Below is the query letter for my historical fantasy novel.
Athena yearns to fight alongside the father she’s never known, to use her strength to fight the forces of chaos with sword and spear. But who is she? Why is she so much stronger than the men who have trained her for battle? And why won’t her mother tell her who her father is?
Her desire to serve her absent father will take her past the servants who spar with her, to the glittering palaces of Mount Olympus whose inhabitants are cruel and indifferent, and to the deserts of Libya, where she must compete against another young woman for a place among the Olympians. Along the way, she must decide whether her competitor is a hostile, vile person who tells lies about the cunning nature of their immortal relatives, or is possibly a friend she can rely on.
Athena: Ready to Fight is the story of a young Athena who learns cruel wisdom as she comes to grips with the world around her and the immortals who reign over it. Athena and her Olympian relatives resemble superheroes in their ability to fly and hurl boulders, but she quickly finds she is not part of a family of do-gooders. They are also known as daimonion, and the lesson learned over the years by mortals is, “The daimonion are cruel.” Despite her misgivings, Athena competes for the last throne on Mount Olympus, learning more about who she is along the way.
Although I did not meet with Joanna Stampfel-Volpe at the Surrey Conference that I attended in October 2010, she gave this blog advice on what agents' want in a query letter: "Introduce us to the characters, state the conflict, show tone, and how do the stakes get raised? That’s it in a nutshell."