Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Agents Work In Mysterious Ways

For this weeks Totally Tuesday, I am going to talk about my query letter. I sent out 25 of them last week and got 11 rejections. Something didn't feel right about it and I wasn't sure what. I ended up switching to a different query letter and tweaking it a bit. I really couldn't tell you why, but last night I just felt really good about it as I was sending them off.

This morning I woke up to two requests from agents! One requested a partial and one a full. Both seem to be really cool and I'm very excited! I know better than to get my hopes up, but this was a great response and I'm just happy for the opportunity.

So anyway, for those of you who asked, I am going to copy and paste my query letter so you guys can see it. To be honest, I really don't know why this one went over so much better than my other one, but who am I to question it? :)

Obviously they were personalized and I did put in something about why I was querying each agency... I did that the first time too though.

Dear Agent,

I’d like you to consider ORACLE, my young adult novel with a science fiction twist. This story is science fiction for people who don’t necessarily like science fiction—it is extremely character driven. In marketing terms—visualize X-Men meets Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. The manuscript is complete at 74,000 words.

Lexi Parker is telekinetic, and she hates it. Now, if only that was her worst problem.

Nope, that would be too simple for this fifteen-year-old. When a random desert thunderstorm sends Lexi to the world of Solara, she realizes her abilities aren’t so rare and freakish after all. Her power comes in a distant second on the weirdness scale compared to her experiences in this strange and beautiful world, such as:

~ Explaining that she isn’t a spy to a council of aliens

~ Watching her new friend pack a bag the same way Mary Poppins does

~ Drying her hands on a mini hurricane that invades her bathroom

She makes a deal with the Solarians—if they help her get home, she will help them find others with abilities like hers on Earth. After all this, Lexi is more than happy for life to get back to “normal”—then again, normal has never been Lexi’s strong suit. She never imagined what awaited her back in Oracle, Arizona would be far worse than anything she’d seen on Solara.

~ Getting knocked to the ground by a flying ottoman

~ Breaking a boy out of jail

~ Seeing lifeless eyes looking out from a friend’s face

All that—and she still can’t beat her sister at a game of Cups.

Maybe Lexi should’ve just stayed in Solara—but, it’s too late now. She must quickly learn to accept her own abilities and figure out how to use them. If she doesn’t, the powerful murderer stalking her will insure that no one on Earth who develops these powers will ever survive again.

I am a former marketing coordinator, a graduate of Weber State University in Public Relations, and the Public Relations/Activities Officer for the Utah League of Writers. This is a simultaneous submission

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Jenn Johansson


  1. Awesome. I love it. And congrats on the two requests! Good luck.

  2. YAY!!! I'm sooo happy for you!!! How exciting! You have to keep us updated! And thanks so much for sharing this. Every successful query letter helps someone else! Jenni

  3. I am so stinkin excited to find this blog!! I'm a mommy... I'm mormon, and I am uh, trying to be a writer. :) I'm 75 pages in to my first attempt at a novel and feel so clueless as to what to do when I'm done with it. Nice to have a place to turn where I know others will understand my literary pursuits..

    And way to go on your querys... :) Hopefully I'll be there too one day.

  4. Jenn, that's so exciting! At this rate you'll have an agent in no time at all!

    MommyJ, welcome. I'm glad you found us. This is a great place for support and networking.

  5. Hi Mommy J!! We're mostly a bunch of new writers, so you found the right place!! Please feel free to comment away and try any of our writing exercises. It's great to meet more mommy writers!!

    Jenn - HOLY STINKIN COW!! Look how amazing you are! I'm so going to try to make my query letter that awesome!! Congratulations! Keep us posted!

  6. Kasie - thanks!

    Jenni - you will get tired of my updates, I assure you. ;)

    MommyJ - Welcome! It is nice to meet you :D Thanks for the kind words

    Candice - I can only hope so, but either way... I'm just excited to have someone take my ms seriously. It's all good. :)

    Nikki - LOLOL I'm glad you liked it. Your post made me laugh! I promise to keep you posted!

  7. Requests! Woo hoo! Aren't they fun? :) Well, I'm not surprised that you got some. That query letter is great! I've got my fingers crossed for you.



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