Friday, April 8, 2011

QueryTrackers Making Tracks, #3

Today is the third of a series on successful authors I've met through QueryTracker.

Some of the authors I'll be spotlighting on Fridays have agents, others have found success in less conventional ways. But, one thing they all have in common is their use of the QueryTracker website, whether for information or emotional support. In some way or other, each of my upcoming guest posters have utilized this amazing online tool to help make their tracks in the publishing world.

We're doing things a little different this time. My guest, the lovely Kristine Carlson Asselin (golfergirlkca to us QTers), has recently signed with agent Vickie Motter of Andrea Hurst Literary Management. She's written up a post detailing her unique journey, and how QT played an integral part in finding not just one agent who had a hand in her success, but two.

Welcome, Kristine!

[headshotmwcc3.png]   Thanks Anita for having me on the new blog today! I’m so excited to be able to share my QueryTracker story—it was an invaluable resource for me during my query process. On March 1, 2011, I signed with Vickie Motter of Andrea Hurst Literary Management. QueryTracker kept me organized, sane, and informed.

I first discovered QueryTracker waaayyyy back before it was in its current format—Patrick was just starting out. I hadn’t written my YA novel and was querying picture book manuscripts. How things change! When I rediscovered it, I was thrilled to see what a great tool it had turned into, complete with blog, message boards, and personal tracking tool.
I got serious about querying in the spring of 2010. I had a completed YA novel that I was DYING to query. I entered, and ended up winning, a pitchline contest sponsored by QueryTracker. That rocked!—I knew I had something with my novel. I wasn’t sure what yet exactly. But that contest validated my concept. And the agent was someone who was unfamiliar to me—he ended up helping me immensely in my revision process, though I ended up signing with someone else. If not for QT, I wouldn’t have had an incredible interaction that really helped my book.
As a ridiculously unorganized person, QT was my lifeline to keeping track of my queries. I recorded who was on my wish list, who I queried, who rejected, and who requested. The coolest day was when I recorded my offer—the little icon has sunglasses on—very cool.
It bears saying—and I think QT and Patrick and his team would agree—QUERY WIDELY. You never know what is going to interest any particular agent at what time. I’m not saying query anyone for any project, you have to do your research. But don’t give up after ten queries—I sent 67 before I signed with my agent. Stay positive!
Thanks again to Anita for having me. You can read more about my agent story at or or


Thank you, Kristine, for sharing your story, and congratulations on finding your dream agent. And just in case our readers are curious, here's Kristine's prize winning pitch from the QT contest:

With the family golf course on the verge of bankruptcy, Kate Anderson decides she's going to be the first girl to win the Junior State Championship to draw the crowds back, but her plans are derailed when her best friend and crush is accused of vandalizing the course with a blowtorch.

Sounds fabulous, and I can't wait to read it! Until then, I wish you much luck and happiness on your climb to the shelves.

Now it's your turn. If you have questions for Kristine--or if you'd like to congratulate her and show your support -- please leave a comment below.

And for those of you who participated in the book-give-away contest, I will be announcing the winner on Monday. Until then, have a wonderful weekend, everyone!


  1. Thanks again for having me, Anita! I wish you and your readers the best of luck! I'll check back during the day if anyone has questions or comments. :)

  2. I think the advice query widely is something we need to take to heart - even when feeling discouraged!

  3. The pleasure is mine, Kristine! And thanks so much for the kind words and support. :)

  4. I agree, Laura. Especially when feeling discouraged! Thanks for dropping in. :)

  5. Thanks for sharing your story, Kristine. Query widely is great advice: 67 queries - wow. Sunglasses, eh? That's so cool. Your pitch is amazing; can't wait to see it on the shelves.

    Thanks, Anita, for bringing these successes for all of us to share. This is so inspiring.

  6. Great story! Wow. Congrats!

    I've never tried Query Tracker before, but now I think I'll check it out. I do have a question: the agent helping you with the revisions, how did that come about? Was it the prize for winning the pitch contest?

    Thanks and goodluck!

  7. Mary, you're welcome! I'm having a lot of fun with it myself. And learning a lot, too!

    Hi Cherie! Thanks for stopping in. You should try QT, really! It's a super tool, and you can use most of its features for free. Kristine will be stopping in to check comments throughout the day, so I'm sure she'll get to your questions. Just keep checking in. :)

  8. Thanks everyone for visiting me at Anita's blog today. ::waves::

    Hi Laura and Marybk!

    Cherie--yes, the agent who judged the contest ended up reading my full MS and gave me some very specific suggestions that made the end of my book stronger. I like to think I *might* have come to those conclusions on my own eventually, but he was the first industry pro who gave me such helpful feedback.

