If you ask any writer about the process of connecting with their agent (or publisher), the majority will say the most difficult part was querying. Not only the actual process of sending out the letters/emails, but formulating the query itself. In fact, I’ve heard more than a few authors say writing their query took almost as long as drafting their book!
Some people have the talent of being able to summarize their book in a few sentences, but for those who don’t, I wanted to provide a resource so writers could learn what works, and what doesn’t, in a query.
Today, I’m pleased to share a successful Women’s Fiction query from Laura Heffernan…
Life after college isn’t as advertised: Jen’s low-paying job is uninspiring, her apartment is tiny, and her boyfriend works all the time. When she finds an ad seeking intelligent, adventurous 21-25 year-olds for a new competition-based reality show, Jen is ready for the challenge.
Things go quickly downhill when Jen’s apartment building converts to condominiums, her employer lays off her department, and she meets the wife she didn’t know her boyfriend had. With little to keep her home, Jen leaps into the competition, solving puzzles, exploring mazes, and having the time of her life. Things change when Jen finds herself embroiled in a love triangle, battling another woman for the attention of fellow contestant Justin. As the show progresses, she struggles to win viewer votes while trying to tell what’s real and what’s part of the show. It’s a tricky balancing act, and one that’s hard to manage without lying, cheating, or backstabbing. When Jen discovers that she’s on the verge of elimination, she must decide whether to sacrifice the money, her chance at love, or herself.
My book is called I WAS A SUMMER REALITY STAR. It is women’s fiction, in the vein of Emily Giffin meets Big Brother.
Before sending my first query, I had to drink a glass of wine. I sent sixty-seven queries before getting an offer.
Laura Heffernan is a California-born women’s fiction writer, represented by Michelle Richter at Fuse Literary. One Saturday morning when she was four or five, Laura sat down at the family’s Commodore 64 and typed out her first short story. She’s written both fiction and non-fiction ever since. Laura also works as a freelance editor and interns for a super cool literary agent who’s not much like Voldemort but shall not be named, anyway.
When she used to have spare time, Laura enjoyed travel, baking, playing board games, playing video games, and testing out new experiences. She lives in the northeast with her amazing husband and two furry little beasts. This time of year, you can probably find her sipping a salted caramel mocha and trying to pretend winter’s not on its way. For more on Laura, checkout her website or follow her on Twitter.