Sunday, March 9, 2014

Query Letter Madness

Okay, so after weeks of query letter writing, this is what I've decided to go with.  I'm still a bit leery on parts of it - I worry some of the language may turn some people off, but honestly, it's language used in the novel.  However, if the query letter should (in part) represent the novel's tone, then this does it pretty well.  Like my friend John mentioned, this is a tough book to summarize quickly because I don't have the space to mention the friendships that form and learning how your perceptions of people are usually wrong.  Still, the letter covers the basics - The Breakfast Club fused with Oceans 11 - so I'm happy with that.  Thanks to John, Kimberly, and my wife for their thoughts throughout, and Pat for her grammatical wizardry.  Fingers crossed.
Dear ______,
Sophomore Max Lewis is living in a world of suck:  he’s considered a nobody for quitting the lacrosse team, he’s just pissed off a tyrant - err - vice principal, and now he’s been humiliated in the latest epic prank by the mysterious Chaos Club.
And that’s just his first day of school.
Angry, embarrassed, and tired of being victimized, Max recruits four other misfits to form The Water Tower 5.  Their goal?  Destroy the Chaos Club.  But how do you wipe out an organization with an anonymous membership capable of trapping cows on the school roof and assembling stolen desks into a giant phallus on the football field?  Easy, by relying on what Max does best – scheming, scamming, and swindling.
Well, maybe not that easy.
The Water Tower 5 lures the Chaos Club into the open by framing them for a series of pranks involving precision vomiting and indecent pictures of the school mascot.  Unfortunately, they also succeed in attracting the attention of the school’s administration and security team.  And it’s not like the Chaos Club is going to let a bunch of underclassmen take them down without a fight.  Soon, Max finds himself arrested, suspended, and even worse, dealing with an angry girlfriend.  With summer only days away, can Max devise a caper ingenious enough to clear his name and expose the Chaos Club?  (Hint: It’s possible, but he’s going to need a hell of a lot of weather balloons to pull it off.)
THE WATER TOWER 5 is a contemporary YA novel (94,000 words) fusing the offbeat relationships of The Breakfast Club with the capers and cons of Ocean’s 11.  It is the first in a planned series, but also works as a standalone.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Kurt Dinan

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