Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Query, Anyone?

With the New Year energy, I wish I were querying. But my WIP, or NaNo project that I've talked about here won't be ready for a couple months. Note to self: Don't query too early. Made that mistake last time.

And note to reader: I'm actually excited about querying again. That way I can share my querying adventures, when I wasn't able to before, being blogless.

Because I'm elbow deep in polishing the WIP, and literally, vomit from the hubby and kids, I thought I'd share my former query letter--even though I've placed this project on a well-dusted spot on my best shelf.

It's always nice to know what a successful query letter looks like. And this little puppy worked wonders:

Dear Fabulous Agent that I worship so much:

The storms come like clockwork. Every day, the dark cloud descends upon the town, erasing the memories of every person. Except Clara.

After Clara's Dad mysteriously disappears, the Diviners, captive souls who feed off memories, come for her. She flees to Khalom where she hopes to find safety, along with Cael, the shadow warrior who fights for the city's protection. But because she's an outsider, and has been exposed to the Diviners, she's regarded with suspicion. Forced to live the Noble life, Clara faces going to school with peers who want her dead.

Throughout this, a unique power stirs inside of her. The power to kill. And it grows until she's not sure if she can control it. Outside the gates, Clara knows she's being watched. Yet, curious about Cael, she is drawn to the perimeter, caught by his dark and deadly presence. When the Diviners break through the city's defense and students begin to turn up brain dead, Clara must find a way to stop the attacks before the city--and her mind--is wiped clean.

I know there are loads of sites that have amazing tips on how to write a great query, and you've probably all read them twice, but if I were to offer advice? Get advice. Call on your friends. I know I owe huge thanks to Jeyn Roberts, aka "The Query Queen" where you can find her fabulous book, Dark Inside, here on amazon. Heh, I can slip in small plugs here and there, right? If you haven't read it, please do. It'll keep you up at night. In a freak-you-out-I'll-never-sleep-again sort of way. 

Where are you in the query process? If you've already landed an agent, what was your query experience like? If not, are you nervous to dive in? Or are you in the middle of it now and enjoying the ride?

Red. Head. Out. :D 


  1. Thanks for posting the query letter, Morgan! That sounds like such a cool story: I'd definitely read it! You said 'this little puppy worked wonders'... do you mean that you got a lot of requests? I'm just wondering, b/c you seemed frustrated about not being able to get an agent, yet your query seems great.
    Whatever the situation, best of luck!

  2. Thanks, Elanor :D

    I did. I had huge success with querying--in terms of getting a ton of requests. But the plain facts are the story wasn't ready--I see that now. And it took the R's on submissions to see that. It's great though--there's no way I would've learned what I learned without diving into the process. And now I know not to make the same mistakes again. Crazy process, this whole thing! ;)

  3. This query sounds fabulous! I'm querying... well I was in Nov. and Dec., but not sure if I will in Jan. cuz it's crazy busy for agents.

    And great job on requests! At least you know that your writing has value and that you can catch an agent's eye. I'm sure you'll have another inbox full of requests once you query Wip :)

  4. Lovely, Morgan, as always (even the vomiting). You're the best and destined for greatness whichever road you take. Me, nah, I have no patience and gave up querying after a dozen or so rejections. Query. Can't they find a better word for it? Sounds so diminutive. "May I please query of you, kind sir? I'm so tiny right now that no one can hear me." If they had changed the word to something with a touch of power I may have stuck with it but instead dove head first into self-publishing without even checking the water temp. The rest is some form of literary history, though the jury is still undecided.
    (Teenie typo above, Clara's dad--small case)
    Love you bunches.

    J. Dog. Out.

  5. *shudders* Querying is just the most difficult thing in the world. I sucked at it BIG time. I'm lucky that my agent saw through the awful mess that was my query letter. I dread the day that I have to do it again. *hopes to cling onto agent* I <3 you Tina.

    It's only a matter of Time, Morgan. I'm 100% sure of it. And I'm still waiting to go on tour with you, so hurry the hell up. LOL!!

  6. Jason: Ah-hahaha!!!! You know one of these days I'm doing a special guest post just on you, yes? My mentor!

    Leigh: You are a crack up. I'm hurrying! I'm hurrying!

  7. I haven't started querying yet. I'm still working on the final rewrite for Departed Innocence. (One can only hope). But it always seems that the revisions never end.

    The story sounds very interesting, I would very much like to read it:) The Jeyn Roberts is really the "Query Queen". She helped me create my current query for Departed Innocence.

    So how is Shadow Watchers coming along?

  8. I am SO stealing your salutation. That's awesome.

    I have yet to dive into the query pool. I just barely started writing less than a year ago, and none of my WIP's are ready yet. I thought I was close on one, but after starting the second and realizing how much my writing had changed, I knew #1 needed to be completely overhauled. So that's where I am right now - RE-WRITE!

    I'm trying to work out a good query as I go, but I'm having a hard time, even after reading every single post on Query Shark, haha! Thanks for sharing yours though, it's awesome! Gives me something to work towards :-)

  9. Nice! Thanks for sharing, Morgan! I'm about to query, and I've been freaking out a little. *grins*

  10. Great query letter! I'll be embarking on my query adventure within a couple months, so I'm trying to soak up all the wisdom I can. It's great to read one that actually worked! Thanks for sharing. Your writing is awesome, and I have no doubt that a great agent will recognize your genius :)

  11. Querying was almost stressful, but also exciting to me too. It came with some many possbilities. Yes, heartache, but HOPE too. The hope was exciting.

  12. Oh, I love your query letter. I am awestruck. Sigh! I'm happy you're happily totting along your WIP. I'm glad you got it out there on the computer screen to free you from the awful experience of querying.

    Quering was horrible. I got through it because of someone named Morgan Shamy. Oh, my golly, that's YOU!!! Thanks. Querying isn't fun but good to help a writer develop some pretty thick skin. I'm glad I went through it. Made me better.

  13. Hey! I left you an award on my blog :) http://readingwritingandlovinit.blogspot.com/2012/01/wow-links-take-huge-chunk-of-time-lol.html

  14. I found you via Cassie's blog! So nice to *meet* you!

    I'm just starting the querying process after rewriting my query 26,503 times (that is a correct count...:) haha.

  15. Hi - Nice to meet you through Cassie's place! I've never queried, though my dad's just heading into the process, and coming up with some weird and wonderful querying ideas - think I'll head him your way!
    Laura x

  16. Such an impressive letter, Morg! I've queried three times now (yikes!!) and each time I did it too soon. The ironic thing is that each time I thought I was ready! The sad thing is that if I had been ready I might have a freaking agent by now! Lol. I'm getting ready to query Uranus--and I mean really query it. I've done the hard thing this time around. Waiting. Not easy for me! I'm hoping to get to it soon! Good luck getting your WIP ready!!



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