chasingthecrazies

Chasing my crazy dream in the writing world…

QUITE THE QUERY: WADE ALBERT WHITE AND MAGICK 7.0 August 24, 2016

 

QuiteTheQuery

 

 

 

 

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 Wade Albert White. This great query connected him with The Elizabeth Kaplan Literary Agency.

 

 

 

Fourteen-year-old Anvil Wilhelmina Ironhide has an unusual problem (besides her name).

 

It’s not that she was discovered in a cryogenic chamber as a baby and never told about it (a minor oversight).

 

It’s not that she has the nearly uncontrollable urge to jump from high places and attempt to fly (it couldn’t hurt to try just once, right?).

 

It’s not even that her world was created by a malfunctioning computer and the ten-thousand-year-old scientist who programmed it has emerged from cryo-stasis to correct his mistake (that’s only a problem if you’re the mistake).

 

Her problem is that all of the above means she’s unknowingly about to embark upon a quest—not to save the world, but to destroy it (which is why you should always read the fine print).

 

In a land where every rustic village has a solar-powered windmill, agents of the Wizards’ Council wiretap the ley lines for information, and you need a plasma cannon to ward off the dragons, one orphan girl struggles against time, destiny, and heretofore unknown levels of bureaucracy to uncover the truth of her quest but avoid its terrible conclusion (a neat trick if you can pull it off).

 

And don’t even get me started on the elves …

 

MAGICK 7.0 is my Upper MG fantasy novel, complete at 85,000-words. My short fiction has appeared most recently in the Unidentified Funny Objects 2 anthology (ed. Alex Shvartsman), and previously in such magazines as Strange Horizons and Ideomancer.

 

 

 

Fun Tidbit:

 

One fun tidbit about my querying process is that I went with a more conventional query pitch at first and it didn’t get any bites. Zero. So I started again from scratch and wrote it in the voice of my novel (which is rather unconventional). Then, not unsurprisingly, I started getting requests. I think the initial lack of interest was due at least in part to the discord between the voice of the query and the voice of the story. Readers went in expecting one thing but getting quite another. That doesn’t mean the new query appealed to everyone. I still received rejections. But it did mean the people who liked the query knew exactly what they were getting when they turned to the pages of the manuscript. And it worked!

 

 

 

 

5S0A4637smWade hails from Nova Scotia, Canada, land of wild blueberries and Duck Tolling Retrievers. He teaches part-time, dabbles in animation, and spends the rest of his time as a stay-at-home dad. It is also possible he has set a new record as the slowest 10K runner. Ever. He owns one pretend cat and one real one, and they get along fabulously. For more on Wade, follow him on Twitter (@wadealbertwhite).

 

QUITE THE QUERY: Gwen Katz and AMONG THE RED STARS August 17, 2016

 

QuiteTheQuery

 

 

 

 

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 Gwen Katz. This great query connected her with her agent, Thao Le.

 

 

 

Eighteen-year-old tomboy Valya and the boy next door, Pasha, breathlessly follow the adventures of Soviet air navigator Marina Raskova. When World War II breaks out and Valya discovers that Raskova is getting airwomen into combat, she’s first in line. Valya hopes to become a fighter pilot, but Raskova assigns her to the night bombers. Instead of a high-tech Yak-1, Valya ends up flying a wood and canvas biplane no faster than a car.

 

 

On the front, Valya braves anti-air guns, blinding searchlights, and deadly Luftwaffe night fighters, all under the command of an air force that still believes women are only suited for the home front. When Pasha, now a Red Army radio operator, finds himself trapped behind enemy lines, one small aircraft might be able to slip through. Valya sees her chance to rescue the boy who has begun to capture her heart—but in Stalin’s Russia, defying orders could land both of them in front of a firing squad.

 

 

Valya’s regiment, the 46th Guards, really existed. Its aviators so terrified the Wehrmacht that the German soldiers nicknamed them the “Night Witches,” yet the brave Soviet women and girls who served in World War II are little known in the West. My 84,000-word YA historical novel, AMONG THE RED STARS, highlights many of these real-life heroes. It is a semi-epistolary novel that will appeal to fans of FLYGIRL and CODE NAME VERITY.

