Thursday, January 22, 2009

Input please!!

Well, since I'm seriously serious about trying to get my book published I have researched different literary agents to send a query letter to. This has proven to be the most daunting task of the whole project. Write and 81,000 word story? No problem. Write a one page query letter to an agent or publisher? GASP! Panic attack.
I've read sample queries, I've read many tips of how to write one, the dos and the don'ts, but do I feel prepared? No I do not.
I've actually written a query, (basically a cover letter) and am going to post it here for your consideration. I risk embarrassing myself with the poorly structured/written proposal, but I do need input. So please, if you have the time, do read my letter and then let me know what I can do to make it worthy to send in to professionals. Be candid.

Melanie Nelson
2024 Belmont Drive
Saratoga Springs, UT 84045

January 20, 2009



Karen Moss, is no longer able to classify herself as being “normal”. The story starts as Karen wakes up in a strange place with a strange man and wearing strange clothes. The image she sees in a mirror reflects an older version of herself. When she learns that she is no longer seventeen years old, but twenty-two, her family and husband (the strange man) determine that she has amnesia. It doesn’t take Karen long to realize that the truth is much more disconcerting; she shifts through time. While she was five years into her future, an older Karen had taken her place as a seventeen year old. While the shifts were never predictable, a frightening change occurs when they become new and unknown to even the older Karen. Not only is time behaving erratically, the lives of Karen’s future family are in mortal danger and only Karen can prevent a tragic outcome. Told from the viewpoint of our younger Karen – excepting journal entries and written messages from the future heroin – and replete with humor and real-to-life teenage attitudes, this 81,000+ word story will entertain teenagers and adults alike.

Because of the time-traveling aspect of this book, I would categorize it as a YA Science Fiction, though light on the science and heavy on the fiction.

I have been faithfully writing in my journal since I was seven years old and have excelled in my English and Literature college courses. Reading and writing have always been my passion and I spend as much time with both as I can. Since I am a stay at home mom, I am able to make plenty of time for these, my hobbies.

I am looking forward to the prospect of working with you in the future and have included an SASE for a prompt response. Thank-you for your time.


Melanie Nelson


Anonymous said...

I think overall it is very good. In the first paragraph, the last sentence is very long. I think it should start our with (This book, or This story is told.) Then the sentence should end at teenage attitudes. Then the last part a new sentence.


Wayne said...

I think it is very good Melanie. I agree with your Mom, that last sentence can be broken into 2. I was going to suggest that two spaces follow a period but I guess I am just old school. I checked a few books at home, some have two spaces, others have one space. So it's all good.

Lora Dawn said...

I attended a gathering recently where the owner of a Boise book store lectured. She said she was willing to talk to people about publisher pros and cons and about promoting their own books.

Email me if you want me to send you her contact info.

Melanie said...

Actually, Dad, I thought that I had used the two-space after a period rule, as that is my habit. But as I was researching submission guidelines for a certain agency they specifically said to NOT use that rule. That was the first time that I had heard that. So if I didn't use two spaces in some parts, it was on accident. :)

Melanie said...

It appears that blogger changes it for me. I did a copy and paste from the word processor, but while I have two spaces after the periods there, it is true that there is only one space here in blogger. I had nothing to do with it. :)

Martha said...

Very good, Melanie. In fact, I like your summary here better than I liked your "impromptu jacket summary" that I asked you for. Makes me want to read it even more.

SouthfieldFam said...

Lorraine Taylor in the 1st ward has published several novels that are sold at the deseret book store. I know she would be more than willing to help you out! She read my Dads book and made a ton of suggestions but he got too sick too fast to ever see it through. If you want her email address or phone number let me know!

Smullin Family said...

Interesting story plot.

I'm so excited for your new adventure. I'm glad you're making it a reality. Way to go!

Being candid here:
-Maybe use "begins" instead of "starts".
-Put commas in between strange place, strange man, wearing strange clothes.
-Reconsider the "while's" and "that's".
-Last sentence restructure, as suggested by others.

Please take my suggestions/comments with a grain of salt. I'm no English major. :o)

Good job!

Stephanie said...

One space is now the thing to do. Don't know why, but I really don't think I can break my two spaces habit. And blogger automatically makes it one space.