Carrie Harris | Young Adult Author

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Things That Make Me Snarf N Stuff

Okay. First, the obligatory drawing reminder. Leave a comment; win a book. I'm drawing names Friday morning. Blah de blah blah.

Moving on: now, the funny. There is a raised finger in this video, and yes, it's THAT finger. Just a warning to those of you who occasionally watch with your kids.



Now, a short while ago, I had a request to see the query letter that won the attention of Fabulous Agent Kate. Two things I'd like to say first: I have repeatedly tried to ninja my own letter and can't manage it. This is not because the letter is by any means perfect, but because I have stared at said letter so many times that the mere thought of it is enough to turn my brains into tapioca. Yeah, that happens to everyone.

The other thing I'd like to mention is that I hope all of you writer types are querying your little butts off, but I also hope that you're STILL WRITING NEW STUFF. You ever heard that phrase "don't put all your eggs in one basket"? It's a cliche for a reason. I look back at Superbly Useless and know that it can be awesome, but there are also bits in there that make me kick myself. Lots of bits. Lots of kicking.

Yeah, it looks as funny as it sounds.

Anyway, here's the letter.
Dear Ms. Schafer Testerman,

Superbly Useless is a YA superhero comedy best described as the X-Men meets Bridget Jones’ younger sister. This story about a neurotic but snarky girl who discovers that she has balls of steel should appeal to fans of Maureen Johnson’s Devilish.

In a world where supers are commonplace, having powers doesn’t make Mira Mason’s life any easier. Mira has problems up the yingyang. She’s smart as bleep but turns into a monosyllabic moron every time she tries to talk to her crush. Her father is quite possibly rat-in-a-coffee-can insane. Bubbles McMasters, aka She of the Stupid Name and Evil Disposition, won’t stop picking on her. Just when it seems like things can’t possibly get worse, a voyeuristic new supervillain starts peeping at Mira’s classmates, and Bubbles tries to convince everyone that it’s Mira in disguise. Mira must prove once and for all that she is not Princess Peeps-a-lot, and to do that, she’ll have to catch the real perv.

Superbly Useless is complete at approximately 60,000 words. Needless to say, I would be thrilled to be a new addition to your client list. Do you think that this project would be a good fit for you? Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

Best regards,
Carrie Harris

I struggled a lot with this one, because there are whole bits of the book that are left out. There's no mention of her love interest, her two best friends, or her telepathic-slash-sadistic teacher, all of whom have pretty major parts in the book. But the main story is about a girl who learns to stand up when no one else will, so anything not directly relating to that had to go. And boy, was it painful to leave it out. My first draft of this letter practically dripped with superfluous character names.

Anyway, I hope at the least you got some amusement out of it. Feel free to ninja the bleep out of me retroactively. It seems only fair.

14 comments:

Jeremy Kelly said...

The cool thing about that letter is that totally leaks some of your award-winning personality.

And... that dude was funny.

K.C. Shaw said...

No wonder Fabulous Agent Kate snapped you up! That's an amazing query, and it sounds like a great book!

MeganRebekah said...

Loves it! I had no idea the book was a comedic superhero type. It seems to be laughing and taunting at my dark and mysterious YA superhero novel.

What's the current status of the book? Is it on submission, or has it been acquired?

Jamie Eyberg said...

Do you think that style of query letter would have worked for War and Peace?

candicekennington said...

Now I know why I feel so simpatico with you and your blog. My current WIP, Jaded, is about a woman who hates superheroes. I think your query is the epitome of what agents mean when they say you should let your voice show through in your letter. Funny stuff!

storyqueen said...

What's great about your query is that it gives a taste of your book as well as your hilarious writing style. An agent really gets a good idea what to expect.

Well done.

Off to feed my rat in a coffee can.....



Shelley

Kelly said...

First, that First Impressions is funny!
Two, thanks for sharing your query letter. I agree that your personality shines through it, and it sounds like an awesome story!
(Is your agent currently submitting this story to agents?)

Shelli said...

great voice in the query carrie :) i can see why you won her over.

Barry Napier said...

The Robin Williams impression was the best! This was hilarious...thanks!

K. M. Walton said...

I completely agree with Jeremy Kelly, your query is your style, your funny, funny style.

No wonder Kate T. offered rep!!!

Mariah Irvin said...

Wow. Awesome query. Thanks for sharing!

Carrie Harris said...

Awww. You all are such suckups. I mean, you're so nice. ;)

I'm in submissions with both Superbly Useless and No Pain, No Brain, Megan. Picture how fast you'd slog through a swamp filled with lime Jell-o and carrying a safe full of 100,000 ping pong balls. It moves about that fast.

PJ Hoover said...

This is an amazing query letter! I'd have signed you on, too!

Solvang Sherrie said...

Thanks for sharing the query! I love how you shine through. I think that's what my query is missing...my personality. Either that or I have no personality...

 


© 2012 Carrie Harris. All rights reserved. Website design by Manning Leonard Krull.