Query Letter Examples by Carolyn Jewel

Query letters are hard. You will probably slave over yours and it will feel like it's harder than writing the darn book. It might be.

I'm All Done - Now What?

Writing a Query Letter - P.S. Example 3 is best

Example 1

I am the author of two previous historical romance novels (Passion's Song, St. Martin's Press, 1989 and Stolen Love, Harper-Collins, 1991). I have completed another historical romance, set in the waning years of England's Regency period. Lord Ruin, the first of three novels featuring the Sinclair sisters, is approximately 95,000 words.

Mistaken identity and a night of shattering passion force a marriage of opposites- Sophisticated, world-weary Ruan, duke of Cynssyr, and earnest, unassuming Anne Sinclair. He is "Lord Ruin" the man London's most beautiful women have loved in vain. She is "the old maid of Bartley Green" who never imagined herself wife to a damaged, hardened and cynical aristocrat. Soon desperately in love with his bride, Ruan must face the agonizing possibility that his reputation may mean she will never return his love. Anne has but two goals; to successfully carry out her duties as his duchess and never to become merely another in the long line of women fallen prey to Lord Ruin's legendary charm. A vicious kidnapper plagues London and Ruan enlists Anne's aid in uncovering the man's identity. Their investigations lead them to some surprising discoveries about the kidnapper and each other.

A self-addressed stamped envelope is enclosed for your convenience. I am also enclosing a synopsis which need not be returned.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Example 2

Mistaken identity and a night of shattering passion force a marriage of opposites: Ruan, duke of Cynssyr, a sophisticated and notorious rake, and Anne Sinclair, a spinster with the bad luck of being a pretty woman born to a family of beauties. Will their differences keep them forever apart or will "Lord Ruin" succeed in showing Anne that more than passion unites them?

Though Anne intends never to become yet another in the long line of women fallen prey to Lord Ruin's legendary charm, her determination may not be enough to avoid heartbreak. The substance beneath her husband's world-weary, aristocratic exterior attracts her as mere masculine charm could never do. Ruan already knows Anne is different from any woman he's ever known, and he faces the agonizing possibility that his reputation may mean she will never return his love. A vicious kidnapper plagues London, and Ruan enlists Anne's aid in uncovering the man's identity. Their investigations lead them to danger and some surprising discoveries about the kidnapper, each other and the true nature of love.

I am the author of two previous historical romance novels (Passion's Song, St. Martin's Press, 1989 and Stolen Love, Harper-Collins, 1991). Set in the waning years of England's Regency period, Lord Ruin is the first of three novels featuring the Sinclair sisters. It is approximately 99,000 words. A self-addressed stamped envelope is enclosed for your convenience. I look forward to hearing from you.

Example 3

Captain Sebastian Alexander of His Majesty's Royal Navy is The Spare, a younger son who inherits more than a title after his brother's death. In this Regency-set Historical Romance, the family estate comes with dark secrets, an ancestral ghost and a love that crosses the bounds of time. The Black Earl, according to legend, appears to the earls Tiern-Cope to enjoin a suitable marriage or to warn of danger. And, from dawn to dawn on St. Agnes Eve, the anniversary of his long-ago murder, the Black Earl is said to touch the lives of the living. No believer in such rank superstition, Sebastian wants only a quick and suitable marriage so that he may begin his nursery and rejoin the war.

Inquiries into his brother's death lead to startling discoveries and an increasingly inconvenient attraction to the red-haired spinster who holds the key to solving the mystery. Miss Olivia Willow, a guest at Pennhyll the night his brother died, survived a bullet wound and, he soon learns, much worse. Olivia, however, who nearly died from her injuries, has no memory of what happened. From suspecting her of an illicit affair with his brother to considering the very real possibility that Andrew assaulted her, pragmatic and decisive Sebastian confronts a world that questions the very underpinnings of his life. With the dawn of St. Agnes Eve, Sebastian's life intertwines with Olivia's in ways that defy explanation. Twenty four hours later, he's married her and discovering his feelings for her are far more complex than mere passion. How is he to protect Olivia from the painful truth about what happened to her and still uncover the identity of his brother's killer? And when the killer returns, can he save not just her, but their love?

The Spare, at approximately 95,000 words, is a well-written and passionate story of a man confronting duty, honor and the growing depth of his feelings for a copper-haired spinster. The story is sensual and, while drawing on the tradition of the Regency, introduces emotional complexity welcomed by readers of historical romance. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me either by email or telephone (555-555-5555). A self-addressed stamped enveloped is enclosed for your convenience. I look forward to hearing from you.

Example 4

I am a Romance author seeking new representation. You have a reputation for helping writers develop their careers, and that is exactly what I'm looking for in an agent. Book Store Big Shot, who was a recent speaker at my local RWA chapter meeting, told me my books have done very well in National Bookstore Chain, and that she feels I can go far in the business. (I certainly hope she was sincere!) My most recent releases, both from Leisure Books, are Regency-set historicals; Lord Ruin, (December 2002, a Romantic Times KISS award winner) and The Spare (February 2004) both of which received 4 star reviews from RT. I have also written for St. Martin's Press and Harper-Collins (two books written before my now nine-year-old son was born.) I am a member of RWA and president elect of the Beau Monde RWA chapter.

My current historical project is The Rake, also Regency-set. This story is highly sensual with a hedonist hero, Lord Banallt, who meets his match in a prude of a spinster, Pansy Emily. This is a book that probably pushes some boundaries since its hero is for some time a bit of an anti-hero. He's not mean or nasty, he's just completely without sexual morals. So, naturally, he's perturbed to discover that, despite his deliberate seduction of Pansy, he is, in fact, not a faithless rake. The Rake is substantially complete at 95,000 words. Leisure has an option on this book, and I recently sent my editor the proposal for the work. I am about 60% done with another historical, tentatively entitled "The Heir." In this book, Griffin Farrer learns that he's not illegitimate, as he's always believed, but the heir to an earldom. He's set to marry a suitable young woman until he meets her chaperone, the mysterious and fascinating widow, Catherine Saxbe, a woman with a tragic secret in her past.

In addition, another author approached me about writing for a [genre] series she sold to Editor at Publisher. The series sounds wonderful, and I've submitted a proposal to Editor for the novel. Should another author end up filling that slot, I feel strongly enough about the characters that I would rework the core idea outside the parameters set by the series. My geeky day job as a MS SQL Server database administrator and my subscription to the hacker journal 2600 proved quite handy (for once) in developing my kick-butt heroine. In addition, I'm a graduate student in English with enough Medieval and Renaissance Lit under my belt to leverage classic notions and fears about the paranormal in an unexpected intersection of technology and mythology.

I appreciate your time in considering my query. If you have any questions or need additional information, do not hesitate to contact me. I can be reached via email at carolyn@carolynjewel.com or by telephone at 555-555-5555. (Monday through Friday from 6:00 am to 2:30 pm, Pacific, I can also be reached at 555-555-5555 ext 5555.) Again, thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.