STATUS: I’m hearing some interesting rumors through the romance grapevine. Nothing I can share quite yet but when I hear a confirm, I’ll fill you guys in. What are Mondays for except to set up a crisis for later in the week…
What’s playing on the iPod right now? DO-RE-ME by Julie Andrews
Because I really needed to, I stayed up late last night reading about 100 queries (yes, I was a little behind). Newsflash I know. But I had an interesting thought while I was reading those queries and since that doesn’t happen often…
Okay, that was a lame joke but it is a Monday after all. I do think this is important if you are in the middle of the query process. Many times in query letters, writers will mention that they read one of my clients books and that was partly why they decided to query me.
I have to say I like that. It tells me you didn’t just do a quick research on the internet and then shoot me a query. It means that you took the time to read (or skim) a client book so as to target your query. How could an agent not be flattered?
But then I noticed something. The book mentions didn’t really hold any weight for me except when writers deliberately had cited a specific scene or something that had happened to a main character in the query letter itself. Because then I knew that they had, indeed, actually read the novel. (And even if you didn’t read the whole thing and only read let’s say the first 50 pages, well heck, I won’t call you on it. You at least made more than an effort then the general querier.) I can’t say I then ask for sample pages 100% of the time but it’s probably close.
Here’s the other thought that struck me. The read-the-client mention also only worked for me when the connection was obvious to the query project being proposed. In other words, if writers had read a client novel that didn’t really have much to do with their type of work, I have to say it confused me more than helped. I couldn’t help but think that gee, it’s interesting that the author had read Marianne Mancusi’s STAKE THAT! (for example) but I’m not sure how that YA title has anything to do with this adult horror novel (or whatever) the writer is presenting in the query.
Do you see what I mean?
Now I do give extra points to writers who creatively make the connection or just outright say that STAKE THAT! doesn’t really mesh with their proposed project but since they had read it and liked it, they thought I would be open to XYZ. That works—just as long as there is a clear enough reference to an actual scene or character in the book that demonstrates that it was read.
And speaking of… GIRLS THAT GROWL hits shelves this week as well.
Third in Mancusi’s hip, sassy vampire series, featuring the heroine of Stake That!
She’s a vampire. She’s also a vampire slayer. (It’s a long story, don’t ask.) And now Rayne McDonald, Goth girl, has to carry out her most deviant mission yet: trying out for the cheerleading squad.
Rayne already has enough on her plate: her twin keeps whining about whether or not to go all the way; her mom’s boyfriend is moving in; and her man, Jareth, who’s now allowed out in the sun, has turned from a dark, brooding hottie vamp into a surfer dude.
But this vampire slayer is still on the clock, and she has a new assignment. A member of the football team has disappeared-and her bosses at Slayer Inc. think the cheerleaders had something to do with it. Now they want her to infiltrate the squad and get the dirt. But first, she’ll need an extreme prep makeover. If only they’d let her wear fishnets under that revolting uniform…