So my lovely agent shot me an email yesterday about some work-related stuff, but then also commented that she'd read the blog entry re: queries and that I'd, and the folks in the comment section, got it exactly right. She even noted how she STILL, even to this day, remembers my query letter, along with those of a few of her shining star clients, several of whom posted comments yesterday. (Rock on, gals!) So it really is a matter of writing just the right query letter that gets your foot in the door. Keep at it.
On that note, the always-awesome Larramie emailed me last night to say she'd dug out the query letter for The Department of Lost and Found from the archives here and was kind enough to email it to me. She was actually doing this at the request of a fan over at The Divining Wand, where Larramie helps grant people's wishes, but nevertheless, she beat me to it. And thus, here is my query letter from The Department. I think, even now, four years later, it really hits a lot of the elements I was discussing yesterday: it gives a taste of the plot, it really demonstrates my own voice, there is no passivity in it - only action and forward motion from the very get-go.
As I said yesterday, I got a LOT of positive feedback from this query, so I hope it proves helpful for a few of you guys!
Natalie Miller had a plan. She had a goddamn plan. Top of her class at Dartmouth. Even better at Yale Law. Youngest aide ever to the powerful Senator Claire Dupris. Higher, faster, stronger. This? Was all part of the plan. True, she was so busy ascending the political ladder that she rarely had time to sniff around her mediocre relationship with Ned, who fit the three Bs to the max: basic, blond and boring, and she definitely didn't have time to mourn her mangled relationship with Jake, her budding rock star ex-boyfriend.
The lump in her right breast that Ned discovers during brain-numbingly bland morning sex? That? Was most definitely not part of the plan. And Stage IIIA breast cancer? Never once had Natalie jotted this down on her to-do list for conquering the world. When her (tiny-penised) boyfriend has the audacity to dump her on the day after her diagnosis, Natalie's entire world dissolves into a tornado of upheaval, and she's left with nothing but her diary to her ex-boyfriends, her mornings lingering over the Price is Right, her burnt out stubs of pot which carry her past the chemo pain, and finally, the weight of her life choices - the ones in which she might drown if she doesn't find a buoy.
The Department of Lost and Found is a story of hope, of resolve, of digging deeper than you thought possible until you find the strength not to crumble, and ultimately, of making your own luck, even when you've been dealt an unsteady hand.
I'm a freelance writer and have contributed to, among others, American Baby, American Way, Arthritis Today, Bride's, Cooking Light, Fitness, Glamour, InStyle Weddings, Lifetime Television, Men's Edge, Men's Fitness, Men's Health, Parenting, Parents, Prevention, Redbook, Self, Shape, Sly, Stuff, USA Weekend, Weight Watchers, Woman's Day, Women's Health, and ivillage.com, msn.com, and women.com. I also ghostwrote The Knot Book of Wedding Flowers.
If you are interested, I'd love to send you the completed manuscript.
Thanks so much! Looking forward to speaking with you soon.