Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Demon’s Lexicon: Letter To the Editor

STATUS: I lied yesterday. Today I’m finishing that contract if it’s the last thing I do…

What’s playing on the iPod right now? (I JUST) DIED IN YOUR ARMS by Cutting Crew

Now that we’ve had a chance to look at the query letter that Sarah sent to me, I thought it might be interesting to see the submission letter I emailed to editors for THE DEMON’S LEXICON. [Note: this is the main bones of the letter since I often tailor it to a specific editors etc.] Since Karen Wojtyla won the auction at S&S, I’ll use her name in the salutation.

Before I share the letter, here are some interesting tidbits about this manuscript and its submission.

1. This novel sold to an editor I had never worked with before. In fact, Karen didn’t know me as an agent at all. I had to ring her up and introduce myself so she wouldn’t think I was some lunatic who wanted to send her something. Now Karen is delighted I made that phone call. We are having lunch next time I’m in New York and that will be the first time we will meet in person.

My point? Agents don’t know every editor on the planet. Now we know a good majority but not all.

2. Here’s another fun tidbit. I knew the minute an editor had finished reading the manuscript because they just had to talk to me immediately about the ending. I received some late night emails and phone calls because of that. Editors couldn’t believe that they hadn’t seen it coming (even though I had warned them in the submission letter). It’s also the only submission I’ve done where I think every editor who loved it, read it twice before the auction unfolded. They had to see for themselves that all the clues were there and they could have figured it out.

And so without further ado, the letter:

Hello Karen,

Let me tell you why I love this novel. First, it’s a story of two brothers—Alan and Nick. Think for a minute. When’s the last time you read a YA urban fantasy that was about two brothers? I certainly haven’t seen one in a long time. But it’s also the story of a brother and sister—Jamie and Mae who get caught in the events unfolding around the Ryves brothers. In fact, their interconnecting lives become absolutely essential to the outcome. Here’s the other reason I love this novel, right at the minute I think I’m brilliant and I have the novel figured out, the author turns the whole story on its head. To say there is a twist would be an understatement. But if you go back and reread, you’ll see that all the subtle clues are there.

So what is THE DEMON’S LEXICON? It’s a story set in modern-day London. It’s about two brothers who are on the run with their mother because she was once the lover of a powerful magician and when she left him, she took an important charm amulet with her. When the eldest son gets marked by the magician’s demon, the family must stand and fight and only the strong yet mysterious bond between the brothers can save them.

The author, Sarah Rees Brennan, is Irish and currently lives in London. For a short stint, she lived in New York and became involved with a wide circle of writers and publishers who encouraged and supported her, including New York Times bestselling authors [Name removed] and [Name removed] (both have already agreed to read the advanced copy for a blurb) and Anna Genoese, a former editor at Tor. She has developed a wide audience through her popular blog, http://mistful.livejournal.com/
, where she writes movie parodies, book reviews and some stories, and has around four thousand registered readers (she was also recently interviewed about her blog in The Washington Post). She participates in http://community.livejournal.com/fangs_fur_fey --an adult and YA urban fantasy writers’ community started by Melissa Marr (Wicked Lovely). Currently, Sarah is completing a Creative Writing M.A. with her dissertation tutor Liz Jensen (shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction Prize for her book Ark Baby).

I’m super excited to share this novel with you, and I can’t wait to talk about the ending. So call or email me when you are finished and then I can gush all I want.

All Best,