  9. Kristine,
    I've yet to meet a blowtorch I didn't like. This sounds like a really fun read! I'm just curious, did Vickie actually give you the "CALL" that we are all so eagerly awaiting? Or did she email you and set up a time to talk? How'd the offer actually come down?

    Another great QT interview my Texas friend!

  10. Bethany,

    Hi! I think I might have hyperventilated on the spot if the call had come out of the blue. Vickie emailed to set up time to talk--we talked later that same day and she offered. Then I hyperventilated. :)

  11. Kristine - That is an awesome pitch, and not something you see all the time. Cool story, and Congrats! :)

  12. Anita great section!! I am a huge fan of QT, i utilize it for both information and support.
    Kristine if you don't mind I was wondering what your stats were.... How many request, rejections, etc? Also, Kristine the book sounds great and I can not wait to be able to pick it up at my local bookstore.
    As always Anita thanks for the abundance of information, it is always helpful!

  13. Thank you so much Jenn!

    Jessica -- I had 8 requests for fulls, 4 requests for partials. I send 67 queries in total over the course of 8 months.

    Thanks for stopping by Anita's blog today!

  14. That really does sound like a fun book! Thanks for sharing that with us, Kristine.

    Anita, these posts are great. Sometimes people get so negative, and I don't blame them because query letters are really the pits. I get that. But I love seeing these stories so much more. <3

  15. Thanks for popping in, Jenn! And you're so right. I've never heard a premise like this one. The words "high concept" come to mind...

    And Jessica, always nice to see you, girl. And you're welcome! I'm so glad to hear that it's helpful. And Kristine's answers to your stat questions were very revealing.

    Hey Katey. Yep, I love the inspirational stories. We all need to hear them from time to time so we can keep the faith. Thanks for stopping by!

  16. Kristine, congrats and thanks for sharing! Curious to know how often you sent a batch of queries and how many you sent out into the world at once--or did you send them one at a time? (They are always more time-consuming than one imagines, even if using the same basic form.)

  17. Thanks for the answer, Kristine. That's pretty cool he wanted to work with you on your ms. Just goes to show how effective a well-crafted pitch is when getting an agent's interest. Your story sounds like a fun interesting read. Thanks for sharing :)

  18. Hey there, Jenny! Nice to see you. Great point about queries sucking your time up. One of the reasons we all want/need agents. So they can take care of things like that (subs, rejects, etc...) and we can concentrate on what we love: writing.

  19. Jenny--great question. I'd love to say I was organized and sent them in organized batches. But that would be a lie. :) At the beginning, I sent a few at a time simultaneously. When I'd get rejections, I'd send a few more. If I found someone that seemed like a good fit, I'd send. It got easier to hit the send button the more frequently I did it. I always had 5-8 queries out at a time.

    Thanks Cherie-it was very cool of him to do that for me, when he didn't have to.

    I hope I'll be able to share another success story soon! And thanks again to Anita--I'm having so much fun answering questions today!

  20. Great job Kristine! I've seend you over on QT - you had a heck of a run there :)
    Great interview Anita - I'm loving the new blog.

  21. Hi Mindy! Always makes me smile when your little black kitty cat appears in the comment section. And thanks for the kudos on the new blog!

  22. And Kristine, you're a wonderful guest, so graciously answering all of our questions. We're all learning so much from you!

  23. HUGS Kris you're awesome! *waves* hi to Anita.

  24. Hi Ansha! Thanks for popping in. :)

  25. Kris--It's really hard for me to imagine you disorganized. :) I love QT and can't wait to really use it during the query process. Cool interview!

    Anita--The picture at the top of this blog really weirds me out. In a great, spooky way. Very cool.

  26. Haha. Thanks, Heather. I get that a lot. It was fun to make! :)

  27. Such an inspirational story. And great advice! I wish I'd used querytracker a bit more. Sounds like it's a really useful tool.

  28. Hey Ansha--::hugs:: right back!

    Heather--I manage despite my lack of organization. :) QueryTracker made that part easier. If only it could help me organize my revision notes.

    Carol--thanks for stopping by!

    And one final thank you to Anita for having me. This was so much fun.

  29. Hi Carolina! QT is an excellent tool, and we're hoping to get the word out. I'm always surprised how many new writers I meet who don't know about it. Thanks for stopping by!

    And again, I was thrilled to have you here, Kristine. You've done a wonderful job answering everyone's questions. I appreciate that so much.

  30. What a great story! YAY for QT :-) And Vickie rocks! Congratulations, Kristine!

  31. Thanks for stopping in, Rachel!

  32. QT rocks! Kudos to Patrick and the gang. To you to for creating this series!

  33. I agree, Jane! And thanks so much for stopping in, and for the follow. :)