After years of editing, processing feedback, and researching what I’m supposed to do to submit manuscripts and whatnot, I’m ready to query for this book. Thanks to the following people for helping me edit:
These folks read the entire thing and gave comments: Jeremy, Mike Lee, Fred, Keggernaught, Meggie, Ronni, Cara, Stacy, Mikey, Jan-Martin, Daddy, Dorian, Jessie, and Victor. These folks read part of it and gave comments: Jeaux, Laura, Miriam, Steve, Dan, Whitney, Sarah, Dieter, Adam, Phil M., Brian, Zack, Trisha, Chandan Aubel, and Dan B.
It’s ridiculously gigantic. But the fairy tale retelling thing is popular. Maybe I’ll get somewhere. Unfortunately, some agents want my query letter to mention its length and I feel like that is going to kill me before I have a chance to get my foot in the door.
Scenario: Agent of interest opens package containing query letter, synopsis, and first thirty pages. Agent scans query and drinks coffee. Agent is spurred into spitting coffee all over the the pages in either horror or wild amusement (you pick).
Agent’s thoughts: “Does she have any IDEA how many trees would have to die for this??”
I’m dead. Seriously. If I announce in my query that my manuscript is approximately 250,000 words, it will be doused in coffee. If I don’t mention it, that’s sneaky. And bad form.
I know, I know. J.K. Rowling. Stephen King. Robert Jordan. Guess what? They got established before they started publishing books that can double as weight training materials. No one’s going to give me a chance on a book that’s 250,000 words.
They’ll see that and think, “New writer who can’t shut up!”
But I can’t not try because that’s gonna kill me too.
I have seven agents picked out, and simultaneous queries are allowed. We’ll see what happens.
My basic query letter (with personalized agent stuff at the beginning, and modified if needed):
What happened before Sleeping Beauty slept?
Delia Morningstar is a precocious and inquisitive half-fairy girl whose great talent and drive mark her for a promising future. But she has some peculiar interests: What is she learning when she dabbles in forbidden “dark” magick, and why does she have such an interest in the afterlife? Shunned by popular society, she struggles to make her own living, but when one of her attempts to help her kingdom is misunderstood, she is ultimately held responsible for a curse on baby Aurora, her kingdom’s beloved princess. Now forced into hiding, Delia must live in disguise as a typical fairy and continue to work toward a surprising goal: Saving the princess from death. While tweaking destiny from behind her mask, Delia discovers many unexpected aspects of both herself and her enemies. Though she ultimately succeeds in her original goal, she finds that dealing with who she’s become is a battle she’s only beginning.
I think Bad Fairy’s enchanted alternate world and the compelling, unique voice of my main character will appeal to a wide audience, especially with the rise in interest for more mainstream and adult-friendly fantasy (sparked most notably by authors such as Gregory Maguire and J.K. Rowling). In my work at a major chain bookstore, I’ve noticed the tendency for readers to gravitate toward familiarity . . . namely, new takes on old themes, or well-known stories told in new voices. My story will seem fresh while still having that air of familiarity so many readers appreciate.
Bad Fairy is the first book for which I have sought representation, though I’ve written several others in a couple different genres. Besides writing fiction, I also freelance as a copyeditor for various companies and individuals and run several websites.