Today's guest blogger is Renae Mercado, author of FATAL BEAUTIES! Remember the rules? go visit her blog and become a follower before reading on or doom shall follow you for all ...
Who am I kidding? Just do it. We trust you.
So Renae is going to be adding her thoughts in a nice light purple today, and I suppose that I will think in orange, in honor of everyone's favorite agent. Take it away Renae!
Thank you so much for the chance to share, Matt! My novel Fatal Beauties is represented by Bree Ogden at Martin Literary Management. Bree was one of my top choices so when I polished up my novel, I queried her immediately.
You're most welcome Renae, thanks for sharing this with us!
Dear Ms. Ogden,
Their screams can stop a human heart, their songs can drive humans to the brink of madness. But these cruel fates are nothing compared to what could happen if a Siren falls in love …
I love hooks! I always start with some sort of hook. As with your first few pages, you want to pull the agent in and leave them wanting more. Now she knows what my character is and the havoc she is able to create, all in the first two sentences.
This is vivid description, which is uncommon in a query but works amazingly well here. This is also an awesome premise. Renae has set it up very well here too, as she said it's just enough to entice the reader!
Toying mercilessly with humans and delivering them to their darkest hour was all part of daily life for Amber Ballentine and her sisters. But that normal life is turned upside down when Amber grows tired of the monotony and matriculating from town to town.
Short sweet and to the point. Again, I mention the fact that Amber is a force to be reckoned with. Though she’s flawed, there may be some redeeming qualities.
Nice. I like the way you put this and you're right: it does sort of endear me to the character in an interesting way. I mean, yes, she sounds a little shallow, and possibly evil, but that also sounds damn entertaining.
But living by the rules comes with a price. Amber grows weak, lets her guard down. And then she meets Kellan Westwick. Kellan is everything one would expect from the proverbial bad boy … brooding, rich, and devastatingly handsome. He’s also off limits for Sirens aren’t allowed to fall for humans … the risk is too great.
Enter the bad boy. Of course. I’ve now introduced my other main character and given the agent an initial impression of his demeanor. I’ve also laid the groundwork for the main conflict without going into a lot of unnecessary detail.
Simple, but compelling. Of course we don't yet know if this is the entire conflict, but if it is, at least we know it's going to be entertaining.
Though she fights against her feelings Amber finds herself drawn to this hauntingly mysterious human. As they grow closer, Amber stumbles upon the buried past of Kellan's family ... the Westwick’s are Reapers, a group of humans with the strength and power to destroy all paranormal creatures including Sirens. When the truth comes out Amber must ask herself if Kellan is her hero or the one who will lead to her ultimate demise.
And we have the twist. I never give away the resolution, but I have given just enough information to hopefully leave the agent wanting to read more.
Oooh, I see your point. This is a corkscrew isn't it? I for one am VERY curious as to what Kellan's powers are or how he would have the ability to destory paranormal creatures. Since you don't tell me how I now have to read your book. Oh wait ... that's the point of a query in the first place? Win.
This gothic tale mixes elements of mystery, romance and the paranormal bringing a fresh new twist to this young adult novel. FATAL BEAUTIES is complete at around 100,000 words with series potential.
Here I sum up the page count while letting the agent know that there is potential for a series. I also bring to light the fact that this is not something that’s already on the market. I had done my research and was well aware that Bree was looking for something different and new.
Makes sense. Plus it worked, there is that too.
I am an elementary school teacher by day and an avid writer by night. If you would like to consider FATAL BEAUTIES, I’ll happily forward the manuscript at your request.
Just a little bit about myself while letting her know that the manuscript was complete and ready for her to review.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Three days after my initial query, Bree asked for the full. A few more (long) days she e-mailed offering representation if I would be willing to change one little part of the book. It didn’t change my vision of the story at all so of course I said yes! And there you have it. I’m now on submission and trying desperately to keep my fingernails intact. But I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. So don’t give up no matter what. I truly believe the right agent is out there for everyone!
Very exciting! Congrats Renae. And best of luck with your submission process, I'm sure it will work out for you!
What do you guys think? Questions for Renae? Comments making fun of me? Please, share anything you like in the comments section.