Finding an agent, News, Query letters

Not Shakespeare, but my query is doing the job

Slowly… slowly… I feel like the wheels on my path to publication are moving. I have only had one, flat out ‘no’ to my book and that came very quickly from a publisher that I probably never should have targeted in the first place. My error – not theirs.

Otherwise, I have received good feedback to my query letter. More feedback direct from publishers I have to be honest, than from agents.

So far, my query has resulted in the sum total of: one request for three chapters from a publisher; two requests (both from publishers) for the Full manuscript (forgive me for giving Full a capital ‘F’ but any would-be authors out there will understand!); and yesterday, an offer of publication. Yes! Cartwheel moment.

I have a lot to think about. When you get yourself in a mindset of staying positive but trying not to get your hopes up, to get an email from a publisher saying: “I really enjoyed your story” there’s a hell of a lot of me that wants to leap up waving a pen, shouting WHERE DO I SIGN…

But while I love writing, in order for me to do it, I have to be able to make a living from it – or at least supplement the ‘real’ living I make, to the point where my hubby will let me sit down in front of a laptop for hours in a day and call it work :).

So I spent much of yesterday on Facebook, chatting with some of the authors working for the Publisher who wrote to me with the offer – and their news is all positive. And once again – I marvel at how supportive the writing community is. The authors I talked to yesterday couldn’t be more helpful or sharing.

In the meantime, here is the query letter that worked for me. If the job of the query is to get the opportunity to put your story in front of agents and publishers, then this one has done, (and hopefully will keep doing), that job.

Dear ///

I write to offer you my contemporary romance, His Brand Of Beautiful, complete at 80,000 words.

Australia is abuzz right now with news of Robert Pattinson’s forthcoming movie, The Drover, to be shot in the Flinders Ranges (just a few hours’ drive from where I sit as I type); plus Ryan Gosling sent Melbourne into meltdown with rumors he has signed for an outback sojourn too, in the movie Dust and Glory.

I am hopeful that if the world is on the brink of another Crocodile Dundee moment, my book may be well timed to meet that demand.

His Brand Of Beautiful

There are some people in this world brand strategist, Tate Newell, just doesn’t want to work for and winery executive Christina Clay is high on that list. Christina collects causes like some women collect shoes and every time she opens her mouth she reminds Tate of his dead sister, Jolie.

“Wild. Fresh. Outdoorsy. Australian. And it’s a wine that has to stand for something, like everything Clay Wines does.”

That’s Christina’s brief for her new wine brand, but when she tells Tate that her vision for the brand includes donating a dollar from every bottle of wine sold towards projects that help Indigenous Australians (Aboriginals), he sees redder than the desert sands. “Aborigines would be better off if every winemaker just stopped making the stuff.”

Before Christina can say Crocodile Dundee, she’s in a two-seater plane flying into the heart of central Australia to visit Tate’s childhood roots. It’s a ‘research project’ he says, to see just how ‘wild’ and ‘outdoorsy’ she wants her brand to be.

Battling the demons of a previous miscarriage, Christina soon has a project of her own in mind when it comes to Tate, and less than a day into her outback research trip, her ovaries are ticking. She wants a baby and a brand. And she’s found the one man who can give her both.

I am a career journalist with a wine industry focus, hence the wine industry background that runs loosely behind this completed novel, and two other works in progress.

I am a member of Romance Writers Australia and earlier this year, a scene from His Brand Of Beautiful made the finals of the RWA First Kiss competition 2012.

Please find attached with this email, the items you outline on your website. I thank you very much for your time.

With sincere regards


Fingers crossed – this keeps getting me through those gatekeeper doors, and that means the only thing that is right or wrong from that point, is my writing.

2 thoughts on “Not Shakespeare, but my query is doing the job”

  1. Brilliant news!!!!! So happy for you!!! (This is one occasion where I am very happy to say “Told you so!”)

    Ps love the pitch BTW. Very clever.

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