Just Write Cat

One Writer, One Journey

Query Me This…My Queries November 17, 2009

Filed under: Agents,Query — justwritecat @ 11:04 pm
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As promised, below are the before and after queries.  I sent the first one out to two agents, both passed.  Looking back, I’m not amazed by that fact.  More like upset with myself for sending out a clearly not-yet-ready query.  I thought it was…but I was wrong.

 The Before:

(note that I included a couple of lines customized to the agent, not included here)

Medical examiner Joe Cooper is a vampire with an insatiable appetite for booze, blood and women—and a hunger for justice. 

Joe would rather be drinking scotch.  Instead he’s up to his fangs in murdered Innocents, partnered with a suck-up profiler sent by the Council, and chasing rogue vampires on a killing spree during Baltimore’s peak tourist season.  Using his vampiristic abilities and skills acquired as a medical examiner, Joe tracks down the vamps responsible for the murders.  When he does, he discovers there’s more at stake than a group of bloodsuckers hell-bent on breaking all the laws that govern his kind.  And that the vampire calling the shots is the same one who turned him sixty years ago—a female with the darkest of blood running through her veins.  As the story draws to a close, Joe realizes that before you can knock down all your demons, you have to SET ‘EM UP, JOE. 

My 92,000 word manuscript, SET ‘EM UP, JOE, is an urban fantasy similar in style to Richelle Mead’s Dark Swan series; with flavors of noir similar to those found in The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher.  It is my first novel and the first of a proposed five book series featuring Joe Cooper. 

May I send my manuscript for your consideration?

Thank you for your time, 

Catherine Misener  (contact information was included with query)

I’m going to comment on why I think this one didn’t work, but first: 

The After

Dear, (again, I included a few lines customized to each agent I queried.  More on this when I compare the two queries.)

SET ‘EM UP, JOE is a 92,700 word paranormal noir similar in style to Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files.  It is my first novel.

Being undead has its perks.  And for medical examiner Joe Cooper those include inhuman strength, good looks to spare, and the ability to get what he wants from any woman, anywhere, anytime.  Joe’s a vampire with a lust for booze, blood and the fairer sex.  And while Joe could spend all his nights with one hand on a bottle of scotch and the other on some curvy dame, being a member of the walking damned does carry baggage.  That tug on his conscience that for every ounce of blood he takes, he should give a little something back.  So to his other appetites, add a hunger for justice. 

Sure, Joe likes his blood direct from the source—and that doesn’t mean cud-chewing cows or big-eyed deer—but in his world, that doesn’t mean his mark has to die.  Take what you need and never leave the human worse for wear.  When others of his kind fail to follow that dictum, Joe doesn’t hesitate to point out the folly of their ways.  And in Baltimore, the latest place Joe calls home, more than one rogue vamp needs redirection. 

In this novel—the first of a proposed five book series—Joe finds himself up to his fangs in murdered Innocents and chasing rogue vampires on a killing spree during Charm City’s peak tourist season.  Using his vampiristic abilities and skills acquired as a medical examiner, Joe tracks down the vamps responsible for the murders.  When he does, he discovers there’s more at stake than a group of bloodsuckers hell-bent on breaking all the laws that govern his kind.  And that the vampire calling the shots is the same one who has hunted him for decades, the same one who turned him sixty years ago—a female with the darkest of blood running through her veins.  A nasty bit of goods he’s done everything he could to avoid, but the time for running is over.  Joe soon realizes that before you can knock down all your demons, you have to SET ‘EM UP, JOE. 

May I send you my manuscript for consideration? 

Thank you for your time, 

Catherine Misener (contact information, plus personal and character blogs included)

And there you go…two queries.  My thoughts on why I feel the second one is better, and the thought process behind my query next!

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One Response to “Query Me This…My Queries”

  1. Monica Says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience and queries, keep us posted on how things go!


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