Thursday, March 29, 2018

An Agent's Inbox #11

Dear Agent,

I am seeking representation for my 71,462-word YA Fantasy novel, Even A Broken Heart Will Bleed. Elody is a Wind Spirit. They appear only when the world needs to be saved. A Faerie Prince, split in half at birth, now has two personalities and two bodies, but no memory. A spin on Arthurian legend with a twist of Greek mythology, and a new underwater faerie kingdom.

The Faerie Prince is the long-lost King Arthur. His parents are Merlin, King of the Seelie court, and Morgana Le Fey the Unseelie Queen. They wanted an heir together, but he was stolen from them by the very people they conquered, Finvarra and Oonagh, in order to rule. Years later, Elody is lost in the ocean after her father's ship is wrecked by the aforementioned Prince. He takes her to his underwater kingdom and learns that he doesn't have a twin, but a severed soul. Elody also finds out about being a Wind Spirit, and how she and three other girls (the North, South, East and West winds) are connected and fated to save the world. The same person that kidnapped the prince, Oonagh, is also trying to come back through them and their powers.

I used to have a blog, "Books, Sweets and Other Treats. I reviewed books for a few years and found a passion for writing as well as reading. I also won a few poetry contests during high school. I graduated from Texas A&M Texarkana in 2012 with a Bachelor's degree in Education. I am currently certified to teach EC-6, but choose to stay home with my three children (twin babies and a toddler). I also love to read comic books with my husband, and we might get a little too excited about them! I am an active member of the Choctaw tribe, and love exploring my roots.

If this project intrigues you, I would be happy to send the manuscript for your review. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
L.R.


EVEN A BROKEN HEART WILL BLEED

“Morgana, what in the name of Bodoach do you think you’re doing? How did you even get in here,” Merlin asked, his voice rising with each word. For the King of the Seelie Court, his voice was remarkably high. 

“Quiet, you fool,” responded Morgana. There was nothing comical about her voice. Frost escaped through her pinched lips as she tried to control her anger. “Why do you think I’m here?”

“I don’t know! It’s why I asked!” Merlin was sitting up in his bed, the covers pulled up close to his chin. He looked like a child afraid of what might be lurking in the shadows. 

Morgana Le Fey, Queen of the Unseelie court, had no illusions as why she was here. She needed an heir, and a royal one. This Fodden of a man would have to do, seeing as he was the only other royal still alive. She had killed all the others. That was poor judgement on her part. While Merlin had in fact helped her conquer this realm, he still left a lot to be desired. His skills in battle didn’t transfer to other aspects of his life.

“I’m here for a child,” she finally said.

Merlin’s eyes widened with understanding. “No. No, not tonight. Morgana, be reasonable. It’s too soon. We must wait. Courtship. Err--“he stopped, not knowing what else to say.

“When we set out to claim this realm from Finvarra and Oonagh, you knew this day would come."

9 comments:

Sylvia Melton said...

Hi *waves*

Your title and story idea really intrigue me. The whole "two personalities, two souls, no memory" thing hooked me.

However, your query reads a bit like you're listing who the characters are and what happens in the story. I can't quite tell if Elody is the main character, or the Faerie Prince.


I feel you should have the wordcount, title, and "A spin on Arthurian legend with a twist of Greek mythology, and a new underwater faerie kingdom," then dive into the query like this:

"After her father's ship wrecked, Elody is lost at sea--until a man, claiming to he a Faerie Prince--appears and takes her to his underwater kingdom. There, she learns she is a Wind Spirit, a being who appears only when the world needs to be saved. Her and three other girls--the North, South, East and West winds--are connected and fated to save the world.

Upon the appearance of Elody, the Faerie Prince discovers that he doesn't have a missing twin, but that his a severed soul. He was split in half at birth, and now has two personalities and two bodies, but no memory."

That is just a little example of how you could reword it to sound more like the back of a book, rather than a statement of what happens.

I really hope this helps! And I really love your idea!

Diva Booknerd said...

I'm a mature age young adult reader and have read a few mythological based young adult books in my time as a blogger and I'm absolutely captivated by the concept. IdI love to know more about the prince, Elody and the underwater kingdom and why he's taken her captive.

I read and review purely for enjoyment, rather than the technical aspects and this premise has me hooked!

Lindsi said...

Thank you for your kind words and thoughtful comments! I will work on it and try to make the information more clear.

Best,
Lindsi (L.R.)

K. Stoker said...

I love fairy books! Add in Arthurian legends and I’m hooked ☺ I think for the query you might give too many names too fast – I got confused by Merlin, Morgana, the heir, and the people the conquered and then you mention Elody. I think I would move the sentences that describe who Elody is and put those closer to bulk of the description. (i.e. first paragraph only saying I am seeking represention… etc. and then add the book is a twist on Arthurian legend). Then next paragraph start with Elody is a Wind Spirit.
Pages: Oh my gosh, you had me at Merlin’s high voice haha! Also, that’s such an interesting place to start – pre baby ;) Is this a prologue?
Good luck to Faerie Arthur! I’d love to read this!

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Your query certainly includes some interesting details, but you've combined them in such a way that they come off as more confusing than cohesive. I'd start by streamlining the first paragraph:

I am seeking representation for my 71,000-word YA Fantasy novel. Even a Broken Heart Will Bleed is a spin on Arthurian legend with a twist of Greek mythology that also features a new underwater faerie kingdom.

