Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Query to my Readers

I thought I’d share a little something with you…stop laughing…this is different. :D  Everyone talks about query letters and their importance on snagging an agent. Many established agents and writers say to immediately get to the point, provide a tag line and then a synopsis. But I must point out that query letters are different for fiction and non-fiction…at least that’s what I’ve read. Anyways, I did some research and came up with a few query letters so I thought I’d post one of my letters to see what you think…if it captures your attention and if my manuscript is something you’d want to read. I’m not planning on sending this letter out…it’s merely to get my readers’ input.

Dear Agent:

One lonely evening in a chat room, Sydney Hayes is approached by a man named Arcane, who soon takes possession of her head and heart, until games and unfortunate events force Sydney to move away and change her identity—but can she truly hide from evil.

Lonesome, independent Sydney Hayes never met her ‘knight in shining armor’ during her daily routines and solitary weekends until a snowstorm hits Chicago. Restless and bored, Sydney enters a chat room full of people reflecting the same feelings and then a window pops up on her screen with a greeting from a stranger. At first, their relationship is strictly online, but swiftly turns to a real life relationship with real life consequences. After chiseling away at her independence, Arcane takes Sydney against her will and begins playing with her life, situations becoming more sinister than the last one. Sydney has no other choice but to leave town—to become someone else.

In a new state and with a new identity, Sydney begins to build her confidence and reclaim her life. As she becomes comfortable in her new surroundings she befriends a man by the name of Garrett Hart—time and exposed secrets bring them close—but not before the evil she is running from gradually shows signs he is not too far away. Now Sydney must fight against Arcane to protect those closest to her.

[Title of Book] has allowed me to explore the depths of loneliness, the horror of stalking, the line between sanity and insanity, so I could write characters that will do anything for revenge and/or to protect their loved ones. My book is likely to appeal to the same audience of Shutter Island.

[Title of Book] is my debut psychological thriller at [number of words] words. Thank you for your time and consideration.”

Let’s hear it. What do you think? Did this capture your attention? Do you want to read it? Not interesting? Not your genre?


  1. You got my attention. I'd ask for it. :) Good luck!

  2. Thanks, AB. I'm crossing everything. ;)

  3. I've never even so much as seen a query letter, so I have no clue what works and what doesn't. But...yes, your example captures my attention. Psychological thrillers are an as-of-yet unexplored genre for me (reading-wise), but you bet I'd read this one. :D Good job, 1.) summarizing your story in a nutshell (SO hard to do), and, 2) escalating the suspense as you explain the key plot points. You left me with questions, which makes me want to read to find out the answers!

  4. Thanks for the information. I appreciate you letting me know psychological thrillers are not a genre you explored before. Your input is great. Thanks.

  5. This story description does spark my interest to find what happens to Sydney. While I’m definitely not qualified to know what would attract an agent’s interest, I thought a shorter query is better to get more attention. So I would leave out that paragraph “(Title of Book) has allowed me to etc.” Also I do think an agent’s view is how this will this sell and how much money could be made by the agent.

    I’m not an avid reader, but really enjoy movies and TV dramas that keep up my interest from beginning to end. For me these are stories that contain unusual events and surprising outcomes and I hope some good fortune for the forces of good at the end. This one seems to have that potential for me and I think it could sell well.

    As always I wish you the very best of luck and success in your writing career.

  6. Hi Veejay!

    Nice to hear from you. Thanks for your input. I’ll keep the ‘shorter query is better’ in mind when I continue writing queries.

    I appreciate your kind words and well wishes. Take care of yourself.