Saturday, October 30, 2010

READER QUERY #3 - Timothy's Magical Legacy

This week on Seeking the Write Life I'm featuring advice from successful agents AND a website that just might kickstart your publishing career.  But until then, here's the last of our reader queries to round up the week.  As always, any feedback in the comments please, and email me your details if you'd like to correspond directly with the Author.


Seven year old Timothy unknowingly holds the key to an ancient magical legacy. This is the story of a young boy neglected by his step father and is rescued by a group of very special friends.



The boy awoke with a start. His cold slight body ached as he shifted his position on the stark cellar floor. What had awoken him?....

Timothy's mother had died suddenly less than a year ago leaving her husband Larry, Timothy's step-father, to care for him. Larry was intent of getting rid of Timothy by having him put into a Childrens home so he could steal Timothy's inheretence. Timothy's Grandmother, who is his only living blood relative, is unaware of Larry's plans and it becomes the task of a group of cats who understand the legacy to rescue Timothy from his living nightmare.

Will they make it before it's too late? Will they make the humans understand the legacy that has been passed down and one that rests on Timothy's little shoulders.

Timothy's Magical Legacy is a young reader chapter book of 21000 words



  1. Re Hook:

    I like the first sentence. The second seems a little flat – could you suggest what might be at stake, or what Timothy needs to achieve?

    Re Query:

    I know what you’re trying to achieve with that first sentence, but it might be better to keep the entire letter in the same tense and point of view.
    The story sounds brilliant and your elements are very age appropriate, but I’m still not really clear on what Timothy has to face, or what’s at stake. I think you’re saying he’s going to spend his childhood in this children’s home if someone doesn’t save him… but from what? What is the legacy going to do? Don’t tell the story, just make sure the reader knows WHY we should care about Larry stealing Timothy’s inheritance. Is it more than money? If not, what is Timothy going to lose? What is at risk if Larry manages to steal it – will Timothy stay in the children’s home, while Larry becomes the King of Cats?
    Check your spelling on inheritance, and keep going with your draft. This sounds like a great story and definitely one you should pursue.

  2. The first sentence in the hook sounds amazing, though, the second sentence doesn't seem to flow with it.
    The idea of the plot sounds great, but the query just does not seem to flow together with the plot. It seems very jumpy and I am not sure what the key the the ancient legacy has to do with his step father trying to pawn him off in order to gain his inheritance. If the sentences could just be molded into a way to flow, I think the plot of your book would sound golden... and as I learned from Aimee allowing my own query to be posted here, the "why" and "what" of it all make the entire query soar into an entirely different league...

  3. This query doesn't say anything about the writer's background and publishing experience. If you do have any I think it's important to add something about yourself that makes you an expert (not that you are a parent, that doesn't count!). Also, what other ideas do you have in the works?

  4. The hook didn't hook me. I would keep the first sentence and lose the second, if you intend using the hook at all.

    Otherwise, watch your grammar and tenses, your query is passive to the point of being difficult to read. I'd say cut your three paragraphs down to three sentences. Mention the Children's home, the inheritence and the cats, AND WHAT THE LEGACY IS ALL ABOUT and skip the other parts, they bog things down. Remember, you want to induce an agent to ask for more, not leave them confused.

  5. Ending the first sentence with an ellipses could lead you to some interesting things? What *HAD* awoken him?
    ...A dream where his mother's hand had brushed his cheek--even though she died six months ago? The knowledge that tomorrow he'd be ripped from his house and shipped off to a childrens home? The realization that he had to get to his grandmother to tell her his suspicions--that his evil stepfather was trying to steal his inheritance? Or a dream where he was talking to cats--and they were answering back!

    My point is, I don't think you have to reveal any more than you have, but you do need to check grammar and usage (did you read this aloud more than 24 hours after you wrote it? It'll help) and hear the query as though you knew nothing of the story. I think all of the commenters--me included--got lost at various points due to misplaced modifiers and sentences that didn't seem to connect with their lead-ins.

    Regardless, this sounds like a ripping story. Good luck!