Just A Few Words...

Welcome to my blog, which is designed to give information and inside gossip about The Furry Tale Chronicles, my rom-com series. The first book, If The Shoe Fits, releases with Crimson Romance in April 2013.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Query Tweaking


I entered a Query Blog Fest yesterday on my main blog, and got some fabulous feedback from several people. I thought I'd post the original query, and then my revised version on here, just to see how they compare, and what your thoughts are. So here goes...

Original Query:

Name
Address
Contact numbers
Email

Dear Ms Agent,

Take one damsel unknowingly in distress, add a fairy-godmother, a spattering of nudity, and a Prince-in-the-making. Mix thoroughly and let simmer for a while.


Ella, a twenty-something woman from Cardiff, loves her job, her little house, her two best friends, and her cat. She enjoys nights out on the town, drinking a little too much vodka, and swearing more than she should. She's happy with her life, and it doesn't need changing, right?


But what will she do when her cat starts talking and insists she is Ella's fairy godmother? And what will happen when a new man arrives to take over as boss at Cardiff Mode, the modeling agency where Ella works? Will Max Charming change her mind about needing a man?


Cue plenty of laughs, cursing, accidental nudity, and several trips to the local hospital, as Ella flies from one disaster to the next in her quest to capture her very own Prince Charming.


A modern fairytale, Cardiffella is complete at 60,000 words. It is the first novel in a mini-series that is set in my home city of Cardiff. I have enclosed a SAE for your convenience, and a full synopsis and/or sample chapters are available on request. Thank you very much for your time and consideration, I look forward to hearing from you.

Regards,
Tara Smith.

General feedback was much the same - keep the first and last paragraphs of the pitch, but condense the middle two and make them less 'list-y' and 'question -y'. Bearing this in mind, here is my first revision:

Name
Address
Contact numbers
Email

Dear Ms Agent,

Take one damsel unknowingly in distress, add a fairy-godmother, a spattering of nudity, and a Prince-in-the-making. Mix thoroughly and let simmer for a while.

Ella Gibson loves her life as a typical twenty-something Cardiffian. With great friends, a job she enjoys thoroughly, and a loving father, everything is pretty much perfect. Then one day things suddenly change. Ella's cat begins to talk, causing Ella to think she is insane (and quite possibly the cat too). Then the feline insists she's a Fairy Godmother, and hatches a plan to set Ella up with her new boss, Max Charming. Throw in an evil ex-stepmother, and a new tendency for clumsiness, and Ella starts to think that maybe her life could do with a little perfecting after all.

Cue plenty of laughs, cursing, accidental nudity, and several trips to the local hospital, as Ella flies from one disaster to the next in her quest to capture her very own Prince Charming.

A modern fairytale, Cardiffella is complete at 60,000 words. It is the first novel in a mini-series that is set in my home city of Cardiff. I have enclosed a SAE for your convenience, and a full synopsis and/or sample chapters are available on request. Thank you very much for your time and consideration, I look forward to hearing from you.

Regards,
Tara Smith.


So, does this sound any better? It's nowhere near 'done', but hopefully it's an improvement at the very least.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Query Hell





So I'm around a month into my editing schedule (more or less), and I'm not quite on target, but further along than I thought I'd be. Editing is a Nightmare. *nods* Anyway, in between adding a few hundred words here and there (and cutting some of the dead weight), I have also been worrying about the big 'Q'.


Yes, The Dreaded Query. *cue theme from Jaws*

Whether you are submitting to a literary agent or a publishing house, the first obstacle you have to overcome is the querying hurdle. One little page is all you need to prepare, but this one page is more important than any of the 300+ pages of your manuscript.

A hook. A short synopsis. A brief bio. That's it. Three little paragraphs. And they terrify me.

I've been doing a lot of online research lately, both on publishers and independent agents. I believe my best course of action would be to submit direct to a publisher, and I have a small but steadily growing list of prospectives. Of course, that's the easy part.

The Dreaded Query itself is the next monster I have to face, and he's pretty scary. Not only do I have to make it brief - itself a daunting prospect for a committed rambler - but it has to 'pop'. It has to have something that will immediately grab the attention of whoever is reading it. With legitimate publishing houses probably receiving 100+ queries on any given day, if you don't stand out right away, you are sunk. The ratio of unpublished authors to publishers seeking new clients is probably so high that it's far too depressing to even contemplate.

So... hook; synopsis; bio. Gah... maybe editing isn't such a nightmare after all.

Image borrowed from picasawebdotgoogledotcom. 

Don't forget to pop along to my other blog, Princess of Procrastination, where I am currently plodding through the fabulous A-Z- Challenge, and having a marvelous time!