Blog Of Writing +1

My First Query Letter Attempt

So… Hindsight… 20/20… Yadda Yadda.

I imagine the folks at HarperCollins who may have received my manuscript for Jefferson & The Magician’s Curse most likely opened the file for a single moment before deleting it. Harsh right?

No.

In fact, now, I wouldn’t blame them.

I kind of let my excitement and nerves get in the way of rationale and sanity. When I sent it through, first I hoped I’d sent the right file. Second, I hoped I’d sent the right story. Third, I abandoned all hope and wrote the whole ordeal off as a mistake. Back to square one? Don’t mind if I do!

Fast forward… uhh… to a few weeks ago. I started getting Writer’s Digest emails because I’d been looking at their Writer’s Market books. This all stemmed from my partner asking her favorite author, Diana Gabaldon, for some advice on writing for me. She actually replied and with some good tips to boot! On her recommendation, I began to look into the Writer’s Market books but couldn’t take the plunge. Just too expensive in my mind and I couldn’t really get a feel for what they were actually about.

As if by some divine guidance, an email dropped into my inbox.

Now 75% Off! 2017 Writer‘s Market Books!

75%?! That had to be wrong. I mean, I know the 2018 editions are coming soon but 75%? That meant I could get five books from there including shipping and it would cost me less than two of them with free shipping from Book Depository (let’s not even talk local bookstore pricing, yeesh). The order was placed with the support and approval of my lovely partner (who by now was wondering why I hadn’t already bought them).

Shut-up-and-take-my-money

Then, as if guided by the hands of fate herself, the books arrived in record time from the US and just in time for my day off. Not only that but we were informed our house may be ready by the end of next month, which means my writing room could be right around the corner!

As everything falls into place, I began reading the beginning of Writer’s Market 2017 which has a wonderful section about query letters. These are essentially the resume cover letter that we were taught about back in high school, but geared toward the writing industry and your product. It’s not just me I’m trying to sell anymore (yes, I see what I wrote there… close enough) but it’s the story too. Limiting yourself to a single page for all the important details is a fun challenge (read: the tears come at night) but I think I’ve managed.

The question is, what do you think?

<Insert El Editor’s Details Here>

Dear El Editor,

My 98,000 word novel, Jefferson & The Magician’s Curse, is fantasy fiction in the same vein as the Harry Potter series of novels but with a hint of influence from Star Wars as well.

Jefferson is a teen orphan whose feeling of being the outsider leads him to seek out the circus for its oddities and curiosities. Here, he discovers a performing magician, Gabriel, who introduces the boy to the wonders of real magic.

Finding his place in a secret society of magicians, Jefferson walks a dangerous line between the rise of forbidden arts and learning magic. As Gabriel becomes more erratic and dangerous, Jefferson finds he is the key to saving or defeating him.

From cursed magicians and multiple personality disorders to magical battles and time travel, Jefferson & The Magician’s Curse is familiar to fans of fantasy while taking a new approach to the question, “Where does magic come from?”

Jefferson & The Magician’s Curse would ideally fit in with Harry Potter or Dragonlance series of novels. Your website noted that you were seeking out fantasy novels over 75,000 words and this fits those criteria.

I have been writing and editing many of my shorter works for the below website and blog. My short story, Circle of Vengeance, was critiqued and edited more than twenty times before being self-published. You can find this on my website below as well as at lulu.com and on the iBooks store.

As stated in your guidelines I have enclosed the first 30 pages. Thank you for your time and consideration of my novel, Jefferson & The Magician’s Curse.

Sincerely,

TJ Edwards

<Insert My Details Here>

Let me know if there’s anything I could do better! I need all the help I can get!

Also… any tips out there for submitting manuscripts?

Thanks a bunch, as always you folks are legendary!

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