Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Query Letter I Wish I Could Send

I'm having the worst time writing a query letter.  I mean, I knew it was going to be hard, and all, but I didn't think it would be this hard.  I wrote the f*cking book.  I should know what it's about, and how to explain it in a business letter.  But man, it's hard.

So anyway, I thought I'd write a letter that said exactly what I was thinking, just to get it all out, and then maybe after I do that I can go back to writing the more appropriate kind.  But I kind of love my awkward brain-barf letter, so I thought I'd post it here for laughs.

Dear Mr. Bransford,

    I read your blog.  I read it every time I'm trying to write something and can't.  I'm not the biggest fan of the site layout and I don't watch reality T.V., or sports, because I haven't had cable since I was seven, so I totally can't impress you with jokes about the Lakers like that lady in the example query, but you seem pretty smart, and I like smart people.  Also it says, “When in doubt, query me,” and I'm definitely in doubt.  Not necessarily about your representation preferences, since I researched you as an agent, but I'm in doubt about some things, and you didn't specify.
    I went on this road trip to visit all of my ex-boyfriends in a desperate attempt to figure out whether they had a better handle on achieving a self-made life than I did, and then I wrote a book about it.  I called it The Only Cowboy and it has 76,000 words. Technically I guess I can say it's a memoir since you'd need to, like, market and shelve it, but I feel pretty douchey calling something I wrote a “memoir” when I'm only 24.  Plus it just sounds like a granny word, you know?  Like the way old ladies still say “toilette” or “derriere” when they're trying to say an impolite thing politely. 
    My one ex-boyfriend ate a raw rabbit in front of me, once.  He killed it at the golf course with a rock.  That's in the book.  Later he tried to give me a venereal disease.  That's in there, too.  He was a really sweet guy when we were dating, but I kind of f*cked him over and then he decided the world was a cruel place and he didn't want to play anymore.  He tried to pretend he was living his life however he wanted and no one could tell him what to do, but really he was hiding.  I couldn't get him to come out of his rabbit hole so I left him there. 
    My other ex-boyfriend was a literary genius who liked to send any money he earned straight up his nose.  But I would probably still donate my liver to him if he asked.  And if we had the same blood type; I guess that would be important, too.  When I went to see him on the road trip he was working a shit job and living in his parents' house and that was kind of disappointing, although not as disappointing as finding out that love doesn't actually conquer the combined effects of cocaine addiction, five years' separation, and a preference for being liked over living up to your own enormous potential.  People say it conquers all, and that kind of thing, but really it just kind of gets tucked away like an old sweater while the rest of your life goes on.
    Turns out I was the only one who was really doing anything.  It was kind of funny, you know? Because there I was, trying to learn from my ex-boyfriends how they made their lives into what they wanted, but I was the one on the road trip, making the effort to live my life and learn about myself.  My ex-boyfriends were just really smart drunks.
    Anyway, I don't know if the book is any good.  I've never had anything published before so you won't have any other editors you can ask about my writing.  But I had a lot of fun writing it so maybe it will be fun to read, too.
           Thanks,


          Hilary

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