My Latest Query Again


Okay, so that last one was horrible. I agree. It turned me off too. I got the idea from a well-known agent/author who is trying to sell his books on novel writing by giving away his article on query writing. I followed his advice as closely as possible and you can see the result. It makes me wonder how wonderful his books on novel writing are.

The other day, as I was driving, I got this idea of how to do it. I think it was what you could call inspiration. I pulled over to the side of the road and wrote down everything I was thinking. Then, I came home and worked on it some more, tweaking it and making it more grammatical and readable. I've posted it to several writes forum sites and everyone who commented said, "Wow! A great improvement. Then they gave me some more pointers that I've tried to incorporate. Now, I have what I hope is close to being a final draft that I can start sending out to agents.

If you, my faithful readers, all 1 or 2 of you, have any comments, I'm still open.

Here it is:


Dear Agent:

I am seeking representation for my 70,000 word young adult novel, SWEET REVENGE.

Tears flow down Mark Wilkerson’s cheeks as he watches his mom, dad, and baby sister burn in a fiery automobile crash on the Carquinez Bridge, while rocking his injured remaining sister to the tune of local emergency whistles. Set in a small Bay Area town in Northern California during the spring of 1965, Mark vows revenge against the hit-and-run driver who caused the accident.

Mark and his sister move in with his grandmother, in the virtual shadow of the bridge. While dealing with grief, he soon finds himself hated for hoping to get out of the Vietnam War draft so he can continue his studies in college. To make matters worse, he gets caught in a love triangle with the boy who accuses him of draft-dodging. When he finds evidence that links the other boy to the killing of his family, he is filled with rage. Armed with hatred and his need for revenge, Mark heads on a dangerous course that could lead to a tragedy worse than the loss of his family – the murder of an innocent boy.

As an agent who represents young adult literature, I think SWEET REVENGE could be a good fit for you and your agency. It is written in a similar vein as S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, and That Was Then, This Is Now, while exploring the debilitating psychological effects of grief, jealousy, and hatred, plus the beauty of forgiveness.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.
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About Paul West

Paul West is a freelance writer and novelist. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Paul claims to be a "Prune Picker," though he now makes his home in Taylorsville, Utah.

You can follower him on Twitter: @PaulWWest

Published: Thursday, July 17, 2008

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