Today, I have author M.S. Kaye on my site, talking about Query Letter Tips. Today is the release day for her novel Endless as the Rain. Be sure to read all about it! Welcome, M.S.!
Lisa, thank you for having me as your guest!
Ah, the query letter. It’s like uttering a curse word (almost as bad as synopsis!). But don’t freak yourself out about it. It’s not that bad, I promise. There is no true “right” way to do it (the right way is whatever sells the darn book!), but here are a few tips:
- Read the guidelines. Many publishers and agents will post directions on their website about how they want queries to look and how they want to receive them. Follow the directions.
- Three sections. Most publishers and agents expect queries to be arranged like this:
- Introduction—Keep it short; include the basics.
Example: I am seeking publication of my paranormal young adult novel Strong as Death, complete at 80,000 words. Strong as Death is about a girl who finds out what it means to have a mother who is a modern woman and a father who is a 19th-century gentleman ghost. I am including (whatever this publisher/agent asks for, nothing else).
- Hook Them. Include a short synopsis (think book jacket blurb).
Ilona runs from her sheltering mother in order to find the truth, why she’s seeing people who are invisible to everyone else. A mysterious boy named Archer guides her through Brooklyn and introduces her to Hendrick, the man who claims to be her father—though he died in 1890. Ilona must discover not only what she must do to rid the city of Soll, a sadistic and powerful spirit, but also what it means to be half ghost. She proves what her mother told her—love is stronger than death.
- Author Bio—Include your accomplishments as a writer and anything that makes you qualified to write this particular book (usually for nonfiction projects). This can include any publications (no matter how small), contests, leadership roles in the writing community, etc. This is not the same as a book jacket bio.
Under the pen name M.S. Kaye, I have multiple books published by Liquid Silver Books and Inkspell Publishing, in the genres romantic suspense, contemporary romance, and paranormal young adult. My books have earned three Royal Palm Literary Awards and a Rone Award nomination, and I have several short pieces published in literary magazines. I am a fourth degree black belt in and certified instructor of Songahm Taekwondo, which helps me to be able to write physically dynamic and technically accurate scenes and add some kick-butt attitude to my writing.
- Address the agent or acquisitions editor correctly. Are they a Mr. or a Ms.? Also, verify he/she stills works there. Always check the publisher’s site—it’ll be the most current.
- Give them a way to contact you. Include your email address and phone number.
- Don’t forget your manners. Thank them for taking the time to consider your work. These are very busy people who read plenty of crap to get to those few gems (like yours!).
- Have personality but be professional. Again, read their website—follow their lead on how much personality you should show. But always be professional.
Here’s a bit about my newest book:
Endless as the Rain
Taken series book 1, by MS Kaye
For Adriane Graham, the real question comes down to this: “Am I Alec Kaden’s guest…Or his prisoner?”
If she’s a guest in the Kaden mansion, then it means Alec has freed himself from his family ties to organized crime. It means he’s telling the truth when he says he’s protecting Adriane from dangerous men and they can shake off the shackles of haunted pasts.
If Adriane Graham is Alec Kaden’s prisoner, it means his tenderness is simply a ruse to keep her under control; his kindness is just poisoned hypocrisy. It means Alec is a cruel liar, and that somehow, by some desperate way, she’s got to get out of this charming man’s well-guarded house before it’s too late.
Is she Alec’s treasured guest? Or merely a pretty bird, trapped in his gilded cage? The troubling questions pour like fountains…flowing…
Endless as the Rain.
To be released by InkSpell Publishing 9/4/16.
Add to your to-read on Goodreads.
I looked around to see a black sedan creeping up behind me. I moved to get out of the way, barely on the gravel. I kept walking and vaguely appreciated that the driver didn’t speed by in impatience and kick up dirt and rocks. The car continued at the same careful pace.
Just as the passenger door was at my arm’s length, the car stopped. I guessed the driver must be seeking directions, and waited for a window to roll down. They had to be lost. I’d never seen an unfamiliar car on this road. It was only used or even known about by old residents of the neighborhood.
The back door opened, and a man stepped out.
I caught a glimpse of his tailored suit and overly straight posture as I glanced around, deciding if I should keep walking, walk quickly…or bolt into the trees toward one of the houses.
“It’s getting late,” he said. “Would you care for a ride home before it gets too dark?”
His voice—it sounded vaguely familiar. As I looked at him properly, part of my mind was distracted. His skin was like white marble, sculpting a beautiful face, but hard, unchanging, unyielding. Except his eyes. They were puddles in the stone, the only gentle thing about him.
I stepped back.
He lurched forward and grabbed my arm just above my elbow.
About the Author:
M.S. Kaye has several awards and published books under her black belt. A transplant from Ohio, she resides with her husband Corey in Jacksonville, Florida, where she tries not to melt in the sun. Find suspense and the unusual at www.BooksByMSK.com.
To receive news on upcoming releases, sign up for email updates on her website.