My Hook at The Five Randoms...and MY QUERY LETTER! (Edited after comments)

On iTunes: Beggin' by Madcon (HA! Because I'm begging people to like my hook! Get it!? HA!)

Heart Status: Um....

SO, I entered a contest at The Five Randoms, a super cool blog you need to go check out. And not just because my hook is on it. But, if you're going to be there anyway...

It's a hook contest - you're supposed to "hook" your reader in five sentences. If you enter it, you're a hooker. This completely cracks me up, because hooker is really one of my favorite words. I use it often and inappropriately. But I use most words inappropriately, so, whatever.

My hook is the first two paragraphs of my query, designed with the intent to keep an agent reading and to persuade them to beg for a full manuscript. My poor query still hasn't seen the light of day (because my full is still with Firebrand and I am keeping my fingers crossed), but the time is fast approaching that it will make it's debut.

I've written a book. It can't live in my computer forever. Right? Am I right? Can I get an "amen?" Or at least a "whut, whut!"

So anywho, now that the hook is out there, I'm posting my query letter. Tell me what you think. Be gentle. Remember how I feel about encouragement and confrontation. I don't want sunshine blown up my skirt, but still...

Here goes (this is the version that actually went out after all the great comments and an edit):

"Emerson Cole has flushed her meds.

Four years ago her parents died in a car accident…that’s when she started seeing things. Swooning Southern belles. 1920’s jazz trios. Native Americans in loincloths. Medication kept her visions at bay for a while, but the side effects left her a complete zombie. Now that her "happy" pills have gone the way of the porcelain pipeline, Em’s personality is back. So are the dead.

But this time one of them knows things about her – and he just happens to live in her bedroom.

Emerson is less than thrilled when her well-meaning brother hires a consultant from The Establishment, a mysterious organization which exists to serve those with special abilities. Michael Weaver tells Em her visions aren’t ghosts – they’re an indicator that she can manipulate time, specifically events that occurred in the past. And Michael needs Em to help him stop a murder that happened six months ago. Em wants to believe everything Michael says, but why won’t he give her any details about The Establishment? The two of them share extreme physical chemistry that causes light bulbs to explode whenever they touch, so why won’t Michael break up with his girlfriend?

Should Emerson embrace her crazy – and Michael if she gets the chance – and use her ability to stop a killer? Should she trust Michael, even though the guy living in her bedroom warns her it would be a terrible mistake? Em has to make a choice, and if she chooses wrong, way more than her sanity could be lost.

Weaver is a completed 86,000 word urban fantasy manuscript geared toward the young adult market. I am a member of SCBWI and a reviewer for the Young Adult Books Central website.

Thank you for your consideration. (All of you.)"

And if you've read my blog, you'll know that I'm off to locate a bag to help me with my hyperventilation/vomit problem. XOXO...


  1. Too long, honey. Much too long. It reads more like a one page synopsis. Three paragraphs; four max; including introduction and your personal info. Keep the stuff about the plot to no more than one paragraph/a few sentences.

    Love ya!

  2. You've not been reading Query Shark.

  3. I think having it within the *much* smaller margins of your blog post makes it look longer than it is. The only thing I'd tighten up is the Emerson is less than thrilled paragraph. Pull out the two or three details we absolutely have to know and give it to us in two sentences. (Writing challenge of the day! lol) In fact, after looking it over, I think you can streamline this paragraph with the two that follow and make one truly awesome three-four sentence thing of beauty!

    But you're right...agents want to be hooked and to have the Voice of your ms be present in your query. You've done a fantastic job nailing that. You want your query to read like a back of the book blurb, but you do need to leave room for a quick stats paragraph at the end so tightening up the middle of this will do the trick.

    Yay for positive responses already from the contest!! :)

  4. I love the first paragraph and was already interested after reading it. So much so that I didn't read the rest. You're brave for sharing. I still detest everything about my own query.

  5. I absolutely love this...I would fer sure request first three chapters.

    Only one thing. I don't know what this means: The Establishment returns no results, except a list of bars by the same name.

  6. I absolutely love this...I would fer sure request first three chapters.

    Only one thing. I don't know what this means: The Establishment returns no results, except a list of bars by the same name.


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