Then I'd cut the rest of your summary and decide which of your main characters you want to pitch your book through, Elody or Arthur. Once you've made that decision, I'd start by introducing us to that MC by giving us a sentence or two about the MC's status quo and/or his or her personality. Then I'd summarize your inciting incident--it sounds like it might be when Elody's father's ship gets wrecked and Arthur rescues/kidnaps her--from the MC's point-of-view and include a few more plot points until you come to some kind of major decision your MC will have to make. I'd cut the summary right there and jump to your bio paragraph. (On a completely unrelated note, as a hobby genealogist, I loved hearing that you're a member of the Choctaw tribe and love exploring your roots!)

Your first page is hilarious and literally made me laugh out loud. That said, I agree with K. Stoker above that it reads more like a prologue. If that's what it is, I'd label it as such. If not (and maybe even if it is), you might be starting your story in the wrong place. Some well-established authors can get away with starting their YA novels with adult characters, but it's certainly a risk. Is there another funny scene involving Elody or Arthur that you could start with instead?

Good luck to you and EVEN A BROKEN HEART WILL BLEED!

P.S. Word counts are generally rounded to the nearest thousand, so I'd call this a 71,000-word YA Fantasy novel. Also, you're missing the closing quotation marks on the other side of your blog's name.

Bookish Owl said...

Hey!
I love your idea and I find it really creative and innovative to mix two different worlds into one. I really liked having the heir have two personalities, it makes me really excited to see how that is going to be done. The rest however, was slightly confusing. I couldn't tell who you were talking about, whether it was Elody or the prince.
Keep it up though! I hope to see your book in stores soon!
Goodluck!

THE AGENT said...

There are some really interesting details in this query that catch my eye, though I find it a little hard to follow the plot and understand how it's all connected. For example, I LOVE the bit about the fairie prince split in half at birth, but how is that connected to the wind spirit?

Then we learn a lot of plot points, but we jump around between charactesr and timelines so that I have a hard time imagining how the book will flow. It's so hard to clearly convey a plot in three paragraphs, but in one, it's even more difficult! I'd try pacing out the summary a bit more, and choosing to focus on The Faerie Prince's arc, since it seems like that drives the rest of the characters and plot. Who is the prince, what is his goal in the story, what will he risk to achieve it, and what are the consequences if he fails?

The opening scene is more comedic than I imagined from the query letter, as Merlin is immediately cast as a fool. That's interesting, but I also think the dialogue is a bit redundant for the first page--I'd make sure you're setting the right tone, one that will carry on throughout the novel.

"W

Lindsi said...

I just want to thank everyone for taking the time to comment and critique my query letter and the first 250 words of my novel. I've been reworking my information based on the feedback I've received, and this is what I've come up with. I hope it flows more smoothly and erases all the confusion! (The 250 words I used before was part of a prologue, but I've changed that so it starts with what's happening to Elody.)

Lindsi said...



Dear Agent,

I am seeking representation for my 71,000-word YA Fantasy novel. Even A Broken Heart Will Bleed is a spin on Arthurian legend with a twist of Greek mythology that also features a new underwater Faerie kingdom.

Arthur is a Faerie Prince that was split in half at birth, and now has two personalities with two bodies, but no memory. Oonagh, the ex-faerie queen that stole him from his parents, must reunite his separate selves in order to steal the heart shard she needs to come back.

Arthur goes by other names now, and is constantly searching for something just out of his reach. The thoughts are fleeting, but the only clear image is of her. He knows she is the key to unlocking the mysteries of his mind, but he has to find her first. He will sink every ship until he has her, because in his world, only those with knowledge and power survive. He's risking his life to find her, but his court is on edge with his brother trying to take over. If he isn't able to find answers soon, he'll lose everything, including his life.

Elody is what the Prince has been looking for, but is more trouble than she's worth. Her fiery personality and unflinching gaze cause the Prince to feel alive for the first time, like his body knows something his mind has forgotten. It's the same for his brother, though the two would never admit this out loud. There's something different about Elody, and the air seems to move around instead of against her.

Elody's life-threatening experiences cause her Greek powers to open up inside of her. A Wind Spirit is an ancient being as old as time itself, and Oonagh knows more about them than anyone else. They were hers once upon a time, and she will stop at nothing to use them as a way to come back. She just needs Elody to fix the Prince she broke.

I used to have a blog, "Books, Sweets and Other Treats. I reviewed books for a few years and found a passion for writing as well as reading. I also won a few poetry contests during high school. I graduated from Texas A&M Texarkana in 2012 with a Bachelor's degree in Education. I am currently certified to teach EC-6, but choose to stay home with my three children (twin babies and a toddler). I also love to read comic books with my husband, and we might get a little too excited about them! I am an active member of the Choctaw tribe, and love exploring my roots.

If this project intrigues you, I would be happy to send the manuscript for your review. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
L.R.

EVEN A BROKEN HEART WILL BLEED

Elody looks down at her feet while the stinging cold water surges over her shoulders and down her back. She sways slightly from side to side as the ship continues its constant battle with the water. She didn’t care what the sailors said, she knew the water was alive. She could feel it. She could sense its need to consume. She shuddered and turned the handle to stop the icy assault. Elody normally didn’t mind the frigid temperatures, but it had been a few days since she’d been able to bask in the warmth of the sun. An ever-present storm had berated their ship for almost a week, which meant she had to stay below, and that only fueled her tempestuous temperament.

Captain Eaves, her father, had only spoken to her briefly this morning. It was his usual check-in since the weather soured, but she could tell his mind was elsewhere during their clipped exchange. He knew she didn’t want to be down here, but he also made it clear that she had zero other options. She loved her father, and she knew he was responsible for every life on this ship, but she hated being away from the sun and fresh air. She wasn’t exactly claustrophobic, but the need to escape to the deck was almost overwhelming. It was always disconcerting to feel so closed off from the rest of the world.

A sudden tilt of the ship made Elody stumble and nearly fall.