Today I’m going to talk about a super resource to help you with your query letters. Then I got a surprise in the mail a few weeks ago that I want to share too.
It all involves Elana Johnson, a wonderful friend and amazing writer I’ve gotten to know through her blog. First, about the query resource. Elana self–published a book about how to write a query letter called FROM THE QUERY TO THE CALL. I bought it when I started working on my query letter. And it gave me the courage to tackle it. Because even though I’m an attorney and have written thousands of persuasive letters in my career, the query letter is a whole other beast that terrified me. Okay I’m still a little scared of it.
Here’s what’s so helpful about Elana’s book. She literally explains every sentence you need in your query letter from your introduction to the pitch to your bio to the end. And she explains it using real live query examples—her own and ones she helped people with. For example, she’s got the query for THE LIAR SOCIETY by Lisa and Laura Roecker. So many people tell us what a query should say. But explaining it by showing numerous examples works so much better for me. And at the end of the book she has the completed queries.
The book came with an awesome query critique by Elana. Well to be honest, I spent over 40 hours on my query, got three critiques from Elana, a few from my critique group, and then Casey helped me. So I did need A LOT of help. But I couldn’t have done it without this book.
Now Elana is generously offering the book for FREE. She's not including a query critique so if you ever see a contest where she’s giving one away, enter it. You can download your copy of her book here. And if you don’t follow her blog, you should go here to follow it. It’s awesome.
I planned to talk more about queries because there are lots of other useful resources but then I got a totally awesome package containing an ARC of POSSESSION from Elana’s publisher! It’s my first one since I started blogging. Here’s a blurb of the story from Goodreads:
Vi knows the Rule: Girls don't walk with boys, and they never even think about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn...and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi's future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.
But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they're set on convincing Vi to become one of them...starting by brainwashing Zenn. Vi can't leave Zenn in the Thinkers' hands, but she's wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous--everything Zenn's not. Vi can't quite trust Jag and can't quite resist him, but she also can't give up on Zenn.
This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.
Doesn't it sound good? And the cover's gorgeous! I loved the book. Vi has a great distinctive voice and I wish I was as brave as her in breaking rules as a teenager. The plot is fast paced and Vi’s problems mount. Elana has created a rich world filled with its own unique technology. Without spoiling it by telling the ending, I will say that I would not have guessed it.
When I started reading this, my 14-year-old daughter was on spring break and needed a book to read. She knew nothing about the book, but likes dystopian stories. So I told her I would share it with her. The first day she was nice and let me read the book at night. But the second day, she did not share. When we were supposed to be watching TV as a family, she snuck read it. And then when she could go do what she wanted, instead of turning on the TV or computer like she usually does, she read. And read when she was supposed to be asleep until she finished it. So yes, it is an awesome book. And yes, I was controlled. But it was for a good cause.
I’m giving away my ARC of POSSESSION. All you need to do is be a follower (just click the follow button if you’re not a follower) and leave a comment by midnight on April 23rd. I’ll announce the winner on April 25th. International entries are welcome. If you don’t win, be sure to come back on June 6th, when I celebrate Elana’s release of POSSESSION by interviewing her and HINT, HINT, there will be an awesome giveaway.
Stop by on Wednesday when I’ll be interviewing Anita Laydon Miller and giving away a copy of her e-book EARTHLING HERO. And on April 25th I’m interviewing Karen Mahoney and giving away a copy of THE IRON WITCH. I’m so excited!