Wednesday, October 26, 2016

An Agent's Inbox #12

Dear Mystery Agent,.

The RMS Titanic, a stolen pocket watch, and a coded message plunge energetic and impulsive twelve-year old Savannah James into the depths of a mystery. While attending a Titanic exhibit, Savannah and her best friend Zach accidentally foil a heist and end up with a stolen artifact--a pocket watch from the famous ship with a cryptic message engraved inside. Savannah is certain the riddle is the first clue to a mysterious treasure. She enlists Zach’s help and the pair embarks on a quest to decipher the code and find the treasure before the thieves discover they have the watch and come after them. Adventure and intrigue ensue as Savannah and the crooks vie for the treasure in my middle grade novel, THE TITANIC CAPER.

THE TITANIC CAPER is 45,000 words and complete. Although written as the first in a series, it can stand alone. I am an active member of the SCBWI and Savvy Authors and am currently studying with author/mentor Joyce Sweeney.

Thank you for considering THE TITANIC CAPER, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
L.J.B.C.


THE TITANIC CAPER

The sign said Ticketed Passengers--line up here.

That’s me.

I ran to the bottom of the gangplank, grabbed both sides of the railing and leaned back as far as my arms would stretch.

“Wow.” I stared at the hatch at the top of the ramp. “That’s the gateway to another time and place.”

On the other side of the door, I pictured elegant men and women strolling down the corridors, greeting one another with old-timey manners and kisses on gloved hands. It was a scene right out of those old black and white movies I used to watch on television. And soon, I was going to be one of them. You know, elegant and mature.

I couldn’t wait any more--I had to see what was up there. Dignity, smignity. I ran up the gangplank.

Heavy, clunking footsteps from behind shook the steep walkway.

“Savannah, wait up.”

“Nuh-uh, Zach. You catch up. I don’t want to be late.”

“Come on. I’m like four steps behind.”

“Okay. But hurry.” I stopped and turned around to wait for my best friend. “Our boarding time is scheduled for one o’clock.” I held up two tickets with a drawing of a grand ocean liner and waved them in Zach’s direction. “That’s in five minutes.”

“I don’t think it’s going to take us five whole minutes to walk the plank.” Zach grinned at me. “That was a good one, wasn’t it?”

“Uh. No,” I replied.

“You just don’t know what’s funny."

4 comments:

Ben Langhinrichs said...

OK, I love everything about both the query and the first 250. Dignity, smignity. If I were an agent, I'd request based on that alone.

My only suggestion would be that you change "Although written as the first in a series, it can stand alone." to "The novel stands alone, but has strong series potential." You don't want to scare anyone off by suggesting that they would have to sell the series, while at the same time you want to entice them to think that they could if the opportunity presented itself.

Best of luck.

The agent said...

L.J.B.C.,
Well done. I enjoyed the query AND the sample. The novel sounds endearing. I'd request the full.

Candace Davenport said...

What a fun book. I loved the voice and tone and could see MG kids loving it.

This is really picky, but I didn't like your "heavy, clunking" description of Zach's footsteps- It is the first description of him and to me, it gave me an adult picture, jarring me out of the voice. Also, if she ran up the gangplank, and he used heavy, clunking footsteps, he probably wouldn't just be for steps behind (unless he just said that). I told you it was picky!

The only other question I had is whether agents would know Joyce Sweeney? Otherwise, I can definitely see this on a library/bookstore shelf. Great job!

Angela D'Ambrosio said...

I thought the query did an excellent job of showing the conflict and the players. I enjoyed the voice of your first 250 words. I would read on!