Brandy Meinhardt is one of our great Sub it Club members! She brings her own unique experience and insights into our submission support group. Brandy is so willing to help others that today she is here to share her query letter with us for her YA Contemporary, PERFECTLY IMPERFECT. But first, Brandy is going to give us a little background:
When writing my query for PERFECTLY IMPERFECT, I struggled with how to show the stakes for both of my main characters since the book is told in dual POV. I wanted to be sure that it reflected both characters, but also flowed well. I took a webinar on querying with two top agents and the feedback was very helpful. I sent out about twenty-five, but with a batch of ten at a time. I ultimately had around five full requests and about four partial requests before landing an agent. I have since parted ways with that particular agent, but the process has been valuable in writing a query for my current novel. Writing my query also helped me to perfect my 140 character pitch for Twitter contests, which also gained quite a few favorites. However, most of my requests and offer of representation came from the slush pile! PERFECTLY IMPERFECT is my second novel. I decided my first novel was better suited as a “practice novel” and a great learning experience. It is a time travel romance and is currently on Wattpad titled TIME IRRELEVANT under the username IddyM1.
Here is Brandy’s query:
Dear Mr./Ms. Agent,
Seventeen-year-old Brody Jacobs thinks he’s a freak show. At least that’s what he’s convinced himself for the past two years since an accident left burns over sixty percent of his body. When Brody moves next door to Maris McKormick, he’s intent on avoiding her at all cost. He’ll soon discover that Maris may be the one who can break down the bitterness he’s locked inside — but only if he’ll let her. Doing so may mean getting hurt all over again.
Maris is at the top of the pyramid when it comes to the social hierarchy of high school. She has the perfect family, perfect friends, and the perfect boyfriend. But perfect girls don’t get pregnant at seventeen. Now she must make an impossible decision that will shatter her perfect image and destroy her reputation. Feeling isolated, she seeks comfort from the only person who could possibly understand what that’s like.
Each of them carries scars, but together they discover they just might have the power to heal each other.
PERFECTLY IMPERFECT is a YA contemporary written in alternating POV and is complete at 67,000 words. I feel this novel will appeal to readers who enjoyed Jennifer Niven’s ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES and Rainbow Rowell’s ELEANOR AND PARK.
Thank you to Brandy for sharing her journey and query letter! As I hope you all can see, each writer’s journey is different and we have to take what happens, learn from it, and keep moving forward. I hope you will all take inspiration from Brandy and not let setbacks keep you from your goal of publication!
Brandy Meinhardt is a Navy wife currently stationed in Florida. When she’s not writing she’s usually preventing her three year old son from terrorizing the house, helping her nine year old daughter with homework and driving her to gymnastics lessons, or sitting on the back porch with her husband and a glass of wine. You can find Brandy on Twitter @MeinhardtBrandy and on Pinterest.