An agent wants to read my novel! Here’s how it’s happening: Two weeks ago I attended a webinar taught by a well-established literary agent. The topic was how to write a query letter, and part of the deal was a critique by said agent of the query letters we wrote following the class. Using her pointers along with previous knowledge and experience, I composed my query letter and emailed it to her. On the basis of that letter, she invited me to send my manuscript.
In my immediate response, I described myself as thrilled and breathless (much like the fox terrier above), and I truly am. Keenly aware, however, of the challenges of being traditionally published these days, I have gradually reconciled to one more round of querying and then, if no agent or publisher is interested, self-publish BEYOND THE GATE as an eBook and end my book-writing enterprises.
But, with this strong encouragement, I will give my manuscript a last once-over, “abandon” it for the moment and send it to her tomorrow morning. Please come with me on this journey as much as you so desire. Following is the pitch I used in my query letter.
Jessica George is a bullet ricocheting between a safe, closed life and a risky, wider world. We all know people like Jessie: odd-looking, ill-fitting. We see them in the shadows of society, sneak glances at them on the train or sidewalk. At nineteen, unexposed and unnurtured throughout her growing up, she has never been outside of the square mile of her neighborhood in metro Chicago.
She gets a housekeeping job for Roderick McCoy, a Vietnam vet tormented by PTSD and a shrinking existence. Cleaning and organizing his roach-infested house serves as a metaphor for Jessie dealing with the painful puzzle of her loveless childhood. And then, Jessie meets John Otteson, intelligent and autistic. Awkwardly, they become friends and then more, bonded by their differentness and the bullying they experienced in school.
As their love affair develops, the odd couple cannot foresee the precarious predicament awaiting them in Roderick’s basement. The flames of his depression, fanned by addiction, incite him to take them hostage. In this crucible, with enough internal and external conflict to set a house ablaze, they will either go down in flames or be refined. Courage, trust, forgiveness and grace can avert tragedy if… if they can let it happen.
PLEASE COMMMENT. WOULD YOU WANT TO READ THIS BOOK? BE HONEST, BE NICE…