Monday, April 12, 2010

Entry 4

Title: LURE
Genre: MG Paranormal

Fifteen year old Mitch hates reading. In fact, pounding a nail through his thumb sounds more fun than five minutes with a book. He's got better things to do, like hang out with Jen, or work on the shelf he’s building for her in his workshop. Heck, he'd even rather be doing his geometry homework. When everyone at school starts obsessing over a new novel, he hopes the craze passes quickly.

But it doesn’t.

Within days, all of the students, teachers, and even Mitch’s parents are reading Lure. Their obsession with it deepens until everyone is reading it all of the time. Mitch has to pull his dad out from under a fallen truss while he--and everyone else on the construction site--continues to read. He pulls two friends out of a car wreck only to watch the life bleed out of them while they read on. And even when Mitch and Jen realize people are literally reading themselves to death, Jen succumbs to the book’s mysterious pull. With Jen now under its spell, Mitch is the only one left to find some way to break the obsession... before he loses everyone he loves.

My MG Paranormal novel LURE is complete at 35,000 words. I am a member of SCBWI and the Florida Writers Association. Although your identity is a mystery for this contest, I am a fan of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, and feel I would enjoy working with any of the agents there. Thank you for the opportunity.


  1. I'm curious to know what the book is about that would keep them all reading. What a great idea.

  2. Wow, this is a much better query than the old one. I like the more specific examples you've provided here of what the book does. My only suggestion is to tighten the first paragraph a bit--I think only one sentence is needed to get across that he hates reading.

  3. This is a super original idea and a well written query. It certainly incited curiosity from me. Nice job.

  4. I love the idea of this book! Good job.

  5. Unique premise and lots of suspense built in.

    I'm wondering if fifteen years old is really a YA age for a MC. But I am no expert, for sure.

    I'd go back and trim out every unnecessary word. A few examples:
    - Heck, he'd even rather be doing his geometry homework.
    - Heck, he'd even rather do his geometry homework.
    - Within days, all of the students, teachers...
    - Within days, students, teachers...

    Good luck!!

  6. Fantastic premise! Very fun and tongue-in-cheek. I agree with K.M. Walton though. Even in context of using the voice in the novel, cut down on non-essentials to give the words you keep more power.

    Best of luck with this. I'd love to read it!

  7. What a great premise! Having a book-hating protag for a novel is a pretty unusual step and should make for some nice comedy to mix with the suspense.

    I'm a little confused about whether the book is able to pull people to read it in the first place (or are they just ensnared when they start reading it?). You make it sound like the latter is true, but for Jen to be "lured" even after they know what's happening seems to suggest otherwise.

  8. I am curious as to why Mitch is the only one who is capable of withstanding the lure of the book. I wonder if somewhere in your query you should give us a tidbit regarding that, because there has to be a reason he's immune.

    I like this, but a little tightening wouldn't hurt you, and I really hope the sentence at the end about working with the agency would not be included in an actual query. It doesn't seem too business-like to me. But that's just my opinion.

  9. Interesting premise. I'd request sample chapters if I were an agent.

  10. This is a wonderful idea, and I remember enjoying the first chapter when I read it. I like the personal note about Andrea Brown too. Nice touch. Best of luck. This one has got to find a home eventually.

  11. I've read books like this... I mean ones that suck you in and the world passes you by.

    I think this is a great MG book and other than a few word choices (mentioned by others) I think you have something here!

  12. I think the first paragraph might be tightened down to just a sentence or two. It's a little repetitive right now.

    Great premise, and a fantastic poke-in-the-eye for the publishing world--where everyone is obsessed with books.

    Love the bio paragraph. I'm curious why you're calling this MG, though. With a 15 y/o MC it could easily be YA.

    Good luck!

  13. Oh very interesting premise. I also would like to know how Mitch withstands the books mysterious pull.

    This reminds me of a Star Trek Next Generation episode where everyone but Wesley (and his girlfriend) get addicted to a game.

    I agree with other commenters about tightening it up a bit. I would read it. Good luck!

  14. Jamie Weiss ChiltonApril 26, 2010 at 9:09 PM

    This is a high-concept idea, a great hook, and clearly conveyed to the reader. I also get a good sense of Mitch's voice and personality.

    This query is succinct, punchy, and tells me everything I need to know, without any extraneous details.

    One recommendation: in order to firmly situate this in the middle grade genre, I might recommend changing Mitch's age to 13 if at all possible. I'd have to read the manuscript before seriously advising this change, but his age is something that jumped out at me as not being consistent with a traditional middle grade novel.

    Nice job!


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