 

 

 

Fun Tidbit:

 

My query barely changed from its first iteration, but the manuscript itself needed a lot of work. Although it got a lot of attention in contests, I ultimately found my agent through the regular slush pile.

 

 

 

_DSC2444Gwen C. Katz lives in Altadena, California with her husband and a revolving door of transient animals. When she’s not writing, she’s usually drawing, listening to rock music, and leading nature walks. For more on Gwen, follow her on Twitter (@gwenckatz).

 

 

 

First Five Frenzy with Elana Roth Parker of Laura Dail Literary Agency July 8, 2016

 

 

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If you’re like me, you toil for hours editing and fine-tuning the first pages of your manuscript. You look at the first lines to make sure they are compelling and tight. You examine the next few paragraphs, hoping your MC’s voice is already taking hold of the reader.

 

 

The First Five Frenzy is all about getting an agent’s perspective on what works, and what fails, in those first pages of a manuscript. It’s tricky to get the right balance, but I hope by reading each agent’s comments you’ll learn how to make your manuscript a shining gem that’s requested over and over.

 

 

Today, I’m proud to share Elana Roth Parker’s perspective on what’s important in those critical first pages.

 

 

 

Amy: Many writers have the impression that a great first line is imperative to drawing in the reader. How important is a first line to you as an agent?

 

 

 

Elana: A great first line is…well, great. But it’s so not the most important thing if the sentences after that first one are less great. Out of all the books I’ve signed and sold, I only remember the first line of one novel by heart, if that tells you anything.

 

 

What’s more true is that a bad first line can do disproportionate damage relative to the good a killer first line can do. It’s more important that you have a solid first line followed by a solid first paragraph followed by a solid first page, and so forth. We’re looking at these cumulatively and holistically. You never want a reader to say, “Well that first sentence was the wittiest line ever. Where’d that writer go for the rest of the novel?”

 

 

 

 

Amy: Many times a writer is told to stay away from common openings like dreams, eating breakfast, riding in a car, etc. What are some common openings you recommend writers stay away from?

 

 

Elana: Those are some pretty good examples right there. I also get tired of the “It all started that day when…” opener. Or an out-of-context piece of dialogue. You want to start the book about 5-10 minutes (I hope you understand that this is not literal time…) before the big story starts. Just enough to give me some context and get to know the main character before I get derailed by a big plot point. Not enough to bore me, or confuse me (which is why dreams aren’t awesome).

 

 

 

 

Amy: When you’ve responded to a writer to request a partial or full manuscript, what was it about their first pages that piqued your interest?

 

 

 

Elana: Ease of entry is what I’m looking for most in the sample pages I ask for in the query. I look for quality of writing that matches the pitch—i.e. if it’s a great concept, I need the writing at an equal level of quality at a minimum. I need to be brought into the character’s world naturally, and feel like the pages are inviting me in, not fighting me. And I also need those sample pages to offer me something the query didn’t in terms of depth.

 

 

 

 

Amy: What are some common mistakes writers make in their first five pages?

 

 

Elana: Mostly writers get tripped up on where their story starts, as I mentioned above. Context is very important for a reader—we like feeling grounded. I often find the sample pages are either too slow and voicey or too caught up in some big action sequence that I have no idea what’s happening. You need to find a happy medium. Strong voice AND some movement. But not overkill on either front. And make sure the characters I’m meeting in the first pages are the same ones you’re talking about in the query. There’s nothing more disorienting than a prologue or short scene featuring some other characters.

 

 

 

 

Amy: What resonates with you most in those first pages? Voice? Pacing? Unique concept?

 

 

Elana: All of the above. I need to see all of those thing. Nicely balanced. Remember that you’re welcoming a reader into a world they’ve never stepped foot in before—even if you’re writing a contemporary novel in a recognizable setting. I don’t know anything about your characters or their situation before I open the book. Ease me into it and show me my this is going to be an interesting story to continue with.

 

 

 

 

Elana Roth Parker has specialized in children’s publishing from the beginning of her career, from her very first internship at Nickelodeon Magazine followed by 5 years as an editor at Parachute Publishing. She’s been an agent since 2008, most recently at Red Tree Literary, which she founded in 2012. She joined the Laura Dail Literary Agency in 2016.

 

 

 

If you’re interested in submitting to Elana, please check the Laura Dail Literary Agency website for submission guidelines.

