Here we go:
Dear Ms. Awesome-Agent,
Twelve-year-old Nita Adams desperately wants to see a ghost. After all, she’s president of the Friday Night Fright Club and an expert in all things paranormal—and she needs her friends to focus more on phantoms than on sports and boys. (As if boys could ever compete with banshees or bhoots—Indian ghosts with backward facing feet!)
To make matters worse, there’s trouble with the new girl in school. Destiny claims to be a REAL summoner, and she appears to be taking over Nita’s friends’ minds. Nita rises to Destiny’s challenge, and the race to see who can summon a spirit is on. Ouija boards, spell books, magical lockets, and sneaking into “haunted” houses are all part of the duel.
However, as Nita discovers, some spirits should definitely remain unsummoned. That's because the spirit she unleashes has mayhem and murder on his mind. And if Nita can’t stop him, someone close to her may very well end up dead.
THE FRIDAY NIGHT FRIGHT CLUB is a middle grade ghost story, complete at 45,000 words. I like to think of it as being a bit like Heather Vogel Frederick's Mother-Daughter Book Club series--if the only books the girls ever wanted to read were Goosebumps. I'm querying you specifically because (xyz etc.)
I belong to the SCBWI, and am active in children's literature circles, managing the group blog Project Mayhem: The Manic Minds of Middle Grade Writers. For the past three years, I have also judged middle grade fiction for the Cybils’ awards. Originally from England, I now live in Portland, Oregon.
Thank you for your time and consideration,
The skull gleamed in the dim light of the battery-powered votive candles. Wisps of fog snaked through its empty eye sockets, and its yellowing teeth grinned as it faced one bedroom wall and then another. For a moment, it trembled in Nita’s
Adams’ hand. Then it swooped down and smacked the
seventh-grade social studies textbook lying beneath it.
Nita shook the skull a couple more times, for good measure. “I, the Mistress of Graves, call this meeting of the Friday Night Fright Club to order,” she said, in her spookiest voice.
As if on cue, the wind roared through the fir trees in the ravine behind Nita’s neighborhood. Rain tap-tap-tapped against her bedroom window. Wouldn’t it be awesome if the tapping was the sound of a ghost, desperate to return to a previous life? Nita would race to the window and let the lost spirit in.
She had to admit it: October in
was totally her favorite month. Tonight, in honor of Halloween—only a couple of
weeks away—she was doing everything in her power to amp up the fear factor. It
seemed to be working—at least with one of her best friends. Brenny, wide-eyed,
looked completely spooked. Now, to complete the mission and terrify Maddie…
Nita positioned the plastic skull in front of her and flung her arms wide. Vapor from the fog machine on her dresser swirled around all three of them. They looked like wraiths.
“I have two words for you,” Nita said. “Bloody Mary.”
Oh no! The Bloody Mary story frightened me so badly as a child that I still can't look directly into a mirror in the dark. Great beginning!ReplyDelete
Wow. This sounds terrific. I want to read it now. I think your query is perfectly irresistible.ReplyDelete
This is a cool story. I know the perfect girl to read it! Good Luck!ReplyDelete
Good luck in the competition!ReplyDelete
I like the girl rivalry angle combined with ghosts--cool! Good luck in the competition!ReplyDelete
Oooh! Nice beginning! Good luck!!ReplyDelete
I. Love. This. I mean, I want to read it right now. Love ghosts, love MG, love girl trickery. Good luck!ReplyDelete
Very nice! This sounds like a really fun MG novel. Good luck and well done!ReplyDelete
This premise is so great! Really makes me want to read the book.ReplyDelete
OK, I'm sold on this. The premise is charming and fresh, and the opening pulls me in.ReplyDelete
What a fantastic title! And your query and first 250 are really strong. Good luck in the contest, Michael!ReplyDelete
OHMYGOSH This sounds amazing!! Your 250 are fantastic and leave me wanting more! Rooting for you!!ReplyDelete
My kids have outgrown MG, but this sounds so good I might read it anyway. Great job!ReplyDelete
I like your premise though I'd consider taking out the "complete at" and "I like to think of it as being a bit" though. If you're querying an agent then they know (or hope) your MS is complete and the second sentence sounds more chatty than professional. But, maybe that's appropriate for an MG query. I do WF which is definitely a horse of a different color.ReplyDelete
All that aside I think you have a great premise and a solid 250. Best of luck come Monday! :)
This is such a great query. And, Bloody Mary is having a huge resurgence in schools these days (at least, up here in Canada). Good luck!ReplyDelete
Who doesn't love a good ghost story? I used to eat these up when I was a kid. LOVE the club. Totally something I'd join!ReplyDelete
Digging the Nancy Drew meets R.L Stine vibe you have going. Can't wait to read books like this with my kid! Good luck to you!ReplyDelete
I love your premise, and good luck to a fellow Oregonian! The first 250 is great, too, and I would love to read on.ReplyDelete
Great 250 query. You've got some good voice there. Good luck.ReplyDelete
I'm glad your comments work now! I tried to post this earlier and couldn't. Your entry looks awesome– Nita shines as a strong character right away, and the vivid descriptions are great as well. Best of luck!ReplyDelete
Wow! Great query + first 250!! Love the premise, Nita's character and the description.The only nitpickything that stuck out to me was that the phrase "she appears to be taking over Nita’s friends’ minds" read a bit awkwardly. Good luck with this!!ReplyDelete