The Saturday Slash

Axe2 clip artMeet my Hatchet of Death. This is how I edit myself, it is how I edit others. If you think you want to play with me and my hatchet, shoot me an email.

The first line of a query is your hook, and it really needs to work. You want it to punch your reader in the face, in a nice, friendly kind of way that makes them unable to forget you after having read the 300 other queries in their inbox.

If you’re looking for query advice, but are intimidated by my blade, check out the query critique boards over at AgentQueryConnect. This is where I got my start, with advice from people smarter than me. Don’t be afraid to ask for help with the most critical first step of your writing journey – the query. My comments appear in blue.

When eighteen-year-old Josephine Gale Joyce gets kicked off one of the biggest country music tours in the nation, everyone and their mama’s got a theory why. But Josephine’s the only one who knows the truth: it’s because she’s gay. Nice! This is a great hook with voice and a clear indication of the drive of the novel.

Now, Josephine’s back in her small Alabama hometown, and After months of being in the spotlight, all she wants to do is lay low and figure out her next move. So when her mama makes her get a job at the local ice cream parlor, she’s not exactly thrilled. That all changes when she meets Violet Carver, the new girl who has her own high-profile ties to the town. What are they? I think that’s something we need to know in order to understand the connection between these two. Staring down a summer filled with big choices about their futures, What are those choices? Josephine and Vi embark on adventures—fishing, baseball games, the whole nine yards—all across the state… and start falling for each other in the process. The addition of “all across the state” raises the question of if this is a road trip book. Also, what about her job?

But just as Josephine’s getting settled again, she gets a call asking her to come back on the tour. The only catch? She’d have to keep being the person everyone thinks she is, keep being? is she still closeted at home? and not the one she really is. Now, Josephine has to decide if she wants to keep living a lie, or if she’s going to sing her truth and make people start listening.

This is a solid query, very minor tweaks above and then get this out there!

GOLDEN HOUR is a YA contemporary novel complete at 63,000 words. It will appeal to fans of  GEORGIA PEACHES AND OTHER FORBIDDEN FRUIT by Jaye Robin Brown and HOW TO MAKE A WISH by Ashley Herring Blake.