 

 

W.O.W. – Writer Odyssey Wednesday with Rachel Lynn Solomon June 29, 2016

 

 

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Every writer has their own path to publication. Some paths are long and winding. Others are a straight shot. No matter the tale, the journey always involves ups and downs, caution signs, and for some, serious roundabouts, but what always remains is the writer’s commitment to their craft and their enduring dream to see their work on bookshelves one day.

 

 

In bringing you the W.O.W. series, I hope as a writer you will learn that no dream is unfounded. That with time, patience, perseverance, and commitment to your craft, it is possible to cross that finish line and share your story with the world.

 

 

Today, I am pleased to share Rachel Lynn Solomon’s writing journey…

 

 

 

 

Amy: When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

 

 

Rachel: I can’t remember ever not wanting to be a writer — I think I’ve wanted to be one as long as I’ve been a reader. When I was growing up, I wrote constantly and posted stories on FictionPress (some are even still up there). I didn’t get serious about being a writer until after I graduated college. I’d studied journalism, so I’d been writing and hearing others’ stories for years, and I decided to try telling one of my own. It became my first finished book, a semi-autobiographical new adult kind of thing that I still can’t believe I queried! I did not understand showing vs. telling. I did not understand what was wrong with three chapters filled solely with info-dumps. But it was important for me to write that book — to know that I could write a book.

 

 

 

Amy: I love the themes of sisterhood and family dynamics in FINGERS CROSSED. What inspired you to write the story?

 

 

Rachel: The story concept came to me in several waves. The very first one — and this is almost awkward to admit! — was that I wanted to write a bold, kind of sexually aggressive teen girl because I hadn’t read very many female characters like that in YA. I thought it would be fun to explore, so she became one of the twins. I also felt I’d read a lot of twin stories where the characters were opposites: one’s going to Harvard, and the other’s a slacker. Both sisters in my books are ambitious in different ways; one is a viola prodigy and the other wants to become a surgeon.

 

 

I’ve always thought of Huntington’s disease as one of the most tragic things that can befall a family. The idea that you can know if you’ll develop the disease but not when — it’s heartbreaking to me. While doing research, I learned there’s a 50/50 chance that the child of a parent with Huntington’s will inherit it, and I thought, what if one twin tested positive and one tested negative? It seemed to lend itself naturally to a dual POV story, and I hadn’t read too many multiple POV books narrated by sisters.

 

 

Lastly, family dynamics and Judaism are integral to the story. This is actually the first book I’ve written with Jewish protagonists. Growing up, I rarely read any stories about Jewish people that weren’t about the Holocaust. I wanted my younger self and other Jewish readers to see themselves in my book.

 

 

 

Amy: After reading your amazing blog post about the journey to selling your debut (read the post here!), I was inspired by your perseverance. How did you keep writing in spite of the ups and downs?

 

 

Rachel: I kept writing because it was the only thing I could do, the only thing I had control over. At any stage of this journey, that remains the thing we have the most control over. Writing has always been a bundle of different things for me: cathartic, comforting, challenging. While taking breaks is always a good idea, I don’t think I could have stopped writing because in my soul I am a writer.

 

 

It also helped to connect with other writers on long journeys, particularly writers who’d left agents and were querying for the second or third time. I never felt alone, and that was a tremendous comfort.

 

 

 

Amy: Are you one of those people who has an easy time writing a query or does it take several tries before you land on your final version?

 

 

Rachel: Depends on the book! I always write queries early on in the drafting process so I know whether what I’m writing has a solid enough hook and stakes. If I’m struggling to write the query, maybe I haven’t fully developed the plot or characters yet. Then I labor over each word. I love words (I mean, obviously, right?) — but more specifically, the exactness of them, the satisfaction of a dynamic verb or a precise noun.

 

 

 

Amy: Do you work with critique partners? If so, how do they help shape your stories?

 

 

Rachel: YES, and I would be absolutely lost without them. I used to send chapters to readers early on, but now, while I brainstorm with CPs throughout the process, I don’t usually share until I have a completed (and often extremely messy) first draft. I like to have something finished that I can then mold and take apart.

 

 

 

Amy: From beginning (first draft) to end (signing contract), how long was the process of getting a deal for FINGERS CROSSED?

