Monday, July 18, 2011

Many Monday Things

I’m being featured on Mentor Mondays. It’s a serious dose of awesome. Check it out.

But first! Before you go! Today I've put my query on the blog for the Get An Agent Blogfest. That's right... I'm being bolder (than I'd like to be)... so share your thoughts below if you see anything missing or if you'd read it!

Dear Agent,

Harper Drake didn’t think dating could be so disastrous. As a popular radio host who’s always on the look-out for something to push her sky-high ratings even higher, she accepted the challenge of dating 30 guys in 30 days and signed a contract with her best friend/editor-in-chief of the hottest magazine in town - after all, it was her idea. And okay, maybe it wasn’t such a smart idea with her recent break-up, but things couldn’t get THAT bad, right?

Hoping to iron out her dating life, and maybe even find love before her rapidly approaching thirtieth birthday, Harper dives in. But when she begins to date an obsessed dog lover, a REAL mama’s boy, her ex - Cutie on 5th, and then finds herself genuinely interested in a guy she meets on a train, she realizes she’s in way over her head. Unfortunately, there’s no turning back. If Harper knows one thing for certain, it’s that dating has never been so complicated. If only Harper could love Cutie on 5th, accept his marriage proposal, and forget about Train Hottie, life would be so much easier…

My 114,000 word light women’s fiction (or chick lit), 30 GUYS IN 30 DAYS, explores the depths of dating and how complicated love can be. It would appeal to readers of Beth Harbison’s Shoe Addicts Anonymous and Emily Giffins Something Borrowed. As for me, I live in the wild (ahem, Houston) where I tell my husband & two cats stories and maintain a popular blog titled Unedited with 1500 followers. (Something about the agent here). I would be happy to send sample chapters or the full manuscript at your request.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

36 comments:

Laura Pauling said...

Sounds like a fun story, Jen, with great potential for some great scenes. :)

Dominique said...

It sounds like an interesting book. I do find myself a little troubled by two points.

A)If she just got out of the relationship, her bad break up is not looming, as it already happened. If she isn't out of the relationship and thus the breakup is still looming, why is she agreeing to go on dates with other men?

B) The Cutie on 5th who's proposing comes out of nowhere, and thus I'm very confused as to how he's supposed to work into all of this. If you could trim some other places and explain more about him, that might be helpful.

Still, I'd likely give it a shot, since the premise sounds interesting and amusing.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I think this sounds great, but I had the same concern as Dominique in her first point. Shouldn't Harper breakup with the boyfriend first; otherwise, I'm not going to be sympathetic to her since she's a cheater (unless they were allowed to date other people).

My fingers are crossed for you, Jen.

Jen Daiker said...

Update: Dominique & Stina both made great points and I want to let everyone know the query they'd read wasn't the updated version. It has since been replaced with the appropriate version!!!

Thank you both for your opinions!

Emy Shin said...

I really liked the query, Jen! It sounds really intriguing and definitely something I'd love to read.

Aside from the points Dominique has already raised, I just want to suggest that it might be a good idea to break up the first two paragraphs into smaller ones -- so that it doesn't look like it's too long and also flows faster. :)

Katie Ganshert said...

Seriously - that query ROCKS! If I were an agent, I'd ask for more. In fact, I'd really love to read this novel!

Jemi Fraser said...

Sounds like a really fun story Jen! Good luck with it :)

Creepy Query Girl said...

The premise sounds awesome and so much fun! Good luck!

Christa said...

Oh I really like this, Jen. It's engaging, not too long, and well-written. Conflict is clear. Nicely done.

Samantha Vérant said...

As mentioned before – So. Much. Fun!

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

That sounds great! The only thing i found, and i was looking for something to comment on, is i felt the second sentence was a bit long. But again, that could've been just me looking for something. I thought your voice really sparkled in this query!

Bish Denham said...

This sounds like a fun read Jen! The only thing I stumbled over is that the first paragraph is in past tense and the second in present tense. I'd keep it all in the present tense. I think it will read a little smoother.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Jen, I loved the premise of the book, and I think you give us just the right amount of information about it to whet our interest. But what jumped out at me immediately was the use of 6 hyphens in the opening paragraph.

Editor-in-chief HAS to have them, and maybe sky-high. But I think you could skip the hyphens for look out and break up. The other one should be an em-dash (but I know those don't always show up on Blogger, so maybe it is in your document).

Hope that helps!

Len Lambert said...

This is my kind of awesome! All the best, Jen!

Kimberly Franklin said...

Love the story already! Hope you are doing good!

K.D. said...

Again I say, I'd like to read this and alllll of the WIPs you have listed :) Good job!

