Well, I’ve gone and done it. I’ve sent out the first six query letters to five literary agents and one publisher. I like to imagine that my computer is currently acting like the post owls from JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series and that, in approximately four to eight weeks, my inbox will look like the Dursley’s fireplace. And all the emails will be acceptance letters, because we’re going to stay positive, people! (Don’t ask me what I really think is going to happen. Because it’s all doom and gloom up in my head).
I will say that this has been the most nerve-wracking part of this whole process. I’m very much a smart-ass. My perfect query letter would read something like this:
Yo, read this. Seriously. It’s the shizz. It’s got ghosts and scary stuff and cockroaches and inappropriate clients and a Mothman and cat pee and some aliens and more ghosts. HOW CAN YOU PASS THIS UP? You can’t. Seriously. Call me. Tomorrow. Let’s do high tea.
Don’t worry, that’s not my query letter. Thankfully, I wrote something much more professional. But, here’s the thing. I’ve written so many different versions of this letter, all in several different places, none of which were my home. The first draft was written at the local roller skating rink. A few days later, at the taekwondo studio, I scrapped the whole thing and wrote a new letter. I’ve gone back to it here and there, fixing a sentence, changing some words. And after polishing it off at piano lessons, I started my mass emails. This is what it’s like being a stay-at-home mother with author aspirations.
Just so you all know, after sending out those first few emails, I was shaking like a leaf from nerves. I even asked my daughter to hit the “Send” button on the first two emails in order to get me over the hump. Putting myself out there is the worst. My mind is full of images of agents and publishers, gathered around their computer monitors, laughing at my poor attempts. What ultimately calmed me down about the process was knowing there are other aspiring writers out there doing the same thing, writing their first query letters, or maybe they’re sending out their 100th letters, anxious and edgy, or cynical and disheartened. We’re all in the same boat. And that’s OK. Because I’m out here trying, something I would have never imagined doing several years ago.
I’ll keep you all posted on the results and will keep submitting through the summer months. Who knows? Maybe someone out there will love my book as much as I do and want to represent it and publish it for the masses. Fingers crossed.