Tuesday, January 25, 2011

To agent, with love (the sequel)

While I'm still deep in the re-re-re-writing process of my book, I had some time the other day and I used it to re-draft my query letter. (BTW, I have no idea what draft this is, but it's likely some number too embarrassingly high to admit... even for me.) Lately I've been posting mostly crap that has little to do with my novel on this blog so I thought it was time to get realer. More real. Really real. Whatever, here's the letter:

Dear [insert lucky agent/editor here],

Something must be wrong with me. My name is Id and I make a twisted living as a public relations writer, renting out my aptitude for words to busy corporate executives who exaggerate and lazy celebrities who lie about Botox. It’s a strange world I inhabit, one where I’m constantly called upon to be someone else and the people I write for pretend not to notice. With a first-person narrator like Avery steering my novel, it’s a profession that’s served me well.

Like mine, Avery’s voice is difficult to trust. She sees snow in the summer, insists her boyfriend will leave her for God and blames her dead father for nothing. She’s either the world’s greatest liar or something must be wrong with Avery, too.

To finally see my name on something I’ve poured my heart in to, I’m seeking representation for this 80,000-word, dark, funny and actively researched work of upmarket fiction called A Happy Armageddon. The book not only follows a surreal two months in the life of Avery, but in the life of a peculiar diarist as well — a woman whose connection to Avery becomes clear on the final page.

My manuscript was awarded a Writer’s Reserve Grant from the Ontario Arts Council. Should you be interested in seeing the completed work, I would love to send it your way. For now, I've included the first ten pages in the body of this e-mail.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely (oh, this is going to feel so good!),


There. New query letter done! I like it because it's a bit weird like my story and like me. In six months or a year, I'll find out if agents and editors like it, too. OR if they hate it and the rejection cycle begins again. OR, because my mental health is seriously in question, I may re-write the letter yet again. Who knows? The uncertainty, excitement and terror are all part of the wacky adventure of trying to be a novelist.

Now all I have to do is finish this pesky book...


  1. Hang in there Emily. You have a flair for language ... and SOMEONE will see that sooner or later.

  2. Thanks, Evadne. Your blog has helped keep me motivated in the re-writing process. And get this: I think my story is pretty good--for real this time--and nearly done!