Deana said...

Jen, just read this and I was about to make my comments when I saw you sent your submission for the contest. I read it and saw you fixed what I was going to say. Hurah! Great piece. I would want to read more cause darn it love it complicated. I also liked how you put in the bits about you. That has to help!

Good luck!

amber said...

Hi Jen :) Your story sounds fun! I have a few suggestions:
1) It's a little long. I'd cut out some of the details -- you're already writing the query is what sounds like her voice, so her job, the details behind the contract, etc -- those can go without losing anything.
2.) One important sentence stood out as needing help: 'But when she begins to date [She doesn't 'begin' to date; she 'dates' -- it's a tense issue.] an obsessed dog lover, a REAL mama’s boy, her ex - Cutie on 5th [not sure what you're talking about here -- why is she dating her ex? I think you should 'name' the other guys like you name 'Cutie' -- would cut back on confusion], and then finds herself genuinely interested in a guy she meets on a train, she realizes she’s in way over her head.'
3.) Love how you compare it to other books on the market. See if the agent represents any similar titles!
4.) Be careful with style -- those book titles should either be in quotes or in italics! Might sound nit-picky, but you want to query as clean as possible!
Overall, I'm slightly jealous -- it's a great query! The tanking the agent at the end is a nice touch. See if you can cut the book description into one REAL pithy paragraph and I think you're golden!
-Am

Christina Lee said...

You, Missy always have such great book ideas--love it!!!! Just got confused as to what "her ex - Cutie on 5th": meant-- is it her ex or ?!?! Other than that, it reads great!

Heather said...

This sounds like a great read! I agree about the comments on tense. Once you smooth those out and go with one tense then this looks ready to send out!

Michelle Fayard said...

Hi, Jen,

I've put my suggestions in parentheses/all caps:

Harper Drake didn’t think dating could be so disastrous. As a popular radio host who’s always on the look(- NO HYPHEN OR SPACE) out for something to push her sky-high ratings even higher, (she=AT FIRST I THOUGHT THE MC WAS A MAN!) accepted the challenge of dating (30=SPELL OUT) guys in (30=SPELL OUT) days and signed a contract with her best friend(/ , THE) (editor-in-chief=NO HYPHENS) of the hottest magazine in town( - NO SPACES AROUND EM DASHES, ALTHOUGH A PERIOD HERE MIGHT BE BETTER.)after all, it was her idea. And okay, maybe it wasn’t such a smart idea with her recent break(- SPACE, NOT HYPHEN) up, but things couldn’t get (THAT=LOWERCASE PROBABLY BETTER) bad, right? (I LOVE HOW YOU SHOW YOUR MC'S PERSONALITY AND CONFLICT WHILE REVEALING YOUR VOICE.)

Hoping to iron out her dating life(, NO COMMA) and maybe even find love before her rapidly approaching thirtieth birthday, Harper dives in. But when she begins to date an obsessed dog lover, a (REAL=LOWERCASE) mama’s boy, (her ex - Cutie on 5th=I GOT LOST HERE.), and then finds herself genuinely interested in a guy she meets on a train, she realizes she’s in way over her head. Unfortunately, there’s no turning back. If Harper knows one thing for certain, it’s that dating has never been so complicated. If only Harper could love (Cutie on 5th=IS THIS THE GUY ON THE TRAIN?), (accept his marriage proposal=HAS HE OFFERED, OR DOES SHE JUST HOPE/WISH HE WILL?), and (forget about Train Hottie=OH, CUTIE ON 5TH IS SOMEONE DIFFERENT, BUT I'M STILL CONFUSED), life would be so much easier…

My 114,000(HYPHEN)word (light women’s fiction (or chick lit)=WHAT IF YOU KEPT IT SHORT AND JUST SAID "CHICK LIT NOVEL?")(,=DELETE) 30 GUYS IN 30 DAYS(,=DELETE) explores the depths of dating and how complicated love can be. It would appeal to readers of Beth Harbison’s (Shoe Addicts Anonymous=FORMAT) and Emily Giffin(APOSTROPHE)s (Something Borrowed=FORMAT). (As for me, I live in the wild (ahem, Houston) where I tell my husband & two cats stories and maintain a popular blog titled Unedited with 1500 followers.=THIS SOUNDS A LITTLE TOO ON THE PERSONAL SIDE. I'D RECOMMEND FOCUSING ON WHY YOU'RE THE BEST PERSON TO WRITE THIS BOOK.) (Something about the agent here=YES, BUT BE CAREFUL YOU DON'T TELL THEM SOMETHING ABOUT THEMSELVES THEY ALREADY KNOW.). (I would be happy to send sample chapters or the full manuscript at your request.=CHECK THE AGENT'S SUBMISSION GUIDES AND SEND THEM EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANT.)