 

 

Rachel: I started writing the book in March of 2014, and it sold in May of 2016, so a little over two years! It’s been through several rewrites and many, many revisions. Once it went on submission with my current agent, Laura Bradford, it sold in six weeks, which still feels unbelievable to me. I don’t think anything in publishing had moved quickly for me up until that point. Laura is amazing; she put the book in the hands of the right person!

 

 

 

Amy: As most writers know, publishing is a very difficult business. What was the one thing you think you did to garner agent interest?

 

 

Rachel: From my first draft, I knew this book had a great hook, and that my challenge was going to be getting the writing to live up to that hook. I wrote and rewrote several times from a blank page, which I’d never done before. I wrote each character separately to ensure their voices felt distinct. I printed the manuscript several times and did hard copy edits. I had at least 10 readers over the course of the two years I was working on it. This book meant the world to me, and I didn’t want to put it out there until I felt I had done everything I could.

 

 

 

Amy: What can you tell us about “your call” with your agent, Laura Bradford? How did you know she was the right fit for you?

 

 

Rachel: Though I’d been represented previously, this manuscript had not been queried. Laura was the first to offer on it in March of 2016. From the moment we got on the phone, I felt so at ease. She was funny and down-to-earth, and my favorite thing she said that made me feel like she got what was I trying to do was something along the lines of, “You don’t really like Adina [one of the twins] because she’s so sharp. But she’s compelling. You root for her.” I feel strongly that (female) characters don’t need to be likable — but they should be interesting. I don’t want to spend 300 pages with a nice, mild character who follows the rules. My characters live in moral gray areas.

 

 

 

Amy: If you were doing a book signing and you met a writer who was about to give up on their publishing dream, what would you say to them? 

 

 

Rachel: I’m going to borrow something I wrote on my own blog for this one:). It took me several books to realize that getting published was what I wanted more than anything else. Every new book made me want it even more. It’s taken me a long time to develop the confidence to be able to say that I have something to say as an author. I’ve spent so much time in my life downplaying my own accomplishments, however small, and I’m trying to take more pride in what I do. We have to be our own best advocates. So I would say this: you are the only person who can write your book. You are the only person who is going to put it out there. You are the only person who’s going to send it to readers and agents and editors. Maybe you need to take a break for a while, and that’s okay. Maybe you need to find new readers, take a class, consult craft books. At times there are more downs than ups, but if this is something you desperately want, you have to keep writing.

 

 

 

 

rachel 2016 3Rachel Lynn Solomon is a Seattle native who loves rainy days, tap dancing, red lipstick, and new wave music. Her debut contemporary YA novel, FINGERS CROSSED, will be out from Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse in spring 2018, with a second book to follow in 2019. She’s represented by Laura Bradford of Bradford Literary Agency. You can find Rachel online at rachelsolomonbooks.com and on Twitter @rlynn_solomon.

 

FIRST FIVE FRENZY with Caitie Flum of Liza Dawson Associates June 17, 2016

 

 

FFF SideWords

 

 

 

 

If you’re like me, you toil for hours editing and fine-tuning the first pages of your manuscript. You look at the first lines to make sure they are compelling and tight. You examine the next few paragraphs hoping your MC’s voice is already taking hold of the reader.

 

 

The First Five Frenzy is all about getting an agent’s perspective on what works, and what fails, in those first pages of a manuscript. It’s tricky to get just the right balance, but I hope by reading each agent’s comments you’ll learn how to make your manuscript a shining gem that’s requested over and over.

 

 

Today, I’m proud to share Caitie Flum’s perspective on what’s important in those critical first pages.

 

 

 

Amy: Many writers have the impression that a great first line is imperative to drawing in the reader. How important is a first line to you as an agent?

 

 

Caitie: Not as important as I think some writers think! I have seen advice that says if your first line isn’t brilliant, agents will stop reading. I never give up on something after just one line. A great first line will get me excited, but what comes after that first line is more important.

 

 

 

 

Amy: Many times a writer is told to stay away from common openings like dreams, eating breakfast, riding in a car, etc. What are some common openings you recommend writers stay away from?

 

 

 

Caitie: Well, all of the ones you mentioned above! Getting ready for the day is another one that should be avoided – it is just boring. I have also seen lately something similar to the dream opening – something is described and is really exciting and it turns out to be from a movie or TV show. And please, stop having your characters look in a mirror and describe themselves.

