Monthly Archives: September 2013

Query Wednesday is back!

Query Wednesday is back!

And to get started again, nothing better than our winner’s query! This is Katie Newingham’s complete query, including the pitch that won the This Meets That Contest.

Some people say a radical is born in an instant, like a crime of passion, but for 18-year-old Dani Caldwell, her transformation begins the summer of 1958, when she meets a boy in pre-revolutionary Cuba. 

In the heat of the Danze de Amore, under the moonlit skies of the Malecon, Jose breaks down Dani’s walls of reserve and steals her heart.  But when the American mob threatens the future of his family’s storefronts, Jose aligns himself with Fidel Castro, and the two young lovers’ stars cross as their worlds divide.  She’ll have to choose between the man she loves and her American ideals. 

Lurking behind the scenes, a revolution that will test the bounds of their love, challenge their resiliency, and for Dani, change the very core of what she believes about her world.  TLS is Havana Nights meets The Way We Were, in a Sue Miller-esque voice.

THE LOST STORY is an Adult Historical Romance and is complete at 80,000 words.

Author Bio:

Katie Newingham is a mommy by day, word contortionist by night and part-time wife, since her husband spends a considerable amount of time traveling for work.  She’s passionate about supporting new moms and writes a monthly column for NewbyMom.com, focusing on lack of sleep, how potty training can save your marriage and other self-deprecating and humorous tales from the home.  She holds a BA in social work and a master’s degree in journalism.

So, Katie wanted to know if this goes straight to the point and if it is too vague. Yes, Katie, it does go straight to the point! And it’s not too vague. Sometimes, people feel they have to include almost their entire plot development into a query. What they end up with is “this happens, then that happens and then that happens,” which can get very boring. It would be nice, however, to see a little more voice, a little more of the feeling they have for each other. Up the stakes, you know? Leave me heartbroken just by reading your query! You wouldn’t get in trouble for having a shorter, straight-to-the-point query like this. You’d probably get several requests. But if you show voice and feeling, you’ll certainly grab more attention.

Also, make sure you check you Spanish. If you mean “Love Dance,” that would be Danza de Amor (amore is Italian). If this is an actual name of a dance they have in Havana, make sure you mention that, like “the famous Danze de Amore” or something like that. Otherwise, if you reach an agent who knows some Spanish, you lose a little credibility.

On the bio, make sure you don’t talk about yourself in third person. You’re addressing this agent. Talk to her. This is a letter you’re writing to someone, not a résumé. Oh, and I would cut the TLS. It’s confusing where it is, before you mention the name of the manuscript. I would go for “THE LOST STORY, a 80,000-word historical romance, is Havana Nights meets The Way We Were, in a Sue Miller-esque voice.”

You have a great premise and your query is going in the right direction. A little tweaking here and there and it’ll be ready to shine!

Thank you so much for sharing you query, Katie. I hope the comments are helpful. If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to leave them on the comments!

 

Want your query analyzed too? Send it in the body of the email to gabriela@gabrielalessaeditor.com with the subject line QUERY WEDNESDAYS. Chosen queries will be analyzed here on the blog.

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We have a winner!

Jill has read your entries and has picked her winner! And the person who will get a critique of her first 50 pages is…

Katie Newingham!

Here is Katie’s winning entry:

Some people say a radical is born in an instant, like a crime of passion, but for 18-year-old Dani Caldwell, her transformation begins the summer of 1958, when she meets a boy in pre-revolutionary Cuba.  She begins her journey as a girl troubled by her mother, fixed on career goals, and winds up a woman who must make hard decisions.  She’ll have to choose between the man she loves and her American ideals.  Lurking behind the scenes, a revolution that will test the bounds of their love, challenge their resiliency, and for Dani, change the very core of what she believes about her world. TLS is Havana Nights meets The Way We Were, in a Sue Miller-esque voice.

It had me intrigued, for sure. And Jill says she likes the concept! Congratulations, Katie! I’ll email you with the details on how to claim your prize.

Now, onto my picks! These three people will get a 35% discount on any services they wish to hire!

First, is the entry that got a special shout out from Jill, for “a really fun and original approach.”

Bad Decision #6 is a YA speculative novel, at 60,000 words. It’s a mash up of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Apocalypto with some weather manipulation.

Jane Benedict has a secret gift keeping her hidden underground from the government. She also has an inability to make the right decision. Will she ever learn?

·         Leaving safety for cannibals, Bad Decision #1.

·         Unleashing her gift to escape, Bad Decision #2.

