Sunday, December 13, 2009

While We're On the Topic of Agents

Someone asked me if I mentioned that SHIVER was a dual narrative when I pitched it to agents, and as I was about to answer her, I thought, you know what, in full disclosure, I will post the query that landed me my agent. For better or for worse, here it is:

Dear Ms. Rennert,

I'm looking for representation for the sequels to my currently under-contract YA urban fantasy novel, LAMENT. LAMENT (Flux 2008) is frontlisting Flux's fall selections and my editor, Andrew, is extremely enthusiastic about it. In it, a painfully shy girl's suburban life is rocked by a mysterious and fascinating boy who seems to know everything about her -- sucks that he's a soulless fairy assassin. After I turned in the finished manuscript, Andrew called me and we had the following conversation:

ANDREW: It has become painfully obvious to me that I should've signed you to a multi-book deal.
ME: Uh, yeah.
ANDREW: It's also become painfully obvious to me that you need to write another book with these same characters in it. And I want it. Now!
ME: You'll have to beg for it in March, I'm afraid.
ANDREW: I know. You'll enjoy the begging.

Andrew's since asked for me to submit a story arc for two other novels around March, and frankly, the idea of committing to that sort of deal without an agent scares the snot out of me. Moreover, I am nearly finished with another YA novel (paranormal romance/ urban fantasy), Still Wolf Watching, about a werewolf that changes with the seasons and the girl who loves him. I'd love to have representation for that when it's complete as well.

When I'm not writing, I'm an internationally-collected professional artist used to self-promotion. My humorous art and writing blog is pretty well-read -- it had about 60,000 hits in 2007.

I would love to work with you; I hope you'll consider reading either LAMENT or Still Wolf Watching. Thanks so much for your time.


Maggie Stiefvater

So there it is. STILL WOLF WATCHING = SHIVER, obviously.

I don't know if that's helpful to anybody. It doesn't look particularly helpful. But now it's out there.


ElegantSnobbery said...

Okay, I've never read a query before, but I'm pretty darned positive that's the best query ever written. It made me want to buy and read all of your books all over again. Way to go! and thanks for sharing!

Larissa said...

Thanks, Maggie. That was amusing, interesting, and informative.

And it also makes me want to delete my documents folder and pretend I never thought I could be a writer. I am obviously delusional.


Donna Gambale said...

That's such a Maggie-fied query letter. Why this was for the win -- you totally showed your personality! (Having an editor drooling over your next book didn't hurt, either.) Thanks for sharing!

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Haha, guys! It is a very Maggie-sounding letter. And actually, Donna, while it possibly got me read faster, the advances are small enough at Flux that none of the agents were actually tempted by the BALLAD deal -- it was the promise of SHIVER they all responded to.

Shelli said...

i love how honest it was

than what happened?

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Haha, Shelli, that's another post to itself right there!

Chris Eldin said...

LOL @ Shelli! And then what happened...

This was the most unusual query letter I've ever read---in a good way! Loved reading it!! Thanks for sharing!

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