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  • Writer's pictureJennieke

The Query that Hooked My Agent

For all you lovely Pitch Wars entrants and other writers looking for query examples, here is the query for my upcoming debut novel that first hooked my agent's interest. If you're interested in seeing the personalized version and reading my agent's thoughts, go to the Writer's Digest Guide to Literary Agents Blog where I also provide some more context ;) Happy Writing!


Dear [Agent]:

Since you [here I personalized the query with the agent's specific taste or clients they represented], I hope this query will interest you in DANGEROUS ALLIANCE, a dual point of view YA DOWNTON ABBEY with the mysterious intrigue of THE LUXE books and a protofeminist bent. The manuscript was chosen for Pitch Wars 2016 and is complete at 99,000 words.

Seventeen-year-old Lady Victoria Aston wants nothing more than to live a pastoral existence on her family estate in Hampshire. But when her sister escapes an abusive husband, the family starts divorce proceedings—a difficult, scandalous process in 1817. As her sister may never win her freedom, Vicky has no choice but to find a husband of her own who will keep her brother-in-law from laying claim to their lands. Amidst the glittering ballrooms of Georgian London’s high society, Vicky must decide whom she can trust, all while wielding courage and a pistol to protect her family from the masked assassins who begin attacking them when news of the divorce circulates.

Tom Sherborne returns to England after four years in Napoleon’s dysfunctional Europe to a title he doesn’t want, an estate deeply in debt, and memories of a violent father he’s striven to forget. Tom’s only chance to keep his now fractured family afloat is to open London’s first luxury hotel. But as strange accidents start befalling his former best friend, Vicky, her suitors drag Tom into an insidious plot that could ruin everything he’s worked for, and worse, turn him into a replica of his father—something he swore he’d never become. To vanquish the forces allied against them, Tom and Vicky must work together to save themselves and the lives of everyone they hold dear.

DANGEROUS ALLIANCE’s premise is based on actual spousal cruelty divorce cases that occurred in Georgian England, and I have attempted to be factually accurate to this little-known corner of British social history. As a life-long history and literature lover, I studied English history at Cambridge University before receiving my bachelor’s from the University of California, Davis. I also have a master’s degree in professional writing from the University of Southern California. I have worked as an assistant to a literary agent, as an editorial intern for Prima Games (an imprint of Penguin Random House), and as a writing consultant for Google. I am a member of SCBWI, a PRO member of Romance Writers of America, and a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.

Best Regards,

Jennieke Cohen



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