I may have used up all my luck before the submission window launched, but I was fortunate enough to win a query and first chapter critique from the awesome Lindsey Frydman. I’ve included the query with her markup/revisions for the writing/publishing geeks out there plus anyone thinking of subbing to Lindsey who really wants to do their research!
Lindsey’s comments are marked ( LF ).
In a world where hope kills and dreams are deadly, obedience is the only way to survive. (LF: A query really should start with the character, so I’d put her name in the sentence. “obedience is the only way for Cole to survive. When she learns her…” ) But when one girl learns her society’s absolute control and guarantee of safety are both illusions, she must figure out who to trust to bring down the state and stop the dying before the nightmares eat her alive. (LF: I think this should actually go at the end…after reading the whole query a couple times, I think it definitely belongs down there. )
All desires and distractions are forbidden in authoritarian tower-state Refuge. That doesn’t stop 17-year-old failed trainee (LF: Trainee for what? I think you should add that in here. Round it all out. ) Cole from longing to be accepted as a full worker. But, secretly obsessed with the dead and haunted by the ghost of a child, Cole’s one step away from being abandoned to the Mara, nightmares that devour souls. (LF: This should come after your very first sentence – in my opinion. Tell us about her, who she is, what she wants. 😊 I do love the creepy feel to this story! )
A surprise assignment offers Cole a shot at promotion, but when she succumbs to temptation and reaches out to a corpse, she learns her world is a lie and obedience to the state is no guarantee of survival. Shocked and angry at Refuge’s (LF: I don’t know who this is. It sort of pops up out of nowhere, so maybe a short explanation of them here? ) betrayal and the futility of trying to live up to its rules, Cole vows to expose its lies and sets off to find the allies she needs to take revenge and end the suffering.
BLIND THE EYES is a YA Urban Fantasy complete at 113,000 words. STRANGE THE DREAMER meets THIS SAVAGE SONG with the flawed, challenging voices of PLACES NO ONE KNOWS. It is one girl’s journey through a world of dreams and ghosts, monsters and magic as she learns to own her choices and transform weaknesses into power. BLIND THE EYES is a standalone with series potential.
I’ve been a crusader against the evils of corporate entropy, a mercenary word-weaver and a guardian of empty spaces. I convinced my classmates there were witches in the back wood of our elementary and my sister that faeries lived in the snow melt (‘cause they do…) and dreamed of growing up to be Martin of Redwall (because small animals with swords and battlecries), Frodo of the Shire (because heroes can be small and still do great things), a Fantasy or Manga Editor (because languages are magic), and a rock star (done). Still waiting for a wardrobe to open, but in the meantime I create my own magical worlds at http://kaie.space (LF: As awesome as I think all this information is, I think you should cut it from your query. It’s just not relevant enough. And you really don’t need a bio if you have no credentials. Not unless an agent specifically states it on his/her submission rules. )
(LF insertion: Thank you for your time and consideration.)