QueryKombat: A Progress Report

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Grin. I’m happy to announce Sucker Punching Magic’s query made it to the Agent Round. It’s on SC’s blog– http://scwrite.blogspot.com/

–Under the moniker BingBamBoomBFF.

I took many of the suggestions left by judges and fellow competitors. First, I tightened the beginning 250 words and then I reworked the query. Readers wanted to know more about Luz and they wanted understand what a troll shifter was. Hopefully, I’ve addressed those issues. I think the query is better, but you can decide. Here it is:



The first time Luz Bangor inadvertently triggered her innate magic, it compelled her grandma to elope with a long-distance trucker, forcing Luz’s brilliant younger brother Eric to quit high school to support the family. The magical mishap, her floundering GPA and her attention deficit disorder slapped a ginormous loser L on Luz’s forehead, which she doesn’t expect to peel off anytime soon. Not when she keeps toying with magic she doesn’t know how to use.  And not when everyone compares her to Eric. Then he goes missing. Desperate to save him and redeem herself, Luz turns to her unpredictable magic. But her spell backfires, putting her straight into the path of her brother’s powerful enemies, the Fairy Syndicate.

Home-schooled Jude Kozlowski, whose allergy to light causes him to shift into a troll, wants the world to accept him as a decent guy, not the “who’s that tramping over my bridge” stereotype. But his huge frame and pistachio skin scare normal humans and his shyness keeps him from meeting anyone else. Even his part-time paper-pushing job has him working alone. Fitting in seems hopeless.

That is, until Luz crashes into his cubicle at First Metro Finance, thugs on her heels. Smitten and presented with the unexpected chance to be a hero, Jude vows to help Luz rescue her brother. When the villains snatch Luz, Jude pursues. He braves neighborhood vigilantes, a spoiled poodle and a troll biker gang to track Luz to Underhill, the fairy fortress. There, the unlikely pair must square off with the evil Fairy Godmother or lose Eric—and each other—forever.

First 250 Words:

Jude Kozlowski jerked his head up. He could blame a lot of things on The Fairy Tale Effect, but missing the bus wasn’t one of them. He’d been at the stop, nose deep in calculus homework when the Number Ten shot by, ruffling his hair.

At 4:35 in the afternoon, on a clear day in downtown Milwaukee, 6’2” Jude made a big target. Hard to believe the bus driver hadn’t spotted him. Yet the guy hadn’t even slowed.

Jude leaped to his feet. Book, paper and pencil in hand, he barreled down the sidewalk in pursuit.

He needed his job. The order and routine. The chance to be normal.

If he waited for the next bus, he’d be late. His heart racing the pounding of his feet, he dodged the parking meters and the guys who cradled cheap wine in paper bags outside the military surplus store.

Down the block, the bus’s brakes shrieked. Its axles groaned. The side doors disgorged a bearded dwarf in a trench coat.  Jude bounded over the dwarf and reached the curb as a woman wearing a Hamburger Heaven uniform hurried through the bus’s front doors.

Jude followed, but before his foot touched the step, the gnome at the wheel flinched. Eyes wide, he hastily cranked the Plexiglas doors closed. The reflection of Jude’s lumpy, pistachio green skin played over the window.

“I need a ride.” Going for friendly, Jude grinned. Wrong move. In the glass, his smile appeared strained—too full, a baring of teeth.


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