Query #5

Dear Ms. Resciniti,
 
Somebody is murdering the Pixies. They’ve been dropping like flies in this small college town.
Skye’s a teen witch who sucks at spells and is skeptical of the idea of winged Tinker Bells. But strange things have been going on at the metaphysical shop, The Green Fairy, where she works nights: black specks of movement out of the corner of her eye, mysterious buzzing noises, unidentified dragonfly carcasses in the basement, and a hidden cache of absinthe (aka fairy crack).
 
Kheelan is a human changeling. Raised with the fairies, he’s viewed as an inferior species whose only use is to serve his kidnappers. He’s been totally screwed by the Fae and his only goal in life is freedom. When he meets Skye, he sees an opportunity to escape. The last thing he needs is to be distracted by feelings for this quirky witch.
 
Skye stumbles upon the remains of dead fairies and is approached by Kheelan who has been sent to investigate the pixie murders. Funny thing is — he looks exactly like a part-time employee of the store who has autism. Skye falls for him only to discover he’s using her to win his freedom. Hard to believe she’s really half-fairy and has secret powers when she can never get a spell to work right. But one night, after years of painful backaches from what she thought was scoliosis, Skye discovers a pair of sprouted wings.
 
As Samhain, the witch’s Halloween, draws near she must make a bold move to claim her heritage and power, restore order in the fairy realm, and try to win Kheelan’s freedom and love. Absinthe, autism and augury meld into a paranormal cauldron where everyone is not what it seems and the fairies are sly tricksters who can trap you in their Realm.
 
THE GREEN FAIRY is a completed 70,000-word YA paranormal romance. Thank you for your consideration.
 
Sincerely,
 
Debbie Herbert
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10 comments on “Query #5

  1. Good start with this! One suggestion I’d make is more showing and less telling. Draw the reader (agent) in with your premise, your characters, and the obstacle they’re hoping to overcome. Don’t weigh down your query with too much backstory.

    Also, I’m confused on this sentence “Raised with the fairies, he’s viewed as an inferior species whose only use is to serve his kidnappers.” Who kidnapped him?

    I am intrigued by the premise. Good luck!

  2. Hi there. This is really interesting, and overall I like the premise. One thing to consider would be taking out the first sentence entirely– it doesn’t flow right to mention the murders and then directly introduce Skye, then come back to the murders again. Also, I have to wonder, why is Skye so skeptical about faeries, who are magical creatures, when she’s a magic user herself and works in a shop called The Green Fairy? And why would the faeries, who are apparently enslaving Kheelan, trust him enough to send him to investigate fairy murders?

    Also, I don’t think you need to explain Samhain– if you’re querying an agent who reps your genre they will most likely understand the significance of the holiday to a witch. And rather than saying Skye ‘discovers a pair of sprouted wings’, I would say that she discovers she has sprouted wings. The former makes it unclear as to whether or not the wings are hers or someone elses– reads awkwardly.

    Still, like I said this is definitely an interesting premise. Good luck! 🙂

  3. Really interesting premise, just a little wordy. Oh, and I’m fascinated at how autism fits into this world, too. So – let’s get down to the big stuff: girl who doesn’t believe in fairies finds out she’s one of them. (Is that right?) Make that the lead conflict, throw in the boy conflict, and voila!

    And really, this is a great closing paragraph. I wouldn’t change a thing:

    As Samhain draws near, she must make a bold move to claim her heritage and power, restore order in the fairy realm, and try to win Kheelan’s freedom and love. Absinthe, autism and augury meld into a paranormal cauldron where everyone is not what it seems and the fairies are sly tricksters who can trap you in their Realm.

    Nice job!

  4. I love the whole “Pixies dropping like flies” line. The idea is intriguing but a little too much detail…almost synopsy. I’d also try to minimize the naming to 2 characters because I had to go back and ask, “who’s Fae?” Best of luck 🙂

  5. Very intriguing but a little too much info here. Although I’m interested to see how autism plays a part since I always teach a few mainstreamed autism kiddos each year in my class . . . I was confused by it here. Stick to the basics & you’ll be good to go!

    • Thanks Nicole!

      About autism — I have a son with autism and every story I write includes a character with autism. In this case, the man with autism is actually the fairy child left behind when the fairies took Kheelan. In old fairy lore – a fairy child is left behind when the fairies take a human. I wanted to write about whatever happened to the human child since I never read a fairy tale with that twist.
      Debbie
      Perhaps I should lead with this?
      Debbie

  6. Thanks everyone for all the helpful suggestions! Some of the best advice I’ve received regarding my query. Good luck to all.
    Debbie

  7. I think there is a lot of great characterization here, but it reads like a lot of backstory and not enough plot, so cut all the stuff that doesn’t go directly to the heart of the conflict then focus on that conflict and the choice that must be made. All that other stuff, while fun, is just fluff. I know this from personal experience, so I know how hard it is to cut and get to the meat.

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