·         Leaving Nico, her knight in a rotting wolf pelt, Bad Decision #3.

·         Encountering a tribe of natives looking to propagate the next empire, Bad Decision #4.

·         Confronting the Chief. That wins her, Bad Decision #5, almost without a head. 

·         Waking up after the auction on a cot with the government she was supposed to avoid, Bad Decision #6.

This is my first novel. Thanks for your time and consideration.

Congrats, Michele Rieppel! Your entry got a honorable mention from Jill! And for that reason, you’re the first to get a 35% discount on any of my services!

The other two people who will get the discount are…

Kate Larkindale, with her “American Pie meets The Sessions” pitch, and Scott Forman, who intrigued me with a heroine that is “Hermione Granger meets Melanie Stryder”.

Michele, Kate and Scott, I’ll also email you with the details on how to claim your prize!

Thanks for the fun entries, guys! And a big thank you to Jill Marr for being such an awesome judge!

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The last submission slot!

Yeap. We still have spots available on the contest! So if you hadn’t seen this yet, it’s your lucky weekend!

Since I’m enjoying a great vacation, I’ll stay a few days offline. So I’ll give you a 5-day submission slot! You have from Friday, September 6th, to Tuesday, September 10th to send in your entry!

 

Send your entry at any time to gabriela@gabrielalessaeditor.com!

Here is how your entry should look!

To: gabriela@gabrielalessaeditor.com

Subject: THIS MEETS THAT CONTEST – YOUR ENTRY TITLE

Body of the email: Your pitch (150 words max.), which should include your title, genre, main plot points and a comparison to a book, movie or TV show.

The comparison might be of the “this meets that” kind, or it might be “along the lines of this book,” or “similar in tone to this author.” The important thing is to have a comparison in there. ENTRIES THAT DO NOT INCLUDE A COMPARISON WILL BE DISQUALIFIED.

Ready? Then send your submission! On Tuesday I hope to see my inbox full! And I’ll let you know then who made the entry cap. So hurry!

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All day submission slot!

Well, guess what? We didn’t reach the entry cap yesterday. So today we’ll have an all day long submission slot! Send your entry at any time to gabriela@gabrielalessaeditor.com!

Here is how your entry should look!

To: gabriela@gabrielalessaeditor.com

Subject: THIS MEETS THAT CONTEST – YOUR ENTRY TITLE

Body of the email: Your pitch (150 words max.), which should include your title, genre, main plot points and a comparison to a book, movie or TV show.

The comparison might be of the “this meets that” kind, or it might be “along the lines of this book,” or “similar in tone to this author.” The important thing is to have a comparison in there. ENTRIES THAT DO NOT INCLUDE A COMPARISON WILL BE DISQUALIFIED.

Ready? Then send your submission!

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Second submission slot is open!

Second slot is open! If you missed the first slot for submissions, you may send your entry now. Second slot will last four hours, from 6 PM EDT until 10 PM EDT.

Here is how your entry should look like!

To: gabriela@gabrielalessaeditor.com

Subject: THIS MEETS THAT CONTEST – YOUR ENTRY TITLE

Body of the email: Your pitch (150 words max.), which should include your title, genre, main plot points and a comparison to a book, movie or TV show.

The comparison might be of the “this meets that” kind, or it might be “along the lines of this book,” or “similar in tone to this author.” The important thing is to have a comparison in there. ENTRIES THAT DO NOT INCLUDE A COMPARISON WILL BE DISQUALIFIED.

Ready? Then send your submission! Remember, you must send it before 10 PM EDT.

If you miss both slots, make sure you check back tomorrow. If the entry cap is not reached today, I will reopen for submissions tomorrow!

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The “This Meets That” Contest is on!

It is on! The first slot for submissions is open and will last five hours. From now until 1 PM EDT, you can send your entry to gabriela@gabrielalessaeditor.com.

Here is how your entry should look!

To: gabriela@gabrielalessaeditor.com

Subject: THIS MEETS THAT CONTEST – YOUR ENTRY TITLE

Body of the email: Your pitch (150 words max.), which should include your title, genre, main plot points and a comparison to a book, movie or TV show.

The comparison might be of the “this meets that” kind, or it might be “along the lines of this book,” or “similar in tone to this author.” The important thing is to have a comparison in there. ENTRIES THAT DO NOT INCLUDE A COMPARISON WILL BE DISQUALIFIED.

Ready? Then send your submission! Remember, you must send it before 1 PM EDT. If you miss that slot, you can wait for the next one, which will begin at 6 PM EDT.

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