion. I don't love fairies, but I would totally read this book. I'm trying to figure out a good way to point out my confusion with Luke and Faylinn and I'm having a hard time. I was a little confused at first because I didn't automatically think that two people could grow closer and closer but grow more mistrustful of each other. I guess that is possible, but it's still throwing me for a loop. Other than that, sounds fantastic! Hope this gets published someday!

  2. Krista V. Says:

    I think this is pretty well-written, but on the whole, it left me with some questions.

    First off, why specifically won't their deaths be enough to satisfy those in power? If the sacrifice has worked every other year, won't won't it work this time? Also, I'd like a little more detail on how the human race will be annihilated. Those are great stakes, but they also seem a little unbelievable.

    In the fourth paragraph, I wondered how escape was an option. If they'd been able to escape all along, why hadn't they already taken the opportunity? (Maybe they believed it was their duty to forestall the war, but if that's the case, you might want to explain that.) I think I get what you mean by the layers of deception line, but you might rephrase it as "…but as their relationship deepens, they have to work harder to keep their secrets from each other" (but more polished than that).

    To be continued…

  3. DaphneUn Says:

    Also, just to add a further question to Krista's — will their deaths not be enough because they're half-fey, and not fully human, or is that a separate issue? That could be made more clear.

  4. Krista V. Says:

    In the fifth paragraph, I'd be more specific about what Luke and Faylinn believe in. I really like how they come down on opposite sides of the conflict (that doesn't usually happen with the male and female leads in a YA novel), but I wanted to know exactly how they disagree.

    My only other concern is that I've read a lot of YA novels lately that deal with faerie lore, so you might want to go out of your way to show how your manuscript is different from all those others (especially Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series). I'm sure that you can do it – you just have to highlight what makes your manuscript unique. Good luck!

  5. DaphneUn Says:

    Thanks for your patience while I gathered my thoughts. I like this query, but I do think, as Krista outlined above, that it could do with some clarification.

    One of the things I would love to see explored further is the idea that your main characters have known their entire lives that they were destined to be executed. That's huge! Were they picked as babies, and given x number of years to live, or were they conceived and born just to die?

    You mention that the Unseelie Court rules in rural Alabama — is this the only place where the fairy world has gained purchase on the "real" world, or does the Seelie Court rule elsewhere? Where are Luke and Faylinn going to run to to find their people?

    I love that they have to "fight together for what they believe in", and the worry "what if they no longer believe in the same thing?" I think that's almost the crux of your story, and I wish it weren't buried so far down in a somewhat wordy query.