Query

So, I am thinking about rewriting my query. It has worked quite well, but I want it to work better. Since, I think I will be continuing on with this current query batch, though the book is out with a handful still, I was wondering if anyone would care to comment. Any thoughts? Advice? Here is my current query:

I am seeking representation for my novel DISTILLATION, supernatural women’s fiction with New England flavor. DISTILLATION would appeal to readers who have enjoyed Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic and Katherine Howe’s The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane. 

Alice Towne has been trying to get pregnant and to be a good wife, but the smell of the dead is getting in the way. She smells their memories, sweet and sour, essences of life hanging on with the soul. When her husband can’t accept her for who she is and his disdain borders on abuse, Alice finds the strength to leave. With few options, she agrees to do a favor for her mother, caretaking a house in the hills of western, Massachusetts, where she hopes to exorcise her demons and come to terms with her curse in solitude.  

Ashfield is beautiful and quaint, filled with history and an air of enchantment. Everyone in town, however, seems to have a secret to share or one to hide. Alice is wary of the witchy women who own the hardware store, friends of her mother, but knows their spells are what has kept the old house’s past at bay. Alice’s presence, though, seems to wash away that protection. The odor of peppermint lingers in every corner and the spirit of a woman lurks beside the garden, seemingly aware Alice can sense her and waiting to be heard. In the middle of it all, is Josephine, her mother, pushing Alice to stay the course and embrace her gift. But, when Alice unearths the preserved bones of an infant buried in the cellar, and discovers an ancient symbol that ties her own family to the house’s history, she knows she must learn the truth of what happened on Watts’ Hill, if she ever wants to understand herself.

From an alchemist damned, to a distillery that launched a pharmaceutical giant, Alice will sift through history and legend uncovering a betrayal and a love that echo across time. In doing so, she also discovers who she truly is and just what eternity really means.

3 thoughts on “Query

  1. I agree with Jessica and Tamara. A little more of your personality might be good in the first paragraph and how Jessica tighten things up would make a power combo.Good luck!From Diary of a Writer in Progress

  2. I would make the first paragraph more personable. Right now, I get no sense of "you" in it – this could be from anyone. Your personality really catches publisher's eyes. Otherwise, I agree with Tamara's comments.JessicaA to Z Blogger & SF/Fantasy Writer @ Visions of Other Worlds

  3. Howdy,From reading your earlier posts, it looks like you are getting requests from good agents, so you may not need to tweak, but I can understand the desire for a fresh new query. I practically wrote a new one every ten agents or so. My inclination would be to tighten up what you have for a faster, easier read. Some of the longer sentences make me go back and read again which isn’t something you want an agent to do. Here are the parts that I felt were the strongest:My novel DISTILLATION is a supernatural women’s fiction with New England flavor that would appeal to readers who enjoy Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic and Katherine Howe’s The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane. (Have you read Erin Hart’s Haunted Ground? It might be another good comp.)Alice Towne wants to bear her husband a child, but the dead keep getting in the way. She smells their memories. When her husband’s disbelief and disdain borders on abuse, Alice leaves for the hills of western Massachusetts in hopes of exorcising her demons. Beautiful Ashfield is filled with history and an air of enchantment where everyone has a secret to share or one to hide. Alice accepts a caretaking position at a house rumored to be haunted. The witchy women who own the hardware store claim their spells keep the house’s past at bay. Yet, the odor of peppermint lingers in every corner and a spirit lurks beside the garden waiting to be heard. When Alice unearths the preserved bones of an infant buried in the cellar and discovers an ancient symbol tieing her own family to the house’s history, she must learn the truth of what happened on Watts’ Hill. From an alchemist damned to a distillery that launched a pharmaceutical giant, Alice must sift through history and legend to uncover a betrayal and a love that echo across time.

Comments are closed.