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Our Queries That Worked - FullsDid you just get a request for a full off your query?


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#1 RSMellette

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 01:31 PM

Hey, sometimes we just need to brag to people who can really, truly appreciate what we're bragging about.

Sometimes, we need to learn from others what's working and what isn't.

So, I thought it would be good to make a place to show off queries from members that have generated a request for full MS submissions. Yes, partials are nice, too - but there's nothing like that full.

#2 bigblackcat97

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 01:43 PM

This query has garnered me a few full requests. Lately though it's been registering a big zero for me. Makes me a bit teary thinking about it.

Discovering she's a nephilim, a creature torn from legendsof the ancient past, isn't exactly what Kahlua has in mind when she decides to reinvent herself for her junior year of high school.

Only a few days into the fall semester her mother disappears, and an encounter with Jimmy Martin – the oddest boy in school –leaves Kahlua with more to worry about than whether last year’s jeans are too tight. He explains that she is in danger of being destroyed by a hunter whose only purpose is to eliminate her kind. Now, Jimmy is acting as her self-appointed bodyguard, and she’s been inducted into a secret society that doesn’t even have a cool name. Hounded by a massive black dog intent on dismembering her, improving her chemistry gradetakes a backseat to finding her mother, riddling out the secrets of her heritage, and staying alive until prom.

Chimera (84,000 words) is a work of YA urban fantasy. I have been a YA librarian in the public school system for seven years, allowing me to spend forty hours a week with my target audience. The (first ten pages, synopsis, three chaps, whatever) are included per your submission guidelines. Thank you for your time andconsideration.

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#3 redwood

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 02:20 PM

This query has garnered me a few full requests. Lately though it's been registering a big zero for me. Makes me a bit teary thinking about it.

Discovering she's a nephilim, a creature torn from legendsof the ancient past, isn't exactly what Kahlua has in mind when she decides to reinvent herself for her junior year of high school.

Only a few days into the fall semester her mother disappears, and an encounter with Jimmy Martin – the oddest boy in school –leaves Kahlua with more to worry about than whether last year’s jeans are too tight. He explains that she is in danger of being destroyed by a hunter whose only purpose is to eliminate her kind. Now, Jimmy is acting as her self-appointed bodyguard, and she’s been inducted into a secret society that doesn’t even have a cool name. Hounded by a massive black dog intent on dismembering her, improving her chemistry gradetakes a backseat to finding her mother, riddling out the secrets of her heritage, and staying alive until prom.

Chimera (84,000 words) is a work of YA urban fantasy. I have been a YA librarian in the public school system for seven years, allowing me to spend forty hours a week with my target audience. The (first ten pages, synopsis, three chaps, whatever) are included per your submission guidelines. Thank you for your time andconsideration.



Wonderful idea, RS. I hope I can someday post here with a successful query of my own.

BBC, I really like your query. Sounds just great to me. Intriguing, mysterious, yet also clearly states Who, What, and the conflict. Send it to Janet Reid. It's exactly the kind of query she would jump on.
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#4 RC Lewis

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 03:15 PM

Some of you saw this on the old site--some of you helped me get it to this point on the old site. Here it is again--it earned 3 fulls and 1 partial. (Still hoping to add to that count.)



Sixteen-year-old Lareina thinks everything happens for a solid scientific reason. A boy tries to mess with her, she punches him in the nose. Like Newton said--action, reaction.

Her twin sister Tasmin's hallucinations aren't so easy to understand.

On top of the usual high school drama and not-so-usual complications of living in a state-run foster home, Lareina tries to keep Tasmin from being dragged off to the nuthouse. When the girls attempt to run from a brutal attack by school bullies, Tasmin uses a dormant power to cross over to a world they disappeared from as toddlers. Turns out she's not so crazy after all.

In the worst-ever case of 'new kid' adjustment, the girls must adapt to a world divided between advanced technology and magic, each side keeping itself separate from the other. As they make the transition, they find they don't quite fit the mold there either, as they have both scientific skills and magical powers. Their 'hybrid' status triggers dual threats--it jeopardizes the delicate balance their society was founded on, and enemies from a third world seek to use the twins' unique powers to conquer their new home. The girls must decide whether fighting for their right to be different is worth the risks, or if returning to a mundane world where they must pretend to be normal is the right sacrifice to make.

