Pimp my Query Letter!

Help! I'm working on getting my stuff submitted instead of letting it just sit on my computer. I would LOVE your opinions and desperately need your help to make it the best possible query letter. So let me have it! Tear it apart. Don't be shy. I can take it!

If you hear sobbing in the background as you tell me how bad it is, just ignore that...it's only the wind. Really, the wind! ;-D

Feel free to email me if you don't want to leave a comment. :-D You'll have my undying gratitude should you decide to help me in this. :-D And you'll be saving me from the horrific embarrassment of ending up as #queryfail fodder!

So here it is!

My Query Letter in Progress for Arianna Penndragon...

When the future adviser to the dragon king and a cross-dressing vampire warrior must work together to save a stolen princess, there’s nothing that can stop them, unless it’s the fact that vampires and dragons have hated each other for centuries.

It is the mid-twelfth century, and Arianna is a young vampire serving as a bodyguard for her master an English duke holding a high rank within the Penndragon family of vampires. She escorts her master to the small kingdom of Sithein in the north of Ireland disguised as a man in the hopes of forming an alliance with the shape-shifting dragons whose princess is married to the king of Sithein. Unfortunatly she mistakenly offends the king and is disowned. Arianna finds herself stranded in Ireland with no one but her people's sworn enemy to offer her refuge.

Caedmon, the only son of Sithein's High Councilor, is drawn to Arianna not knowing who and what she is. Arianna finds herself falling for him despite their many differences.

When the five year old Princess Fiona is kidnapped, all signs point to the Penndragon family. Now Arianna must make a choice. Will she turn her back on her family and help return the Princess to her home? Or will she betray the only ones who have ever offered her protection and the man she is coming to love?

I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you so much for your time.


Lesley Speller


Hmm. Two things pop up immediately: nix that first paragraph, the rhetorical question. (or if you keep it, do NOT send it to Nathan Bransford. Under ANY circumstances.)

Secondly, don't mention that you self-pubbed the first book in the series. In fact, we're going to have to make this sound like it is the first -- I'm probably the only person on the planet who'll start in the middle of a series. We've got to make agents/editors think this is either a stand-alone or the start.

If you want to drop me an e-mail, I'll help you line by line, word by word. Or just bounce ideas around. (Like I'm any good at this? But still, a fresh eye can often help.)

And I'd also include a "Please do not post any of this online" sentence, too. Just to be safe...
MsSnarkyPants said…
Thanks so much, Susan! I just emailed you.
Jennifer Shirk said…
Looks good to me. :)

Good luck!!
Petula said…
This sounds like a great book. I'm no good at query letters because if I were then I'd have more articles and a couple of books published. :) Good luck and I can't wait to see the revision. (Isn't Susan great?)
Julia said…
This process is tough now isn't it? I have thought about trying to pitch a chapter of a book I have been writing and never do anything more than just let it sit as you say. I need to get some balls.

As far as your letter. I have no idea what you are even supposed to send. I would like to see about 20 before I could figure out how to write them and before I would critique yours!
MsSnarkyPants said…
Petula: Thanks so much, and yes! Susan is great. :)

Julia: It's absolutely a tough process! I'm going to gather up the links I have found about query writing and do a blog about them so I've got them at hand when I need them. So much research! So little time in the day!
Jennifer Shirk said…
Hey, check out my blog. I'm having a giveaway drawing!
Julia Smith said…
'A cross-dressing vampire warrior' caught my eye immediately. But the really long sentence starting with 'When she escorts him' could be split into shorter sentences. Long sentences make the reader's mind start wandering.

I an still learning to do query letters myself, and I salute you!
MsSnarkyPants said…
Jennifer: Yay prizes! I entered. :D

Julia: Thanks so much. You're right. It was much too long. I broke it up. Thanks again!

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