I first heard of Irish author Sarah Rees Brennan through her agent, Kristin Nelson. Kristin had posted Sarah's query letter on her blog to show us poor writers how to do a query letter well, and I gotta say this query — as well as Sarah's entertaining interviews and blog — sucked me in!
So without further ado (and with permission from Sarah), I hereby reproduce the "plot" part of her query letter for her debut book, The Demon's Lexicon, released on 1 August 2009 in New Zealand (according to Sarah) and already released pretty much everywhere else in the world!
What would be the first word to come to mind about the runaway romance between a beautiful, headstrong woman and a darkly fascinating magician?
For Nick, it's 'embarrassing', since said beautiful, headstrong woman was his mum. 16 year old Nick has been brought up on the run from the darkly fascinating magician after things really didn't work out between him and Nick's mother. He resents his mother for the predicament they're in, and he was mostly raised by his older brother, Alan.
Nick has also been brought up knowing that there are certain people who have limited magical abilities. Some of them, the magicians, increase these magical abilities by summoning demons who give them more power - in return for the magicians giving them people to possess. The other magically gifted people have considerably less power and rely on magical trinkets and information, exchanged every month at a 'goblin market.' As the only people who know about the magicians and their victims, they do try to control things, but it's an endeavour that is not going well.
Nick, who can summon demons and is pretty handy with a sword, is mostly concerned with just getting by, but his life is greatly complicated by the advent of his brother's latest crush. Not only is she a little too attractive for Nick's peace of mind, but she has a boy in tow who bears the marks of demon possession. Added to that the fact that Nick has started to suspect that Alan, the only person in his life who he trusts, has been lying to him about a few very serious things, and not only Nick, but everybody else, are in for some surprises.