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 where 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 Judi Lauren. This great query connected her with Tina P. Schwartz at The Purcell Agency.
When seventeen-year-old Drew’s twin Tyler commits suicide, he leaves one note for their parents: “Drew will do it, too”. As he tries to piece together the reason why his brother took his own life, Drew begins receiving a series of letters his twin left him. Not only do the letters bring back a dark secret Drew’s struggled to forget, they also force him on a path to discover if he’ll do the same.
While Drew wrestles with coping after Tyler’s death, he finds solace in Raven Kensington, a charismatic girl from his school whose parents died in a car accident a few years ago. She understands what Drew’s going through; she’s felt that pain and the ache in her chest. Raven pulls Drew out of the numbness he’s been experiencing since Tyler’s suicide and the two begin a relationship as Drew slowly learns to live his life again.
But as the letters keep coming, the words in them take Drew back through the past he and Tyler have been hiding from for the last decade. As Drew tries to come to terms with the loss, all he has are the letters to guide him. With Tyler gone and the darkness of the past catching up to him, Drew is faced with the choice of wanting to live or following his brother one final time.
Fun tidbit: Judi wrote this book when she was 19, but didn’t begin editing and querying it until she was 23.
Judi used to write only as a hobby before she realized it was her dream job and got serious about it. Even though she enjoys reading books of all types she’s drawn to writing realistic books for teens that explore a darker side to the teenage years. She works as an editorial assistant at Entangled Publishing and is represented by Tina Schwartz of the Purcell Agency. She has an unnatural obsession with Chicago, New York, Dean Winchester, and Friends (the TV show). For more on Judi, check out her website, or follow her on Twitter (@).