Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Little Query Letter That Could

A lot of my #amwriting friends are prepping for an exciting few months of Twitter contests. With Sun versus Snow , Pit2Pub , PitMatch , and a contest I’m excited to be a mentor in FicFest coming up, I thought it could be helpful to post the query letter that landed me a three book deal with Limitless Publishing.

This is the query letter for my NA criminal suspense Ashby Holler. Before I decided to go the small press route, I sent this letter to twenty-three agents and got seven requests!

In 1984, the hollers of Kentucky are no place for a lesbian. That’s why Sasha Ashby hides her true self from her mother, who presides over a club of drug trafficking Mack truckers. Sasha wants a spot at the club’s table, Ashby Trucking is her legacy and she’ll do whatever it takes to secure her rightful place in the holler. To fulfill her mother’s expectations, she fakes a relationship with her best friend Vinny. The scheme is on track until Vinny’s older brother gets out of jail, breezes into her position, and her bed.

Before Sasha can decipher how not one but two men could worm their way into her heart, a war breaks out with a rival biker gang. As the battle to control the roads heats up, so does the passion between Sasha, her best friend, his brother, and the stream of women who climb into the cab of her semi.

When the gunfire fades and lives are lost, Sasha has to choose what matters most in her world. The club life she always thought she wanted or the freedom to be herself, which she hadn’t known was missing until it was gone.

Complete at 79,000 words, ASHBY HOLLER is a new adult criminal suspense saturated in romance. With its edgy and risqué content, this novel will appeal to readers of Dennis Lehane’s The Drop and viewers of the television series Sons of Anarchy.

I am a fulltime writer who enjoys both the creative side as well as the editing process. My debut novel (a YA sci-fi thriller) is slated for release in March 2017 from Month9Books.

I wouldn’t say it’s the best query letter I’ve ever written, but it was effective. It introduced the setting, main character, and the overall predicament. As the letter progressed, the suspense and stakes escalated, ending with the potential of the main character’s ultimate sacrifice. I left my novel stats, comp titles, and bio in the example above because I know a lot of writers have a lot of questions on how to organize this section of a query letter.

I hope this has been helpful, and good luck out there in the query trenches.

1 comment:

  1. Five paragraphs instead of the traditional three or four. Bold move!