Queries on the query

So I’m really close to calling my book finished and my eyes are going to fall out of my head soon if I read it again … sorry for sounding like a broken record, I’ve been singing THE END for a while now. And in between this final read (the climactic scene & last chapter to go) and completing the entry form for the Choc-Lit comp that I’ve mentioned before, and getting ready to send it to Choc-Lit; I’ve also been thinking about queries. I’m keen to get this book out there and see if I’ve actually managed to achieve anything concrete since the last time I queried it 12 months or so ago.

What exactly I mean by ‘concrete’, well I’m not so sure. The best thing of course is going to be if somebody says “we love it, we’ll publish it”… but there’s probably a whole lot of things I could take as positives that are on the way to that goal… like, oh, more than a three word rejection form letter… 🙂

I feel like I’ve come so far, and I’m trying to stay positive, but the truth may well be that I’ll find out I still have a long way to go and so I’m already steeling myself for disappointment. What a three-ring circus this business is!

My problem is, when I queried this book before, I actually received requests for partials on the basis of the query, 2 out of 3 times. So it’s tempting just to cut and paste the query as was.

The trouble is, I’m not sure about the query anymore. The book isn’t category now, it’s grown to 82,000 words and it isn’t a Harlequin Desire novel anymore (not that it was back then in reality either I guess). But the basis of the query would still be correct.

I’m not talking about the top and tail wording that goes with it, that’s not relevant anymore anyway but I’ve left it below if anyone’s interested in a query that worked back in the day.

Meanwhile, I’ll see if I can get brave and come up with a better hook.

Anyone else questioning their query out there? You have my sympathy!



I write in hopes I can tempt you to want to sit down with some chapters of my romantic novel, His Brand Of Beautiful, at approx 51,000 words, in view of seeking your representation. I have written with the Harlequin Desire series in mind.
I wish very much I had found your website months ago. Not knowing much about agents, I only found your site after submitting a query and synopsis direct to Harlequin, for my first novel Fringe Benefits. Once on that interminable roller-coaster called “waiting to hear”, I began work on a second novel, and started to research literary agents…
In July, Harlequin requested the first three chapters of Fringe Benefits… and I find myself on that waiting roller-coaster once again. However, this time I have been using my time more wisely, seeking an agent who shares my passion for my writing career!
His Brand Of Beautiful
Tate Newell tends to avoid women who collect causes like some collect shoes; they remind him too much of his dead sister, Jolie. So when Christina Clay commissions Tate to develop her new wine brand; with part proceeds to help Aboriginal Australians, Tate sees redder than the Aussie desert sands: “Aboriginals can’t be mended like a patch on a pair of jeans.” To prove his point, he takes Christina on a research project ‘tour’ of the Australian outback. But Christina has a ‘project’ of her own in mind when it comes to Tate, and her ovaries are ticking. How will Tate handle the news she is pregnant? Responsibly! But marriage is the last thing on Christina’s mind.
My most recent full-time employ was as REDACTED of REDACTED; hence the winery setting that loosely runs background in both Fringe Benefits, and His Brand Of Beautiful. I have a third WIP, as yet unnamed, also tied to that Australian wine theme.
I appreciate your time in reading this query letter, and hope I have given you incentive to see a synopsis or chapters… His Brand Of Beautiful is complete, and it would be a pleasure to supply it to you for your further consideration and feedback.

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