25th January 2019 at 11:33 am #81978
I am writing to seek representation for my first novel in the Kate Lawson series of books, Double Shot, a thriller of 75,000 words. A book where a retired female Military Intelligence officer saves the lives of the men in her life.
The book opens with Kate Lawson having a flashback of a car bomb being set off. A couple of days later after a meeting with an old acquaintance and director at her father’s personal security company she accepts a contract to investigate a series of assassinations ranging from South America to The Middle East. All the victims were being protected by personal security operatives except for the last two. They were both employees of her father’s company including a friend that Kate hadn’t seen for many years.
Kate is a highly skilled, independent intelligence officer with a real flair for solving complex problems. However she has not solved the complex problem of herself. What are the recurring nightmares and flashbacks about, why doesn’t her father contact her directly and why do all her friend seem to be lapsed ones?
My book occupies the same kind of territory associated with Lee Child and I have already started writing the second in the series.
In December 2001, I left the British Army after serving for 23 years as a weapons specialist. Until 2016 I lived with undiagnosed PTSD.
I gave up work 2 years ago and moved to Spain where I can devote my time to writing.
Thank you for your time and assistance. I look forward to your response.
25th January 2019 at 11:43 am #81981
Is this for us to comment on? If so, one typo ‘friend’ should be friends.
It sounds very interesting and I would think would make the agent take a close look at it.
I’ve taken to self-publishing, it’s quicker and once a bit of research is done, like following the excellent advice by Harry et al here, it seems to work very well.
25th January 2019 at 12:57 pm #81997
I like the sound of the book – it’s the type of thing I like reading.
I think your second paragraph contains too much information and is in danger of becoming a potted synopsis. If you are aiming for a UK agent then it should really be your elevator pitch. I wonder if you could get rid of that paragraph altogether, and put some of the info into the next paragraph. Something like:
Kate is a highly skilled, independent intelligence officer with a real flair for solving complex problems. This gives her confidence when she accepts a contract to investigate a series of assassinations, even though her father was the employer of two of the victims. However she has not solved the complex problem of herself. What are the recurring nightmares and flashbacks about, why doesn’t her father contact her directly and why do all her friend seem to be lapsed ones?
I am sorry to read of your travails with PTSD and I am assuming your reference to it is because it is relevant to the book in some way. However your letter does not make it clear whether it is, and I think it should. Is Kate suffering from PTSD? If so, tell us somewhere.
Good luck with this.
31st January 2019 at 12:43 pm #89092
The book sounds great, and your military experience adds to back up your knowledge of the genre. As far as the letter goes, as I am slowly learning, less is more. In the very first paragraph I’m not keen on ‘A book where…’. I would End the opening paragraph at the word count, and condense the next two into one, much as Bella suggests.
Best of luck.
8th February 2019 at 12:59 pm #90101
I’d like to thank everyone for their comments.
I found them all very interesting.
I also think that the comments prove what a subjective challenge writing the ‘perfect’ query letter is.
As the letter is not formulaic the selection of agents that you send it to have to be carefully researched.
As Harry says in his presentation of how to write a query letter, if it doesn’t whet the appetite of the agent they probably won’t bother reading the manuscript. If they do read the manuscript they have forgotten the query letter by the time they have reached the bottom of page 5.
good luck to you all with your writing careers.
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