I started writing my query letter a year or so ago, around the same time I was nearly finished with my memoir and also working on a proposal. Since I'd never written a query before, I spent a lot of time reading books and searching on-line to learn as much as I could about writing good queries.
After I had a handle on it, I began posting my letter in places where writers could read it and give me feedback. One of the best places, a place where I got a lot of feedback that helped me end up with my final copy, was SheWrites.com.
I spent a lot of time re-writing the letter, incorporating the best suggestions from other writers, and finally got it to a point where I was just about satisfied. I say "just about" because I don't think any writer is 100% satisfied with her writing. She always feels like it could be better...and this may be true.
A couple of months ago, after the letter had been sitting on my desk for a while I decided to submit it to Marla Miller, a writer and editor who has her own on-line query critique page at Writer's Magazine. Below I've posted my query letter and then the video of Ms. Miller critiquing it.
Demanding divas, naked Irishmen walking in their sleep, and amorous honeymooners leaving remnants of unforgettable wedding nights are all part of the parade of flamboyant guests who came in and out of my life as an innkeeper.
Despite being a reclusive, retired schoolteacher with no business experience and little start-up money, I took a risk, purchased a turn-of-the-century mansion, and turned it into into a charming bed-and-breakfast. Operatic Divas and Naked Irishmen: An Innkeeper’s Tale is the humorous and sometimes poignant story of my 17-year journey through a minefield of contractors, housekeepers and eccentric guests looking for Southern hospitality and gourmet breakfasts. I have included recipes reflecting the content of each chapter and descriptions of how and why many of them were developed at our inn.
I am co-author and editor of Room At The Table, a cookbook written for the Bed and Breakfast Association of Kentucky, for which I won the president's Award in 2009. In addition to maintaining several websites and several blogs, I write online for examiner.com, eyeonlife.com, Pink Magazine, Salon, and Hub Pages. A teacher of music and English, I have taught and written creative nonfiction, poetry and lyrics throughout my adult life.
Operatic Divas and Naked Irishmen, a 65,000-word memoir, combines wit and humor with delicious recipes, a subject that may appeal to a wide audience—more specifically, to women ready to reinvent themselves, whether they are starting a second career late in life, coming out of a divorce, or forced by the recession to stop mid-career and rethink their options. In addition, it may appeal to the same audiences of books by Ruth Reichl and Maya Angelou.
A manuscript is available upon request.
Thank you for your kind consideration,
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