Sunday, January 31, 2010



Dear Mystery Agent:

All-state soccer player by day, environmental activist (or domestic terrorist, depending on who’s counting) by night, eighteen-year-old Robert is primed to take on his biggest target yet. That is, until he accidentally impales himself on a rebar before the demonstration even begins.

Suspended between this world and the next, Robert fears he’s doomed to wander aimlessly among the living. But then he happens upon Kate, another straggler who’s totally pissed that she has to spend eternity in her homecoming gown and heels.

Together they learn that a simple typo has cost them their lives prematurely. Since they were actually destined to be soul mates they’re permitted to return to life, but there’s a catch: During their twenty-four-hour reprieve they must fall in love or at least one of them will face death again. And this time, there won’t be any do-overs.

Robert doesn’t believe he could fall in love if given an entire lifetime, much less a day and Kate’s not exactly optimistic, either. But they’ll each have to get over their skepticism and ignore the temptation to spend their last 24-hours just tying up loose ends or risk their second chance at life.

My young adult novel ALL IN is a re-imagining of Sartre’s Les Jeux Sont Faits and is complete at 45,000 words. I’m currently finishing my MFA in creative writing.

Thank you for your time and consideration.



  1. I do love the idea of one last chance and I'm also a sucker for Sartre so were I the agent, I'd be wanting to read more.

    That said, the paragraph where they find out that they're dead as the result of a typo is not as smooth as the rest of your query. Is there a way to streamline it? Do we need to know now that it's a typo or can the query simply be about them getting another chance?

    Also, in the first paragraph, I'd like to know what his 'biggest target' is. I know it's not important, but it would contextualize his character.

    Good luck -- Hopefully I'll get a chance to read this sometime.

  2. I think this is a pretty good query - and I really like the bits of humor you've sprinkled in. You didn't mention a specific genre, so I don't know how big a role humor plays, but 24 hours to fall in love seems like a stretch - especially of the two intended know about the time limit.

    Also, I think it would be nice to know why Robert doesn't think he can fall in love. Is it just Kate, or is it something else?

    Overall, though, good job.

    Wishing you luck with this.

  3. This sounds like a really great story. You have some fun ideas. But I agree about the typo, and something about them having 24 hours to fall in love with each other makes me feel like I know how the story will go. Can you make it more mysterious? Something about them working together to complete some quest (better crafted, of course)?

    Nice job, good luck!

  4. I loved this and thought it very funny. If I were an agent I would definetly want to read on. One thing I didn't get though, but it may just be my fickled brain. What did that mean. I don't have a clue.>> (or domestic terrorist, depending on who's counting.)

    Good luck.

  5. Oh! The Chips are down. sweet. I love Sartre and this seems like a lighter, YA version, non? I would love to read it.

  6. The query could be a little tighter maybe, but you don't need it to be a synopsis either. I get the mc, the stakes and some plot and I want to read more. IMO, that's what a query should do. But I'm not an agent.

  7. JD took the words right out of my mouth. This query makes me want to read pages. As I recall, Pierre and Eve only had 24 hours, too, right? I'm interested to see if this turns out the same way as Sartre's.... though the humor is a BIG hint that it probably doesn't.

    Sure it could be "tighter", but there comes a point when you've got to stop tweaking and start sending. which you should do. pronto. :)

  8. PS: where are you getting your MFA? just curious I'm thinking of applying to programs next year....

  9. I think this query is pretty solid. I know who the MC is, what he wants and what stands in his way, so that's good. I agree with the few places where clarification would be helpful-- especially with Robert's inability to fall in love. I'm guessing he's skeptical of all women, not just Kate?
    The typo doesn't bother me because I think it's pretty clear that some type of bureaucracy but maybe you could say "with their paperwork" or something? I remember this one from the aw forum. Good job!

  10. I. Want. To. Read. This. Seriously- do you need a beta? :)


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