Birth of a Query Letter, With Explanations

Well, I finally took the plunge.

This morning I sent out my first bona fide query letter to a real-life literary agent, in NOO Yawk City, no less.

Why, you ask, would it take me so long?

Well, despite the fact that the book is complete and has even merited an Honorable Mention in a contest, I am not that self-assured. Unlike some writers who view their babies as monumental literary masterpieces, I know my novel is flawed.

After the initial hoo-ha and jumping up and down with the thrill of victory, I then realized I was asked to submit a partial. Hit the brakes. Is my story truly ready for inquiring minds? I wasn’t so sure, so I edited it again, then again and again before today.

It’s still not perfect, but oh, well. It’s time to dive in.

So, here is part of my query letter, with explanations:

Dear Ms. (Fill in the Blank) You know who you are. And yes, I know you are a woman. I checked the web site. I figured ‘Ms.’ is the preferred title. I know I am partial to it. By the way, you are a beautiful woman.)

Thank you for awarding my submission, VIRTUALLY YOURS, an Honorable Mention in the recent QueryTracker romance contest. (Oh my God! I was delirious with joy! I jumped up and down for three days straight!  I emailed everyone close to me, and everyone not close. I posted the results and the web page on Facebook and Twitter. It was my birthday weekend, too, happy birthday to me. One out of FIFTY! Fifty? Holy moley!) Per your request, I am submitting the first ten pages of VIRTUALLY YOURS for your review. (I’m ready. I’m not ready. I’m ready. I’m not ready…)

(Brief description on the characters, Internet based, making it relevant (I hope) to modern readers, with a unique plot twist… Blah, blah, blah. Don’t worry. It’s not over one page. Check it out under “Novels” if you are so inclined.)

VIRTUALLY YOURS is a 75,000 word chick-lit romp, light in heart but includes serious perspectives on the lives of modern moms. (So I’m old school. A story isn’t a story without a moral or two.)

I am a businesswoman by day and clandestinely rendezvous with my Muse to write by night. (I don’t know where the fine line is drawn between brilliance and hokey. This is my first query, remember?) My writing credits include frequent contributions to Blog Critics and Associated Content, and I am a member of both Romance Writers of America and the Greater Detroit Romance Writers of America. (It’s all I have. I could have fluffed up, but why stretch the truth?)

Thank you again for your consideration. (Please, please, please give me more than a form letter rejection. I’m really looking for feedback. And oh, did I tell you I think you are a stunningly beautiful woman? Because you are.)

Oh, my. I’ve fallen off the deep end.



3 Responses

  1. […] I opened my email to find a response to my first query. That agent wants me to send her the entire manuscript! which means I will be working at breakneck […]

  2. You are my hero!!!!!

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