 

 

 

 

Amy: When you’ve responded to a writer to request a partial or full manuscript, what was it about their first pages that piqued your interest?

 

 

Caitie: I don’t ask for first pages, so it is just based on the query!

 

 

 

 

Amy: What are some common mistakes writers make in their first five pages?

 

 

Caitie: The biggest mistake I see is that it is just info dumping, no story or character. Also, over describing things. Yes, we want a sense of place, but most of the time, having two pages straight of what it looks like is not that compelling. Also, not starting is the right place. which I know is difficult, but makes sure the story has to start where it does.

 

 

 

 

Amy: What resonates with you most in those first pages? Voice? Pacing? Unique concept?

 

 

Caitie: All of the above! It depends on what it is. If it is middle grade, it needs to have that voice from page 1. Any books with action need to nail that pacing. In every genre, I need to get to know the main character.

 

 

 

Caitie Flum joined Liza Dawson Associates in July 2014 as assistant and audio rights manager. She graduated from Hofstra University in 2009 with a BA in English with a concentration in publishing studies.

 

 

If you’re interested in submitting to Caitie, please check The Liza Dawson Associates website for their guidelines.

 

MONDAY MUSINGS: Revisiting QUERY 101 June 13, 2016

 

 

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Starting this Wednesday, I will be jumping in to help judge the next round of Query Kombat. If you’re not familiar with this writing contest, it’s a great event hosted by Michelle Hauck, Laura Heffernan, and Michael Anthony. In the contest, two queries are put together and they “battle” via judges’ comments. The more successful, compelling query moves on to the next round for the chance to eventually be the overall winner.

 

 

This will be my third year of judging and I’m always struck by how clever and interesting writers can make their queries. This had me thinking about the total structure of a query and how daunting at times it can be to put one together. Summarize your entire story in three paragraphs? Add voice, characterization, and an amazing hook? The idea alone can be downright frightening at times.

 

 

So today, I want to go back and share a post from my QUERY 101 series about structure. In this post I share the overall basics of putting a query together, as well as discuss the definition of a hook, and share examples from some of my favorite stories.

 

 

In reposting, I hope to make the difficult process of putting together a query a bit easier. If you have any questions or comments, I’m always happy to help!

 

 

Here is the original post…

 

 

In the first post in the Query 101 series, we talked about query basics. Today, we are going to talk specifics of structure: greeting, hook, book & cook.

 

Let’s start at the beginning:

 

 

GREETING:

 

1) Always begin with addressing the literary agent by name. Do not address your query as “Dear Agent.” Be courteous. Do your research and find out the correct spelling of the agent’s name.

 

 

2)  Address one agent at a time in the heading. There may be many people in that particular literary agency who take your category/genre, but each should get their own individual email or letter. The last things agents want to see is they are part of one long email chain.

 

 

note: Check submission guidelines. Some agencies ask that you query agents one at a time. Others have a policy that a “no” from one is a “no” from all. Make sure you respect the agency’s individual submission guidelines.

 

 

 

PERSONALIZATION:

 

There is plenty of debate on the internet as to whether or not you need to personalize your query. Some say just get to the “meat” of your story. Others say personalization means you have researched the agent and know your manuscript would be a good fit for their list.

 

 

I stand firmly in the “personalization” camp. Now, that does not mean your greeting has to be flowery and over-the-top. Simply stating that you are familiar with their client list, mentioning a comment they made in an interview, or explaining that your manuscript would be a fit for their #MSWL (Manuscript Wish List) is enough.

 

 

After personalization, some people add title, category/genre and word count of their manuscript. Again, there is debate about where this information should go. Some say at the beginning. Others say leave it at the end. My advice is to put it where it flows best with your query. No matter where you place, it is MANDATORY you include this information as the agent needs to know they rep. your type of manuscript.

 

 

 

THE HOOK:

 

This  is the intriguing portion of your story. It’s a one-liner that pulls the agent in and encourages them to read on.

 

 

Some great examples of hooks from successful queries:

 

 

Mindee Arnett’s THE NIGHTMARE AFFAIR:

 

16-year-old Dusty Everhart might make a regular habit of breaking into houses late at night, but she’s no criminal.

