Monthly Archives: April 2014

Three Weeks Down


Well it is now three weeks since I sent out my first query letters.  I’m supposed to not worry for another few weeks yet.  I mean it was just Easter / Passover so lots of people are on holidays and not much work is being done.

I thought I’d post my query letter (generic version) here just in case anyone else was curious to see what a query letter looks like or maybe if they would like to add their two cents.

Dear <agent name>,

When the church betrays her, rebellious dukes assassinate her family and a dark magician summons soulless Krarndyth to destroy her people, Princess Candia West sees no other option but to convince her uncle to join her and raise an army. The Knight Protector Fasgeth, suspecting a link between the church and the Krarndyth has lost his faith and joins the princess. He hopes to head off what looks to be a third March of Duthaan, the first and second having come close to destroying all civilization. Together they are drawn to the site of a summoning where they meet Ragarb and Lisa.

Ragarb growing weary of his blood-soaked eternal life was seeking the source of all magic when he encountered Lisa. She is woman with the unique capacity to still his hunger and draw up memories of his childhood. Frustrated by his inability to find the power he sought, Ragarb follows Fasgeth to glean what he can from the knight regarding the coming apocalypse and possibly find a way to die. Lisa stays close to Ragarb in the ironic belief he is a Blessed Soul sent to save her from damnation.

Elsewhere Prince Vanadian Rin-Vanda wakes with his head empty save for the vision of murdering his wife and the sting of betrayal. When he sees Princess Candia West he can’t shake the feeling she is his wife and that he is destined to kill her again. He finds himself flung headlong at her as he works to discover who he is and what his vision means.

Can Vanadian understand what he sees before he loses what little of his mind is left? Can Ragarb redeem himself or is he destined to wreak more destruction? Can Princess Candia West reach her uncle alive and can she convince him to go to war for her? Will Fasgeth untie the tangled knot of politics and evil magic he finds himself in before the Krarndyth consume the people he is sworn to protect?

The West Queen is an epic fantasy complete at 100,000 words. I have been inspired by the works of Robert Jordan, Robin Hobb and George R. R. Martin. I am querying you <reason to query this particular agent plus any other personalisation addressing what the agent wants>. You can find out more about me, my projects and read some of my short stories by visiting https://sjohnhughes.wordpress.com

Than you for your time,

Surrey Hughes

<email and phone contact details>

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Now I Understand


It has been one week since my first query letters were sent.  It feels like it has been one decade.  Now I understand why agents always insist you wait a good six to eight weeks before even thinking about asking after your query; otherwise they would be pestered day and night.  I want to follow up but I know I need to wait patiently and allow my chosen agents a chance to get through the many submissions they must surely get.

I’m thinking of querying another couple of agents while I wait even though I had hoped to see what feedback I got from the first two.  Time to practice my mindful meditation and allow these feelings to come and go like a summer breeze…


My First Queries Are Away


After spending the last couple of years working on raising children and landscaping my garden I have returned to my writing projects.  After reading through The West Queen one more time I found it was in better shape than I thought.  I attribute this to having forgotten much of the finer detail and becoming less familiar.  It is so hard to see what you’ve written when you’ve been staring at it for weeks on end.
So, following my cousin’s advice, I have sent off my first two query letters.  I did a search for fantasy agents on Writer’s Digest and found two profiles that were added recently and after reading up on the agents I sent off my queries.  One agent has just started their own agency and specialises in fantasy and the other represents fantasy but specialises in international authors.  Since I’m an Australian author who writes fantasy I think I fit the bill for both agents.  Two queries is not a lot, but I wanted to dip my toe in the water before diving in.  I’ll see what it is like getting rejected by agents (though secretly I believe my work of such excellent quality they will fight to get me) and I’ll see how I handle it.

I’ll write back here with my results and my analysis of the process.  With any luck the agents read here and check out some of my short stories.  That hope is naturally based on the optimistic belief that my short stories will sell me better.  I don’t really know.  The only real feedback I’ve had has been from family members and I suspect they are biased.