I just got the first agent rejection on THE FAKE MCCOY. Oh, ouch. It's been a long time since I've received one of these. I guess I'm out of practice at it.  (Also, the reason he gave for the pass had everything to do with voice instead of plot.  That is something for which I've never prepared myself.  I've always been told voice is my biggest strength in this project, and in all my writing to date.  Picture me as a cartoon character whose head is literally spinning.)

Instead of over-analyzing, dwelling, and becoming filled with fear and doubt, I'm going to move right on right now. I'll process this all better later, I'm sure. 

For now, I have a query letter to prepare.  Last week, I asked

 for suggestions of which angle to take with it.  She graciously wrote a letter for me!  I love her approach and I've kind of been messing around with some word choices and trying to polish it.   I'll post the latest version behind a cut here.  Maybe some of you wouldn't mind taking a look?    

Like I said, most of the content is Mandy's.  Probably any of the awkward stuff was my mucking around with it.  :-)  

Any suggestions or advice you can offer will be much appreciated.

Dear [Agent’s Name],
Seth McCoy knows actions speak louder than words. That’s why no one believes he’s ever going to graduate and get out of the Riverside Trailer Park. For years he’s skated by with crappy grades while focusing instead on his band The Real McCoys and drinking heavily to cope with his stage fright.  When his friend Isaac dies—a tragedy Seth is sure he could have prevented—he’s scared sober.
But staying that way is tougher than Seth could have imagined. His band is invited to tour the country, and he has to choose between sobriety and music. To the shock of his friends, he picks sobriety.  It isn’t a single, finite choice; it’s a constant one that gets harder every day as he confronts his own part in Isaac’s death.  
In THE FAKE MCCOY, Seth wants to change the way people see him—especially the girl he’s fallen for from the “right” side of town—but first he has to change the way he sees himself.  Straddling the line between literary and commercial, THE FAKE MCCOY is 74,000 words and will appeal to readers of John Green or Laurie Halse Anderson.
Recently I completed an intensive twelve-week course with Liesa Abrams of Aladdin Mix whose guidance was invaluable in revising this work. I also earned a fiction-writing certificate from the University of Washington in 2005. I would be happy to share a partial or full with you upon your request.
Thank you,
Mindi Scott