Friday, September 07, 2007

Query For Demon's Lexicon That Landed Me As The Agent

STATUS: TGIF and might get out of here before 6 p.m. …

What’s playing on the iPod right now? SAVE A PRAYER by Duran Duran

Since I just announced my two recent auctions, I thought it might be fun to share the original query letters with my blog readers.

First up is Sarah Rees Brennan and with her permission, the original query letter that was sent by email and that made us request 30 sample pages.

Dear Ms. Nelson and Ms. Megibow:

I am a big fan of Ms Nelson's blog and the dedication and positive attitude obvious in every post. I would like you to consider THE DEMON'S LEXICON, my YA urban fantasy set in modern-day England. The manuscript is complete at 75, 000 words.

What can I say, I'm a sucker for flattery! Seriously, it's a very straightforward introduction. All the necessary information is given.

What would be the first word to come to mind about the runaway romance between a beautiful, headstrong woman and a darkly fascinating magician?

For Nick, it's 'embarrassing', since said beautiful, headstrong woman was his mum. 16 year old Nick has been brought up on the run from the darkly fascinating magician after things really didn't work out between him and Nick's mother. He resents his mother for the predicament they're in, and he was mostly raised by his older brother, Alan.

The answer wasn't what I expected, and I love how she taps into exactly what a 16 year old would think about his mother and a romance. She has my full attention.

Nick has also been brought up knowing that there are certain people who have limited magical abilities. Some of them, the magicians, increase these magical abilities by summoning demons who give them more power - in return for the magicians giving them people to possess. The other magically gifted people have considerably less power and rely on magical trinkets and information, exchanged every month at a 'goblin market.' As the only people who know about the magicians and their victims, they do try to control things, but it's an endeavour that is not going well.

This is a quick explanation of the world she has created. Notice it doesn't take pages and pages. One brief paragraph. I expect the next paragraph to give me more of the conflict that is going to unfold with the character of Nick that she has introduced.

Nick, who can summon demons and is pretty handy with a sword, is mostly concerned with just getting by, but his life is greatly complicated by the advent of his brother's latest crush. Not only is she a little too attractive for Nick's peace of mind, but she has a boy in tow who bears the marks of demon possession. Added to that the fact that Nick has started to suspect that Alan, the only person in his life who he trusts, has been lying to him about a few very serious things, and not only Nick, but everybody else, are in for some surprises.

And here's the conflict. I'm intrigued. Two brothers on the run. One is lying. Hum... I think I need to see more.

I have a popular online blog, some contacts in the writing and publishing world. I want to move ahead on this with an agent, and I also want an agent for the long term, for negotiation and guidance - in fact, everything it says on the tin - that is to say, your website.

I'm still wondering what a "tin" is and if it's a Irish/British saying... but what the heck, I'm interested enough to read sample pages.

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

Sarah Rees Brennan

On Monday, I'll share with you the letter I wrote to the editors that started all the excitement about this very special novel. Until then...

I'm out.