Yesterday was a typical Monday. I hit the snooze one time too many and ran around like the proverbial chicken all morning. I wore sweats and declared it an ‘in’ day, because I forgot to do laundry on the weekend… but one thing is vastly different: I sent the first query for The Devil You Know.
The query is an interesting animal. In it you must give word count, genre, contact info, a paragraph summarizing your novel and a publishing history if applicable. Unasked but also looked for is an idea of your voice, your writing style. Can you punctuate? Got a handle on grammar?
But it’s the optional stuff that has my head spinning. Do I list where I know the agent from? Do I list my marketing ideas? At which publishing house I think my novel belongs? Do I mention which of his or her clients I think my writing resembles—with enough difference to make me a brilliant acquisition? And then: How formal should I be? Somewhere between black tie and Bermuda shorts? You know: Good morning, Ms. Agent: Allow me to introduce myself.” And “Hi ‘agent’! I follow your blog and I just love you! I know if you represent me, we’ll get along wonderfully and I promise to do my best to make you a millionaire. Can I buy you a drink? Chocolate?”
Nope. I‘m going for something like business casual and anyone who has ever worked in an office knows that leaves much to interpretation.
Keep in mind; we’re talking a query is only about 350 words. With all this, plus a hell of a lot of work, research, hopes and all my dreams, this query is so dense it’s about to go super-nova.