Seeing as I’m on vacation in Utah this week, and thus far, far away from my beloved iMac, I planned ahead for a post that wouldn’t require illustrations. There’s a post about healthy eating that I’ve been promising myself for a long time that I would write, and it was on the docket for this week.

Sadly for health nuts everywhere (I know you were all waiting to make my post your new manifesto), that particular topic has been kicked to the curb by my sudden, overwhelming obsession with impending doom.

I.E.: Query letters.

I just checked the site of the publisher I’ve been eyeing for my manuscript. In the months since I started that project, they’ve gone from accepting full manuscripts to only accepting query letters.

Death to all tyrants.

If I’d known that my query letter would actually need to make an impression (instead of just being a piece of paper on the front of a manuscript practically guaranteed to knock any editor’s socks off ’cause, let’s face it, I wrote it so it must be awesome) I would’ve started practicing those a decade ago. You know, instead of wasting all my time on the hundreds of pages of creative writing, I’d have hundreds of pages of query letters. Instead of investing all my free time reading the genres I wanted to be published in, I would’ve immersed myself in volumes of query letters, preparing for this day.

Sadly, I didn’t.

I have no idea how to write a professional query letter and succeed.

So I think this is what I’m going to submit instead. Heck, it’s supposed to be about creative writing, right? Maybe I’ll get points for originality:


Dear Editor, Eg., The-publishing-god-whom-I’m-trying-to-impress-and-upon-whom-my-career-nay-my-very-life-might-depend:

This is me, writing a very interesting, captivating, and informative query letter. My name is Carolynn; I’m certain we haven’t met. If we had, you would remember and would already be shaking your head in amusement. Beyond that, you wouldn’t bother finishing this letter but would instead immediately order your peons to send me a contract for many thousands of dollars without even reading my manuscript, because that’s how clear it is that I’m talented and destined to be a best seller and possibly even a Nobel Prize winner. However, since we haven’t met, may I advise you to put the lighter down and finish reading to the end. If nothing else, you’ll have an interesting story to tell at your dinner party on Saturday.

My novel is roughly 60,000 words of sheer entertainment. You’ll meet Bethany, a pixie of a girl who’s learning what it means to trust God, and Mark, a handsome ex-Seal who quite possibly has a deranged stalker from his past on his tail. Better yet, this particular novel is only the beginning of a 4-part series revolving around Mark’s old Seal team and, well, the possible stalker. There’s lots of laughs, plenty of near-death experiences, definitely some pyrotechnics, and, inevitably, 4 couples falling in love.

Basically, what that last paragraph is telling you is two things. 1) It’s impossible to sum up the intricacies of two people falling in love while their lives are under fire in 3 sentences or less and 2) You should definitely read my manuscript. Trust me. Your boss will thank you, if only because you would then know to black-ball me from all future publication. But that won’t happen, because the manuscript is awesome. From the first sentence to the last, it shows the lives of two very likable people who possess humor, grace, and, because no one wants to read about a perfect life, plenty of trials.

No, I haven’t ever been published before. Not unless you count the prize for creative writing I won in kindergarten and the two (very short) book reviews I had published in college. I’m guessing you don’t. So aren’t you lucky to be able to be the editor who goes down in history as the first EVER to publish a Carolynn Dyer. I have been writing since I was five, however, and I’ve consumed more literature (including and particularly romance novels) than you could shake a stick at, so trust me–I know what women want to read.

And I wrote it.

So publish it, yo.

I expect to hear from you (via email, text, snail mail, or courier pigeon) at your next convenience, which I expect will be sometime around now. My manuscript is just waiting for you, singing your praises and anxious to rest in your glorious hands.

Carolynn The Dyer
123 Awesome Lane
My, Imagination
Phone: 555-PUB-LISH
Email: Youknowyouwanto@makemefamous.com

ENC: My undying love and esteem, plus some shameless begging and self-promotion


About Carolynn the Dyer

If I've learned one thing by having three children in four years, it's that babies are not, in fact, the best birth control. ... Okay, just kidding. I've really learned that laughter is the only way to survive the wilds of parenthood, and life in general. Also, that it is indeed possible to do dishes, parent, and carry on a conversation at the same time. If that sounds like fun, or just impossible, then come join me on my blog--and join me in the jungle.
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4 Responses to Flustered

  1. Susan F says:

    Too bad about the letter. Trying to sum up a whole story in a few lines is pretty tough. I had a good laugh though, love the letter! And p.s. I LOVE Support Your Local Sheriff, great movie!

  2. Sharon says:

    There’s gotta be an About.com post about queries. Checking now…

    • That’s a good idea! I hadn’t even thought to check there! Frankly, I haven’t really thought about it much since I wrote this post out of sheer please-don’t-make-me-I-don’t-wanna. I’ve set myself a deadline of August 31st to get the thing mailed, though, so I’d better book it!

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