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 writers say writing their query took them 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.
With that in mind, I’m pleased to share today’s successful query from Jennifer Blackwood. This great query connected her with her agent, Courtney Miller-Callihan of Greenburger Associates.
The last week of Payton Daniels’s senior year of high school her M.D. father did something unforgivable—he killed her mother—and created the biggest medical scandal of the decade. Fleeing to Florida State after graduation, she severed ties with everything from her past, including her long-term boyfriend. But when scholarship money runs out, twenty-year-old Payton has no choice but to go back to California and enroll at Drexler University to escape debt purgatory, and lay low until she applies to medical school in the spring.
As classes begin, Payton discovers her Medical Ethics teacher, who steers every class discussion to her father’s illegal use of assisted suicide, is on the medical admissions board. Worse, she runs into her ex-high school sweetheart, Blake Hiller, who also happens to be a med major and is enrolled in the same class.
Blake does everything in his power to make class as awkward as possible for Payton. As if being at the same university isn’t close enough, they both apply for a medical internship and both receive positions. Being forced together for hours each week is just what the soon-to-be doctor ordered. With their relationship burning hotter than an Erlenmeyer flask on a Bunsen burner, Payton feels her walls melting down. But when Payton is asked to testify in her father’s high-profile trial, she must decide if she is willing to help her father and risk her acceptance to medical school or discard her past—including the only guy she’s ever loved.
UNETHICAL is a 64,000 word dual narrative New Adult Contemporary Romance. It has a topical focus like Robin York’s Deeper, with a lighter, humorous voice reminiscent of Cora Carmack’s Faking It.
Query tidbit from Jennifer:
My agent was part of the first batch of queries I sent out in October, 2013. She offered representation in March, 2014! Don’t give up. Querying (for most people) takes a long time!
Jennifer Blackwood is an English teacher and New Adult author. She lives in Oregon with her husband, son, and poorly behaved black lab puppy. When she isn’t writing or teaching, she’s binging on Veronica Mars episodes and white cheddar popcorn. Blackwood writes about gray area issues with steamy tension and sizzling romance. But don’t worry—her tortured heroes always get their happily ever after they deserve. She is represented by the fabulous Courtney Miller-Callihan from Greenburger Associates. Her debut novel, UNETHICAL, is now available from Entangled Embrace.