Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Dear Agent


Dear Agent:

I know what I am supposed to do. I've read the internet articles that state how to write a query letter. I've even written said query letter, and then edited it, multiple times, to the point that I've  got the letter memorized and fear that I will recite it the next time I stand up to lecture. I might start off this letter in some interesting way, hoping to find a hook and reel you right in with a bunch of bull crap, about how I found you or what it means to be a writer, but in the end, you know why I am writing: I have a book I want to have represented and I'd like to find someone to represent it. Let's cut to the chase, why don't we?

Now the question is, would I like that agent to be you? I guess I should address that fact right now. I could (and should) tell you why I think you might be just the person for the job, but to be honest (and as you can tell, I'm being very forthright here), I don't know if you are the right person for the job. I don't know if I'd like you to represent my book. I just want someone. Anyone, really. A warm body that has represented other books. A person who at least has a small pile of published titles on their curriculum vitae. Someone that wears the title of literary agent because, without you or someone like you, I might end up on Amazon at $0.99. Hell, I might still end up there, but at least, if I have you, I can say I tried my best to avoid that dismal fate.

Because in the end, I just want the novel that I have spent time, energy, and the usual blood, sweat, and tears on, to get published. I don't want to e-publish, self-publish, or not publish. I want a real literary agent to take my book, sell it to a publishing house, and get the damned thing into print. And I wouldn't mind both hardback and paperback editions, I might add. Then, once I'm established as a writer (or a one hit wonder, but I'd be in good company, i.e. Harper Lee), I can worry about whether or not you are right for the job. As long as you don't take too much of my money, I'll take you. (Sometimes I wonder if Tim didn't think that when we were dating, but that is of course, another story.)

So what do you say? Do you want to hear my story? I promise, promise, promise that it is far more eloquent than this letter. It isn't about vampires or werewolves; it doesn't involve BDSM; it's not another tale about a dystopian society in which we've lost all choice and some kids come along to question that fact. I'm not trying to corner the market on social issues or make a case for a certain religion. I wrote a story, one that my writing group says is worthy of publishing, and so I'd like to share it. And before you even ask the question,What credentials do the people in your writing group have to make such a statement? let me say this. The ladies of the group are writers, moms, teachers, musicians, athletes, and most of all, good representatives of all sorts of people that will, yes, buy books.

And while I may not be the next JK Rowling (who, by the way, didn't hold many people's interest with A Casual Vacancy but hey, we can't win them all), I'm certain, almost 100% certain, that my  writing is better than say, a Harlequin Romance. Or Twilight. Or The Vampire Diaries. Or City of Bones. Or countless other books I've picked up and put down because the sentences look like they've been strung together by kindergarteners. But wait, that statement isn't fair to those kids. Many children within the kindergarten set that I know can manage to come up with stories better than some of what I've seen out there.

So here we go. You know I'm looking for an agent, for a story that I've written. What was that story again? Well, we've got a girl. And a boy. And they happen to be the progeny (from different families) of some very famous people. People that, under ordinary circumstances, might have no reason to find one another. And yet, in my story, they do. The kids take a journey, both figuratively and literally, together and separately, only to find that the worlds they live in aren't quite as bad as they once thought. We've got humor, adventure, romance and a bit of eww factor, all in the span of 73,000 words. But if I tell you who these characters are and what they do, someone might run with my idea and write the book I already wrote. So, if you really want to hear more from me, send me an email. I'm waiting for you. (Or maybe not you, but we've already gone through this, right?)

Oh, and by the way, just in case it makes a difference, I am the author of several scientific journal articles, one coffee table book, and I won Honorable Mention in a writing contest this year. Plus, I have this spectacular blog. You should check it out, too, but don't be scared. My writing isn't nearly as crazy as my blog purports my life to be.

Respectfully yours.



mizzkain said...

Please. PLEASE. Send that letter. AS IS to SOMEONE out there. really.

just send it. It's an AWESOME query letter, and might just be the refreshingly honest slice-of-life-midewestern-writer-speak that someone-in-chi-new-los-ago-york-angeles is looking for.....

Submit. #now.

Chris said...

I don't know, Mizzkain. If I find the right person, I think I will. It can't hurt, right? If you see anyone that might fit the bill, let me know. And thanks for your support!