Apr 15, 2009

Thank You

I try to read every query and every comment on this blog. It's tough, but I try. Many of you have thanked me for starting this and maintaining it, but I can only take partial credit for it. Sure, it was my idea and I moderate it, but the real benefit is not from me. It's from all of you who read the queries and offer your input.

I also need to spread that thanks out to everyone who has helped promote this blog, especially Nathan Bransford, who included a link in one of his This Week in Publishing posts and helped me go from 56 visits one day to 473 the next. He's also gracious enough to allow the occasional link in the comments on his blog. Janet Reid has also allowed links in the comments on her blog. If, by any odd chance, there is someone reading this who has not yet visited either of the aforementioned agent blogs, you really need to check them out.

Some time I'll be adding on links to other writing-centric blogs. There are many good ones out there that help you delve deeper into the craft, like The Innocent Flower, the QueryTracker blog, and The Literary Lab, and some that are fun ways to stretch your creative muscles, like Come in Character.

So thanks all the way around, and good luck!

Oh, and one shameless plug. I have another blog, My Daley Rant, where I let loose with life's little absurdities. If you really want to thank me, stop by there and leave a comment!

Query- Severed Ties (Revision #1)

Click here to read the original query.

Dear Agent,

Three hundred and twenty three passengers feared dead. For Suzanne Taylor, surviving the fiery crash of Flight 148 is bittersweet.

Waking from a coma a week after the accident, Suzanne is told that her son is dead. Her dreams tell her otherwise. Suzanne’s dreams show Caleb growing older with each passing month, causing her to believe that her son is still alive.

Her marriage begins to unravel as Suzanne continues to pursue her quest for the truth. Feeling alone and desperate to find answers, Suzanne finds herself wrapped up in an affair with a handsome N.T.S.B. investigator.

At the one year anniversary of the crash, Suzanne meets a fellow survivor who may have answers regarding her son’s fate. As the survivor recalls the final moments of Caleb’s life, a cry from the next room reveals the awful truth.

I am seeking representation for Severed Ties, a women's fiction work, complete at 114,000 words.

Thank you for your time and your consideration.

Sincerely,

D. Ross

Query- EVERLASTING (Revision #1)

Click here to read the original query.

Dear _______:
When you die, you’re supposed to fade to Everlasting. That’s what souls believe. But Jeanne has been dead for hundreds of years and yet she aimlessly wanders the halls of The Louvre in modern-day Paris.

Jeanne’s aimlessness ends the day she encounters Etienne Armand, a fashion designer on the brink of ruin. Finding that he can see her is a surprise which wrenches her into awareness. Released from her despondence, Jeanne is compelled to investigate the painful memories of her tragic past and is inexorably drawn into the world of the living. She embarks on a plan to help Etienne save his failing couture house and they recognize a mutual attraction with roots in the mysteries of her previous life.

Jeanne’s initial eagerness to find resolution and fade, morphs over the course of her journey into frantic desperation to remain in the land of the living. Unfortunately, fading is not the choice of the soul.

EVERLASTING is romantic fiction, with a supernatural twist, completed at 75,000 words for which I am seeking representation. Thank you for your time and kind consideration.
Sincerely,
ME

QUERY - ANGEL UNDERCOVER (Revision 4)

Click here to read revisions 2 and 3.
Click here to read the original query.
Click here to read the first revision.

Dear [Agent name],

I chose to submit to you because [personalized tidbit about agent].

Fourteen year old Paige Moss is a bleeding-heart humanitarian optimist held captive by her own timid nature. But when she is kidnapped by a deranged visionary, Paige must get past her shyness in order to save her sister’s integrity, her friend’s happiness, and her city’s existence from his manipulating grip. A much bolder Paige exposes the visionary’s ruthless game, follows him into exile to retrieve a precious belonging, and leads a team of allies to save her city from his vengeance. Through her oft-dangerous, yet light-hearted adventures, Paige is accompanied by a diverse cast of unforgettable friends. She learns that shyness is not a state of existence, but a choice – that her character is really the sum of her actions – and becomes the hero she never expected she could be.

ANGEL UNDERCOVER is an 84,000 word YA fantasy. It is my first novel and it sets up for sequels.

