My internship with The Andrea Brown Literary Agency was amazing and fulfilling, and man did I learn a lot! I loved every minute of it, except reading every writer's query letters.
Well, that's not true…some of them cracked me up, but most of them went on and on and were so boring and truthfully didn't help me to understand what the story was about.
Can you say ARCHIVE, people?
Anyway, I have used all that I learned about the good, the bad, and the ugly query letter and pulled all that information, or lack of it, into my very own attempt at an amazing query.
I will share it with you below. I have not sent this version out yet to any agents, so I do not have any way of knowing if this is the one that will work for me or not.
I do believe that it is the best query letter I have written thus far. I hope it helps you to make yours stronger too.
Payton Whitworth is part of the problem. She is one of the privileged. And in a near future where animals are mutilated so the rich can look better, run faster, and live longer, she must decide if standing up for animals and the right to be herself is worth the cost of everything she's ever known.
Payton had leopard skin grafted onto her neck and two peacock feathers growing from behind her ears before she was old enough to protest. But she likes her human body and she wants to keep the rest of her flesh and bones. Her parents push for her to have more animalia surgeries, in order to get accepted into HarvardLion and to remain in high society’s graces. But after falling in love with a strong-willed servant, Payton runs away from home.
She joins the anti-animalia movement with him. At first the assignments are small: release animals or mercy-kill them. But soon the movement expects more, the missions escalate. Eventually Payton is caught up in an explosion that kills dozens and injures hundreds. After the carnage, Payton must choose whether to return to her old life, keep following her boyfriend, or create a new path within the movement.
Payton will do anything to stop the abuse of animals and show the rich how twisted they’ve become. She was born to end animalia, even if the cost is her own skin.
ANIMALIA is a completed 68,000-word sci-fi thriller. Think The Island of Dr. Moreau meets Uglies.
In 2014 I will be a staff writer for PALEO Magazine. During 2013 I interned for Laura Rennert at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. In 2011 & 2012 I helped to run the SF North Bay SCBWI writer’s conference. I graduated Writer’s Boot Camp Scripts in 2010 and I attended classes at Chatham University MFA program in 2006 - 2008. I've been published in the SF Chronicle and The Golden Penn. My blog, which gets over 3,000 views a month, showcases advice to newbie writers and interviews with published authors and other professionals in the industry.
Please see the first chapter of ANIMALIA below.
I appreciate your consideration and look forward to hearing from you.
So there you have it. My pitch. It took me at least 12 drafts and re-writes before it got to this point. And I am still worried about it. Why are these so hard to write?
Anyway, ANIMALIA is nearly finished being revised for the 5th time. Just small touch ups here and there to be sure everyone is wearing the same clothes in each chapter and the technology is called the same whenever it pops up in conversation. Small things, but important to have done right.
Once this is done, which I believe will be within the next 6 weeks, I will start my serious query of my top agents.
So wish me tons of luck! And I will keep you informed of my rejections and hopefully my acceptances.