Not to send them. Not yet. This is, in my opinion, a really bad time of year to be sending queries anyway.
No, it’s time to start writing the query for THE BARD’S GIFT, which I hope to start querying in about six months. Yes, in my experience, it does take about that long to come up with a good query. Not solid work for six months of course. Writing the query, closing it, coming back to look at it with fresh eyes, several rounds of seeking feedback from critique partners. Queries are hard. (And I haven’t even started the dreaded synopsis, yet.)
Without further ado, here’s the current (and very preliminary) version of the query:
Sixteen-year-old Astrid keeps mostly to herself, amusing herself with the stories her grandmother used to tell. She’s too shy even to talk in front of the young man she secretly dreams of, Torolf. Then the Norse god of eloquence appears in Astrid’s dreams and forces her to drink from the Mead of Poetry. Suddenly, she’s compelled to tell her stories. In public. Even in front of Torolf.
This has the unexpected benefit of allowing her to actually talk to Torolf–and find out that he’s interested in her, too. Things are looking up, until her father consults the seeress, who proclaims that Astrid’s gift for knowing the exactly right story to comfort, inspire, instruct, or warn is the key to leading her people from starvation in Greenland to a new future.
Astrid must sail to the part of the map labelled “Here be dragons”, while Torolf makes a hazardous voyage in the opposite direction, to Iceland, to supply the fledgling colony. Without his support, she has to learn to trust herself and her stories to keep her people from repeating past mistakes and hold off a take-over attempt that could doom their only chance.
Ultimately, the new settlement will need both her stories and Torolf’s inventiveness. Astrid has to believe that Torolf will overcome all obstacles to find his way back to her.
THE BARD’S GIFT is an 80,000-word young adult alternate history. I have enclosed [whatever the agent wants].
Thank you for your time.