Monday, September 24, 2007

Query 12: Tune In Next Time for "All's Fairy in Love and War," or "You Can Pick Your Friends, But You Can't Pixie Your Family"

Nine-year-old Chloe catches more than she bargains for in the Catch-'Em-Alive trap under her bed. That weird buzzing sound isn't a mouse, it's a pixie… a really, really ticked off pixie with a black t-shirt, teeny tiny work boots and a crappy attitude.
Goofy. Sounds like there's a sense of humor. Hmm. Could work.
Chloe imagines the fun of having her own pet pixie, but this one has her own agenda. In her usually snarky and often bewildering way, she cajoles Chloe, against the girl's better judgment, into a bit of sneaking, a lot of lying, and the eventual rescue of a gaggle of baby pixies that Chloe's mom had accidentally thrown away with the yard trash.
There isn’t enough snark in kids’ books. I'm ... curious.
It doesn't help, of course, that the pixie (who refuses to tell Chloe her name) sounds like a cross between Yoda and Natasha from The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.
“Natasha” reference is unusual and amusing. Points.
"Chloe's Catch" is a 16,000-word story for readers making the transition from chapter books to novels: a "my first urban fantasy" for readers not yet ready for [insert title of publisher's comparable MG or YA urban fantasy]. I see that you're interested in assertive female characters [replace with appropriate phrase tailored to the particular publisher], so I hope you'll enjoy Chloe and her pixie. Chloe is more [insert comparable character from publisher's novels] than [another character], and the pixie is… well, the pixie is just pretty much herself.
Highlights, Cricket and Our Little Friend have accepted several of my short stories for publication.
I'm a bit hesitant about this query. We have enough allusion to the humor in the manuscript to know it's meant to be funny. Why, then, was none of the actual humor of the manuscript included here? If you can make me laugh, do.

13 comments:

Big Momma Pimpalishisness With A Cherry On Top said...

Does knowing that she's had work published in several children's magazines help?

Lindsey said...

I like this one! And I think there is enough humor in the beginning of the query to hint at humor in the manuscript.

Editorial Anonymous said...

Big Momma,
It's a little piece of reassurance. It doesn't count for a great deal with me, but it's still worth noting.

Christy Lenzi said...

>>Why, then, was none of the actual humor of the manuscript included here?<<

Do you mean she should have included an excerpt or just continued the humorous tone throughout the letter?

ae said...

I like this too. This is funny and has great imagery.

A gaggle of baby pixies..Oh ho...!!

Marissa Doyle said...

I thought this one was pretty good. A lot of cutting in that final paragraph and a little more on the plot (like, a hint at the further nature of the conflict and its resolution) and some rearranging, and it looks good to go...at least to this non-editor. :)

Anonymous said...

I liked this one, until I read the word count. I was hoping for 10,000 words or less with the opportunity for a few black and white illustrations.

Anonymous said...

EA, thank you. I was wondering if I had included enough detail about the plot (conflict/resolution stuff, as you mention, too, Marissa)--so it'll be easy to add a sentence or two summarizing a few of the funnier scenes.

Hmm... if I can make you laugh, do? Sounds like a challenge...

Kate-the-author

Welshcake said...

I like this one too! I'm a big fan of pixies with a crappy attitude.

Christy Lenzi said...

>>Why, then, was none of the actual humor of the manuscript included here?<<

Do you mean she should have included an excerpt or just continued the humorous tone throughout the letter?

Christy Lenzi said...

Ho hum, twiddly dee twiddly dum...guess my burning question will forever remain unanswered. I will try to cope....

Editorial Anonymous said...

Christy,
Either. I felt there were references to the humor of the manuscript in this query, but no attempt made to include humor in the query. It made me wonder if the author is truly funny, or just thinks she is. Proof that she can make me laugh is gold.

Christy Lenzi said...

Hmm. I see what you mean. I think it's difficult to know where the line is between showing one's style and looking unprofessional, so it's something I've been trying to figure out. Thank you.