Optimism is NOT Arrogance

Arrogance is the belief that you are BETTER than others. Optimism is the belief that you have the same CHANCE as others. We all have the chance to achieve our dreams. Don't ever let anyone tell you differently.

Query Letter #3

Little variation on the Query Letter #2.  Changed the voice a bit, tried to shorten it.  I usually start off with some indication of how I knew the agent or found them.  Helps them keep tabs on where they're being spotted.


I am a fan of your blog "Crowe's Nest" and have learned a lot from you and your authors.  I am therefore thrilled and honored to be submitting this query for my middle grade novel THE TIMEPIECE CHRONICLES.

Meet thirteen year-olds Jeff Williams and Ben Styler, who are in a world of trouble ever since finding that stupid watch in Jeff's attic.  The watch doesn't tell time.  It doesn't even have a minute hand or hours on it's face.  It’s a pocket watch that when set to the day, month and year, sends all who hold it back to that time.  And Jeff and Ben are in a world of trouble because Professor Ferguson has stolen it.
With the help of the Knights Tempus (the Knights Templar was just a ruse), the boys find themselves in alternate realities in 2009 - the British rule the world, and the world hates the British for it.  Nuclear threats abound, and Jeff's older sister is STILL a pain. They must find out what Ferguson changed, find the watch, and go back in time to stop him, even if it means throwing themselves into the middle of the American Revolution.
THE TIMEPIECE CHRONICLES is a cross between fiction and narrative non-fiction.  The historical events and people are real and fully researched, the alternative history is mine.  At just over 40,000 words, it is geared towards education as well as entertainment for the middle grade reader, targeting specifically the tween boy demographic.   It is told in dual first person narrative, with both Ben and Jeff recounting the story as if they are in the same room.
I am a member of the SCWBI, have attended several conferences and writer's groups, and have written many picture books as well as this novel, several short stories, and eight full-length motion picture scripts. 
If you would like to see some sample pages or the first few chapters, please let me know and I would be honored to share them with you.  Thank you in advance for your consideration, and regardless of the outcome I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

Still very polite.  Still too long in the paragraphs and the words.  Responses below:


Thank you for thinking of me, but I do not feel that I am a good fit for this.
(1 day turnaround!)


No response from RLR agency at all...


No response from Stimola Literary Agency.  What's up with these people?  It's been like four months!


I got this response from Chris Richman at Upstart Crow Literary Agency, even though I screwed up and sent him the wrong query, then resent the right query with an apology.  Nice response though...

Dear Kevin,

Thanks for thinking of me for THE TIMEPIECE CHRONICLES (and don't
worry about the mix-up with the two queries). Unfortunately, I’m going
to pass on this project. The premise is intriguing, but I was less
taken with the actual pages included in the sample. I need to love
both in order to ask for more.

As I’m sure you know, opinions vary so much from one person to
another. I hope you’ll find an agent who feels strongly about your
work and can bring the passion that it deserves. Best of luck to you
in all your future endeavors.


Chris Richman
Upstart Crow Literary

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