I’ve received some requests to see my query letter lately, so I thought I’d post it here. After one round of querying and not getting any bites, the fabulous Elana Johnson took a look and gave me some wonderful advice. “What are the consequences, Tricia?” she asked. “What will happen if Alosa fails?” Right, tension. That’s important. After including her feedback (see the last sentence of paragraph 3), I received 9 full manuscript requests before signing on with my wonderful agent, Rachel Brooks. So I have two brief pieces of advice for querying authors: (1) Include what’s at stake, and (2) Make sure it’s clear what makes your book stand out from all the others in its genre.

“Eighteen-year-old Alosa Kalligan is probably the only girl foolish enough to get herself kidnapped by pirates. Intentionally.

Two plots coincide when Alosa discovers that the pirate lord Draxen not only has a map that the wealthy pirate king, her father, wants, but also has plans to kidnap Alosa and hold her for ransom. Alosa finds it only logical, then, for her to orchestrate her own kidnapping. By day she is questioned for information regarding her father’s hideaway, but at night, Alosa searches the ship for the map, which supposedly leads to the legendary Isla de Canta, an island heaped with untold treasure and protected by its magical occupants, the sirens.

The task becomes difficult when her devious and attractive interrogator begins to suspect Alosa’s true reason for being on the ship. She must resort to faking escape attempts to make her imprisonment believable or risk him unraveling her entire plot. Torture and exile await Alosa if she tries to return to her father empty-handed, yet death is a real possibility if Draxen and his crew learn what she’s really doing on their ship.

Complete at 76,000 words, DAUGHTER OF THE PIRATE KING is a young adult fantasy romance. Fans of Robin LaFevers’s GRAVE MERCY and Rae Carson’s THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS will enjoy similar fantasy tropes and fast pacing.

I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a minor in editing. In the last four years, I have written four YA novels, worked for Shadow Mountain Publishing as a content editor, interned with A+B Works Literary Management, and taken several creative writing classes. I have seen publishing from many different angles, but writing is by far my favorite.

The full manuscript of DAUGHTER OF THE PIRATE KING is available upon request. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Tricia Levenseller”

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