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  1. #1
    Loretto Leary
    Guest

    What's wrong with my Query Letter?

    I really could use some help here. I think my eyes have choosen not to 'see' anymore! If anyone feels like getting their frustrations out by editing or suggesting edits please knock your socks off! Don't hold back.....




    Dear Sir or Madam,

    As the dry leathery skin regains its’ luster through forensic science Mona, the Body in the Bog comes to life for the reader. ‘Mona’ shows us that life two thousand years ago was just as complex as our present day situations. Maire Moylan, the head forensic archaeologist in the case, copes with the frustration of her own infertility, her changing relationship with her spouse and the evolving story of Mona’s death. History, humor, love, lust, greed, disappointment and murder all link together to tell us a tale of two women’s lives, two thousand years apart, yet linked by a condition which for years has defined the essence of womanhood, child birth.

    The book reveals aspects of Celtic society and customs and puts forth the notion of bog body deposit areas as a way of trapping the dead person’s spirit in a purgatory type of punishment. We learn about forensic archaeology, Celtic history and a woman coming to terms with infertility. Every second chapter is set in either the past or the present. Two stories are told and are linked through forensic testing and Moylan’s infertility and marital relations. The result is a murder that is brutal and cannot be explained beyond a man’s greed and a woman’s struggle to accept that some things in life are out of her control.

    Considering the huge appeal of Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code which sold over 60,000 copies, historical fiction has a large audience. In addition, the age old battle of the sexes is always a popular topic as is evidenced by the book sale numbers of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus with more than 11 million copies being sold in the United States alone. The forensic science following is growing when you take into account the huge appeal of Aaron Elkins’ forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver, and the success of Elkin’s series of books. Irish authors such as Marion Keyes and Celia Ahern have had great success with their brand of humor and storylines. Ahern’s P.S I Love You having also reached the screen. Being an Irish born native myself and having lived in America for the last sixteen years I believe have a good grasp of what Irish and American readers enjoy, without making the language too colloquial.

    I ask you to use swift action as I have a fully prepared proposal awaiting your attention. I would be delighted to forward it to you with your approval.

    Thank you so much for your time.


    Loretto Leary
    1-203-286-8113 Lorettoleary@yahoo.com



  2. #2
    Kitty Foyle
    Guest

    Re: What's wrong with my Query Letter?

    Uh-oh, Loretto. Am in a rush, so I didn't read your query, but I did catch this sentence:

    I ask you to use swift action as I have a fully prepared proposal awaiting your attention.

    That's a big NO-NO. Agents can be testy that way. They'll get around to yours when and if they feel like it.

    *_*

  3. #3
    Rogue Mutt
    Guest

    Re: What's wrong with my Query Letter?

    You mention at least four different books that are widely different. Compare yourself to just the one that's closest. And don't put your phone number on a message board like this.

    The Da Vinci Code only sold 60,000 copies? That figure seems a little low to me.

  4. #4
    Lisa P
    Guest

    Re: What's wrong with my Query Letter?

    40 million copies worldwide according to the Dan Brown...

    ; )

  5. #5
    Lisa P
    Guest

    Re: What's wrong with my Query Letter?

    Sorry, should be to Dan Brown.... Grrrrr

    ; )

  6. #6
    Rogue Mutt
    Guest

    Re: What's wrong with my Query Letter?

    I don't know, I think I like The Dan Brown better. He could go around introducing himself like that: Hi, I'm THE Dan Brown.

    But yeah 40 million is just a bit more than 60,000. I suppose if you're going to quote sales stats to agents they should be correct.

  7. #7
    leslee
    Guest

    Re: What's wrong with my Query Letter?

    "I ask you to use swift action as I have a fully prepared proposal awaiting your attention."

    Out.

    And I hope that isn't your real phone number posted on the internet. Big mistake.

  8. #8
    Lisa P
    Guest

    Re: What's wrong with my Query Letter?

    Rogue,

    Maybe we should all go around having our friends introduce us that way...

    ; )

  9. #9
    Todd Ritter
    Guest

    Re: What's wrong with my Query Letter?

    First and foremost: What's the book called? How many words is it? What genre is it? (FYI, the genre it seems to most fit into is the newly popular "book club" fiction.)

    From what I gather, it's about two women, 2,000 years apart. One is a forensic archaeologist trying to figure out how the other died, and their stories are intertwined.
    This gets completely lost in the query. Focus clearly on these two women and their specific stories, but in a few sentences.

    As for the lengthy paragraph citing lots of different genres and authors, get rid of it. It makes your book sound like a thriller and nonfiction advice combined, which is very confusing.

    And, like what everyone else said, the quickest way to make an agent angry is to urge swift action. Besides, if it's fiction, they don't want to read a proposal. They want to read a full manuscript. If you haven't finished writing the book, then don't query agents.

  10. #10
    Sam English
    Guest

    Re: What's wrong with my Query Letter?

    The apostrophe in your first sentence foreshadows
    potential punctuation problems. If your manuscript is punctuated the way this letter is, you have a lot of editing to do before you're ready to query.
    That one little punctuation mark will speak volumes to a prospective agent.

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