Monday, March 21, 2011

Prepping a Query



I’m going through the throws of prepping my basic query for my novel The Last Cabin, which I’ll eventually send out to agents. Of course, I prefer to tailor each query specifically to each individual, but having a basic template to work from helps. I’ve made queries before, as I’m sure plenty of my fellow writers have, but it always seems more of a chore than I’d like it to be. 

In one of the “how to write a query” books I’ve perused it suggested I have a paragraph that succinctly describes the actual context of the book in a few sentences. It also suggested that I compare my novel to other, similar novels, but without being pretentious. Below, I’ve created a sort of first draft of that portion of my query and am hoping to improve it so that it actually grabs the agent’s attention, i.e. like the cover flap of a book might grab a reader’s attention in a bookstore. Let me know what you think.


When the French and Indian War sweeps through their frontier settlement, brother and sister Joshua and Sarah Roebuck find themselves isolated in the wilderness without parents and burdened with seven children to look after. Cut off from civilization, they must survive deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains. All the while a lustful French officer and a war-party of Indians scour the Southern backwoods searching for the Roebuck family living in the last cabin left on the Virginia frontier.

A historical novel set in Colonial America, The Last Cabin will appeal to readers of James Alexander Thom's Follow the River and Walter Edmonds’ Drums Along the Mohawk.