Queries that Worked No. 01


Today I’m kicking off my brand new blog feature with a query of my own. Just a few reminders about what this feature is about:

  • All these featured queries worked! Meaning they snagged the attention of an agent or editor. These books are now represented or published, or both.
  • These queries are not perfect. They don’t have to be. This is to show aspiring authors the kind of query that works despite imperfections.
  • These authors aren’t looking for critique on their queries since these books are already represented or published, but have kindly agreed to allow me to showcase these queries to help other authors currently playing the query game.

And with the formalities out of the way, it’s on to query No. 01!

This is the query I used for the book that is now Obscura Burning (previously called ‘As Dust or Breath’) when querying agents and submitting to indie presses. This query garnered me several partial and full requests from agents and interest from small presses. Ultimately, my book was published by Etopia Press at the end of last year. Here’s the query:

On the 4th of July the world will end, and it’s all Kyle’s fault.

Two weeks before graduation, 18yr old Kyle Wolfe downs a bottle of tequila and accidentally starts a fire that kills his two best friends and leaves him permanently scarred. Or so he thinks. He’s not quite sure, since the memories are sketchy and he keeps shifting between realities. They both suck, and unless he wants the world to end, he’ll have to go back to when it all began; the day of the fire when he cheated on his boyfriend, Danny, with their best friend Shira. But the past is a tricky thing to change, and Kyle can’t keep living in both realities; being catapulted along the space-time continuum is killing him. He has to make a choice: Danny or Shira? Broken family or broken body? The choice isn’t easy and he better do it quick or risk being locked in a reality he’ll never be able to escape.

As Dust or Breath, complete at 64 000 words, is a YA contemporary novel with some science fiction elements. Set in small town New Mexico, this story explores the consequences of bad decisions for a boy struggling to come to terms with reality. This story might best be compared to the film Donnie Darko.


And there you have it. What do you think?

If you have a query that worked and would like to share it with others, please feel free to email me at the address listed on the Contact Me page.

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