Advice on Query Letter

Hey all,

Below is my query letter for my newly-completed New Adult Novel.  Any advice and improvements would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!

Dear Agent,

When nineteen-year-old American college student Suzie Smith overhears a plot to blow up a building in London, her fun-filled year abroad now becomes a race against time to discover the details and stop the bombing. The main problem: one of the bombers is her boyfriend, Edward Long.

Convinced her unassuming, gentle boyfriend could not possibly be involved, Suzie pushes the knowledge out of her mind, chalking it up to the exorbitant amount of alcohol she has been consuming lately. Until the talk continues and escalates. She learns the building is none other than the Palaces of Westminster and the bombing is happening soon—less than a fortnight.

She reports what little she knows to the police who promptly dismiss her as a naive American—except for one hard-nosed Irishman, Inspector Reilly. However, he is unable to convince his bosses without more information, which he presses Suzie to learn.

Overwhelmed, Suzie decides her best strategy is to spend as much time as possible with Edward in hopes he’ll open up to her.  Along the way, Suzie has the time of her life, traveling to Paris and Scotland.  And Suzie does learn more—she learns she’s falling in love with Edward.

As the line between real and not real becomes blurred, can Suzie choose? If she betrays Edward, he may die. If she keeps her mouth shut, scores will die. How will she choose? And when she does, what will it cost her?

This is a contemporary new-adult novel and the first in a planned series. It is complete at 82,000 words.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

End Note:  Character names have been changed and details in paragraph four and the title omitted.  Also, any technical advice as well would be greatly appreciated such as are the stakes clearly shown?  Would you ask to see pages?  Why or why not?  Anything else you all see that I’m too close to see?

P.S.  For those non-writers out there, a query letter is the first step into landing a literary agent who sells your work to publishers.  It’s a critical component in getting published.

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12 comments on “Advice on Query Letter

  1. Melissa says:

    As a non-writter I don’t think I have any advice to give. Just wanted to say it sounds like something I would be interested in reading!

  2. Valerie Perkins says:

    Good job… I like. As former English teacher, I always look at grammar. Check your second paragraph for sentence fragment, “…Until the talk continues & escalates…” Good Luck & Blessings

    Sent from Val’s iPhone

  3. Theresa says:

    Sounds intriguing, it is the kind of novel I would read. Praying for the success of this endeavor.

  4. Barbara DAlliegro says:

    I am not a writer, but this seems to be something I would enjoy reading. Such great possibility for character development and an opportunity to learn about good choices. Seems like it would be fast paced and keep my attention. I love book series because it is a way to learn to love or dislike a character as they grow as a person and become involved in their lives. Good for you!

  5. iloveu123 says:

    I think your query letter is excellent. Sounds like a book that I would love to read. Praying for it to be published.

    Kathy

  6. Jo says:

    The query letter has several plots and could take off in any direction. The query letter got my attention and I enjoyed reading it, you do have a gift for writing. Praying the book will be published soon. Keep us informed.

  7. sooz133 says:

    Sounds exciting. I can’t wait to read it!!!

  8. Bob says:

    Nineteen seems too young for me. Make her a recent college-graduate (U-Mass) taking time off before graduate studies. It’s a gift from her parents for some R&R time abroad.

  9. Faye Horton says:

    I am a writer and found your query to be intriguingly presented. I would agree with Bob that unless Edward is an older boyfriend, 19 seems young for your heroine to have such an adventure. But then, who am I to say? This is a book I would look to read because I am caught up in the excitement of what is the ending. Great job.

  10. angela says:

    THIS IS SO INTERESTING. I WOULD LOVE TO READ THE WHOLE BOOK

  11. Babs says:

    I really kept me wanting to keep reading because it was interesting.

  12. Jan Taylor says:

    Your review did hook me. Although you may want to show your novel writing style in the summary, you could consider staying with generally accepted punctuation. Do you also have a very correctly written cover letter that shows conventional usage? Truthfully, time is too short for me to read literature not extremely well written. Do you think agents intially look at the story line over writing style? I don’t know. This sample needs a lot of editing if it were to be considered and needed to be well written.

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