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Kind regards,

Query- Severed Ties

Dear Agent,

I am seeking representation for my novel, Severed Ties, complete at 114,000 words.

Three hundred and twenty three passengers feared dead. For Suzanne Taylor, surviving the fiery crash of Flight 148 is bittersweet. Her infant son, Caleb, is missing and presumed dead.

Waking from a coma a week after the accident, Suzanne is told that her son is dead. Her dreams tell her otherwise. Suzanne’s dreams show Caleb growing older with each passing month, causing her to believe that her son is still alive. Her marriage begins to unravel as Suzanne continues to pursue her quest for the truth. A torrid affair with a handsome N.T.S.B. investigator further damages her fragile union. A year after the crash, Suzanne seeks out a fellow survivor who may have answers regarding her son’s fate. As the survivor recalls the final moments of Caleb’s life, a cry from the next room reveals the awful truth.

Thank you for your time and your consideration.

Sincerely,

D. Ross

Query- The Vampire, the Witch & the Wardrobe

Dear Ms. Jackson:

Only something seriously nasty would drag Dr. Bebe Zachary home to San Francisco. If her grandmother’s accidental overdose weren’t bad enough, her cousins have filed to overturn Grandma Petrov’s will and lost their coven’s Book of Shadows in the process. The only way to get the politically incriminating Book back is to buy the wardrobe it’s hidden in at the estate auction. Except she’s outbid by the only thing more infuriating than her idiotic cousins--a vampire. Not just any vampire, but the coven master of the western United States, Caesar Augustine.

Caesar’s siblings think he’s insane for jumping smack dab in the middle of a witches’ civil war. He’d be the first person to admit it’s the last place he wants to be, but Natasha Petrov’s death was no accident. Someone’s found out she was working on a cure for the vampire virus, and her notes have disappeared. If he ever wants to be human again, his only choice is to stay close to Natasha’s heir, her granddaughter Bebe. And the luscious witch provides a temptation more dangerous than the assassins after her.

The Vampire, the Witch & the Wardrobe is a 90,000-word urban fantasy novel with romantic elements and has finaled in two RWA contests. I have attached the first five pages for your review.

I am a member of Romance Writers of America, and I’m active in the West Houston chapter. As a recovering attorney, I currently write a legal column for the Texas Highway Patrol Magazine.

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely yours,
Suzan Harden

QUERY- First Degree Innocence

Dear (Agent Name):

Carrie Lang’s sheltered life ends with a prison sentence when she’s wrongfully convicted for involvement in a bank robbery. Her arrest comes on the day she’s called in sick and stayed inside, so she has no explanation why an eye-witness describes her in great detail, right down to the make and model of her car.

Someone’s made a terrible mistake, but her continued plea of innocence falls on deaf ears, even among her fellow inmates. Her woes increase when the prison bully sets her sights on Carrie as a cellmate. There's a plan for retribution brewing, and na├»ve Carrie finds herself smack dab in the middle of it. Her ten year sentence seems mild when death becomes a very real option for refusing to participate.

First Degree Innocence, my women's fiction/romantic suspense, is nearing completion at a length suitable for mainstream publishing. This story of a woman wrongly incarcerated is not for the faint of heart, even when a handsome male guard enters the picture. I'm sure readers will sense the terror, isolation and cold gray interior of prison life while walking in my heroine's shoes.

I’ve researched your website, admire what I see, and have read positive feedback from those you represent. Like most authors, I aspire to bigger and better things and I would love to team with you. I write in the genres you seek and am an award nominated, multi-published author already contracted with several small houses. I’ve recently sold two short stories to a new romance magazine.

My love for writing and past experience in creating and editing forms/publications for my position at the University of California nurtured my desire to be an author. Aside from a personal website featuring excerpts from my published work, I maintain a very active blog and membership to a multitude of author/reader groups and promotional sites. I also participate in two critique groups that have been very helpful. I can be reached at (redacted)if you have questions, or I respond very well to email at (redacted)

I realize you are very busy, so I thank you for your time and attention. I hope my query has piqued your curiosity about Carrie’s claim of First Degree Innocence.