Query- Isabella Vampirella (EVIL EDITOR response at end)

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maybegenius
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Re: Query- Isabella Vampirella REVISED

Post by maybegenius » March 28th, 2010, 11:33 am

kenpochick wrote:Ok, I changed the spelling of Isabella to get away from the Twilight connotation. I changed the wording and I also added in that this is the first in a planned series. I know you only query one book at a time but I've also heard that kids books are a hard sell without them being in a series. (In case you're curious the second book has a new family moving into town, a ghost who's been adopted by family of mummies.) I also changed the category from early MG to a chapter book. Please let me know what you think. Thanks!


Dear Agent,

Eight year old Ysabela just knows her life will be perfect once she finally gets her fangs!

She’s thrilled to be starting the third grade with her friends Betha, a witch, and Jack, a werewolf. After all, she’ll officially be one of the big kids taking classes in one of the towers of the magical school deep in the woods. She’s thrilled that is until her parents don’t let her walk to school by herself, the teacher assigns seats and puts Isabella near the back of the class right next to her obnoxious classmate, Talia de la Nuit, who thinks she’s so mature just because she has her fangs. (This sentence is still pretty unwieldy - I'd try breaking it into two sentences. Maybe: "She's thrilled - until her parents refuse to let her walk to school by herself and her teacher assigns her a seat next to her most obnoxious classmate. Talia de la Nuit thinks she's so mature just because she has her fangs.")

Ysabela is determined to show everyone how grown-up she is. Soon Betha discovers her magic, Jack finds his howl, and Ysabela is left behind as everyone seems to be growing up without her. When Ysabela finally gets her fangs she discovers they come with a terrible price: a lisp! With the help of her family, Ysabela gets the lisp under control before class on Monday and learns that there’s more to growing up then just getting a set of fangs.

YSABELA VAMPIRELLA GETS HER FANGS is a 10,000 word chapter book aimed at readers of Junie B. Jones and The Magic Tree house series of books who may want something a bit offbeat but aren’t quite ready for Goosebumps. This is the first book in a planned series.

Thank you for your consideration.
I still like this a lot. It sounds super cute. The different spelling is quirky and will definitely distance you from Twilight. I'm sure if the name is still an issue, an agent or editor will say something if they take it on.
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JustineDell
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Re: Query- Isabella Vampirella

Post by JustineDell » March 28th, 2010, 3:22 pm

Nice job. Maybegenius made a good point on the long sentence. And there's one place in the query where you still spell Ysabella as "Isabella" here: "teacher assigns seats and puts Isabella near the back of the class right next to her obnoxious classmate..." And, I don't know how attached you are to that name, but it seems it would be difficult for young readers to understand the spelling. Is there a reason you just didn't change it?

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Re: Query- Isabella Vampirella

Post by GeeGee55 » March 28th, 2010, 10:35 pm

I would so buy this book. You've really improved the query.
kenpochick wrote: The repetition of this phrase still bothers me, deliberate repetition is good, but there must me some way in such a short piece to say it differently in some places - I think you need it in the first sentence and also, where she discovers they come with a terrible price, but I think the piece as a whole would be stronger if you could think of some other way of expressing it in the other sentences. Just my opinion. It's still good. I really like the premise.

Dear Agent,

Eight year old Ysabela just knows her life will be perfect once she finally gets her fangs!

She’s thrilled to be starting the third grade with her friends Betha, a witch, and Jack, a werewolf. After all, she’ll officially be one of the big kids taking classes in one of the towers of the magical school deep in the woods. She’s thrilled that is until her parents don’t let her walk to school by herself, the teacher assigns seats and puts Isabella near the back of the class right next to her obnoxious classmate, Talia de la Nuit, who thinks she’s so mature just because she has her fangs.

