Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My Blackwood Farm style Query Letter

Ok, it is probably no surprise by now that I am an Anne Rice follower.  I don’t think that I will ever love another vampire story as much as I do hers.  Yes, others may have their merits, but her’s inspire me in ways that I still cannot capture, even in my own literary worlds.
When I began the process of querying for an agent and waiting on pins and needles to receive that first rejection, an odd connection came to mind.  My querying agents felt strangely similar to Quinn’s plea to Lestat in the first pages of Blackwood Farm.  That image has been on my mind often as the process has continued.  So now, for your literary amusement I present my Blackwood style Query Letter.

Dear Literary Agent,
            If you find this query letter in your email you will know at once that I’ve obtained the confidence to present my plea to your attention.
            I know that agent’s lives are inundated with writer’s lowly queries.  You don’t wish to see our poorly constructed synopsis’ and painstakingly thought out hooks.
            But please, I beg you, before you come in search of me, read what I have to say.
            My name is GeistWrite.  I am not going to tell you my age, but I have been a writer who is querying for less than a year.  I’m an orphan now, as I see it, and it is to you that I turn for help.
            But before I make my case, please understand that I have researched agents and the query process.  I know of their inherent goodness and their legendary neutrality as regards to all things novel.  I will have taken great pains to elude all things novice in writing this letter to you.
            That you keep a constant watch over Twitter is plain to me.  That you’ll receive my query I have no doubt.
            If you do come to bring swift justice for my literary inadequacies, assure me please that you will do your utmost to destroy all literary hope which has been my constant companion since I was a child.  This hope, a part of my own soul which was grown in me since before I can remember, now wishes to unleash itself and realize my dreams.
            Let me explain.
            As a young girl I had this vision playing in my mind.  A story, you might say, or rather the beginning of one.  I began to write this story in an effort to discover its full depth and meaning.  You could say I strengthened and shaped this story, unwittingly creating the novel it is now.
            The truth is, I can’t imagine existence without my novel.  I have to make this attempt to get my novel published and let it metamorphosis into something utterly beyond my control.
            But seriously, publishing is my concern.
            Let me add before I close that during this last year of researching the querying process and reading your blogs, trying to learn from them, I have been tempted to go to the self-publishers I’ve heard about, and ask for help.
            When I was a girl – and I’m hardly more than that now I like to believe – there was a member of a self-publishing group who wanted to see my novel and publish it.
            I fell deeply in love with the thought of publishing my novel, filled with paranormal power.  Yet self-publishing is now beyond my comprehension.
            When I read your blog I was mildly astonished to discover that self publishing had turned many agents against writers.  Other sites had told me this, but I didn’t believe it until I read it in your blog.
            It’s still hard for me to imagine that these gentle people have broken one thousand years of bliss between agents and writers.  They seem so proud of their history, so psychologically dependent upon a secular and kindly definition of themselves.
            Obviously, I can’t go to a self-publisher now.  They might become my sworn enemies if I do that.  They are my sworn enemies!  And on account of my past Twitter contact, they know exactly where to reach me.  But more significantly, I can’t seek their help because you don’t want it.
            You and the other members of the AAR do not want us to fall into the hands of a self-publisher.
            And so, except for my critique partners and beta readers, I’m alone.
            I don’t expect your pity on account of this.  But maybe your understanding will prevent you from immediately rejecting me and my novel without so much as a warning.
            That you can find us, I have no doubt.  Even if half the websites are true, it is plain that your gift of response is without measure.  Nevertheless, let me tell you where I am. 
            My true home is: (contact information here.)  Where I sit, writing to you now.
            Have I tried your patience?  I hope I have not.
            But this letter may be my one chance with you, Agent.  And so I’ve said the things that matter to me the most.
            And when this email query is sent to you I’ll use every bit of wit and skill at my command to direct it where no one will receive it but you. 
            Believing in the ability of writing in my 90,000 word paranormal romance, I sign my name,

            Remember my query novice.  But I can’t resist this small request.  If you do mean to track me down and eradicate me, could you give me an hour’s notice to say some sort of farewell post on my blog?
            In one interview you were described as addicted to Starbuck’s.  Was that truth or some fanciful embellishment?
            If you are indeed addicted to Starbuck’s then for the sake of that let me send to you a Starbuck’s e-giftcard (accessible below.)
            Ah, there is much more I could tell you about Starbuck’s – about the role which they have played in my fate. 
But for now, let me only plead with you.  Let me live, and help me get my novel published.  Or put an end to us both.

So there it is.  My little indulgence…  My Blackwood inspired query letter, ode to Anne Rice.  I want to thank her for her letter from Quinn to Lestat which was altered to become my fictitious query letter.
Yes, it might get automatically deleted due to length, and it doesn’t really say anything about the book itself, but the plea is quite compelling, don’t you think?  Plus with all the begging throughout and the little bribe at the end, it clearly couldn’t go completely unnoticed could it?
In short…  If my query letter is good enough then maybe an agent will be interested in accepting me as a client.  If not, they will surely annihilate me!

Blackwood Farm - Letter from Quinn

(Pages displayed at Google by permission of Random House, Inc.Copyright. )


Jennifer Hillier said...

You totally nailed the voice!

Julie Geistfeld said...

Thanks Jennifer!
I've read too much Anne Rice for too long... Sometimes I start to sound a little like her even when I'm not trying.