Wednesday, March 24, 2010

YA Rebels - Wednesday Looks at the Query that Landed her THE AGENT

Hey guys.

Today on the YA Rebels I look at the query letter that first got me my agent.

And the query:

Dear Ms. Tipton,

I understand from your agency's website that you enjoy young adult fiction, and so I hope you'll consider representing my 56,000 word YA novel, "The Shadow Mile."

When their car hit the river three years ago, Nell's mother died, and Nell went to sleep. A deep, dreamless, sleep. The doctors called it a coma. She called it coping. But when Nell woke up a week later, something stayed behind. Since the accident, shadows have begun to bend the wrong way, the seams of the world glinting on the edges of her sight. One day a shadow peels itself straight off the wall and flutters away, like a moth. Even to Nell, this is a bit peculiar.

A world away, Death is growing restless. Bound to the Shadow Mile, the place between the living world and the one beyond, the reaper has grown sick of its mundane occupation. When the reaper decides it wants out, it calls in a professional. Death enlists recently departed scholar Lucas Bradley Link to devise a plan that could not only free the reaper, but ultimately lead to the downfall of the living world. Step one: Lure a living soul into the Shadow Mile, and steal their life

When Nell stumbles into Death's trap, she finds herself in the dreamlike Mile, where doors are one-way, people are shadows, and when it rains, the sky actually falls. A shifting space where getting out is much harder than falling in, and the price for staying too long is steep.

"The Shadow Mile" is a cat-and-mouse-game that forces Nell to confront her mother's death and her own disconnection as she tries to find her way back home before the reaper steals her life.

I am a rising senior in college, and this is my first novel. Thank you in advance for your time.


  1. wow, what a fun query. No wonder she wanted it.

  2. You're so spot on in depending the lengthier types of sentences you use! I think they're important for building the feel of the worlds you create, but also giving your reader a feel for the type of writer you are. As an agent reading this, I'd already be getting the sense from your turns of phrase that you'd fit with a more literary imprint. As an editor, I'd be thinking that this story was going to be as much about beautiful writing as about events. I'd also be thinking that your world is likely to work, because fantasy worlds like this need to be backed up by beautiful writing if they're to seem realistic instead of ridiculous.

    Thanks for sharing another of your awesomely written queries!

  3. Great query. Such a creepy vibe and so intriguing!

  4. Tamara - Aw, thank you!

    Rachel - Thank you for the awesome analysis, and so glad to hear how you would respond to this both ways! It's fabulous to know how others react to the only thing I like to do - string words together.

    Alyssa - Thanks!! Most of what I write has the creepy vein :p