Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Query Me This

So, as some of you know, this new year I promised myself to focus my energies on my writing, not only in getting to work on my next manuscript, but in getting Grounds for Living published.

Today, for once, I am actually committing a considerable amount of time to that goal and I'm venturing into new territory: writing a query letter.  If you don't know, a query letter is a cover letter that I send to a publisher to introduce myself and my book and hopefully convince them to request some sample chapters.

And we all know how I feel about cover letters:

Anyway, it's pretty much going horribly, but I've at least drafted out a short hook and synopsis of the novel.  I'm probably going to edit it some more, but it would be really great to get some opinions.  Is anything fuzzy or contradictory about the description?  Does it actually sound like something that you would want to buy at the bookstore if you saw it on a shelf?  I realize it's probably too long, but I'm at that point where I'm not sure what to cut out, so if something feels unnecessary, please mention that as well.

Here we go (NEW EDIT ):

Set in modern day Chicago with a magical realism twist, Grounds for Living follows the blossoming friendship of Frankie and Kate, two young women seeking to rebuild their lives one porcelain mug at a time. 
Frankie has just lost her job, found an eviction notice on her apartment door, and walked in on her boyfriend cheating on her.  The only thing that gets her through the aftermath is a hot cup of coffee and her newfound friendship with cripplingly shy piano teacher Kate.  Kate, grieving the sudden death of her mother, has been hiding away from the world and clinging to her late mother’s advice that “a cup of tea is the cure for the common problem.”

When Kate takes on Frankie as her tenant in an old Chicago townhouse with a mind of its own, both their worlds begin to expand.  With Frankie’s encouragement and the house’s interference, Kate takes a renewed interest in life…and the handsome uncle of one of her piano students.  Frankie, in the meantime, starts dusting off old dreams, reconnecting with her mother and sisters, and working out whether she’ll ever be ready to love again.  All complicated enough without her ex’s shadow following her everywhere she goes.  As it turns out, he’s determined not to let Frankie go without a fight, no matter the casualties.
Maybe the answers will be at the bottom of the next cup….

So…thoughts?  I'm feeling sensitive at the moment, so be nice, but be honest, please.

Thanks, everyone!

For further amusement, another old FB post:



  1. This sounds amazing, Rachel, and something I'd quite like to read. The only suggestion I would have, and this is entirely a personal preference of course, would be to maybe cut the word "unreasonably" from "unreasonably fired". I don't think it's needed and it makes the character sound a little whiny even if the firing was, in fact, unreasonable.

    The rest looks pretty solid, and I'm trying to figure out what you could cut if you had to. Maybe mentioning both of their new love interests isn't needed? Frankie's got a lot going on there without hers. I'm not sure how much plot you're supposed to divest in one of these, or how long it's supposed to be. It sounds fine as is, just if you had to cut something.

    Good luck with this! I'm excited for you. :)

    1. I had another friend message me with very similar suggestions! Always good when there's a consensus, too. Gives me a little more confidence in cutting things! Thank you.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read it, hun!