This week was the release of my newest book, Blood Soaked Ashes. It’s book two of The Eramane Saga, and I can’t wait to share this segment of the story with my readers. Publishing this second book has been an amazing experience. I owe much thanks to the lovely ladies that worked closely with me on this. My editors are amazing and my cover artist is a genius. Enough about that. Go get the book! Ok, now that you’ve gone and supported my habit, we can move forward. I am a few days away from finishing up a project that I will be submitting to agents. This manuscript has been on my desktop for a year and a half, and I’m excited about its potential. But what I’m totally stoked about is that I actually have a solid query for it. What does that mean, solid? As opposed to what? Haven’t you been sending outstanding queries, Frankie? Well, I thought I had. I thought I had the best queries that had ever been written and “Why the hell weren’t the agents biting?!” I mean, I had researched what other authors posted as their queries on their websites, and I had read countless articles on ALL.THE.SITES., and I had several rejection emails that offered some friendly advice on what did and didn’t work. I was the master query writer. So “Why the hell weren’t the agents biting?!” I had no answer as to why my queries were being rejected. For almost two years I battled back and forth with this question. But then I decided to seek expert advice. I reached out to my small network of author acquaintances and humbly asked for help. And I got it. And it kept coming and doors kept opening and finally after re-working my query I ended up with a “fantastic” one. (Yeah, that’s an air-quote.) And once I read the final, kick ass version, it was like a light bulb (like one of those coiled hazmat ones) exploded above my head. Der! How simple. How extremely f-ing simple you nerf-hearding ding dong. Yes, I can be hard on myself. But that’s what we authors do. We have to. If we don’t push ourselves and force our perspective in the right direction, no one else will. So, to celebrate my enlightenment, and the release of Blood Soaked Ashes, I would like to offer free query critiques to the first TWO WRITERS OF YOUNG ADULT FICTION that respond. I want to help you find your light bulb. SERIOUS ENTRIES ONLY.PLEASE READ!! PREFERENCES AND STIPULATIONS: Queries for young-adult fiction only please. All genres welcome. Your manuscript should be completed so that you can build a thorough query and essentially a synopsis, which is often required by agents. But before you submit what you think is a good start, check out this website for a well-rounded structure as to what a query should look like. Check out this website for a good example. If yours is already formatted like this, then go ahead and request a critique in the comment area. Make sure you offer the genre and word count and briefly describe the plot. If your query fits my simple and limited requirements, I’ll reply with how you can submit your query to me, and how the process will work. Keep in mind that this is a free critique. It is not in any way an edit, nor will I re-write the query. It’s free author advice, and I’m glad to help. This offer is no longer available.
I discovered Jay Kristoff only a few months ago, when Twitter suggested I follow @misterkristoff. I clicked on his Twitter handle to pull up his profile and BOOM! I was introduced to The Lotus War trilogy! The artwork immediately caught my attention; I had to see more. I found Kristoff’s blog, read his post on the Sydney/Perth Supanova, and, like the fish that bit, I was hooked. His catchy bloggin’ style, made me think, “If his posts are this good, what are his books like?” I purchased Stormdancer. I read Stormdancer. I loved Stormdancer. Lucky me, I only had to wait two months for book two, Kinslayer. It released only a few weeks ago, and I was just as captivated. I would read for hours, and when I saw my blood shot eyes in the mirror I would be reminded of the lotus fiends; they weren’t hooked on the lotus, they were reading Kristoff novels!
In Kinslayer, Kristoff creates an achingly fragile world using a complex combination of beauty and carnage. One cannot create this delicate blend by chance. No, Kristoff is skilled, crafting his words carefully, intentionally. He doesn’t flub the custard; he gets it right, every time.
Kinslayer’s recent release solidified Kristoff as one of my favorite authors. I re-read sentences in his books and each time I say the same thing, “Damn he’s good.” I finished Kinslayer and felt…ready, for whatever it is that the final book will bring, like I finished an R. Lee Ermey boot camp. Alright Mr. Kristoff, release the Kraken!