Friday, October 5, 2012

How TO Write a Query: A Practice #2 Success Story

On June 28, 2012, I critiqued Robin Hall's awesome query for LOVESENSE. From the first draft I could already tell the story would rock, but after the rewrite I helped with and who-knows-how-many rewrites she did on her own, her query became Finalist #11 in the Cupid's Literary Connection Come And Get It (CAGI) contest.

Today, she announced that, as a result of that contest, she has signed with Julia A. Weber of Literaturagentur GmbH (@jawlitagent). Today is the 99th day after I critiqued her query the first time.  (*Individual results will vary*) Even though all the work in creating the actual successful query was hers, I still feel proud. :)

Well, of course I asked for her permission to share the awesomeness of a query that actually works, and she was gracious enough to allow it. :) So I now present my very first:

Read it and weep:
Genre: YA Magical Realism
Word Count: 59,000
Seventeen-year-old Rae has spent her whole life with the ability to smell when a relationship will sour just by looking a photograph of the couple (rotting fish, anyone?). She calls it her “lovesense” and uses it to anonymously run a love guru business at school. But after seventeen years of smelling way more stinky socks than roses, Rae is ready to give up on love altogether.
Until, that is, she finds a fifteen-year-old picture in her attic that smells of apricots and honey. Even better? She's in the photo. Rae seeks the identity of her mysterious playmate with a dedication she usually reserves for her 100-meter hurdles, but as the semester progresses, all she’s finding is trouble. She’s falling for her goofy teammate, Sam—even though he’s already been crossed off her list of possibilities, and, with just weeks until the city-county track championships, her love-guru business is exposed. She is forced to convince all her friends (and the administration) that she isn't a psycho gypsy freak—or, worse, that she hasn't been taking advantage of them for years.
Suspended from school, banned from the track championships, and alienated from her classmates, Rae has one last opportunity to set things right before her chance at finding the boy in the photo rots like stink on cheese.
Congrats, Robin! 
(Yes, that's fun to say.)

So can you help me point out what Robin did right? I'm really not good at that sort of thing. :D


  1. Thanks Robin! 99 days. I hadn't looked at the stats. I'd worked that query for months before you saw it and for months afterward. Queries take a lot of time, a lot of people who know nothing about your story, and patience. I had days where I thought I'd never get it right, but here I am, done writing queries (I hope!) and glad for all the help I had along the way.

  2. Voice. A character to care about. Voice. A crazy original idea. Voice!

    Congrats to both Robins. This book is amazing!

  3. Congratulations Robin! Can't wait to read this cool sounding BOOK! :)