FINGERPRINTS is a 77,000 word fantasy novel for young adults. It was inspired by nearly ten years of teaching math to teenagers, both hearing and deaf, though none with magical powers ... to the best of my knowledge.


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#5 bigblackcat97

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 08:10 PM

Some of you saw this on the old site--some of you helped me get it to this point on the old site. Here it is again--it earned 3 fulls and 1 partial. (Still hoping to add to that count.)



Sixteen-year-old Lareina thinks everything happens for a solid scientific reason. A boy tries to mess with her, she punches him in the nose. Like Newton said--action, reaction.

Her twin sister Tasmin's hallucinations aren't so easy to understand.

On top of the usual high school drama and not-so-usual complications of living in a state-run foster home, Lareina tries to keep Tasmin from being dragged off to the nuthouse. When the girls attempt to run from a brutal attack by school bullies, Tasmin uses a dormant power to cross over to a world they disappeared from as toddlers. Turns out she's not so crazy after all.

In the worst-ever case of 'new kid' adjustment, the girls must adapt to a world divided between advanced technology and magic, each side keeping itself separate from the other. As they make the transition, they find they don't quite fit the mold there either, as they have both scientific skills and magical powers. Their 'hybrid' status triggers dual threats--it jeopardizes the delicate balance their society was founded on, and enemies from a third world seek to use the twins' unique powers to conquer their new home. The girls must decide whether fighting for their right to be different is worth the risks, or if returning to a mundane world where they must pretend to be normal is the right sacrifice to make.

FINGERPRINTS is a 77,000 word fantasy novel for young adults. It was inspired by nearly ten years of teaching math to teenagers, both hearing and deaf, though none with magical powers ... to the best of my knowledge.



Redwood - thanks for the idea, that's one YA agent who hasn't rejected me yetPosted Image D'oh - JR doesn't rep YA. I double checked to be sure.

RC - looks great! Nice and tight. Gotta love AQ. My first round on my query was double the length, with convoluted sentences.

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#6 Skyval

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 09:11 PM

I guess I'll humbly post my current query. Score is agents queried 10. Results, 2 fulls and a partial. Working through yet another rewrite before I query more. Maybe I got lucky with the first ten and won't get the same results in the next batch!

After witnessing his mother’s murder, seventeen-year-old James St. Clair travels to Mad River to live with a stranger, carrying a backpack full of secrets, a scarred heart, and a fragile hold on sanity. In the hospital, they’d called it PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.) James calls it JFU (James is Fucked Up.) After months of black depression, James has brokered an agreement with his demons that allows him to function in the outside world. He’ll let them live if they stay in his room. And they do. Mostly.

James spends his days sleepwalking through school, and afternoons at his job at Mad River Music, the only part of his day when he doesn’t feel crazy. Music is his fingerhold on real life, the only thing that gives him a true grip on sanity. He spends his nights alone in his room with his demons as his companions, consumed with guilt and grief for the mother he couldn’t save. He has no interest in making human connections, until a mysterious, blue-eyed foster girl comes to live next door.

James tries to keep his distance from Eden, but after he discovers her journal hidden in the woods, he learns of her painful childhood filled with betrayal, fear, and loneliness—a childhood he can relate to, and how she escapes from her sorrows through... music. With each section James reads, he recalls memories in his own life that eerily parallel Eden’s withdrawal from the world around her. The strong connection he feels for the little girl in the journal sets in motion the healing of his own heart and allows him to forge the most human of connections—to fall in love with the sixteen-year-old girl she is today, and find his way back from madness.

MAD RIVER is a young adult story of love, music, madness, and basketball, complete at 75,000 words. The book is a bit ORDINARY PEOPLE meets EVER AFTER set to the backdrop of classic rock music and features an original recorded song (Eden’s Song) ready for cross platform marketing opportunites, including the book’s future website and the iPad.
Skyval

#7 Cat Woods

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 10:07 PM

Awesome! Skyval, sounds fascinating. RC, I've loved yours from the first query I ever read, even when it still needed work. BBC, yours sounds like a spunky book filled with drama, intrigue and humor.

Nice work, ladies, no wonder you got requests.

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#8 ElleBeauregard

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 12:33 PM

Thanks to AQ (the previous version) I've scored 4 partials and a full request from this query. No takers, yet, but I'm still working. :)

No metropolitan seventeen-year-old wants to be exiled to rural Arizona for the entire summer. But when Leah’s inability to control her new-found skill nearly sends her into a full blown shifter-tantrum, even she has to admit that the last week of school is no place for a new shapeshifter. Complete at 79,000 words, SHIFT is a fantasy spec-fiction for a YA audience.

