Friday, February 17, 2012

World's Worst Query: A post from E.J. Snevigsburg

Sometimes when you're working hard on a query letter (a cover letter to an agent or editor, pitching your book and explaining why they might want to represent it), you need to clear your head a little.

I do this by imagining the worst ways I could screw up a query.

I know, it doesn't sound head-clearing, but sometimes it's (a twisted form of) fun to make up the most outlandish premise for a story and pitch it with glaring arrogance, garish grammar, and pancake-like plots.  Sort of like a literary-verbal diet cleanse.

Anyway, with that in mind, I present for pure Friday fun,

A "World's Worst" Query, by E.J. Snevigsburg

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Dear Agent,

Have you ever wondered what would happen if a mermaid fell in love with a time-traveling vampire?  CATCH OF THE CENTURY, my debut Young Adult Romance/Fantasy Dystopian/Steampunk novel, and surefire New York Times Bestseller, will answer just that!!

Waterlily is just your average redheaded sea-shelled mermaid, living with her sisters and father, the sea-king Traeton, in the year 2167, off the coast of what was once Boca Raton, Florida.  Waterlily loves to spy on humans and one stormy night she sees a tall, dark stranger, on the beach.  Ymthrigulyx is an undead Taylor Lautner lookalike with a thirst for human blood.  Fortunately, Waterlily is a mermaid!  So Ymthrigulix can already tell that him and Waterlily are going to be a great match.  How could it go wrong?!?!

UNfortunately, Ymthrygulyx is not only a vampire, but an unwilling time-traveler.  With every neck he bites, he's gotten sent to a different generation of the victim's family.  He can only stay in one place and time as long as he can resists his bloodsucking urges.  But Waterlily's feelings are growing stronger and faster than seaweed in the shallows, and she can't bear the thought of him biting another neck.  Waterlily goes to the sea-witch Mersula to grow legs and lungs, and turns human for Ymthryguulix.  But, Waterlily realized her mistake too late--now that she's human, her new vampire beau will have to resist... HER.

CATCH OF THE CENTURE is complete at 185,842 words, each carefully chosen and in no need of farther editing.  It will appeal to fans of TWILIGHT, HARRY POTTER, THE HUNGER GAMES, THE BABY-SITTERS CLUB, and THE DARK TOWER.  So, pretty much everyone.  Bestseller, right??!!  I know you'll be yearning for more right about now, so I've attached the whole manuscript for your reading enjoyment (in PDF).  I'm waiting for an offer!!!!

Sincerely,

E.J. Snevigsburg

[Attached: 676 pages in PDF format.  Typed in Comic Sans MS.  In purple ink.]

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What do you think?  Can you write a worse one?  Leave it in the comments!