The query letter
I have been rigorously researching agents and publishing houses that might be interested in taking a look at my first novel, a piece of YA literary fiction complete at 54,000 words. In looking over your bio, I was excited to find what I believe is a great match for my work. I hope you will feel the same. I am submitting to a few other agents, and I’ll let you know promptly if my manuscript is accepted for representation elsewhere.Superficial
explores adolescent life and relationships through the eyes of 16-year-old Violet Sanders. Violet is a high school junior living in the suburbs with her single, workaholic mom and overachieving older sister, Maggie. The book’s simple and straightforward language allows you to see what drives Violet from inside her own head, as her private thoughts are splattered indiscreetly across the printed page: Damn, I meant to wash those jeans yesterday. Whatever, they look clean.
Violet is a loving, adventurous, imperfect teenager negotiating friendships, romance, substance use and sexuality as she tries to find a safe place in the world.
Glimpses into the lives and thoughts of other people in Violet’s life draw us further into her story, with special attention paid to the contrasting worldview of her mother. Mom wants nothing but the best for Violet, yet is totally disconnected from what Violet needs most. Dad is not someone Violet sees a whole lot, but in some ways, she is closer to him than she is to her mother and sister. He’s an alcoholic who’s been in and out of recovery about as long as Violet can remember. She doesn’t expect much from him; it’s enough that he loves her for who she is. Or at least, it’s enough for a while. Superficial
invites the reader to walk hand in hand with Violet as an omniscient observer to her changing relationships with family, friends and, most important of all, with herself.
This novel was inspired by my work as a counselor with adolescents and their families, as well as my own experiences as a daughter, wife and mother. I appreciate the time you have taken to read this query, and would very much enjoy the opportunity to share more of my work with you. As I am an unpublished author, I have pasted the first 10 pages of my manuscript below.