Opinion time

I've been wracking my brain to write the perfect query and the string of rejections tell me, I still haven't gotten it quite right.

I'll say it. I hate Queries. LoL.

Here are the two most current versions of my query. Which one sounds better to you?


Thrust into a dark world filled with bloodlust, religious fanaticism, and thousand-year old vendettas, Alyssa will have to find the strength to accept her terrifying new reality or submit to final death.

Bleeding to death after brutal mugging on the campus of UNLV, Twenty-five year old Alyssa, is rescued by beguiling and immortal Lysander. He gives her the gift, and curse, of immortality. Awakening as a vampire, Alyssa is soon devastated by harsh realities of her new way of life: the loss of her friends, her independence, and her humanity.

Alyssa’s “turning,” did not go unnoticed by other members of the immortal world. Now, both of them have been targeted for final death. An ancient sect of Catholic vampire hunters, known as the Acta Sanctorum, begins their hunt, vowing to destroy all vampires, in God’s name. Meanwhile, a vengeful lover from Lysander’s past seeks to exact her revenge, citing ancient vampire law, as a reason to kill them both. Only by letting go of her old self and accepting that she is a vampire, can Alyssa hope to survive. She will have to stand alongside of Lysander and fight, against two enemies who will stop at nothing to destroy them both.


Alyssa, a lonely, headstrong young woman, is left bleeding to death after a brutal mugging. Help comes in the most unlikely fashion; Lysander, a vampire, an ancient and cursed creature. After centuries of trying to escape the pain and torment of his past love, he had shunned all emotions, locking all feelings deep inside himself. The sight of Alyssa’s mangled body awakens those feelings and he is compelled to save her life. Doing it the only way he can, Lysander sinks his teeth into Alyssa’s soft neck and gives her his gift, and curse, immortality.

But by saving her, he’s awakened the wrath of his old lover, and she makes it known she is coming for revenge. She wants to see final death come to them both, and she is not above alerting the ruthless hunters of the Acta Sanctorum.

Now that he has brought her into his dark world filled with bloodlust and thousand-year old vendettas, he must find a way to protect her, the woman who’s allowed him to feel again. Alyssa too, must learn to accept the new life she has been given and the potential for love and companionship. Together, Alyssa and Lysander must fight against an enemy who will stop at nothing to see them both destroyed.


B.J. Anderson said...

They both sound really good, Katie! I think I like the first one best, though. I can't tell you why, it just rolled off the tongue better. Good luck with it! It sounds like an exciting read. :D

MeganRebekah said...

I am a fan of the first one, too.

A couple suggestion -
* I do think that you could lose the first paragraph and still have a strong query with more focus.
* "on the campus of UNLV" isn't important to the query
* Twenty-five does not need to be capitalized.
* the word "soon" doesn't feel necessary
* and you may consider deleting the word "Catholic" from the query. Some agents shy away from anything religious and unless Catholicism plays a big role, you don't want to give them a reason to reject you out of hand

Overall I really like it though! Just remember that vampires is a hard genre to break into, so don't be discouraged. Also, one more question.
What genre is this? That could help in trying to focus the query to the genre's needs.

Susan R. Mills said...

I like them both, but I agree with B.J. I like the first one best.

Katie Salidas said...

Thanks guys. Great suggestions Megan.

This is Urban Fantasy. I'm looking at a few smaller publishers and e-publishers at the moment (having no luck with agents =( ).

One I'd like to target is Samhain Publishing which looks for Urban Fantasy with romantic elements. That's what prompted the second query with the lean on the emotional element of the story.

MeganRebekah said...

For urban fantasy, what you have going works.

When targeting romance publishers, you usually want to refocus the query.
One paragraph on her
One on him
Third paragraph on them together and the obstacles they face.

I've heard only great things about Samhain, so that might be a great fit for you.

Jessica Nelson said...

Hmmm, I think they may be too long and that might frighten off agents. Also, I'd focus on the main hook of the story. Which sounds like it's Alyssa and Lysander defeating the AS? But I'm not familiar at all with urban fantasy, so I don't know what the focus of the query should be. I hope you get some great advice here. Also, maybe target agents who allow you to send some first pages. I've heard they look at those even if the query isn't something that snags them.
Don't worry! You'll find your perfect fit. :-)
Oh, and I've heard good things about Samhain too! Let us know what happens.

You cracked me up with your comment on my blog about vampires prowling at night around your house. LOL!

Anonymous said...

These are good--but I recommend joining Query Trackers Forum and posting them for review from fellow writers. The feedback is awesome and they have it set up so edits can be done way easier than trying to pick them up from this.

It's def. worth it and a lot of people share their honest opinions and point out their flaws while reading it. I know that's how I did mine and I have three partials out! There's nothing to lose! =D Your book sounds great though--if you post on QT I will def. edit those for you!

JAlexander said...

Number one - number one. Love it.

It sounds strong, exciting, you give the storyline in concise but interesting sentences. Almost like bullet points with fireworks.


Anonymous said...

I'd go with number 1, Kate. One of the things I liked about it was that it didn't mention vampires until the second half. I hear that, these days in the publishing world, if you mention vampires before getting the editor interested in the story, you're dead. They just drop it.
So V1 works much better for me. :D

kah said...

I'm with everyone else. #1. But remember, you don't have to mention every detail or give away the whole plot in your query. Just give them enough to get them hooked. Maybe tighten it up just a tad. But it's good. You're def close. :)

About The Author

Katie Salidas is a USA Today bestselling author and RONE award winner known for her unique genre-blending style.

Since 2010 she's penned five bestselling book series: the Immortalis, Olde Town Pack, Little Werewolf, Chronicles of the Uprising, and the all-new Agents of A.S.S.E.T. series. As her not-so-secret alter ego, Rozlyn Sparks, she is a USA Today bestselling author of romance with a naughty side.

In her spare time Katie also produces and hosts a YouTube talk show; Spilling Ink. She also has a regular column on First Comics News where she explores writing from a nerdy perspective.