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Friday, August 17, 2012

Queries that worked--Grimoire

After countless revisions of my query for Grimoire, I came up with this one (different from the original by a very few words, I might add) which I sent out to three agents I really wanted to represent me. Within 24 hours I got three requests back - two fulls, one partial. Here’s my winning query:

Dear Agent:

It is the winter of 1805 and the only thing sixteen year old Arlen is thinking of is the ball that will introduce her to high society and that ‘elegant madness’ known as The Season. But when her parents are suddenly killed, Arlen's life takes a decidedly witchy turn, beginning with the discovery of a grandmother she never knew to a book of spells that has been handed down for generations. However, this isn’t just any book of spells. This is a family’s heritage, a compilation of every scrap of magick gathered over the course of history. It’s the family’s grimoire. And someone wants hers.

Soon Arlen learns that the tragedy that took her parents’ lives may not have been an accident and hers isn’t the only heirloom book of spells. Each of the five great witch families has one and whoever holds the book holds the power in this England, where magick has as much influence as money, spells are traded for favors, and witches are courted like queens.

It will take every talent Arlen has – her mastery of the imp, Vathek, her ability to talk to the dead, and her flair for potions – to navigate this new world, and maybe, if she’s very lucky and very careful and very clever, she’ll survive.

GRIMOIRE is complete at 90,000 words and set during the Regency period in England – albeit a slightly different England. I have a BA in History and I have written several other books. I have included the first ten pages plus a synopsis per your guidelines. If you would like to see more, I would love to send it to you.

Sincerely, me

Note: The underlined portion indicates the part of the query I adjusted according to the tastes of each agent. Make sure you do the same.


Jess said...

Oh my goodness, this query makes me want to read it, too! How awesome~ a 100% request rate with this query!!! Hope you get good news back soon~ keep us posted :)

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Great response to your query! And you didn't even mention the love interest -- but then, why should you have to? There's always a love interest. That's not what makes your premise unique. Thanks for sharing!

Huntress said...

Talk about spellbound! Wow! Your query took my breath away.

I beta-ed Grimoire almost two years ago - holy talking cats, has it been that long - and it was a marvel then.

Keep us posted on its progress. I'm on the edge of my seat.

Tara Tyler said...

you guys are doing an outstanding job with this query education fest! thanks!

Lara Schiffbauer said...

This is a great query and I want to read it, too! The world sounds so fun! Lots of luck!

Ink in the Book said...

I am loving these "queries that work." They are inspiring and informative. Just the ticket I need for a boost of confidence building! Thanks for sharing your query. You did a fabulous job and your story sounds intriguing. I hope I get to read it soon:)

Mary Holm said...

Hey, wait a minute, I want to read this book! Awesome query. I hope it's published soon because I'm ready to add it to my Goodreads "Want to Read" list.

Charity Bradford said...

Ooo, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you!

Alicia Willette-Cook said...

This workshop has been an education, I must say! I knew Nothing about this process going into it. So...Thanks for the brilliant work!

As for this stellar query...IMHO...I can't wait to read the published book! Sounds awesome mshatch!