Dear Query Shark:
Cassie’s stepfather wants to control her life.
He wants to send her to some private Catholic powerhouse school because he thinks she’s a soccer prodigy, and okay maybe she is, but it doesn’t mean she should go there. Especially when Cassie thinks Coach Z, the soccer coach for the local high school, is like the coolest lady on the planet.
Cassie’s controlling stepfather is just the beginning of her problems. Her mom is a dizz. Her brother, Jesse, is a total drug-freak. Worse is that her real dad, who supposedly died when she was three years old, has a stranglehold on the family.
Whoa, stop right there. What??
Her mom and stepfather are too freaked out to breathe his name and so they go on pretending each day that he’s one of the silent dead but Cassie is positive he is not because he stalks her at soccer practices.
What? Her dead father stalks her at soccer practice? Why?
ZEN AND THE ART OF SOCCER, complete at 79k words, is a quirky suburban YA story about the beauty of soccer and a coach that is dying of cancer, and about a family re-uniting against great odds.
Suddenly Coach Z is dying of cancer? And who's reuniting? The dead guy? You have dead fathers stalking and the word "paranormal" better appear somewhere in the query.
I’ve been coaching travel and high school soccer for over ten years and know the thrills and potholes of teenage sports. Cassie must learn the hard way that: It’s not about what you are. It’s about who you will become…
It's not about who you are, it's about who you will become? What the heck does that mean? And what does it have to do with her dead father, controlling stepfather and her dying coach?
Thank you for your time. Please let me know if you would be interested in seeing a portion or all of the manuscript.
I'm really confused about the plot. Who is the antagonist? What does the dead father have to do with stuff? What's at stake? This book can't be about soccer. It has to be about Cassie. Thus your query letter should be about Cassie, not soccer.