Tuesday, March 21, 2006
TERESA SHARES HER SECRET FOR SUCCESS
I've always believed one of the primary functions of a blog is to humiliate yourself publicly. I'm here to prove that today by sharing my very first query letter with you. For those of you not familiar with the lingo, a query letter is the letter you send to a publisher or agent asking them if they'd like to look at (and hopefully buy and publish) your book. As you will see, this is the worst query letter in the history of query letters--a veritable treasure trove of "Whatever you do, don't do this!" I'm including my editorial comments in red and in parentheses.
May 29, 1985
Dear (Editor Who is No Longer Employed By This Company),
I frantically searched my bookshelves one evening for the romance novel that I wanted to read. I didn't find it. (Because you and the other dimwits at your publishing house obviously aren't publishing anything worth reading.) Reading "The Flame and the Flower" (which was published 13 years ago, clearly demonstrating that I've kept up with current trends) for the fifth time reeked of redundancy (gotta love that alliteration! And look-I know big words!)
What did I want to read about? I wanted to read about a heroine with guts; a noble hero with fascinating flaws; a passionate love-hate relationship that grows with time; interesting sattelite (sattelite? Um, you wouldn't mean "secondary" by any chance?) characters; humor; enough tragedy to keep the good times looking good. (I also know how to use semi-colons, although not particularly well!) I wanted adventure and fantasy and intrigue.
And thus was born "Loving Vengeance." (Thank heavens it wasn't spawned!) I am submitting it to you for publication (or to use as a booster seat for your kid). It is a historical romance set in ancient Ireland. (Because that's a really popular setting!)
I look forward to hearing your reaction. (As opposed to shuddering.)
T.H. Medeiros (because I'm incredibly pretentious and aspiring to be the next T.H. White)
I have shared this letter today not just to humiliate myself or to amuse Connie and Christina, but to give you hope. If an idiot like this can sell a book and get published and go on to have a successful career that has now spanned almost twenty years, so can you!
So what was the most humiliating moment of YOUR career?