Query Letter to Arthur Levine -- an Imprint of Scholastic

     All these years, I pictured the eminent Arthur A. Levine as an elderly, distinguished gentleman with a full head of curling grey hair, Romanesque nose, pince-nez, goatee… the kind of person one only views in profile. Then I had the opportunity to meet you at the recent SCBWI Summer Conference in LA. I wrote this letter anyway.

   I enclose two chapters and a synopsis of my YA novel from The Kinthaar Trilogy: Book One The Initiate’s Daughter. It is about a young girl who sets out to bring her father home and ends up saving her world. (Yes it’s a trilogy, yes someone saves the world, but…there are no dragons!)

   Kalpa of Garingal, Meethaar city by the sea, has lost her father to the cloisters of the ruling Monastery. Despite her mother’s warnings, Kalpa embarks on a mission to persuade him to come home. Kalpa does not know that the Kinthaar, age-old enemies of the Meethaar, have infiltrated the city to battle their erstwhile foe. It falls to her, descendant of the royal lines of both peoples, to bring peace to the land. But how is Kalpa to win this war when she is not even aware it is being waged?

   Set in a world that blends the architecture, history and mythology of India with the rugged dreamscape, flora and fauna of Australia is the struggle for survival between two very different traditions. The Kinthaar were agriculturists whose aggressive tilling of poor soil reduced their terrain to red desert. They migrated east in search of new territory only to clash with the coastal dwelling Meethaar, a highly artistic and technological society with rich trade routes across land and sea. In his wisdom, the King of the Meethaar ceded the Kinthaar the fertile Land of the Whispering Cloud. Ships and assistance were provided for the journey to the island and its colonization as a new home.

   So why, after centuries, have the Kinthaar returned to Garingal? And, why did I write this book? a) My previous experience as a professor of finance uniquely qualifies me to write fantasy. b) I grew up in India and, after five years in Australia, could not resist relocating India’s masses to the desolate Australian landscape, circumventing immigration authorities in the process. c) The quantity of mythology and fantasy I had devoured since early childhood made it inevitable that I would eventually clutter the genre with my own musings.

   So, here is The Initiate’s Daughter. Love it or hate it, please let me know!