Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Recharge and Query Update

I've taken a couple of weeks off from writing and read a bunch of books, but I'm almost ready to plunge back into writing "Breathings." It took 30k words to get a handle on the characters (I just figured out that MC's mom is crucial to the MCs oddities), so I kind of want to restart on page one with what I know now, but the other part of me wants to pound out the full first draft. Whatever. The good thing is I'm ready to get back to work.

While I've not been writing, I rewrote my query letter and sent it out to the next batch of agents.

My stats so far-
30 queries sent
9 query rejects
4 requests for partials
1 partial still out, 3 rejected.

This is a little skewed in my favor, because the requests I got were from an agent I pitched, an agent he referred me to, an agent my crit partner signed with, and one was a cold query. 

For those of you preparing to query or just curious, here's my query body:

Dear Agent,

I hope you will be intrigued by my my paranormal romance, WAYS TO FALL. The manuscript is complete at 105,000 words and should appeal to older teens and adults.

Lara, an empath, and her emotionally damaged “sisters” were kidnapped by Mother from their Outsider families and given the gift of immortality. Lara never questions Mother’s policy of suppressing their memories until one sister recalls her life Outside and despairs. Mother curses the young woman with eternal Sleep, insisting there is no other way to protect Lara from absorbing the girl’s feelings. Lara hopes that if she can understand how Outsiders survive their terrible experiences, she can find a way to truly heal her sisters and save their fragile, Edenic world.

Defying Mother, Lara enters the sacred caves and is transported to a sinkhole-turned-crime-scene, where she is arrested by the FBI as a suspected kidnapper. Agent David Hatton, an emotionally detached behavior specialist, is fascinated by the way Lara’s skin changes colors in reaction to his volatile partner’s emotions. He fears Lara will die if he can’t isolate her, so with FBI approval he fakes a rescue from the field office and orders the squad to keep out of Lara’s perception range. Lara and Agent Hatton hike through the quiet woods of North Florida, and their tenuous friendship develops into a soul-deep attraction. When Lara must choose between freeing her sisters and saving Agent Hatton’s life, she discovers the cost of falling, both from Mother’s grace and into love.

I am a member of the Online Writer's Workshop for Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror and hold a B.S. in psychology from the University of Florida. I currently live in Columbia, SC with my husband and children.

I've included sample pages and a synopsis below.

Thank you,

Kelly Bryson
So, that's it. I'll let you know in a few weeks how it goes.

For those interested, I've read/am reading
  • The Jane Eyre Affair (smart funny, 4 stars),
  • The Blue Sword (LOVED it 5 stars. Thanks for the recommend, Myrna! I've requested the second book from the library),
  • Fever, 1793 (historical kid lit, 5 stars),
  • Fallen (good angel story, if you're into that),
  • Fallen Angel (another good angel story, if you're into that.),
  • Halo (another good angel story, if you're into that),
  • Before I Fall (contemporary YA, good story, well written, not fantastical enough for me. Too much partying to hold my interest),
  • The Prestige (loved the movie, the book was different but very good. Would have been better if I hadn't seen the movie), and I've started
  • City of Saints and Madmen (on pg 10) and
  • The Ranger's Apprentice (just starting, but my 10 yo says, "It's amazing! You have to read it Mom!").

Happy Writing!


  1. Hey, really quick...I just wanted to make sure you know there are two "my"s in your first paragraph. Not sure if this is the actual cut & paste version of what you've been sending out or not. Hope that helps. :)

  2. Thanks for sharing this with us, Kelly! I, too, read THE PRESTIGE and found it very different from the movie, but in a good way.

    I blogged about this time last year about the difference between literary and commercial fiction, and I think THE PRESTIGE the book and The Prestige the movie are good examples of that. The book took the concept in a more literary direction, and the movie took the same concept in a more commercial direction. Nothing better or worse about either - they're just going to appeal to difference audiences because of that.

    (The day I blogged about this, Christopher Priest, the actual author of THE PRESTIGE, dropped by my blog and left a nice comment. It was pretty cool.)

    Good luck with the querying! And thanks for being my querying buddy!

  3. Good luck with the querying. Sounds like an interesting story, I especially like the last line in the second paragraph.

  4. Hey Karen- thanks for pointing out the typo. Thankfully, that's a cut and paste issue- I just copied from a query I'd sent and missed that when I trimmed out the personal stuff. Thanks for reading so carefully, though!

    Krista- that's really cool that Christopher Priest commented. I'll have to read that review. And thank you for being my query buddy:)

    Patti- Thanks! The query runs longer than I want, but there's a world that has to be built. And it looks longer in blogger because the page is narrower.

    I was pleased when I figured out that last line, too. Thanks for the feedback:)

  5. I agree with your son--The Ranger's Apprentice is pretty amazing.

    Good luck with the querying!!

  6. Hi Jenilyn- thanks for the luck and the comment about the RA. Now I wonder if I'm expecting too much because of all the good things I've heard;)

  7. You're welcome! And I agree that The Ranger's Apprentice books are great.

    Best of luck with your querying!

  8. I loved the Blue Sword. I reread it every once in a while, just because I can. Good luck with querying.

  9. I like your query letter, and hope you sell the manuscript soon!