Friday, April 22, 2011

Query letter? Gotta make it sing

I have been writing quite a bit in the past several days, hence another long break between posts. Or to be more precise, I have been writing and then rewriting chapters for my second book in the series. That much rewriting? What do you expect a veteran copy editor to do.

But as I have gone over the matter of query letters, I have reached a conclusion. I have to tweak mine. It is obvious my current query isn't catching enough attention. The problem? I think it makes the book sound too dark, too foreboding. There are dark parts in the book, parts that made me feel uncomfortable while I was writing them. (I am not a violent man by any means, but I have one chapter devoted to a crime, and the violence gets very detailed at the end. But that chapter is so basic to why one of my protagonists reacts the way he does that it has to be included.) My book is more about decisions we make, why we make them and the impacts they have on our lives and the lives of those around us. Dark and foreboding? Well, maybe dark and foreboding only in how real lives happen, but not dark and foreboding in overall tone. Now I have to make that thought be more apparent in my query letter. So, part of today will be spent honing that most important aspect of trying to become a published author.

I do have big news. I am attending the Pikes Peak Writers Conference in Colorado Springs later this month, and I am stoked! How stoked? I think I might have been the first person to register for the conference.

But here is what I am most stoked about: I have a pitch session scheduled. A pitch session is basically an oral query letter. I will be presenting to Sandra Bond, an agent in Denver with an excellent reputation. I have researched Ms. Bond (isn't Google wonderful?), but I will not tailor my pitch to fit aspects she favors. My novel will stand on its own. I know that. Now I just have to sell that idea and get the ball rolling in the right direction. I will have eight minutes to accomplish that.

I will keep you posted.

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