 

 

Mindy McGinnis’ NOT A DROP TO DRINK:

 

Lynn was nine the first time she killed to defend the pond.

 

 

Mary Elizabeth Summer’s TRUST ME, I’M LYING:

 

Julep Dupree is not a real person. In fact, Julep isn’t even her real name.

 

 

 

THE BOOK:

 

 

This is 4-6 sentences that summarizes your manuscript. It hints at the main plot, introduces your protagonist and antagonist. Your sinker (final line) leaves the agent wanting for more – but DOES NOT reveal the ending.

 

 

A few notes about “The Book”

 

– Try not to introduce more than 2-3 characters. More than that and the information gets confusing.

 

– Be specific about the stakes. Remember agent is looking for character, conflict, and cost.

 

– When possible, try to insert a touch of voice – this helps bring the story to life and gives agent an idea of what to expect in sample pages.

 

– Query should be written in third person, present tense. I would also highly recommend you stay away from gimmicks like beginning with a question or writing your query in the voice of your main character. I’ve talked to many agents who say this approach immediately turns them off.

 

 

 

THE COOK:

 

 

This is your bio. If you have publishing credits include them. If you have education or internships that are pertinent to creative writing or publishing, mention them. Writing contest wins? Include those too. If you don’t have any publishing credits, that is OK. Plenty of agents say they have signed debut authors without any publishing history. A simple line about who you are, and what you do, is fine.

 

 

 

CLOSING:

 

Thank agent for their time. I would also use the space underneath signature to include info about your social media presence: website, Twitter handle, Facebook page, etc.

 

 

This is merely a structured outline of a query. It is up to you as the writer to fill it in as you see fit. Whether you want to include voice, or a certain type of personalization, that is entirely up to you. The main thing is to keep it professional and one page. Follow submission guidelines and agents will see you are not only serious about your book, but about your writing career too.

 

 

 

 

 

QUITE THE QUERY with Amelinda Berube and UNDER THE ICY LAKE May 20, 2016

 

 

 

QuiteTheQuery

 

 

 

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 Amelinda Berube. This great query connected her with her agent, Lana Popovic.

 

 

 

All fifteen-year-old Marianne can recall from the night after her parents split up is a single image: a silent, icy lake under a starless sky, with something in the depths groping its way towards her. She certainly doesn’t remember floating in midair or shattering windows without touching them. But her mom saw it happen – in fact, her mom is checking herself into the hospital, convinced she was hallucinating.

 

 

Now an unseen force is flinging objects at Marianne hard enough to crack a chalkboard and scrawling “THIS IS MINE” across her math exam. With her dad off to pursue “true happiness” and her only friend moved across the country, she’s desperate enough to break her shell of bookish invisibility and confide in loner goth-girl Rhiannon. Between Rhiannon’s badassery and her confidence that handling a poltergeist will be no big deal, it doesn’t take long for Marianne’s cautious admiration to kindle into a crush.

 

 

But Rhiannon is wrong: their improvised attempt to communicate with the presence haunting Marianne only calls down the full force of its rage. It will do whatever it takes to possess Marianne completely and reclaim the life it says she stole; her mom’s fragility and Rhiannon’s loyalty become weapons for it to use against her. She must unravel the truth about what – and who – her enemy is before it forces her to take its place under the icy lake forever.

 

 

UNDER THE ICY LAKE is a 57,000-word YA horror novel that combines the subjective, introspective approach of BLACK SWAN with the suspense and pacing of classic ghost stories like WAIT TILL HELEN COMES.

 

 

 

 

 

Fun tidbit:

 

Executive correspondence is my day job bread and butter, so I figured a query would be a breeze—just another piece of business writing, right? You can imagine what my first attempts looked like! Fortunately, Twitter came to my rescue. I lost count of the swaps I did somewhere past 20 and ran it by two or three query-doctoring editors into the bargain. When Michelle Hauck picked my entry for her Query Kombat team I knew I was finally on the right track. I didn’t make it to the agent round of that contest, but the feedback gave me what I needed to put the final polish on it. 80-odd queries later, here we are!

 

 

 

 

ABerubeI’m a writer and editor with a small department in the Canadian public service, having previously dabbled in academe and carpentry, and am also a member of SCBWI. I spend way too much time on Twitter as @metuiteme.

 

 
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