To (Specific Agent),
I would like to introduce you to Mississippi Kids, a new mystery/fantasy novel for ages 9-12.
She falls against the cold wall, fire in her eyes, heart weeping with the sadness of the rain. She has been betrayed by the one she loved most. Sisters. He stands with breath caged in his chest, staring at the evil he's allowed. He has always wanted to be strong enough to leave his mark, but now he knows he's a coward. Alone. Tessa. Norman. Susan. All three are locked in a centuries old secret. The conspiracy of their own past.
Uh, what? Who are these people and why are they weeping all over my carpet? I cannot emphasize strongly enough how important it is to be PLAINSPOKEN in a query letter. I'll be happy if you never use more than one adjective, adverb or metaphor in a paragraph. Tell me who the characters are, what happens to them, and why I should care.
I'm sorry, but this is a bewildering mess right now. I'd stop reading here (well, ok, really, I stopped reading at the first sentence) and click "no thank you" auto-reject.
Found alone in a Mississippi wheat field as infants, Susan and Tessa have lived their entire lives at the J Putanbee Orphanage. After ten years, a twist of fate causes them to be adopted by a professor. Soon, Susan begins to learn of the Order of the Oaks, a secret society that has been searching for the sisters their entire lives. It does not take long for Michael, the brother of the professor, to poison the sisters against each other. At the same time, clues of the twins shrouded past begin to come to light. Finally, Susan gets too close to the answer and Tessa too close to the Order. The sisters are ripped apart forcing Susan to trust a junior member of the Order and rush to save her sister. In a shocking turn, Susan rescues Tessa, but learns who it was that really betrayed the sisters.
And you want 9 year olds to read this?
They fight for a chance to know family they've never had. Seeking truth. Finding betrayal. All their answers lie in the cruel hands of evil men. If only they can work together. If only they can survive.
See comment on paragraphs 1 and 2.
My name is (redacted) and I am a graduate student in my last semester working toward a Masters in Education. During my educational career, I have focused my research and thesis on Educational Storytelling. I have gained experience interacting and understanding children through my work as a children's pastor, middle school pastor, preschool teacher, mentor, literacy volunteer, and children's drama writer/director.
Written under the penname, (redacted), Mississippi Kids begins the six-part saga that tells the complete story of Susan, Tessa, and Norman. Book One is approximately 60,000 words, completed. Book Two is finished and about 55,000 words.
For 9 year olds??
Elements of Mississippi Kids can easily be compared to The Alchemyst by Michael Scott, The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown, and The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black. However, it possesses a fresh style unlike any on the market.
Wait, you've just told me that any book I sold into this market doesn't have a fresh style? And you're comparing a book for 9 year olds to The DaVinci Code?
I would be happy to send you a longer writing sample, manuscript synopsis, series synopsis, resume, or full manuscript(s).
May God bless you with the imagination of a child,
and the wisdom of a grandparent,
Resist the urge to bless me in a query letter. Please. I know you mean well, but this just isn't the place for that.