‘Without secrecy, there can be no privacy’ so Leah agrees to spend her summer vacation with her eccentric Aunt Cecelia, a fellow shifter who lives in the deserts outside Tubac, Arizona. Begrudgingly at first, Leah learns what it means to be a shifter, discovering that, in nature, her kind is not as rare as she first thought. While coming to terms with her new identity, she meets the son of her Aunt Cecelia’s life-long friends. But Drake King is different from other boys; he’s lithe and bronze-skinned with sage green eyes that Leah can’t get out of her head. When cornered by a pack of wild dogs, Drake reveals his extraordinary gift and saves Leah’s life. Amidst rumors of rogue shifters who have broken their oath and revealed themselves to the public—threatening the tenuous new life Leah has just begun to love—she and Drake embark on a journey that will redefine them as individuals and forever solidify them as a pair.

Lauren Beauregard is 26 years old, holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science and lives near Seattle, Washington. While complete on its own, SHIFT presents the opportunity for subsequent and companion novels.

#9 ElleBeauregard

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 12:35 PM

This is awesome to see queries that have made-the-grade, so to speak. Just as helpful, I think, as seeing those that need help. It's always good to see examples of the good stuff. Congrats to all!

#10 Tom Bradley

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 04:10 PM

This one scored me several fulls and partials -- though no offers. Yet.


When an airplane belly-whomps on an abandoned Hawaiian airstrip, four backpacks that look a helluva lot alike—including one containing gems conned from a dead matriarch—end up in the wrong hands.

Private investigator Noelani B. Lee, hired by an unscrupulous Kona jeweler set to buy the gems, finds herself in a race against double-crossing mainland crooks and starry-eyed locals to track down the hot rocks. Using her gift for disguise, Noelani matches wits with the scheming courier who lost the gems and the rival brothers he betrayed. All of them lay claim to the jewels, and will do anything to get them back.

Greed and bedlam ensue as the four backpacks mysteriously switch hands. Noelani realizes anyone—from a coddled college kid to Kona’s “dream couple,” to a Hawaiian restaurateur and her petty-thieving son—could have the valuable stash. With help from her gregarious cousin, Noelani sorts through the avarice and backstabbing to find the purloined gems – while she decides what to do about a slew of embarrassing secrets she uncovers along the way.

Complete at 81,000 words, LOCO MOCO MAMA is a mystery/caper likely to appeal to fans of Carl Hiaasen’s satirical crime novels and those familiar with the “shell game” at the heart of Chester Himes’ Cotton Comes to Harlem.

I’ve had an award-winning career as a newspaper reporter, editor and columnist in San Diego County and in public relations in Las Vegas before turning my hand to fiction.

Thank you for your time.


#11 MarkQuiet

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 08:38 AM

Guess I'll add mine to the pile. This query has gotten me 5 partials and 2 fulls - Most still out there being reviewed. Fingers and toes still crossed. :humph: (I do change the last paragraph to be more fitting with the agent.)

Emily Lee thought she had a firm grip of reality, until the day that fiction tried to chop off her head.

When Emily's friend, Beth, is abducted by a cult of albinos called the White Rabbits she feels compelled to get her back. Emily accepts the help of a bizarre and lethal woman named Alice, who leads her on a journey that will challenge her belief between reality and fantasy. Alice explains that Lewis Carroll's classic isn't fiction but a deadly fact and Emily is their next target. Alice's outrageous tale becomes too true when Emily is tricked into Wonderland by a White Rabbit and ordered beheaded by the Queen of Hearts. Emily must overcome her insecurities to find the strength and courage to save Beth, Alice, and herself.

RABBIT SLAYER is an YA urban fantasy novel complete at 90,000 words, that adds an unusual and unique twist to the fabled classic. Thank you for your time and consideration.

#12 Pete Morin

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 09:08 AM

Well I've got no successful query to post.Posted Image

The query that you all made fab with me went 1-for-125, and that one was withdrawn before I could ship the ms.Posted Image

But all of these - it's clear why they succeeded. Very, very clear.
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#13 C. Taylor

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 02:10 PM

These are all fantastic!! No wonder they're getting requests. Nice going, guys!!

Here's the query that got several requests and also landed me my agent. Looking back, man is it long!!

