Saturday, May 10, 2008


Dear Query Shark:

Emily Daggett spent her childhood devouring fantasy novels, and she’s been disappointed with real life ever since--until she stumbles upon a wizard at the Midwestern college where she teaches. The possibilities thrill her: Magic! Adventure!

But reality keeps intruding. The wizard, the college’s sharp-tongued IT director, refuses to play the role of helpful mentor. Worse, Emily learns she’s incapable of doing magic--is, in fact, involuntarily destroying it. When adventure overtakes her, she must finally look at fantasy like a cold-eyed realist, or her bookish expectations about good and evil will get her killed.

The novel, CONVINCED, is a 106,000-word contemporary fantasy. I’m a reporter for The Baltimore Sun, where I’ve won awards for my writing, and as part of the job I regularly blog, do occasional radio interviews and--when asked--speak to large groups without wishing I were dead. Previously I worked in Iowa , the setting for CONVINCED.

I’d be pleased to send you the manuscript. Thank you very much for your time and also for your blog.

This generates an immediate request for pages. Yes, it's not perfect, but it's vivid, fun and it's clear the writer has a sense of joie de vivre. Of course I want to read it.


Gina Black said...

I want to read it too.

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

#21, please actually write this book and get it published. I too would like to read it.

Anonymous said...

Echoing the other comments, I'd love to read this too.

Kristin Laughtin said...

I'd love to read, because I'm really intrigued by how she's "involuntarily destroying" magic!

jjdebenedictis said...

I found the story itself to be vaguely described in this one, but I agree the writer presents his/herself well.

Margaret Yang said...

....And, no previous publishing credentials. The "best" queries so far have not had them.

Kudos to this writer! And thank you to Miss Shark for showing us a good example in the fantasy genre.

Chris Eldin said...

Very nice!!

Bal more is my hometown! Now I'm really curious about who the author is....

Liana Brooks said...

It sounds okay but I'd have to get some word of mouth recommendations before I'd buy. Although the idea of someone destroying magic is fun I'm having trouble figuring out why I should like the MC. I think I'm looking for justification as to why she believes there is magic and how she finds out the IT director does magic. Without understanding that I'm less hooked, but that's something to worry about on the back-of-book blurb.

none said...



Gypsum said...

Okay, it all looks like set-up to me.
I've seen it somewhere else.
Maybe in a Saturday Morning cartoon. Perhaps a Casper episode (Maybe Not)
This story has as much chance of being popular as hip-huggers and halter tops (and drunken celebrities who don't wear panties.)
An old idea that is totally fresh. I hate people who are smarter than me (thank god there's only 6,796,334,209 of them)

talpianna said...

The idea is really appealing to me, but I'd like some more details. What sort of adventures (or non-adventures) does Emily have that reveal that she destroys magic? Does being able to do that turn out to be a gift after all (saving the world from evil sorcerer?). What IS her relationship with the local wizard? Is there a romantic interest?

Does she have a cat?

Nancy Beck said...

Does she have a cat?

Of course Tal had to inquire as to whether an animal was involved, lol. :-) (Tal, you rule!)

As to the querier - sounds like fun. I'd ask for a partial and go from there.

Anonymous said...

"speak to large groups without wishing I were dead"

That's funny. I like how the writer managed to get their sense of humor into the query and working for them.