Joanna Volpe is back again!
Here’s the second query Joanna selected for critique:
Dear Joanna Volpe,
I’m looking forward to your presentations at the upcoming WriteOnCon. With Alison Hart’s equestrian books on your agency’s list, I thought you might be interested in my middle grade fantasy novel, THE BEAST OF BANNOCK.
Thirteen year old Ellis never intended to stumble into Bannock, never dreamed he would be marked as the long-awaited savior of a despairing kingdom—and certainly never thought he would ever find himself trapped in a horse’s body.
Wolves, snakes, falcons, seals, dragons, mice and horses—Ellis learns that long ago, these animals could communicate with humans and governed Bannock together, but the greed and corruption of the human kings caused the collapse of the peaceful land. Now, according to King Alaric and the mysterious Keeper, it has fallen upon Ellis to unite the kingdom again. Secretly hoping the quest will lead him to his lost horse and ticket to freedom, he agrees to be Bannock’s fabled “Beast.” But Ellis gets more than he bargained for when he drinks from the sacred fountain: four hooves, an impending war and the fate of Bannock on his shoulders.
THE BEAST OF BANNOCK could be described as ANIMORPHS meets the WARRIORS. This 109,000 word stand alone book has the potential to become a series with subsequent novels chronicling Ellis’ transformations into the other estranged animals of the broken alliance.
My passion for children’s literature led me to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from Ohio University. I am an active member in my local SCBWI chapter, frequently attend nationwide SCBWI conferences and take part in both partner and group critiquing. Please note this query is a multiple submission. I would be happy to send you my completed manuscript. Thank you for your time and consideration.
While this author’s pitch is certainly concise (almost too much so), she led me to believe this was a contemporary when initially bringing up my client–Alison Hart–who has never written fantasy before. Traditional horse books are very different from any type of fantasy (horses involved or not). When you’re going to bring up a client (this also goes for comparative titles), you want it to be in the same vein as your work. This is a *very* common error in queries–just because your work is fantasy, does not mean that Harry Potter or Twilight are the best comparisons.
For the full critique, please visit Coffey. Tea. And Literary between 9 and 10 EST tonight!
Go forth and query!