Thursday, May 15, 2008

Inside the Mailbag, Week #4

Today is the day of reading slush because I'm not supposed to be using my left wrist that much, in order to avoid popping the wonderful blister from the burn. So lots of slush, little typing. But I can type in increments, so you get another mailbag post.

Queries:
  1. This query is normally something I would turn down. It's not got the most compelling hook, and it has character names that are rife with accents, which drives me bonkers. But it's got an interesting take on fairies as secret agents, the author was recently a contender in the ABNA, and the author is 16. That's good enough for me to take a look at it. I'm asking for a partial.
  2. This query is for a cliched-sounding paranormal romance. It's not ringing my bells. I'm passing on it.
  3. Another query about fairies, spelled as "faery" this time. Not that I mind, since it's not only a sassy take on the subject using YA themes, but it sounds like just the type of light happy novel that would sell well now. Plus, it's by a friend of a friend. I'm asking for a partial. (As a note of clarification, if I hadn't liked the query, even though it's by a friend of a friend, I would have politely turned it down.)
  4. A YA novel query, which bills itself as an adventure novel. It doesn't seem very adventurous or interesting to me, so I'm passing on it.
  5. A query for a generic fantasy novel, with a megalomaniac trying to take over the world. Explain to me how this is different than the norm? I'm passing on it.
And thus ends my typing of this post. =)

16 comments:

Cathy in AK said...

RE: #5 What if it were megalomaniac fairies (or faeries)trying to take over the world? Hmmmm.....

Hope your burn heals well and quickly. (I have a scar on my right wrist from a similar incident.)

Anonymous said...

Quick question, have you now totally worked through all your snail-mail, pre-switch-to-email-only queries? I ask, because I queried a day or two before you made the transition and have never heard. Was thinking of e-querying but then thought that you might find it totally annoying to find yourself faced with the same query twice (even if it's an excellent one).

Elissa M said...

This is my favorite sort of post, just barely topping Zoe posts. I love to see what goes through your mind when reading queries.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Ya made my day, and it was a good day to begin with.

Heal fast and well. (does this warrant me saying a Mishabarach?)

Niteowl said...

As a frequent lurker, I fricking LOVE these posts. Fascinating to see the process you go through while parsing slush.

Jenny Rappaport said...

niteowl, hey, I'm glad people like reading about how my brain works! I'll try to do more of these. =)

Susan, I don't think it warrants a Mishabarach, but thank you for asking! It's just mostly itchy and presumably healing at the moment; the pain is mostly gone. I'll know more when I change the bandage, so if my hand is about to fall off, I'll be happy to alert you all. =)

Julie Weathers said...

Jenny,

Glad you are healing. Those are miserable burns.

First I was rather amazed to see you admit you are interested in a less than perfect query. I'm glad to see the premise won out.

I'm also happy to see two fairy stories got your attention. How do you feel about fairy dragons?

"A query for a generic fantasy novel, with a megalomaniac trying to take over the world. Explain to me how this is different than the norm? I'm passing on it"

Ouch. Just realized my bad girl might be described that way. Well, she just wants a small kingdom, but...sigh.

Nancy Matson said...

Just curious -- do you consider the fact that submitter #1 is 16 to be a big selling point because you think if the ms is good she'll be more marketable?

Jenny Rappaport said...

Nancy Matson, yep, the fact that she was 16 was a huge selling point. If the book is any good, I can market it in a way that shows how young and how talented the author is. Think of Christopher Paolini.

Jenny Rappaport said...

anonymous, nope, not done with the snail mail queries yet. These were e-queries, which I picked out as I was forwarding more to my intern to read.

Chro said...

I have to agree, these are my favorite types of posts as well. We unagented authors are always looking for insight into agents' minds, and this gives us a close-up view of just that.

Hope you feel better soon. :( Maybe after your recent requests, the burn-fairy will visit you, take away your burn, and leave you 5 bucks.

Just_Me said...

Good luck with your slush pile, I hope you find something wonderful!

Renee Collins said...

This is SUCH an interesting and useful type of post. This is why I read agent blogs. Thanks so much.

Natalie said...

It's not only great to see what you think about these queries, but also what types of books are being written.

Thanks for the insight. Very helpful.

Wilhelm said...

These posts are fascinating. Two out of five isn't bad. Do you think this is a normal request rate, or is it higher than usual?

A.C. Steinmetz said...

quick question: e-queried you in Feb...when did these get sent to you? So, I know when i can expect a response...

Patiently waiting....