If you ask any writer about the process of connecting with their agent (or publisher), the majority will say the most difficult part was querying. Not only the actual process of sending out the letters/emails, but formulating the query itself. In fact, I’ve heard more than a few authors say writing their query took them almost as long as drafting their book!
Some people have the talent of being able to summarize their book in a few sentences. But for those who don’t, I wanted to provide a resource so writers could learn what works, and what doesn’t, in a query.
With that in mind, I’m pleased to share today’s successful query from Whitney Fletcher. This great query connected him with his agent, Lana Popovic.
Since her exile to Earth, the dumping ground for mythological misfits, ex-valkyrie Ingrid Brokenblade has decided she’s done risking her neck for others. She now works as transport security, cracking the occasional skull with her chimera-bone mace to keep her bar tab paid. It’s boring, but steady—until Ingrid’s boss assigns her to protect Lacie LaVerre, an ordinary human, from an undead contract killer.
Lacie moves in with Ingrid for round-the-clock protection and promptly hogs the remote, uses her toothbrush, and drinks all the wine. Ingrid would like to ditch her, but there’s one problem: Lacie is sweet, smart, and might be the first woman Ingrid’s fallen for in 500 years. She needs to decide quickly, because a shadowy figure named Catternine wants Lacie dead, and he’s happy to go through Ingrid first.
Ingrid discovers Lacie’s soul can open the Gate of Elysium, ending the exile of all the immortals banished to Earth and plunging the universe into war. Catternine will kill Lacie to prevent that, and a legion of exiles will sacrifice her if he doesn’t. Caught between two unstoppable forces, Ingrid must choose between saving her own skin and risking her immortal life to save a woman she hardly knows. Otherwise, it won’t be her world that falls to pieces, but all existence.
QUEEN OF SHARDS is an adult urban fantasy of 97,000 words that blends the action and strong narrative voice of Ilona Andrews’ MAGIC BITES with the diverse cast of mythological characters of Neil Gaiman’s AMERICAN GODS.
My querying process was very short! I found my agent through Pitch Wars last year. I only started querying once the pitches went live, and Lana made a full request shortly thereafter, followed by an offer of representation a few days later.
Whitney Fletcher received a PhD in Communication from Northwestern University in 2013. When he isn’t working as an instructional designer, he writes science fiction and fantasy and is represented by Lana Popovic of the Chalberg & Sussman Literary Agency. For more on Whitney, check out his blog or follow him on Twitter – @cb_whitney.