Morgan’s Query Corner:
Answering Your Query Quandaries
Sounds like a super fun story! Good length query and spot on. But… there is a little too much backstory, even if the novel lingers on his recruitment (even if the query is short). See what you think of my take.
I am seeking representation for JEFFREY DEAN AND THE DESTINY MATRIX, my 61,000 word upper middle grade science fiction novel. [I like to combine this with the comps. QueryShark prefers them after the story portion, but it’s up to you. You can always start with this if you want.]
Thirteen-year-old Jeffrey Dean is a self-reliant loner who wants nothing more than to find his birth parents and stop his bloody visions of past events [wait. Is he a street kid or what? how is he this self-reliant at 13?]. Agents from a secret government project offer him exactly that. The choice seems like a no-brainer, but there is a catch – he must become their operative in the fight against an evil [melodramatic, although maybe the right tone for your novel?] organization attempting to manipulate history and rule the world.
When his training is complete, the agency assigns him an urgent mission:[this sounds like where the story starts] preventing a 1938 coup attempt against FDR to install a fascist military dictator. Things take a bad turn before Jeffrey leaves on[?] the mission when saboteurs poison the serum the project uses to send him to the past. Now he must beat the clock to defeat time traveling mercenaries and foil the plot against FDR before the poison kills him. He’ll have to overcome his self-reliance and work with a team if he’s going to prevent fascist control of the timeline, uncover the truth about his parents[what?! There’s a different truth], and save his own life.
JEFFREY DEAN AND THE DESTINY MATRIX is a cross between the television show TIMELESS and Anthony Horowitz’s ALEX RIDER series, with a bit of Pierce Brown’s RED RISING added in. This novel stands alone, but it is intended to be the first of a series[uh oh. this can sound too much like the novel doesn’t have a definitive end].
I have a bachelor’s degree in journalism, and write light science fiction and horror for middle grade and young adult audiences[a little bland? can you add something to give it flavor?]. Thank you for your time and consideration.
The Revised Query:
Now, not all of my feedback is going to work for the queryist, as they already let me know.
“At first glance, I do see some things in what you’ve done that I like better than what I had in the original. Other parts might need a little massaging.”
They know their story best, but hopefully, it puts them on the right path!
And for the rest of you out there?
Best of luck in the query trenches!