Oh yes, she’s back! My (becoming a regular) guest poster Cass Alexander, author of the Persimmon Series is back to show us just how she did her last query letter. 😀
I Wanna Give Good Query
by Cass Alexander
I hesitate to write this post as it will truly demonstrate to readers that I do things I probably shouldn’t. My mouth runs faster than my brain. It always has. Now, my fingers type and click Send on emails faster than my brain can process the whole of what I’ve sent.
I recently wrote a query letter and I’d like to share my experience with the Universe.
My brother and I are currently writing a non-fiction humor book. We had always planned to self-publish. However, after zero research and one or two impulsive texts, we thought it would be a great idea to query a publisher. Bro is super busy, so he gave me the go-ahead to do it myself. He really shouldn’t have. Wanna see it? Below is the first half. Try not to cringe as you read.
My brother doesn’t know I’m writing this letter, so don’t go blabbing about it on social media. I like to drop disappointment bombs at truly inconvenient moments, like the holidays. It’s how my family operates. Though, I’m probably jumping a little ahead of myself.
Here’s the deal: I lack experience with query letters. You know it, I know it, let’s move past it.
My older brother, whom we shall hence forth refer to as The Prince of Darkness, and I have started writing together. Our parents have long thought there was something very wrong with us. This is due to our inability to keep our mouths shut at the appropriate times when one should keep his/her mouth shut.
That envelope? We like to push it. Our mother often points out that, “Y’all are not right.” Yes, we were born and raised in Kentucky. We have a lifetime of weird family stories. We like to share them at parties, or, really, with anyone who will listen.
Recently, I was scrolling through some of our old texts. I have long thought we had some quality material and could compile our correspondence into a book. I was picturing more of a Jack Handy in the bathroom book as opposed to a novel—or something in between. Doesn’t everyone like to read humor when dropping the kids off at the pool? What else is there to do in the bathroom? Don’t answer that.
Since I had the time, I sat down and typed our texts into a Word doc. I shared in on Google Docs and my brother added some commentary. The premise of what we’ve written is how we’ve communicated digitally. There are phone calls and texts. All of them are true. Feel free to act them out with your friends.
The Prince and I think we’re normal sometimes. My husband assures me we are not. We have been considering writing under pen names as our parents, aunts, uncles, etc. may very well hunt us down and end our lives. For this reason, I kept the worst of what we’ve texted out of the manuscript.
Attached is a pdf of a partial manuscript. You might not want it on your book list, but I sincerely hope you get some laughs out of it.
& The Prince of Darkness
Did you like it? I did, at first. It made me chuckle a little as I typed it. I was in a hurry to get it out there, so I rushed through it and sent it before I truly thought about what I was doing.
After it left my email, I started to question what I had done. And you know what? Mom’s right. There may very well be something wrong with me.
In my defence, I have looked at other query letters. There are lots of examples out there in the world and most of them are boring. Shouldn’t a humorous book have a humorous query? I Googled it.
I was relieved when I found that some bloggers and publishers out there do want to get a feel for the author’s personality. I had a moment of, Oh, maybe I done real good (read that in a real twangy voice to get the full effect).
Then I reread the letter and realized I had inserted a euphemism for taking a dump into a query letter for a legitimate publishing entity.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that there’s a good chance no one has done that before. If no one has done that before, I’d like it to go on record that I was the first. Yes, I’ll take that prize.
You may be wondering, what in the hell is wrong with this girl? I can’t answer that. I can only tell you that, while I am a tad bit horrified I thought it may have been a good idea, I am also competitive.
If I can be first in anything, I will. I was raised to be a winner. It’s caused all sorts of weird idiosyncrasies in my personality.
To those of you who have had great success with your queries, I give you a tip of the hat. You probably actually had a well-written novel to push across that desk. Not that our book isn’t well-written. It’s simply not quality literature. I’m not delusional enough to think otherwise.
It’s not easy putting yourself out there, knowing the odds are against you. Rejection tastes terrible. Luckily, self-publishing is now an option for authors everywhere. We could very well find some success going that route.
We just wanted to try our hand at the traditional first. Okay, okay, the query letter itself wasn’t “traditional,” but reaching out to a publisher was. I’ll let you know if Mister responds.
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Working With It (book 3 of the Persimmon Series)
Morgan Pottinger just met her match – uber-sexy, disturbingly intelligent, Nate Stevenson.
But she can’t have him until she dumps her hometown boyfriend, which proves to be more difficult than she ever imagined.
At this rate, she’ll be married to the loser by March and Nate will be just another casualty in the disaster that is her life.
Lucky for Morgan, Nate’s much smarter than she is.
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Check out Cass’s other Guest Posts:
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A big thanks to Cass for guest posting again and giving us another good laugh. 🙂 As always please leave comments for Cass below and share the love, click on her links to get to know this lass.