There is so much good information out there about query letters (the letters you send to literary agents to try to get them interested in representing you)! Yes, some is contradictory and it can be a little overwhelming, but overall I'm so happy to so many informed people have shared what they know about the process.
Describing the plot of Heartshire High without going on for hundreds of words was tricky but possible. I think I have my "elevator pitch" down (which means, how I would describe the book if someone in an elevator asked me what it's about so I have just a few seconds to answer). It's a modern-day retelling of Alice in Wonderland set in a school where everyone has a secret and no one talks about the mysterious murder that set the town on edge.
Finding my "comps" (books I can compare to Heartshire High so that an agent will know who might be interested in reading it) wasn't hard except that it's really hard to write that I'm comparable to these authors. It sounds so braggy! Which brings me to the hardest part of the query: why me?
The query letter is supposed to tell an agent why I'm the one to write this story and why they should bet on me. Guys, I'm a kid! Everything I wrote felt like I was bragging. I wrote this paragraph so many times I almost gave up. But in the end, I figured, who knows young adults more than a young adult? We've all read enough books to know when we're being talked down to, and when an adult is trying to talk like a teenager... and failing. So maybe that's my biggest asset.
What I know for sure is I'm going to start keeping a list of my accomplishments, big and small, because it's really hard to write about why someone should pick you!
I'm a high school senior who loves to read, write, read about writing, and write about reading. My first novel, Heartshire High, is out now!