Here's the query for my fourth manuscript that got me my first agent. It was for an MG fantasy with talking hamsters. I think the specific details and voice helped attract agents. I only wrote five versions of this one, while my other queries got dozens of versions. I received two offers from cold queries.
Tom, the classroom hamster, wants to escape from the h-e-double-hockey-sticks otherwise known as school. His military training at the pet shop didn't include playing house or being sentenced to a boot camp of never-ending Show ‘n Tell, math facts rap, and story time. But he’s learned a lot behind the bars of his cage. For example, if you want to keep breathing, never trust a pygmy who has earned the nickname Squeezer. Somehow he has to get away before the pygmies dress him as Strawberry Shortcake again—or worse.
When a “subspatoot” teacher fills in, Tom sees his chance to put Operation Escape the Pygmies into action. He makes a run for the border, hamster style. Bad news. The principal says a rodent on the loose is a distraction to learning and better off erased. The way out is turned into a battlefield of snapping mousetraps, sticky snares, and poisoned pellets.
This story didn't sell, but my next did. My Birth of Saints series was published with Harper Voyager. Somewhere in the middle of my trilogy my first agent stopped responding and eventually quit the business. I ended up getting picked up by her boss, but sometimes things just don't work out. I'm on my own now, writing a fresh story and querying an epic fantasy. I share this just to let you know that the journey goes on and everyone's writing story will be different.