In steampunk Victorian London, Lady Phoebe Hughes has never had much use for Society or bothered with what’s considered proper behavior for a Lady. When she’s not tinkering in her laboratory, creating herbal concoctions the likes of which have never before been seen, she is at her dinner club, serving her curious drinks to London’s elite. But ever since she invented Viridis—an elixir rumored to bring on an orgasm with a single kiss—she’s become London’s belle du jour.

When Lord Hawthorne is murdered after leaving her club, Phoebe is stunned to find that not only was he working for Special Services to infiltrate the Cause, a movement fighting for the city's poor and pushing London towards revolution, he was also in possession of her secret formulation for Viridis. Thinking her formula safeguarded, it becomes clear that someone close to Phoebe has betrayed her—but who and why

Adding to her difficulties is the unexpected return of Mr. Seth Elliott, a brilliant tinkerer who stole her heart and imagination, only to abandon her for a mission when she needed him most. Unable to ignore all that is between them, Phoebe and Seth must face up to the mistakes of their past before they can have a future together. Meanwhile, the powerful Lord Victor Fenwick, a popular patron at Phoebe’s club, has made no secret of his fondness for Phoebe—and he’s not a man who takes “no” for an answer.

When Victor takes things too far with Phoebe and Seth retaliates, the lovers soon find themselves embroiled in a world of mayhem, murder, and revenge that will test their devotion to one another, as Phoebe tries to save Seth and goes to lengths she never imagined possible.

VIRIDIS, complete at 93K words, is a steampunk romance laced with mystery and intrigue. I’ve attached the full manuscript for your review and consideration.

Cali MacKay

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#14 Eli Ashpence

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 03:38 PM

It's only one request so far, but 1/1 rate makes me happy. Besides, we need a query in here that's not under 100k. ;)

Eighty years after World War Three, in a time when humanity believes the apocalypse has already come and gone, the immortal Val is one of the few who lives long enough to see the modern world of science crumble into a medieval world of magic.

Claiming to be a vampire gives Val a convenient way to explain his immortality. It also attracts interesting clients to his detective agency, but his life takes an unpredictable turn after a case turns sour and he's shot in the head. Upon resurrecting, he finds eight years have passed and the real apocalypse has decimated the world even more than the war. Val has to survive while all trace of post-modern society is erased by storms, earthquakes, and destructive breeds of mutated wildlife. He must keep his sanity when the only available companion is a former client who is delusional. And, as if that weren’t enough, the environmental problems aren’t entirely natural--they're spiritual.

The Earth--awakened during the years it tried to recover from World War Three’s ravages--has sent four incorporeal Manifestations to mankind as its arm and legs. Their mission: to keep humanity from repeating its past mistakes. Their plan: to use the immortals as mouthpieces. There's one major problem. Val is a skeptic who only believes in hard evidence. With a millennium of experience behind him, can he change enough to take the leap of faith needed to become the High Priest in the new world? His answer will decide the future of mankind: another genocide or a new genesis.

As a post-apocalyptic fantasy, GENOCIDE TO GENESIS is complete at 118,500 words. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

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#15 JRo

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 10:24 PM

Hey Guys. I guess I'll post mine. It's got me 4 fulls and 1 partial. Hoping for more . . . or an offer. :biggrin:

Dear XXXX,

There’s nothing like crushing on the hot and totally forbidden Aiden to take Alexandria’s mind off training to kill her mother.

When Alex’s mother tasted the first drop of aether—the essence of the gods—she lost her humanity. She became a daimon, what the pure-blood Instructor is training seventeen-year-old Alex to kill. And now her own mother is after her.

Falling for her slightly older Instructor is not a complication Alex needs. Her desire for him could get her butt kicked out of the Covenant, a school for preparing halfs like Alex to kill daimons. Relationships between pures and halfs aren’t allowed. Why? The Gods forbid it. Yeah, even Alex thinks that's crap. But even if she can overcome her hormones—and that’s a big if—she’s not sure she can fulfill the duty expected of her.

Killing her mom won't be easy. If Alexandria fails, she’ll be forced into servitude, the only alternative for Covenant drop-outs. Which sucks. Oh, and she faces being turned into a daimon herself and hunted by Aiden. And that sucks, too. Big time.

