Thursday, August 11, 2011

Adam Russell Stephens' Current Query

Good morning. Today we're getting back to our roots. As in covering another query.

Adam Russell Stephens is a new friend of mine I met at Ghost Medicine, the wonderfully disturbing and occasionally hilarious blog of Andrew Smith, who I probably talk about too much over here (check my labels), but that's all beside the point. Adam is both an aspiring YA novelist, which is near to my heart, and a librarian, which is dear to my mind.

Anyway, before we get to his query, please go follow his blog, Novelist by Nature (get it? Like Naughty by Nature? Oh come on, they sang that O.P.P. song in the 90s. Some of you are old enough to know that, right?).

You did it, right? I mean went and followed him, not pulled up hip-hop videos from the 90s on Youtube. Of course you did, you lovely people always follow my instructions.

So, the query:

Dear Agent,

My name is Adam Stephens, the author of a 45,000-word YA novel entitled IMPERFECT SYMMETRY.

IMPERFECT SYMMETRY tells the story of 17-year-old Adam Smith, who lives a double life. On the internet, where he has spent a substantial amount of his summer, Adam is openly gay and, as a result, has developed a suitable relationship. At home, the son of a chaplain at a private Christian boarding school, Adam appears more conservative, his orientation a deeply buried secret he hopes no one suspects. Adam’s secret is well-kept until the day his online boyfriend—who lives in Scotland—shows up at Pisgah Heights Academy, the school where Adam attends and where his father works as chaplain. Suddenly, he must choose between his church and his boyfriend, his heart’s truth or his secret’s lie. Ultimately, Adam also knows whatever decision he makes will no longer simply impact his life, but the lives of everyone else around him. Only, Adam isn’t entirely sure his heart, scathed by past burns, can take another plunge into the fire.

The full manuscript is available upon request. Thanks for your consideration.

Okay. So clearly this needs work, and Adam knows that, and that's why he came to me.

Please save your feedback for tomorrow, and together we'll do our best to twist this query until it matches the strength of what is clearly a great premise for a tale. Thanks!

19 comments:

Jessica Bell said...

Great concept! Looking forward to the critique!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Sounds like an interesting read. Looking forward to your critique.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'll be back!

Shain Brown said...

The idea is very interesting and I will be back. And Matt, I did follow his blog.

Charmaine Clancy said...

I like the premise for this story, and look forward to seeing what you have to say about it. :)
Wagging Tales - Blog for Writers

Old Kitty said...

I think it's a great story already! I hope Adam gets lots of help for this cos the story is lovely!! Take care
x

Donna K. Weaver said...

I'll be back.

Michael G-G said...

Can't wait to see what you (and everyone else) comes up with!

You need to start an Andrew Smith fanzine or club--just in case you don't have enough time on your hands!!

Andrew Smith said...

Yes. Start that club.

I am following Adam, too. I like this story idea very much. Nice job, Adam.

Copyboy said...

Me too. I already have a couple of thoughts. I like it. It seems like a modern retelling of agnes of God.

LTM said...

I think I like the premise... but the query has me confused. I'll be interested to hear you say what I'm thinking tomorrow... LOL! :D

Ishta Mercurio said...

This sounds like a really good read. I'll be back tomorrow!

Michael Offutt said...

I love the characters in this piece because I can relate to them. I'll definitely be chiming in (and I followed him to boot).

Jamie (Mithril Wisdom) said...

See y'all tomorrow. This is gonna be a good critique :)

Wen Baragrey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Suzie F. said...

Looking forward to your critique, Matt. You have another new follower, Adam, and I loved reading the story behind your novel.

Rusty Webb said...

I'm quite interested in seeing what you think of this myself. I'll tune in tomorrow.

Angela Ackerman said...

Sounds like a good read, full of internal conflict. :)

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Pk Hrezo said...

Awesome premise. Maybe just needs some whittling down. I'm sure you'll nail it, Matt!