Query Pros #4: Sabrina Kleckner

Tell us your name and any fun facts about yourself or your writing!

Sabrina: My name is Sabrina and I’ve been writing for ten years! My first book took eight of those years but I’ve fiiiinally moved on to other projects (that I’m super excited about!).

How many projects did you query in the past?

S: I queried one book previously and am currently querying my second.

What were some of your rookie mistakes when you first started to query?

S: I always query too early! Seriously, it’s a problem. I started querying my first book way too soon, and I did the same with the one I’m currently querying. Luckily I only sent about five out both times, so I don’t think it did too much damage. But if you’re not totally happy with your story yet, DON’T QUERY IT.

At what point did you decide it was time to stop querying your project(s)?

S: I only sent 25 queries for my first book, but I stopped because I realized I wasn’t happy with the story and I didn’t know how to fix it. Maybe I’ll go back to it one day—that manuscript has a piece of my heart—but for now I’m focusing on new projects.

What do you wish you had known and could tell your past self about your very first query?

S: Send five queries, and if you get all form rejections than that doesn’t mean your story is horrible—you probably just have to tweak your pitch.

What advice would you give new queriers?

S: Before I wrote my first query, I read every entry on the Query Shark blog. Like, EVERY entry. Doing this really ingrained the format into my head, and I highly recommend it! Also: don’t query too fast. Even if you start getting full requests, it’s possible your book isn’t quite ready yet. Send a few queries, wait for feedback, and then send a few more.


How do you pass time during all the waiting of querying?

S: I try to throw myself into a new project, but that can be draining. This time I’ve been forced to work on something new because my thesis is due in May (help), but while I was querying my first book, I mainly read and watched TV to distract myself.


Lastly, tell us about the new project you’re querying–if you’re querying. What is it about this project excites you?

S: This book is honestly pretty scary to query because if my first novel had a piece of my heart, this book is my heart. I wrote it first and foremost for myself, so while it will be great if an agent loves it, the thing that excites me the most about it is that I managed to write something I’m extremely proud of. Also, it completely took me out of my comfort zone. Contemporary YA with four POVs?? Before this, I only wrote single POV fantasy!

Where can we find you on social media?

S: @sabkleckner on Twitter and Instagram