Half-Blood is a YA Urban Fantasy romance complete at 93,000 words BLAH BLAH BLAH

#16 RobbG

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 07:42 AM

Here's mine, which has had a pretty successful rate of requests of partials and fulls. About half that I query ask for at least a partial, some for fulls, and some of the partials come back to request fulls. No offers yet, which tells me my query is actually better than the manuscript. I'll customize the letter as appropriate for specific agents, but this is my basic template - largely honed and crafted with the generous support of all the AQC folks here. And now I need to update my bio paragraph, too.

Dear Agent:

A teenage girl believes she will die before she has a chance to grow up in CARRY ME AWAY, contemporary women’s fiction complete at 100,000 words.

Carrie Destin, a GenY biracial military brat, learns the injuries she sustained in a car accident at age twelve will prove fatal before she reaches adulthood. Facing life with a brash attitude and a biting, sometimes morbid sense of humor, Carrie accelerates her life and sets aggressive goals: college, seeing the world, connecting with her Japanese roots, and the all-consuming desire to find her soul mate. After ten years of living like she's dying, she must break through the walls she has built around her life to accept a future that includes the chance at true love.

I have thirty years in journalism and the newspaper publishing business, currently the managing editor of Stars and Stripes, an international daily newspaper for the U.S. military forces overseas. For the past decade I’ve covered American military families stationed abroad, where I've gained an appreciation for the unique challenges and complexities that military dependents often face.

Thank you for considering CARRY ME AWAY.

Sincerely,

Robb Grindstaff

#17 scubasteve4

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 07:45 PM

Great query, Robb. A 50% request rate is wild! Good luck with it.

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#18 shanecom

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 01:27 PM

This query has garnered me a few full requests. Lately though it's been registering a big zero for me. Makes me a bit teary thinking about it.

Discovering she's a nephilim, a creature torn from legendsof the ancient past, isn't exactly what Kahlua has in mind when she decides to reinvent herself for her junior year of high school.

Only a few days into the fall semester her mother disappears, and an encounter with Jimmy Martin – the oddest boy in school –leaves Kahlua with more to worry about than whether last year’s jeans are too tight. He explains that she is in danger of being destroyed by a hunter whose only purpose is to eliminate her kind. Now, Jimmy is acting as her self-appointed bodyguard, and she’s been inducted into a secret society that doesn’t even have a cool name. Hounded by a massive black dog intent on dismembering her, improving her chemistry gradetakes a backseat to finding her mother, riddling out the secrets of her heritage, and staying alive until prom.

Chimera (84,000 words) is a work of YA urban fantasy. I have been a YA librarian in the public school system for seven years, allowing me to spend forty hours a week with my target audience. The (first ten pages, synopsis, three chaps, whatever) are included per your submission guidelines. Thank you for your time andconsideration.



#19 Brendacarre

Brendacarre

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 08:23 PM

Well I've got no successful query to post.Posted Image

The query that you all made fab with me went 1-for-125, and that one was withdrawn before I could ship the ms.Posted Image

But all of these - it's clear why they succeeded. Very, very clear.



One of these days yours will be here, I do not doubt. Looking forward to that time, Pete. I am I am. :biggrin:

#20 Brendacarre

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 08:25 PM

Hey Guys. I guess I'll post mine. It's got me 4 fulls and 1 partial. Hoping for more . . . or an offer. :biggrin:

Dear XXXX,

There’s nothing like crushing on the hot and totally forbidden Aiden to take Alexandria’s mind off training to kill her mother.

When Alex’s mother tasted the first drop of aether—the essence of the gods—she lost her humanity. She became a daimon, what the pure-blood Instructor is training seventeen-year-old Alex to kill. And now her own mother is after her.

Falling for her slightly older Instructor is not a complication Alex needs. Her desire for him could get her butt kicked out of the Covenant, a school for preparing halfs like Alex to kill daimons. Relationships between pures and halfs aren’t allowed. Why? The Gods forbid it. Yeah, even Alex thinks that's crap. But even if she can overcome her hormones—and that’s a big if—she’s not sure she can fulfill the duty expected of her.

Killing her mom won't be easy. If Alexandria fails, she’ll be forced into servitude, the only alternative for Covenant drop-outs. Which sucks. Oh, and she faces being turned into a daimon herself and hunted by Aiden. And that sucks, too. Big time.

Half-Blood is a YA Urban Fantasy romance complete at 93,000 words BLAH BLAH BLAH



This query has great voice. Well done. I can see why it has garnered so many requests.




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