Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Elaine Vickers' Current Query

Back to the grind. Today I have Elaine's current query. You can find her blog, here. For now, let's get to

the letter:

Dear AGENT,

Eleven-year-old Isaac Sanchez has never belonged anywhere or mattered to anyone. But he’s only a little bitter—like dark chocolate, not like Brussels sprouts. Mostly he’s just lonely and lost. When the mom who abandoned him as a baby comes back and begs for another chance, Isaac struggles to adapt to a whole new life with a whole new family.

Then Isaac receives an old copy of Isaac Newton's Principia Mathematica and discovers that he has more in common with the greatest scientist in history than just first names: a father who died before he was born (check), a mother who left him with his grandparents and started another family (check), and a crummy history of being the smallest, most picked-on kid in the neighborhood (check and check). All of the things that made him feel insignificant now convince Isaac that he is destined to become super rich, rock-star famous, and one of the greatest geniuses of all time.

Isaac decides to follow in Newton’s footsteps. He gets pet mice, wears red every day, shuns his new family, tries to spook the neighbors by flying glowing kites after dark, and uses Newton's favorite fruit (apples, of course) for a projectile experiment that goes horribly wrong. He even solves the secret code his dad wrote in the margins of Principia. But his most surprising discovery of all is that he may be able to forgive his mom and care about his sisters, and they might care about him too. When Isaac's experiments cause a life-threatening accident, he must decide whether his "destiny" is worth the price. Does he really want to turn out like Newton anyway?

DISCOVERING ISAAC (42,000 words) is a contemporary middle grade novel that contains sneaky bits of physics, history, and biology. I am querying you with this project because [agent personalization here].

My previous publications include a story in the children’s magazine The Friend (February 2011) and a collaboration with [author's name and bestselling novel title] (The Moms’ Club Diaries, Spring Creek Book Company, 2008) as well as several scientific papers in some of the nation’s top chemistry journals. (These are every bit as riveting as you’d imagine.) I currently teach chemistry at Southern Utah University and am a member of SCBWI.

Thank you for your time and your consideration.

Sincerely,

Elaine Vickers

That's it.

Please save your feedback for tomorrow, and thank Elaine for sharing this with us.

17 comments:

Sarah said...

This one is really fascinating (and, forgive me for saying it, pretty adorable). I know you're going to get some useful feedback, Elaine!

Em-Musing said...

Great story? Check! Is Issac a great character? Check! Will be back tomorrow? Check!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks Elaine for sharing this. I'm excited it's a middle story. Looking forward to Matt's critique tomorrow.

farawayeyes said...

Interesting premise. Thanks for having the courage to share.

Elise Fallson said...

Sounds great! Will be back tomorrow. (:

Sarah Ahiers said...

I'll be back as usual!

Nancy Thompson said...

I know we're supposed to wait & I won't say much but...WOW! I'm hard to impress & I don't read MG, but this is a great query! Be back tomorrow to see what Matt has to say. Good luck, Matthew!

Carolyn Abiad said...

This story is made of awesome! I'll definitely be back to see what Matt says tomorrow.

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

Oooh I like the premise of this query. Can't wait to see what polish you provide.

Tasha Seegmiller said...

YAY!!! So glad Elaine sent this in, and I'm really excited to see how it is tweaked that we didn't think of.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Okay -- following Elaine's blog? Check! Coming back tomorrow? Check!

I love this query. Can't wait to see Matt's feedback and offer a few suggestions of my own.

Christina Lee said...

Already in love--Mats's critique will just make it all the better!! Good luck!

Jess said...

I know we're not supposed to comment yet, but this sounds awesome!

DL Hammons said...

Really curious to see what you have to say tomorrow. It sounds like there's a really good book in there. :)

Jemi Fraser said...

There's one line I especially love! But I won't share until tomorrow... :)

alexia said...

Nice job! I know the crit's tomorrow, but had to sneak that in...

Elaine said...

Thank you so, so much! I am excited for tomorrow's feedback.