"Gearing Up to Get an Agent" Blogfest: The Dreaded Query Letter

Alright, so I kinda missed the boat during Week Two of Deana Barnhart's fantastic "Gearing Up to Get an Agent" Blogfest last week, but I'm back and ready for action just in time for Week Three! This week's theme is query letters, so we are all posting our queries in order to receive valuable feedback from YOU.


I would really appreciate it if you wouldn't mind letting me know what you think about my query letter for my young adult urban fantasy, THE MERMAID GENE. (I realize the manuscript is a little long at this point, but I'm in the process of cutting it down as we speak.) Thanks in advance for your help, and I can't wait to read your queries if you are participating in the Blogfest as well!

Dear Agent:

An arctic mermaid is the last thing seventeen year-old Kai Murphy expects to find when she joins a beluga whale research team in Alaska.

She’s an aspiring scientist, after all—the daughter of a famous dolphin researcher and the type of girl who studies tide charts for fun and cruises Cook Inlet’s icy waters in a Zodiac, counting whales for a database. When the late-night sighting of a silvery, speckled tail threatens her perceptions, she teams up with flirtatious twin deckhands Noah and Aidan Fischer to investigate.

Turns out mermaids aren’t Alaska’s only mysteries. There’s also that warehouse closet crammed with hunting rifles, the blood-filled plastic bins and those shadowy poachers haunting the Port of Anchorage. Never mind the silvery creature in the inlet, which now seems intent on stalking her.

As Kai searches for answers and begins falling for Noah, she realizes even he isn’t above suspicion. The fate of her team—and the inlet’s struggling beluga whales—just may rest in her hands.

THE MERMAID GENE is a stand-alone, young adult novel with series potential, complete at 99,000 words. The Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks & Aquariums published my article “The Dangers of Human Interactions with Marine Mammals” in its 2007 Ocean Literacy and Marine Mammals: An Easy Reference Guide, and I have worked as a zookeeper and educator at many marine mammal facilities, including the Alaska Zoo of Anchorage. This experience sets THE MERMAID GENE apart and allows me to take readers behind-the-scenes into the thrilling and often-misunderstood world of beluga training and research.

Thank you for your time. With your interest in ___(space for personalization)___, I hope THE MERMAID GENE will be a perfect fit for you.

Sincerely,

Me