Ysabela is determined to show everyone how grown-up she is. Soon Betha discovers her magic, Jack finds his howl and Ysabela is left behind as everyone seems to be growing up without her. When Ysabela finally gets her fangs she discovers they come with a terrible price. A lisp! With the help of her family, Ysabela gets the lisp under control before class on Monday and learns that there’s more to growing up then just getting a set of fangs.

YSABELA VAMPIRELLA GETS HER FANGS is a 10,000 word chapter book aimed at readers of Junie B. Jones and The Magic Tree house series of books who may want something a bit offbeat but aren’t quite ready for Goosebumps. This is the first book in a planned series.

Thank you for your consideration.

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Re: Query- Isabella Vampirella REVISED

Post by ryanznock » March 29th, 2010, 12:21 am

kenpochick wrote:Dear Agent,

Eight year old Ysabela just knows her life will be perfect once she finally gets her fangs! (I think the exclamation point can work; it makes me envision an extra adorable teeny vampire kid.)

She’s thrilled to be starting the third grade with her friends Betha, a witch, and Jack, a werewolf. After all, she’ll officially be one of the big kids taking classes in one of the towers of the magical school deep in the woods. She’s thrilled (should there be a comma here?) that is (and here?) until her parents don’t let her walk to school by herself, the teacher assigns seats and puts Isabella near the back of the class right next to her obnoxious classmate, Talia de la Nuit, who thinks she’s so mature just because she has her fangs. (maybegenius makes a good suggestion here)

Ysabela is determined to show everyone how grown-up she is. Soon Betha discovers her magic, Jack finds his howl and Ysabela is left behind as everyone seems to be growing up without her. When Ysabela finally gets her fangs she discovers they come with a terrible price. A lisp! (Maybe 'Ysabela is determined to show everyone how grown-up she is. But soon Betha discovers her magic, and Jack finds his howl, and when Ysabela finally gets her fangs she discovers they come with a terrible price: a lisp!') With the help of her family, Ysabela gets the lisp under control before class on Monday and learns that there’s more to growing up then just getting a set of fangs. (The resolution feels a bit abrupt, but I guess I'm used to 100k novels, not chapter books. My hunch is it's okay.)

YSABELA VAMPIRELLA GETS HER FANGS is a 10,000 word chapter book aimed at readers of Junie B. Jones and The Magic Tree house series of books who may want something a bit offbeat but aren’t quite ready for Goosebumps. This is the first book in a planned series.

Thank you for your consideration.
Do you need to capitalize series titles like The Magic Treehouse (Tree House?) and Goosebumps? And are they still putting out Goosebumps? Man, I read that stuff like 15 years ago.

It sounds really fun from the description. I wish you luck.

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Re: Query- Isabella Vampirella

Post by kenpochick » March 29th, 2010, 11:59 am

Thanks everyone, I'll keep cleaning it up. :-)

Ryan: Goosbumps Horrorland will finish this year. Stine wrote 62 (!!!!!) books under the Goosebumps series. I was actually a little old for them by the time they got popular but my kids keep trying to convince me that they're old enough for them. Since my oldest is 4.5, I don't think so.

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Re: Query- Isabella Vampirella

Post by Poisonguy » March 31st, 2010, 6:59 am

Hi kenpochick,

I really like what you have. It's almost in tip top shape (which is really relative to who reads it). But I think the general consensus is that you don't need to do much more. Since I come in late, I'll just address my only concern--that long sentence. Someone else provided a good suggestion. I'd like to propose a alternate option.

She’s thrilled, that is, until her parents don’t let her walk to school by herself. And then the teacher assigns Ysabella a seat near the back of the class right next to her obnoxious classmate, Talia de la Nuit, who thinks she’s so mature just because she has her fangs.

I'm not sure about the comma's grammatically, but like Ryan, I thought they should be there. I split the sentence in a different spot because Ysabella walking to school seems like a different action as her being assigned a class seat.

Whatever way you go with this, you'll be fine. Good luck.

