Abby Stevens requested to see my query for FLASH. Keep in mind that this isn't the same book as PARANORMALCY, but it is the book that got me my ridiculously fabulous agent, Michelle Wolfson. So, here you go. (Incidentally, this was one of three versions--all of which got requests to see further material.)
Dear Ms Wolfson,
I would love to work with you, and hope you'll be interested in my 77,000 word YA novel Flash.
You’d think a girl who can see the future could avoid being kidnapped. But eighteen-year-old Sarah hates her confusing and painful flashes of the future, triggered by a personal connection or skin contact, and is trying desperately to suppress them.
However, when Keane Industries recruits her at gunpoint, she has to figure out how to use her abilities to give them a competitive edge or they’ll destroy everyone she loves. Imprisoned in a secluded house, she meets intelligent and caring Will. He's in charge of training her to control the flashes, but she's seen him before: every night in her dreams for the last three years she’s been in love with him. Devastated to finally find him under such horrible circumstances, Sarah is nonetheless drawn in, unable to resist the future she’s seen.
But the trust she's slowly placing in Will shatters when she flashes on him telling the President of Keane Industries that he’s got her completely under control. One touch is all it would take to know how he truly feels, but with increasingly violent reactions to the flashes, she worries that she’ll lose her grasp on reality completely. Her future hangs on one choice: accept her fate as the pawn of powerful men, or risk losing everything—including her sanity—to find out if Will really is the man of her dreams.
My novelette, Tangle, was featured in the May 2008 issue of Leading Edge magazine. I graduated in 2004 with a BA in English, and have been freelance writing and editing ever since. I would be happy to send you a partial or the full manuscript of Flash. Thank you so much for your time.
Your future favorite client in the whole entire world*
So there it is. I didn't touch it at all, tempting as it may have been. FLASH is obviously a very different novel than PARANORMALCY, a little older and without as much humor. It's also third person where Para is first. But man, I still love that book. Hopefully I can go back to that series one of these days.
Besides which, FLASH got me Michelle, and we all know how well that turned out!
The hardest part of writing this query was deciding which details to include. I left out one of the main characters--James, my darling, darling James--entirely; I couldn't figure out a concise, snappy way to include him. And in the end it's a story about Sarah learning to deal with her abilities and deciding whether or not to let Will in. So that's what the query focused on. Since I couldn't find much about Michelle to personalize it, I kept the intro short and sweet. And the bio paragraph is why I recommend trying to get some short fiction published--I got far more requests for material when I had a published story to mention than when all I had was a degree and freelancing.
Would you guys be interested in a mini-query workshop? It might have to wait until next week since I'm nose-deep in The Sequel edits right now, but it could be interesting. I'm a lot better at fixing other people's queries than I ever was at fixing my own.