Monday, November 03, 2008

Read It And Not Weep


One more stage and then I'm printing this sucker and submitting: The Query Letter Pirate Plank.

I've drafted a basic query letter and just need an Idiot Check because I've re-written it too many times. It's one page:

Dear Anne,

I was fortunate enough to meet you at the first ITW conference in Phoenix two years ago. Thank you for being so friendly to a first-time fiction writer. At the time, I pitched a gay mystery series called “The Pardy Boys.” You had expressed interest then, and I’d like to pitch you the first novel, “Mystery of the Black Book”.

When framed for their father’s murder, adoptive brothers must catch his killer or go to jail. With evidence pointing to the family lawyer, it’s time to flee. He might have access to the family fortune, but they have access to their father’s black book. In it is the last appointment he had: three days away in Provincetown. There, the discovery of a lost love letter reveals their father’s secret life and enrages his mortal enemy known only as the Soldier. Find him and they’ve caught their killer — get caught by him and they’re dead.

I previously sold the action-thriller “The Devil’s Pocket” to Regent/HereTV and have written one other book, the tweener boys’ adventure story “The Abominable Plan of Dr. Rasp.” The local LGBT bookstore A Different Light said “the Pardy Boys” was perfect for them and that they’d put it on the shelf tomorrow. That said, I’m sure it needs the fine-tuning of an experienced agent like you to really be ready. Enclosed is a synopsis and the first 30 pages.

Please let me know if you’d like to see the complete manuscript.



Any thoughts?
Anything unclear?
Can I be more nervous about this submission?
Should I use professional labels instead of writing on the 9x12 envelope by hand?
Why? Why are we all here?

Now get back to your writing!


Jacqui said...

Looks pretty good, I think. I'd cut the "Thank you..first time writer" line -- no need to emphasize that. I'd also cut the bit about it needing fine-tuning.

Good luck!

Graeme Stone said...


Great advice. I tend to diminish myself, and to rely on cute. Business, business, business.



Tyler said...

I agree with Jacqui's comments about leaving out your "rookieness" and unpolished stuff.

I would also consider throwing in some of the voice and humor (I'm assuming there will be humor in this thing) that reflects your writing. I know queries are supposed to be business, but as they say, agents and editors are always looking for that unique VOICE. And if you can show you have that in a 1 page thing as boring as a query, then it shows that much more promise for your manuscript.

Jacqui said...

Tyler is totally right about the humor.