Jul 13, 2010

Query - It's All About the Music

Corinne’s best friend Heather breaks into her house to steal lyrics to enter her in the songwriting competition she’s been begging Corinne to do for more than a year. A bewildered Corinne gets a phone call from the manager of Christian Meyer, Chris, a man whose music she’s loved for years.

A week later she’s on a plane for California leaving her tidy home and six year old twins behind. After a weekend of writing music with Christian and swapping stories about their youth, Corinne heads home. Chris shows up a week later.
Corinne is suddenly in the most passionate relationship of her life. Chris immerses himself in her beloved routine and adores her children. Almost immediately the chaos of his life creeps into hers and she begins to realize the complexities of being with someone like him. With tour dates set and a long separation looming in the very near future, Corinne is forced to choose between the man she loves and the quiet, stable life she’s worked so hard to achieve.

It’s All About the Music is a 108,000 word work of women’s fiction written in Corinne’s first person view. This is my first novel and I am seeking representation.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration,
Jolene B Perry

This is one of two that I've written. If you guys tear it to shreds - and please feel free - maybe I'll post number two.


Suzi McGowen said...

I really like this concept and I can only see a few tweaks that I'd suggest.

1. Leave Heather's name out. Just say "Corrine's best friend". Heather's not mentioned again in the query, and giving her a name early on makes her sound like a major character.

2. Call him Chris or Christian. Using both names sounds like there are two people. (Remember the agent is going to be scanning this email at 100 miles an hour. Clear and simple is the key.)

3. Break the paragraph just before "Corinne is suddenly in the most..." and again just before "With tour dates..."

4. I think you can leave out "written in Corinne's first persion view".

5. Per Query Shark, you don't need to say that you're seeking representation. That's a given.

6. Totally personal thought, it's hard for me to read a book where the main character have names that start with the same letter. I keep getting them confused, and having to re-read to remind mysel of who the characters are.

Danielle said...

I got lost in the first sentence. I had to re-read it to figure out what you meant - I think it's the pile of 'she' and 'her' that left me confused.

I agree with Suzi, that you should stick with either Chris or Christian for the query. In the novel, it will make perfect sense to see the two interchanged, but in such a short format, it's not as clear.

The second paragraph should definitely be broken into two, just for the sake of ease of reading.

It looks as if you're missing a few commas in the second paragraph, especially in the first sentence.

I wonder about how Chris can immerse himself in her routine, but almost immediately be in the midst of chaos again - consider rewording that section. Maybe "all too soon" or some other phrase would be more appropriate (I don't know the story, obviously, so I can't be sure of what would fit best).

Overall, though, once I got past the first sentence, the query was clear and to-the-point, and I feel like I've got a bit of a sense of your voice from it, too.

Jolene said...

I broke up the sentences a bit. Your suggestions have been INVALUABLE! I thought this was going to be scary but it's kind of fun. Thanks again for the help and suggestions.
I know, I KNOW about the names both starting with a C but I'm just not ready to let that go...

folksinmt said...

Congrats on finishing your novel! Now the hard part begins! :)

I agree with the other comments. You're query is pretty solid--just a few minor tweaks. What I have issue with is the plot line- or at least how the plot is portrayed in the query. Sorry to say this, but there is nothing really original about this story. Nearly every bored housewife has dreams about actually meeting man of dreams (prince, rockstar, actor, etc) and getting swept off her feet. This story has been done a thousand times. In fact, my own WIP is based on the same thread. No matter how well written, no matter how likable the characters are, it won't sell unless there is a unique angle to it. Your query really needs to focus on what is different about your book. Make the stakes even higher, rather than just a choice between love or stability.

I'm sure your book is unique and sounds like something I would like to read, but you really need to sell yours over the thousands of other similar books out there. Good luck!

Jolene said...

So - flolksinMT - I totally understand this is the weakest part of my story. One of the hardest things to do in a query is to show how different your book is in so little time. For this story, it's the added characters, her father, her ex father in law, her best friend and the best friend of the guy. One of the biggest problems is one of the huge no no's is to introduce the "peripheral" characters but that's where I feel my story has its uniqueness and I'm not sure what to do about that.

folksinmt said...

Ugh! The chore of getting it down to bare-bones and still making it exciting! I've banged my head against the wall over that many times. I'd say if something about the other characters makes the book unique, you need to add it. Still try to keep it as simple as possible, but forget about the "rules" and do what works for your book.

Hopefully I'm not leading you astray, but that's the direction I would go. I am, however, still unpublished, so take my opinion for what it's worth! :)

N. Blank said...

I agree with most of the suggestions like leaving Heather's name out and sticking to one name Chris/Christian.

It sounds like a great romance!

Maybe also mention how old Corinne is. Reading this I would guess late twenties/early thirties.

I also might cut mentioning what point of view it is because many agents don't like the first person (not that there's anything wrong with it-I love it!) but it may keep them from wanting to read sample pages.