July 26, 2017, 9:21 pm
UPDATE: Don't read this. It's horrible. Query writing sucks. Seriously. Don't read it.
I'm still working on the query letter for Father of Malice. I'm taking this long because I want it to be intriguing and perfect. My past two novels have been published without an agent, which necessarily limits the size of the publishers. I'm very happy with Promontory Press, the publisher of Robby the R-Word, but I can't tread water; I need to step up the effort every time I get a novel published.
That means I need an agent to pitch my book to larger publishers.
And to do that, I have to have a really good query letter.
After much iteration (and even more Scotch), here's what I have so far:
Fired as editor of a big city newspaper, Scott Drury is forced to move to hicksville, Oklahoma to find a new job, despite his sniggering disdain for local hillbillies. But he fails to notice his arrival in the bucolic town coincides with the deaths of several townsfolk — until the mangled ghosts of the recently dead beg him to stop the slaughter. Investigating the horrific killings, Scott finds he is being personally targeted by the son of the Angel of Death - and the town is paying the price. He is also forced to confront his greatest embarrassment — the fact he's the son of first cousins, no better than the locals he ridiculed.The angel’s son sees Scott as his only obstacle to fomenting a 365-year epoch of suffering for humanity. Try as he might, Scott, possibly a distant descendant of the archangel of strength, can’t just pack up and run away, because he’s been lured here by powers beyond his influence.He must try to summon an inner resolve that might not even exist, and stand up to his deadly nemesis. With the help of a disillusioned and possibly crazy cult leader, Scott uncovers the deeper secret of his incestuous ancestry, maybe giving him the slimmest of chances to defeat the unkillable offspring of an angel and a woman.FATHER OF MALICE, thriller/horror, 110,000 words, is complete and features elements that will appeal to readers of The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker.As a newspaper editor of 30 years and a longtime ghostwriter for televangelists, I have a unique personal perspective on both aspects of Scott’s challenges, from dealing with ancient theology coming alive to assigning reporters to cover it. I am also the author of three trade-published books, Deadly Vows (true crime, 2015, New Horizon Press), Minister of Justice (mystery, 2016, Moonshine Cove) and Robby the R-Word (police procedural, 2017, Promontory Press).
It's not completely perfect yet, but I feel like it's a lot better than my first stabs at it. Writing query letters is completely different from writing novels, so I'm really feeling my way around in the dark on this one.