Hats off to Sharon Bayliss for coming up with such a brilliant way to celebrate a very hard task.
I’d like to begin this blog with a confession. While the query letter below is not one that I actually used to approach agents, my first round of queries (years ago, with that project now neatly tucked away in a drawer) did violate a whole host of rules about querying. I still cringe when I remember some of the comments I made. Cringe, I tell you. They don’t call them growing pains for nothing. So here is my best worst.
Dear Future Agent of Mine,
I am beyond thrilled to be sending you this query for my new novel THE THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT ARE DEADLIER THAN YOU THINK. My 160,000 word fantasy/paranormal/thriller/horror/romance is just perfect for you because what agent isn’t looking for literary works that have cross genre appeal. I chose you since you have so many other famous authors working for you. I figured you’d know how to deal with the big movie offers when they start rolling in. And they will.
Tasmania Gardenia Chesterfield, Tas for short, finds herself trapped in a haunted house for her eighteenth birthday. But it’s not just any haunted house. It’s like the worse haunted house ever. Her new boyfriend, super pale-skinned Leo, has invited her up for a private party at the secluded location. Seconds tick by like hours, literally, and book one covers Tas’s first hour in the super-villified, creeped-out mansion. Sixty minutes will pass by, each one as if it were her last as Tas tries to stay alive. Chapter 6 through 10 are told in verse as she sings herself calm.
Can she get in control of her anxiety? Will she find her Xanax before it’s too late? What is making the ticking noise that echoes down the hall? How fast can she run in five-inch stilettos? And why is Leo late?
If Stephen King, Dan Brown, Stephanie Meyer, and Susan Elizabeth Phillips got together to create a mega love baby. My story would be that mega love baby.
My mother, my great aunt, and four of my cousins all loved the story and are dying for part two of the twelve part series. Each book will chronicle in extreme detail what Tas goes through during her night at the haunted house. Readers will want to keep going to see if she even survives that long. (I don’t even know that.)
To save you the time of requesting the full, I have mailed you the entire printed manuscript and have included three letters of recommendation. One from my high school guidance counselor who saw my potential nineteen years ago, one from my priest who is an avid reader and a little worried about me now, and one from the librarian from Branch 42 of the Cloverdale County Libraries. She and I spend a lot of time together. I also put together a small scrapbook to show the origin of my ideas for the story. The package was sent overnight and I included signature confirmation because I was positive you wouldn’t want to miss this opportunity.
I look forward to your call.
Sincerely,Your New Client
So what’s your worst? Please join the fun. Go visit Sharon’s blog to show us your best worst query.
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