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 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 where 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 May Bridges. This great query connected her with Kim Lionetti of BookEnds Literary Agency.
Killing June is a story where the world of whips and sweat-soaked skin collides with Sunday morning church, pecan pie, and keeping up appearances.
When Alex Ryan isn’t in her high-rise office in downtown Dallas, or being a dutiful daughter at Sunday morning service, she’s in a dim room with a crop in hand. Alex is diligent in making sure the world doesn’t know that she burns out the stresses of life under the biting heat of a cane. If you know her in that world, you know her as June, the side of herself she wants desperately to destroy.
Alex is ready to stop living her life in compartments, and that means confronting the man that terrorized her youth and created the monster inside her, June. Keeping those warring sections from colliding only gets harder from there.
Alex puts her trust in Robert, an old friend and ex-lover turned crime boss, to help her navigate the seedy underbelly of Dallas, TX. He’s willing to track down the man she’s looking for, but at a price. Taking on clients for Robert as a dominatrix has Alex walking a thin line between the life she’s running from, and the one she’s fighting for.
In that dark world, Alex meets Cade Brannon, a man with a taste for the rough side of kink that rivals her own. Alex insists that he stay in one of her life’s predefined compartments, but Cade refuses to play by her rules. One by one he makes his way into the sections of her life. Having someone see her as a whole is a kind of freedom Alex had never imagined. Cade also sees through Robert’s manipulations. He pulls Alex into his life to keep her safe but finds that he can’t save her from herself.
Cade is showing up at church services. The president of her company is calling in sexual favors in exchange for his silence. Robert is pulling her down a drug and alcohol fueled path of skin for sale. The parts of her life once kept separate, begin to bleed together. Alex fears it may tear her apart. She needs to take charge and learn to save herself before she loses everything: Robert, Cade, her career, her family’s hard earned image, and perhaps her life.
Killing June, a dark contemporary romance, is complete at 74,600 word. I have submitted Killing June to you because of your outstanding reputation as an agent representing romance.
Fun Tidbit: I reworked my query with a freelance editor, two of them, actually. The only line that survived the initial round of edits, is the first one. It’s so important to have someone else read your query. I sent out 55 queries in all before signing with super agent Kim.
May is a misplaced Southerner, living in Oregon where she writes dark, gritty contemporary romance, and even darker literary fiction. All of Oregon’s rainy days are spent inside writing, or drawing and covered in charcoal. But the sunny ones are the best. Those are almost always spent on the softball field. And truth be told, you can probably find her on a softball field even on the rainy days. If you want to find out more about May, or how to get your hands on Killing June, and the rest of the Saved by Sin trilogy follow her on twitter @Maybbooks or stalk her on Facebook and www.maybbooks.com Stop by, say hi, don’t be shy!