Just Because it Burns Doesn’t Mean You’re Gonna Die (Query Writing Sucks, But You Gotta Try.)

Yes, I quoted Pink. It’s an awesome song, and she’s got a point. Query writing sucks. It’s hard, but if you don’t try, then you can never succeed.

Also, you guys should know that my original novel never made it into Pitch Wars, or anywhere else. What I learned as someone trying to enter Pitch Wars gave me the tools to write a novel that landed me an agent. The community helped me with my query letter. I went through like 12+ drafts before this one. So, make sure to involve yourself with the community and find your tribe, or at the very least, soak up all the knowledge floating around out there.

A few tips: Try to keep it between 250-350 words. Make it long enough to make the plot of the story clear, and be able to define your stakes, but don’t make your query a letter a novel. Don’t name more than three characters, because it gets super confusing. No, no, no, no rhetorical questions. Clear stakes are a must. If you’re not sure about the stakes, try using this little formula to get thinking: My character must do this or that (usually a consequence) will happen.

It doesn’t work every time, but it might give you a starting place that you can evolve from.

Anyway, without further ado:

Dear Super-Amazing Agent

REDEMPTION is a romantic thriller, complete at 71,000 words.

There’s no manual for how to cope with being the daughter of a serial killer.

When twenty-six-year-old Molly Harper returns to North Carolina for her father’s execution after spending the past twenty years in the Witness Protection Program, she doesn’t anticipate crossing paths with Aidan Spencer, the son of her father’s final victim and the boy who convinced her to turn him in all those years ago. Desperate to know if he escaped the shadow of the horrific murders, she follows him to the general store where he works.

But Molly gets more integrated into his life than she plans when she thrusts Aidan’s little boy out of the way of an oncoming car and winds up in the hospital. As she recovers, Aidan shows her kindness and patience unlike any she’s ever known by accepting her for who he thinks she is. Love blossoms between them, but when the truth of Molly’s past is revealed, her fears are recognized as Aidan casts her out. Molly once again tries to run from her past, but winds up in the path of an insane kidnapper hell-bent on finishing the work Molly’s father started long ago.

As her past catches up with her present, Molly finds she’s not the only victim. The kidnapper also takes Aidan’s son intending to create the perfect family. But Molly knows if they don’t play their parts, if they upset the kidnapper, they’ll wind up just like her father’s original victims.

About me section that actually pretty much no longer applies in 2018, so I won’t bore you with it.

Per your guidelines, I have included whatever their guidelines specified.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Natasha Raulerson
Email
Phone
Social Media

There ya go. I’m super thankful that my agent gave me a chance, because I still cringe when I look at my query, and a lot of times, I think that’s a natural reaction.  So, if you’re looking and cringing, well, most of us who already have agents, are right there with ya.

I hope this offers some insights for you guys and I can’t wait to read your stuff!

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#8 Terrible Titles

Never judge a book by it’s cover. A lot of people still do. If the title doesn’t call to them or they don’t like the cover art, they may well continue perusing the shelves. That’s all subjective, but taking the time to come up with a decent title for your book will definitely give you an edge when someone is searching for a book, but have no idea what they want to read. A good title, will at least (hopefully) have someone pulling the book off the shelf to read the blurb on the back.

The most awesome Kathy Palm tagged me for the terrible title blog hop. Not only is she a fantabulous writer, but I’m lucky to have her as one of my CP partners. Kathy is great with layering novels and short stories to make sure everything is where it should be. She’s got an eye for detail and a thirst for magic. Not to mention a twisted and dark imagination which I love!

Ahem.

So. Blog Hop. Right.

I have to pick one of my manuscripts and randomly pick out words to play the bad title. Eight times I must do this! Eight times I must laugh, cringe, or say–OH MY GOD WHAT KIND OF TITLE IS THAT?!

Bad Title #1: Old Cannery So not the image I want to be immediately in the readers head. At least not for this book. 😀

Without Further Ado

Continue reading

Novels, Blog Posts, WriMo, and Writing – OH MY!

It’s been a minute or two since I’ve done a straight up written blog post. Most of the posts this day have to do with Whiskey, Wine, & Writing. I want to say thank you to everyone who has been watching. I’m having a lot of fun doing it, and I get to hang out with some great people. There’s been a ton of things going on with me these days–and yes, I’m still writing! In fact, book number three is all conceptualized and ready to go. I’m just impatiently waiting for the arrival of November 1st to start NaNoWrimo.

No promises I’ll make it that long. Each  night I go to bed I’m coming up with new scenes for WITHOUT INCIDENT as I’m calling it. I’m ten ways excited to start it.

But, before I get involved in the new project, let me take some time to appreciate and say thank you to some people who helped me with REDEMPTION, which is now out to query.

Tiffany Hofmann – My most epic CP partner. @THofAuthor

EL Wickers – Who is always so supportive and insightful. @ELWickers

Diana Pinguicha – For the thoughts, comments, and motivation she offers from Beta Reading. @Pinguicha

Kathy Palm – Who knows how to layer things like no one else. @KathleenPalm

And a special thanks to JENNIFER BLACKWOOD who was kind enough to help me with my query.

Without the help of these wonderful women, REDEMPTION would not be where it is. Make sure you check out and follow their blogs and stalk them on twitter.

For the moment, I’ve decided to stop querying BLOOD MOON. While it will always be near and dear to my heart, someone recently said, you only get one debut, and I just don’t think it’s meant to be that particular book. So, it shall sit on the shelf until I think the time is right and I’ll go from there. Right now, I’ll be focusing on REDEMPTION and WITHOUT INCIDENT.

WHEW! There’s a lot of stuff coming up! Saturday, the lovely Jennifer Blackwood will be on Whiskey, Wine, & Writing talking about her debut novel – UNETHICAL! There will also be a giveaway, so make sure you tune in! Bring any and all questions you may have for Jen! We’ll be around from 8pm-9pm eastern time!

Next month we also have Brighton Walsh, Matt Cox, and Rhonda Helms joining us on the show. We’ll also be talking about NaNoWriMo. Speaking of, I’m doing some guest blogs over at the official Ft. Lauderdale WriMo Blog found here.

Whiskey, Wine, & Writing is a lot of fun, and I’m so grateful to have these wonderful authors on the show!

If you’re a published author and would like to come on, talk about your book, do a giveaway etc, feel free to email me at thirtynerdyfabulous(at)gmail(dot)com.

All right folks, that’s it for today’s Blog Post. I will see you all Saturday for Whiskey, Wine, & Writing!