It’s that time again, folks! SWELL is done and about ready to go out into the world for agents to consider (God, I hope so!). The next step… the next mission I am taking because I have no choice but to do so… is write a query letter (technically, it’s written, but not in final form yet). More than a pitch to entice agents to read my work, the query letter is a painstaking, headache-making work of art that is oftentimes more difficult to write than the darn book!
I’m beginning to think it’s even harder to do than write a synopsis. But since I haven’t started that end of the pitch package yet, who knows if I’m right or not.
In any case, I’m five minutes away from taking Excedrin and throwing the query that I’ve written — and rewritten 10 times in four days — to the sharks at Absolutewrite.com. They’re good sharks — people with experience who know what comprises a rockin’ query letter, and one that sucks. You’d be a fool not to have them look at your query.
In fact, there’s one guy there (“there” lovingly known as Query Letter Hell) whose avatar is of a squirrel with a rocket launcher. His tagline line reads, “Feeling Lucky, Query?” This man will rip your query a new one – and you’re lucky if he does. Not only is the advice invaluable, it is humbling. After I threw my last query into his jaws for A Place In This Life, I received six requests. Not too bad for a first-timer (now, if only I could get one of the agents to consider that book, but that’s another story).
This leaves me trembling in my boots, all too aware that the query is the means for putting SWELL in front of the right people. For me, the query-go-round doesn’t stop — not until the last rejection letter arrives and I’m left holding a pile of paper under my arm as I look into the sunset and ponder what new stories hide within my mind.