Amy Klinger

The Queer E

Query. It has a petulant sound to it—pleading, whiny, insecure. Seems fitting.

By definition, a query is a question, but a query letter sent to an agent contains no actual written questions. Rather, the letter’s request is implicit: “Would you please consider helping me deliver to the world this beast I’ve been a creative slave to for eight years?” 

The best way I can describe the writing and revising of the query letter (after following all kinds of advice over the course of several months, much of it conflicting), was that it was like working on a 10-piece jigsaw puzzle with 500 pieces to sort through. And though there is certainly some skill involved, both written and marketing, I don’t discount that there was an element of luck in striking what finally felt like the right combination of ideas and words. But really, I don’t yet know, beyond a single positive response, if this particular query letter will actually be effective. 

Since we’re all friends here, I’ll let you be the judge to see if this pitch would hook your interest as a reader, a potential book purchaser. 

Dear [AGENT]:

Little Children meets Bridget Jones’ Diary in my 76,000-word, upmarket novel IN LIGHT OF RECENT EVENTS. Set in the American workplace, where survival of the fittest is sometimes less about clawing your way to the top than developing good camouflage, Audrey Rohmer is doing her very best to blend in as an undistinguished middle manager.

Armed with her cynicism and a case of ennui, Audrey coasts through life, uninspired by her job, unsure of her relationship with the married head of her department, and uneasy about her father’s new marriage five years after her mother’s death. But her status quo gets an astonishing jolt when, in the midst of a publicity crisis, Jamie Keefner, an old family friend-turned-Hollywood-superstar crashes on her doorstep. Holed up in secret, the two forge an unlikely friendship rooted in the common bond of their past as they try to sort through their own disappointments with adulthood. But secrets have a knack for finding their way out, and all that Audrey has worked hard to keep private and under-the-radar is ultimately thrust into the unforgiving glare of the national spotlight.

Moving fluidly between humor and poignancy, this social satire is accented by sharp dialogue as it gradually builds to its farcical ending. Along the way, we meet a cast of quirky supporting characters including Pooter, Audrey’s acerbic “partner in apathy”; “Rigid” Bridget the austere executive assistant; Ms. Ass, the mysterious neighbor; and Poppy, the substitute teacher and revolutionary.

I currently work as a copywriter for an advertising agency. My 20 years as a marketing and communications professional have provided a rich well of experience that I’ve drawn from to tell this workplace story. I have an MFA from the University of Utah. In addition to trade press articles, I have published in Salamander literary magazine and Mountain Gazette magazine.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Amy Klinger

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