Example Query: Alexis Bass

Okay, here's the query:
Hi Suzie,

Seventeen-year-old Aubrey Housing and her best friends abide by the wisdom of Marilyn Monroe when it comes to romance: “A wise girl kisses but doesn't love, listens but doesn't believe, and leaves before she is left.” Following every first kiss with a preemptive strike on future commitment, and giving as little as they know they'll get in return, Aubrey and her friends have made it to the second semester of their senior year heartbreak-free and with their dignity fully intact.

So when Nathan Diggs moves to town he’s no exception. That’s what Aubrey keeps reminding herself. But there’s no denying Nathan is different. He’s oddly caring, polite in a way that isn’t embarrassing, and he happens to have the exact same sense of humor as Aubrey. She tries to shake it – she’s above this – she pities other girls for not knowing better, but it's too late. Aubrey’s already broken the most important rule of all: do not fall in love.

With senior year fading quickly, Aubrey must be strategic if she wants to keep Nathan. She’s seen the failed results when girls want what she wants from Nathan and actually try and have it. But business as usual might mean sharing Nathan, or worse, losing him completely. One false move in either direction could land her a broken heart.

GIRLS EVOLVED is a contemporary young adult novel about letting go, and is complete at 83,000 words. It will appeal to readers of Lauren Oliver, Nina LaCour, or Courtney Summers, and I thought you might be interested in its concept.

The first ten pages are pasted below. I’d be happy to send you more! The manuscript is available at your request.


Alexis Bass
Here's what I love about it:

The first line. Any high school girl following the wisdom of Marilyn Monroe when it comes to romance, thinks she has it all together, but definitely has another thing coming. I also love the Marilyn quote and the way it's seamlessly incorporated into this query.

The structure. The best queries really build as you read them. This first paragraph tells me who Aubrey is and what she's trying to avoid: a broken heart. The second paragraph raises the stakes and reels me in. That's the point I knew I was going to have to read this manuscript.

Bonus points for the comp authors. Lauren Oliver, Nina, LaCour, and Courtney Summers are all authors I like--and they all can write contemporary YA that feels blisteringly real. And that was exactly what I got with Alexis Bass's debut novel.

The title changed to Love and Other Theories, and of course it comes out next month!

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mshatch said...

I'm not a huge fan of contemporary romances but that query sure made me want to read more! Especially the Marilyn Munroe quote. I think I'll be adding this to my tbr list!

J Lenni Dorner said...

I don't read a whole lot of romance, but yeah, this query letter has me wanting the story.

Thanks for sharing!