Thank you for your time and consideration. (NICE)

This book sounds light and fun yet with an underlying strength and message. I would pick it up and read on.

Wishing you a great day!

Michelle

P.S. I'm a new follower. :)

K.V. Briar said...

Hi, I'm a new follower :)

Your book sounds like so much fun! I'd love to read something like this.

Your query sounds great, I think its just about the perfect length and you really get a feel for the tone of your manuscript.

jamieayres said...

Wow, I want to read this! THe only thing that hasn't been said that I thought was to take out 'popular' at the end b/c it's redundant--we get that you're popular by the # of followers:) BTW, I'm adding myself to the list of people to follow you~gOOd luCK!

Jennie Bailey said...

Send me the full like NOW! Great query letter Jen!!

Stephsco said...

I think your query is pretty strong - I definitely get a sense of voice that is appropriate to the type of story. I would suggest a few nitpicky things, like reducing a little bit of the wordy-ness so that the rest of the intentional wordyness shines (for ex:

Harper Drake didn’t think dating could be so disastrous. As a popular radio host on the lookout for something to push her ratings higher, she accepts the challenge to date 30 guys in 30 days, and signs a contract with her best friend, the editor-in-chief of the hottest magazine in town.

You could probably condense the plot a little bit, I think that has been suggested. Overall, your voice shines through and that's what counts.

I would also remove the personal information about your husband, where you live and just leave the part about a blog. Take out As for me, and just say I maintain a popular blog... etc.

Nicole Zoltack said...

Love the voice, love the premise. If I were an agent, I would definitely request pages.

Slamdunk said...

Since I won't be much help with your query, I am on the way over to your feature Jen....

Clare C. Greenstreet said...

Sounds cool. And it gives me a good idea of how my query letter should be like. I completely forgot about doing the word count.

Jo Schaffer said...

Sounds like a fun read!

I NEED to rewrite my query. Again.

Jennifer Hillier said...

You already know that I loved this query and that I've got my fingers crossed for you!

GO JEN!

Angie Cothran said...

I can't add much to what has already been said. I LOVED that your voice came through loud and clear. Perfect for chick lit :)

My only suggestion is to shorten it a little and break it up to have more white space. I've heard of agents who will just delete queries if they come in big blocks of text. So just beware.

Thanks for following my blog. I couldn't place your name and then it came to me. We are both reviewers on Afterglow. Small world :)

LisaAnn said...

Wow, this is a GREAT query, and it looks like you've already received lots of good feedback. Your plot is compelling, your voice shines through and I looove the fact that you mention the amazing number of followers you have on your blog. If that isn't the makings of a strong platform, I don't know what is!

alexia said...

Jen, this is awesome! And I promise I'm not just saying that because you liked mine!

There is so much voice here, I LOVE it!!And you list a couple comparable books, which I've read is really good to do. According to Query Shark, you don't need to mention that sample chapters are available, because the agent assumes that. Otherwise, I wouldn't change a thing! I am sure you'll get lots of bites with this query!

Laura Barnes said...

First, thanks for following me and commenting on my query. I've really agreed with a lot of your advice in this blogfest!

I love the voice in this query. You've nailed it. My only suggestions apply to your ending. I hear chick lit is hard to sell these days so I'd lose the reference to it. Personally I never like "It would appeal to" because it feels to presumptuous but I don't have a better way to phrase it.

Love your blog! I'm now a follower. Do you guest blog?

The Blonde Duck said...

Fellow writer popping in to say hi. I think your query is great! I hope you get a partial or full request!

Donea Lee said...

Jen!! When did you have time to whip out another 114,000 word novel??? :) You are a novel-writing machine!

This sounds like such a fun story! It's reminiscent of How to Lose a Guy in 30 days and See Jane Date, if you've ever seen those?

I agree - the query has got great voice. I love the bio info, it's adorable and totally you. However - I've heard time and time again that if it's not relevant to writing creds, you should leave it out. I'm not sure I ascribe to that particular rule, though... ultimately your call, of course.

This line made me laugh, "My 114,000 word light women’s fiction..." - unintentionally, of course. My first thought was, "holy cow - 114,000 words???" and then it's followed by "light". I know that's not what you meant (light = short, quick read) but, it sounded funny to me. Maybe switch to, My light women's fiction novel 30 Guys in 30 Days is complete at 114,000 words. (a small nit-pick...)

Otherwise - you've got some great comments here and this is sooo close! Just a few tweaks and you're golden! Love, love, love the concept! Best of Luck to you when this goes out! :)