It feels a little surreal to be posting this, but here is the query letter that hooked my agent! This is actually the second manuscript I've completed and queried. I decided to let go of the first ms after I'd queried about 60-70 agents. (I'd gotten one or two full requests and a handful of partials, but no real interest.) As I was querying my first ms, I was working on this project, and when I'd finished with this one, I put the first one away and started querying my new project.
The agent I signed with is actually the very first agent I queried. That said, I queried her first because she had liked one of my #PitMad pitches on Twitter. (I guess those things actually do work!) It was about 2 months from the time I sent out my first query (to my now agent) to when I accepted her offer. In that time, I queried 24 people total. I received 8 requests total (2 partials and 6 fulls), which was obviously much better than my first attempt at querying!
This site was incredibly helpful with writing this (along with Query Shark), so I hope this will help someone else still in the trenches. :) Don't give up!
[Reason why I am querying, specific to agent]. Complete at just over 75,000 words, THE HOUSE IN THE TREES is a cross between Jodi Picoult’s subject matter (think PERFECT MATCH) and Liane Moriarty’s tone (for example, as in WHAT ALICE FORGOT).
Meredith Bowman’s very ex-husband is trying to steal her son. Well, he’s technically trying to win sole custody of seven-year-old Henry, but he’s certainly fighting dirty to get his way. For example, he’s acting as if Meredith is the bad guy, as if Henry’s poor marks in English class are somehow a cry for help. But her son’s disinterest in grammar surely isn’t because of her—at least, she hopes it isn’t.
As the battle for Henry’s custody wages on, Meredith struggles to balance her growing self-doubt as a mother with her ferocious desire to keep her son. Yet, Meredith never suspects that the biggest threat to Henry’s well-being might be teaching him English from Meredith’s dining room chair. Henry’s nineteen-year-old summer tutor, Wynn, secretly suffers from depression and plans on ending the summer with the one thing that will end it all for her permanently. But when Wynn’s plan goes astray, endangering Henry instead of herself, custody suddenly becomes the least of Meredith’s concerns. Now, the only thing that matters is saving her son’s life.
THE HOUSE IN THE TREES is upmarket fiction told from four points of view—Meredith’s, Henry’s, Wynn’s, and Wynn’s father’s.
Thank you for your time and consideration.