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 Rae Chang. This great query connected her with her agents Mandy Hubbard and Lindsay Mealing.
Four years ago, Lena Zan Aurin was banished by Prince Andonel, the boy she spent summer evenings pelting with figs and sharing juice-stained kisses with. Dead-set on getting him back, Lena has trained in intrigue and seduction with the queen of a rival country, a queen who wants someone more competent and receptive than Andonel on the throne. Both are all too aware that they’re playing each other – just another part of the court chess game.
However, the eventual inevitability of betrayal is not Lena’s immediate concern. She plans to seduce Andonel back to her, but it will take all the skills she possesses. The newly crowned King Andonel has developed an out-of-control taste for opulence and women – rumor has it, he keeps a new mistress every month.
Lena will never stoop to being a mere mistress to the man she loved; she will be his queen. But to do so, she’ll have to outmaneuver Andonel’s shrewd and utterly devoted cousin Sherek – rumored to be the real power behind the throne – for control of Andonel’s heart. Not to mention every other noble vying for power in the court chess game of betrayal, treason, and murder.
But little do Sherek and Lena know, the supposedly inept king they both love controls more chess pieces than they think.
It’s chess for three on a board where every move masks a lie in MAD QUEEN’S CHESS, a 99,000 word fantasy with the ruthless court scheming of REIGN set in the opulent and intrigue-laden world of THE SERPENT AND THE PEARL.
I originally wrote this book as a teenager and only edited as an adult. After racking up nearly 150 rejections on that manuscript, I wrote a different book, and then came back to rewrite this manuscript from scratch. This version was (obviously) WAY better and found the right agent at the right time!
I’m a YA author and freelance editor and tutor. I ‘ve mentored writers as a Pitch Wars mentor and presented on panels at LDStorymakers and Romantic Times Convention, and I’m represented by the incomparable Mandy Hubbard and Lindsay Mealing of Emerald City Literary Agency.
When I’m not doing that, I am a composer, food worshiper, irrepressible nerd and gamer, cooking instructor, youth mentor, and school speaker. Yes, I have an Asian last name and, no, I didn’t pick it out just because the name sounds cool. My husband’s grandparents escaped from North Korea as young adults, and “Chang” is the Anglicization of the Korean surname “Jang”. As for me, I’m half Argentinean (viva!); my mom immigrated to the US in the early 1970s. For more on Rae, check out her blog or follow her on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram (@RaeAChang).