Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I took a deep breath, and jumped back on to the Query-Go-Round this morning with my YA project. I'm taking another deep breath, and posting my query here on the blog for input from you, my fellow writers and readers. Be honest, but please be kind.

This project has been bubbling through my system for a few years now... in my last round of queries, I received requests for several partials and two fulls... but no one took the leap with me.

I've taken all the input I received to heart, and revised-revised-revised... and I'm in love with my story again. Here goes the pitch for my 64,000-word YA, Mermaid Blood:

At fifteen, Shea Maguire feels out of step with the other freshmen at Plainville High School. While he enjoys his life on the farm, he’s always felt different, like there’s something more out there. No one suspects a farmboy from Oklahoma has mermaid blood coursing through his veins, least of all Shea.

After a deadly tornado flattens his home, Shea moves to Cape Cod and meets a mysterious girl who promises to help him find the truth. Could his strange birthmark really mean he’s the one who’s supposed to save the undersea kingdoms from war, when he doesn’t even know how to swim?

Prince Demyan, self-proclaimed ruler of the Southern Ocean, will stop at nothing to avenge his father’s death. Only rumors of a drylander boy stand between him and the ultimate power he craves… and really, how hard could it be to kill a rumor?

What do you think?

And where are you in the Query-Go-Round? Getting ready to take the ride, or already spinning?


  1. Just as a suggestion, I would start like this:

    How can an Oklahoma farmboy be destined to save the undersea kingdoms from war, when he doesn't even know how to swim?

    At fifteen, Sean...

    I just though the irony of the statement made for a nice opening.

  2. Good luck with the next stage. I stalled due to ill health, but will get there someday. :O)

  3. I agree with the potential reader quicker insight into story line.

  4. Ooh, thanks Moody - That is kind of nice!

  5. I kind of like the way that Moody went with it, too. But I do enjoy the premise of your story. I love when fantasy creatures are intertwined with humans. I will say, though, that it kind of reminds me of the Disney movie, "The Thirteenth Year" with a little action in it. Have you seen it? If not, look it up :)

  6. I like Moody's suggestion. Othrwise, this sounds really good. I'm getting ready to take the ride as well. Good luck!

  7. Yes definitely go with Mooderino's advice because the opening is so important to "hook". It sounds a wonderful tale - I'd buy it!

  8. Love the suggestion too. The only other thing I see is the shift in POV to the antagonist, which isn't necessarily bad (it's actually well done) but I would expect the book to shift POVs too. Then again, querying is not my forte, so take it with a grain of salt. Yes I know. I have an agent. The irony does not escape me.

  9. Great hook in this. Nice and succinct, too. My only (minor) concern is the switch in POV at the end. Unless there's a switch in the book, I think you could easily reword it to be from the mc's POV and still have the same kick. As is though, I don't think it's a deal breaker.

    Good luck with your queries! Deep breath!

  10. I agree with Carol, this has a great hook, and I'm very intrigued by the premise. Best of luck with the next stage!!

  11. Ooh, wishing you fantastic luck with the query-go-round! A couple of months and I'll be there with you :)

    I like Mooderino's idea, though I'd avoid starting the query with a question (one of the big no-nos). Must say, I think the last sentence of your first para would make a great opening hook if you switched it around!




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