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Re: Query- Isabella Vampirella

Post by charlotte49ers » March 31st, 2010, 10:16 am

I'm horrible at query stuff, but I just wanted to tell you that this sounds absolutely precious!

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Re: Query- Isabella Vampirella

Post by chomsnumnum » March 31st, 2010, 2:56 pm

I'm back to implore you not to change her name, or the spelling of her name. To heck with Twilight. About one out of five girls are named Isabella or some form anyway. I think the name Isabella Vampirella is absolutely adorable. This will sell the book. The only thing I hate is that I didn't think of it. Please don't change the name.

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Re: Query- Isabella Vampirella

Post by bookwatcher » March 31st, 2010, 4:28 pm

I think you should leave the name and spelling the same and here's my reason: the world is all a flutter with the well known vampire story of Bella and Edward. I have children in this age group and they are always asking me why I won't read them the books. They want to be as involved in the world as I am (ya, obsessed fan, sorry). If I pull out a book called Isabella Vampirella at reading time I can see my daughter's face light up in my head. Children will LOVE it. Of all the critiques you get on this whether it be from grammar or re-wording, at least be confident in the name. If you change it to some unknown spelling (Ysabella, Izabella) it loses some of its adorableness. That's my opinion.

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Re: Query- Isabella Vampirella

Post by kenpochick » March 31st, 2010, 5:25 pm

Thank you guys so much for the feedback! I haven't changed the name in the MS yet. I did submit the original query to Evil editor and Query Shark so I'll see what they say about the name. I do really like it as is but I also don't want people to think I just stole some idea from Twilight. I truly did just pick it because it rhymes and sounds nice.

Thank you again! I want to do one more go over on the MS and then start submitting the query for real. Yikes!

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Quill
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Re: Query- Isabella Vampirella

Post by Quill » March 31st, 2010, 9:37 pm

Another vote here for leaving the name as is. To heck with Twilight. Your book will come out two years from now. By then Twilight will be a distant memory.

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Re: Query- Isabella Vampirella

Post by Poisonguy » April 1st, 2010, 2:40 am

I'd keep the name as you had it originally. If it has to be changed, let the agent and publisher make that decision for you.

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Re: Query- Isabella Vampirella

Post by kenpochick » April 1st, 2010, 8:48 am

Thanks Quill and Poisonguy. I think all the feedback has convinced me to leave it as is unless (crossing fingers) an agent or publisher wants it changed.

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Re: Query- Isabella Vampirella

Post by JTB » April 1st, 2010, 10:50 am

You've got a really neat little story here - take your time, think about what people have said before you commit to sending anything. This should sell and if I was an agent, given the climate for Vampires n stuff at the mo, I'd be all over this like a rash - (given it's written well!) - it's a really great idea for a kids book!!

At the moment your query doesn't do justice to your story, you know this already. for your deliberations.........

QUERY

Eight year old Ysabela knows her life will be perfect once she gets her fangs!

She’s thrilled to be starting the third grade with her friends Betha, a witch, and Jack, a werewolf. Soon she’ll be one of the big kids taking classes in the towers of the magical school deep in the woods. She’s thrilled, until her parents don’t let her walk to school by herself, the teacher assigns seats and puts Isabella near the back of the class next to the obnoxious Talia de la Nuit. She thinks she’s so mature because she already has her fangs.

Soon Betha discovers her magic, Jack finds his howl and Ysabela is left behind - everyone seems to be growing up without her. Then, when Ysabela finally gets her fangs, she discovers they come with a terrible price. A lisp!

YSABELA VAMPIRELLA GETS HER FANGS is a 10,000 word chapter book aimed at readers of Junie B. Jones and The Magic Tree house series of books who may want something a bit offbeat but aren’t quite ready for Goosebumps.

j

kenpochick
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Re: Query- Isabella Vampirella

Post by kenpochick » April 1st, 2010, 2:10 pm

Thanks J.

Trust me, nothing's leaving my hands until it's as perfect as I can make it!

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