Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. IWSG posts thoughts on our own blog. Talk about our doubts and the fears we have conquered. Discuss our struggles and triumphs. We offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time.
The awesome co-hosts for the February 3 posting of the IWSG will be Allison Gammons, Tamara Narayan, Eva E. Solar, Rachel Pattison, and Ann V. Friend! Be sure to visit their blogs as well as many others. Thank you.
TIP: A post regarding blogging I found very informative at The Hangar.
I’m On The Verge of Waving the White Flag
Over the past several years, I have written, massaged, edited, rewritten, and edited again. Forbidden is ready. Since last year, I have skulked the agent and publisher cyberspace hallways in the hopes of tempting them to consider my crime / suspense / thriller. No dice.
I’ve sent my query letter and sample chapters to nearly two hundred suspense publishers, and to websites listed on Query Tracker (https://querytracker.net/literary_agents.php) and Directory of Literary Agents (http://literaryagencies.com/). I have complied to each agent’s or publisher’s specific format. Short of grovelling on bended knees, I have been a most compliant and determined suitor. The few responses I receive are the typical form rejections.
I’m assuming their rejection of my Middle East thriller is based on having poor sales potential due to current terrorism; or my query letter turned them off. I’m on the verge of admitting defeat and self-publish, which is not my forte.
Below is my query letter template. I adjust it according to each agent’s or acquisition editor’s specifications. Give it a read and tell me honestly what is lacking – impact, flow, concise, clarity; or, hell bells, is it because I’m not American? Your advice will be truly appreciated.
Subject: Query – Forbidden
Fifteen American travelers have vanished. CIA agent Frank Hutchinson is given two days to find them. Republic of Islamic Provinces and Territories (RIPT) police captain, Hashim Sharif, cleverly diverts Hutchinson’s investigation to dead-ends. What the agent doesn’t know is that if the devout Muslim cop exposes the cover-up, Sharia Law will not protect his family. If hitmen succeed in executing the sole witness, Eliza MacKay, justice will never be served. Sharif risks his life and his family for a woman who is more unstable than his corrupt superiors.
Forbidden is a fast-paced crime, suspense/thriller, with a dash of romance, which thrusts the reader into a Middle Eastern shadowy world of espionage, murder, and kidnapping. A strong cast of characters will grab and hurl you into a plot full of treachery and passion. Better wear your flak jacket.
Readers from a wide range of genre preferences and cultures will be captivated by Forbidden’s international and cultural intrigue. Muslims will appreciate the accuracy of the references to moderate Islam. Having worked thirty years as a paramedic alongside police officers and detectives, I have firsthand knowledge of emergency medical response, and police procedures, which figure prominently in the storyline. Research and travel to Egypt, Israel, and Turkey have provided an overview of the vast Middle East region and its complex and mystical culture.
Forbidden is complete, although I continue to polish the 100,000 words. The manuscript has undergone the scrutiny of numerous beta readers, including police detectives and a Muslim physician.
Since Omnific Publishing published my first novel, The Guardian’s Wildchild, I’ve built a strong media platform with over three thousand blog followers. The Guardian’s Wildchild is listed with Simon & Schuster.
When I’m not writing or walking my Shelties, marketing is a major component of my daily ritual. My website (http://www.featherstoneauthor.com) connects visitors with my blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts. I’m a regular participant in both the “Insecure Writer’s Support Group” and “Write, Edit, Publish”. Memberships with Writer’s Guild of Alberta, and Crime Writers of Canada keep me informed and connected. I have attended the RomCon conference in Denver, Colorado and have twice attended the When Words Collide festival in Calgary, Alberta.
Recently, I participated in the beta program for Writers Helping Writers which launched new software, One Stop For Writers. I offer my services to critique manuscripts and assist authors navigate the process of getting published.
Thank you for this opportunity to introduce Forbidden to you. If you require more information, please let me know via return email.