Saturday, January 8, 2011

Home Sweet Home

We rolled into the driveway at 10 p.m. on Thursday night, ending a 3 week road trip. We drove through Georgia and South Carolina, where we visited with cousins before spending 2 wonderful weeks with family on Long Island. Then we came home through the Appalachians, ate at much loved Roanoke eatery (which had a cartoon on the wall of the women's restroom that scared the bee-jezuss out of our son), and then drove home. The LSU Tigers won their bowl match-up against Texas A&M last night. And today, my husband is making breakfast and we still have the weekend ahead of us. Aside from spending $500 on the car because some moron plowed the snow off a curb at a gas station, making us think the entrance was about six feet closer than it actually was, this has been the best holiday EVER.

Now then...[cracks knuckles]...I am working on January Black query letter #.... (Thinking aloud...#1 would be the rejected letter to The Knight Agency. #2 included the stupid-in-hindsight mention of Chutney to The Nelson Agency...) THREE...query letter #3. Ugh...I read yesterday that root canals are preferable to writing these suckers and they are NOT kidding.

But, I've been reading some great articles of what NOT to do with a query letter and it's helping. Writing professionally, (sorry Nelson), while not coming off stiffly, (sorry Knight), seems to be the approach that most agents are looking for.

One site recommends a "When..." opening, and another suggests introducing the protagonist in a way that shows the agent who he is. And then summarize the story in the second paragraph. That's right...summarize 98,000 words in one  paragraph.

This is attempt #3:

When Matthias Ducayn walks up the steps into The Observatory to meet King Hadrian Steer, he computes the terminal velocity of a paper ball as he watches it fall to the floor. His intelligence often gets the better of him. Today, it’s gotten him expelled from school, which sets the stage for Hadrian to send Matty on a quest, posed as a question: “What was January Black?”

Everyone knows that ‘The January Black’ was a ship, but where the ship got its name is a mystery no one cares to solve. Every instance of the word ‘January’ has been deleted from the kingdom’s databases. To answer Hadrian’s question, Matty has to take a leaps of faith across the holes in his kingdom’s history and drown himself in a sea of old books. As he pieces together the clues, a picture of a long forgotten astrophysicist emerges. Her life teaches Matty about passion, fidelity, and sacrifice. He juggles his pursuit of January Black with his first girlfriend, a lively gardener named Iris Locke. The experience will transform him from a walking calculator into a subversive activist who will risk losing Iris and his own life to complete the king’s task.

I am taking a different direction with this one. I'm looking at a ePublisher called Lillibridge Press. I don't know how well received January Black will be by their apparently secular progressive staff, but I'm willing to give them the benefit of doubt and I hope they'll do the same for me.

But first...[sigh]...laundry, dishes, kitchen floor....

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