Dear Query Shark
1.) Money is tight for me, so I can't buy new books and my library can be slow to get requests in. A CP suggested reading a summary of books so I can find comps, but that feels dishonest to me...if I don't read a book, how can I truly know it's a good comp? I thought about leaving comps out altogether, but I want to highlight my MC is an anti-hero. What's your opinion on this?
2.) I struggle heavily with depression, so I've had to take steps to protect myself from querying. I have a separate email for queries only and check it once a week, and only if I'm mentally prepared. Should I make a note in my query that my response (should I be so lucky!) may be delayed?
Sixteen-year-old Katrell doesn’t mind talking to the dead; she just wishes it made her more money. Fifty bucks here and there isn’t enough to support her unemployed mother and her mother’s deadbeat boyfriend-of-the-week. But when she accidentally brings her dead dog back to life instead of summoning his ghost, Katrell gets dollar signs in her eyes. Talking to the dead is one thing, but people will pay top dollar to see their loved ones again.
I really like this.
Her plan runs smoothly at first. Though the resurrected people, called Revenants, don’t eat, sleep, or breathe, they’re warm and look enough like their old selves to convince her clients to part with thousands of dollars. Good enough for Katrell.
I really like this. And the best thing: I can see how the precipitating incident will lead to trouble down the road. That's a good thing when you're able to get your reader anticipating things.
But things fall apart when the Revenants aren’t docile puppets like Katrell thought. Her clients forget their loved ones ever existed and dump them on Katrell’s doorstep. Revenants rob citizens of her town and present stolen money and jewelry to Katrell. When her first Revenant graduates from theft to murder, Katrell has a decision to make. If she stops resurrecting people, she’ll be back under the poverty line. But if she continues, the body count will keep inching higher, and the people Katrell love may end up in the crossfire.
I really like this!
WILDFIRE is a 65,000 word young adult contemporary fantasy with elements of horror. It features an all black cast and is #ownvoices for the African-American lead and struggles with poverty.
If it were possible to like this more than I did before, I do.
I’m an author from Alabama, and so far, no Revenants are stalking me. I have a BA in English Literature with a minor in Creative Writing. I was an editorial intern with (company name) Publishing for a year.
So far anyway (let's keep it that way!)
Thank you for your time and consideration.
I love this a lot. If your pages hold up, I think you'll get requests.
As to your questions:
(1) I don't think you need comps here. However, if you want to include them, it's ok to have read summaries not the entire book. It's not dishonest.
(2) Whether you include this information is up to you. Choosing when and how to reveal that you struggle with depression has no right or wrong answer. Anyone who says otherwise should be ignored.
I don't expect an instant response to a request for the full manuscript, but I'm always much happier to get the requested full sooner rather than later. In your case, I'd want it sooner cause I'd want to start reading.
I wrote a blog post about when/how to reveal personal details that may shed some light too.