Hi everyone! I've been a long time member of this site - though I haven't been active in years, this was my go-to place for query feedback and to find critique partners. I stopped using this site once I was chosen for Pitch Wars and made a ton of friends/CPs there, but I'll always consider this site an integral component in my development as a writer.
I'll be signing all the paperwork in person with Joshua Bilmes of JABberwocky Agency tomorrow which will officially make me his client, and I wanted to share the query that started it all. Disclaimer: I didn't query too many agents, as I met Joshua at WorldCon last August fairly soon after I started querying (then working on multiple R&Rs with him while avoiding the query trenches), so I don't have a solid sample size with a high request rate that would imply a successful query. With that being said, I've queried off and on for several years with five different manuscripts, so I'm hoping you'll find value from what I've learned.
Dear [Agent Name],
I'd like to offer my epic fantasy, SERF OF THE MOUNTAIN, up for consideration. I queried you because [Insert Personalization Here], and I feel this would be a great fit for your list.
Manservant Ig works as the city magnate’s most loyal attendant, but no one knows of the flesh magic that will kill him if he disobeys a single command. Nor of the throats he’s slit and the bodies he’s burned to stop the beginnings of a rebellion.
A master at navigating the winding tunnels and corridors of the underground city of Augustin, Ig works as the iron grip to Magnate Sorrelo’s rule. With each murder he is forced to commit though, the more Ig fantasizes about turning on his master—anything to end his enslavement and cure the conscience eating him alive. And as he comes to know those behind the growing rebellion—the magnate’s daughter, among them—only death awaits those he yearns to help. For the magnate will sacrifice anyone to maintain a hold on his rule. Family and friends included.
After riots erupt in the city streets, Ig must find a way to aid the newfound allies he is tasked with hunting down. He’ll also have to defy the one man he is powerless against, or bloody his hands executing anyone courageous enough to stand against him.
SERF OF THE MOUNTAIN is an epic fantasy complete at 129,000 words, taking place in a subterranean world inspired by the video game TERRARIA. It would also appeal to lovers of Brandon Sanderson’s MISTBORN novels. May I send you the finished manuscript for SERF OF THE MOUNTAIN?