Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My Query

Nervous about putting this out for the masses?  No.  My mother-in-law is visiting for a week and a half.  Sharing my query is a piece of cake.

Just remember, I'm fragile...

Dear Agent,

Blah, blah, blah...

Twelve-year-old Skully longs for the kind of excitement he’s been denied living in his grandfather’s mansion. The day he finally meets his father, the abhorred pirate, Captain ‘Mad Grave’ Smith, Skully embarks on an adventure destined for a horrible end—his own.


Skully never heard of a long dead ruler named Grimstoke until his mother died protecting the secrets of Grimstoke’s accursed ring. With no choice but to take refuge among pirates, Skully realizes Captain Smith isn’t such a bad guy after all. But his newfound father soon falls under the ring’s curse. Grimstoke’s evil spirit possesses Captain Smith and begins sucking souls from the inhabitants of pirate-controlled San Iguana. But Grimstoke will only last so long in Captain Smith’s body. As Grimstoke’s last living descendent, Skully possesses the one thing that can prevent his father’s death, but the cost will be high. Torn by his father’s fate, and guilt over his mother’s death, running away looks pretty good, but Grimstoke always finds him and souls are disappearing fast. It seems it’s up to Skully to save everyone. The only way to do that, is to give Grimstoke what he needs—Skully’s soul.

SKULLY THE PIRATE AND GRIMSTOKE'S CURSE is an upper middle grade adventure sprinkled with humor and a dash of paranormal fantasy. It is complete at 60,000 words. I am a member of SCBWI and several critique groups, as well as the author of the wildly popular (okay, that might be a stretch) blog, Pensive Sarcasm. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.

6 comments:

Natalie said...

Okay, I'll preface this by saying I stink at query critiquing, so I'm not even going to try to critique. Hopefully you'll get some comments from people who are good query writers that can help you make it awesome.

But I have to say I like it. My nephew is crazy about pirates (as are many, many boys) and I think, based on your description, that this will be a fun story that will appeal to kids.

Good luck! It's exciting that you are almost ready to query!

Cheyanne said...

Okay, I made some suggestions, hopefully the formatting works out when I post this comment. *The italics mean to delete those words* I really love the story idea, pirates are awesome, and it sounds like a great middle grade novel. Some sentences were cliche and I've seen agents specifically say they dislike the clichness of it, so I pointed them out. Also, if Skully lives with hsi boring grandfather, does that mean his mother died a long time ago, or recently? How is he just now finding out about the ring when it kills his mother? Perhaps you could also define what the ring's curse IS exactly, besides just a soul sucker. Also, I question why Skully would want to sacrifice himself for a deadbeat pirate father who's never been there for him anyhow.. maybe you want to elaborate on this.





Twelve-year-old Skully longs for the kind of excitement he’s been denied living in his grandfather’s mansion. This sentence is kind of awkward. The day he finally meets his father, the abhorred pirate, Captain ‘Mad Grave’ Smith, Skully embarks on an adventure destined for a horrible end—his own.

I think the query should start here. Nix the first paragraph.
Skully never heard of a long dead ruler named Grimstoke, the long deceased ruler, until his mother died protecting the secrets of Grimstoke’s his accursed ring. With no choice This is cliche, you should leave it out but to take refugeTaking refuge among pirates, Skully realizes his estranged father, the abhorrent Captain Smith isn’t such a bad guy after all. But his newfound father soon falls under the ring’s curse.Soon, Grimstoke’s evil spirit possesses Captain Smith and begins sucking souls from the inhabitants of pirate-controlled San Iguana. But Grimstoke will only last so long in Captain Smith’s body. As Grimstoke’s last living descendant, Skully possesses the one thing that can prevent his father’s death, but the cost will be highThis phrase is also cliche. Torn by his father’s fate, and guilt over his mother’s death, running away looks pretty good, (Make this two sentences, cut the but) but Grimstoke always finds him and souls are disappearing fast. It seems it’s up to Skully to save everyone. The only way to do that save everyone is to give Grimstoke what he needs—Skully’s soul.

SKULLY THE PIRATE AND GRIMSTOKE'S CURSE is an upper middle grade adventure sprinkled with humor and a dash of paranormal fantasy. It is complete at 60,000 words. I am a member of SCBWI and several critique groups, as well as the author of the wildly popular (okay, that might be a stretch) blog, Pensive Sarcasm. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you. The blog mention is cute but probably not a good idea

Cheyanne said...

I had to split this into two comments because it was too big for one..

Okay, I made some suggestions, hopefully the formatting works out when I post this comment. *The italics mean to delete those words* I really love the story idea, pirates are awesome, and it sounds like a great middle grade novel. Some sentences were cliche and I've seen agents specifically say they dislike the clichness of it, so I pointed them out. Also, if Skully lives with hsi boring grandfather, does that mean his mother died a long time ago, or recently? How is he just now finding out about the ring when it kills his mother? Perhaps you could also define what the ring's curse IS exactly, besides just a soul sucker. Also, I question why Skully would want to sacrifice himself for a deadbeat pirate father who's never been there for him anyhow.. maybe you want to elaborate on this.





Twelve-year-old Skully longs for the kind of excitement he’s been denied living in his grandfather’s mansion. This sentence is kind of awkward. The day he finally meets his father, the abhorred pirate, Captain ‘Mad Grave’ Smith, Skully embarks on an adventure destined for a horrible end—his own.

Cheyanne said...

I think the query should start here. Nix the first paragraph.
Skully never heard of a long dead ruler named Grimstoke, the long deceased ruler, until his mother died protecting the secrets of Grimstoke’s his accursed ring. With no choice This is cliche, you should leave it out but to take refugeTaking refuge among pirates, Skully realizes his estranged father, the abhorrent Captain Smith isn’t such a bad guy after all. But his newfound father soon falls under the ring’s curse.Soon, Grimstoke’s evil spirit possesses Captain Smith and begins sucking souls from the inhabitants of pirate-controlled San Iguana. But Grimstoke will only last so long in Captain Smith’s body. As Grimstoke’s last living descendant, Skully possesses the one thing that can prevent his father’s death, but the cost will be highThis phrase is also cliche. Torn by his father’s fate, and guilt over his mother’s death, running away looks pretty good, (Make this two sentences, cut the but) but Grimstoke always finds him and souls are disappearing fast. It seems it’s up to Skully to save everyone. The only way to do that save everyone is to give Grimstoke what he needs—Skully’s soul.

SKULLY THE PIRATE AND GRIMSTOKE'S CURSE is an upper middle grade adventure sprinkled with humor and a dash of paranormal fantasy. It is complete at 60,000 words. I am a member of SCBWI and several critique groups, as well as the author of the wildly popular (okay, that might be a stretch) blog, Pensive Sarcasm. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you. The blog mention is cute but probably not a good idea

Matt said...

I don't know what the frak's going on with my comments, but they want to stay invisible.

Thanks Cheyanne. I missed the cliches.

Traci said...

Really creative plot! And I think that "plot" paragraph flows really well. I'm usually ever-so-slightly less specific in my query during that plot paragraph, but I think all your detail is probably necessary, to explain the key points of the book...

Keeping all my fingers crossed for you!!