How to Write a Fiction Novel Query Letter

Self-pub or trad pub, it doesn’t matter. Everyone needs a query letter.

“Not me,” some will say. “I’m my own boss and CreateSpace doesn’t reject anyone! I don’t need your Big 5 (4… 3… 2…) Hegemony!”

Okay, cool. But what are you going to write for your book’s backmatter? What do you want to put on your cover? What do you say when you meet Adam Savage in an elevator and he asks you what your book is about?

The query letter is the mission statement of a book. You have to take it seriously, whether you’re sending it to agents or self-marketing. It’ll inform you about your differentiators, help set the visual tone and create a strong sense of your identity as an author.

You’ll need every part of a query to market your self-pub. Paragraph 1 contains your log line, paragraph 2 contains your synopsis and paragraph 3 contains your bio. You already have to write it, so why not start out right?

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New Song: “The Wrong Side”

I’m stuck here on the wrong side of the Earth,
Far away from all that I love true.
I’m in Tokyo or Seoul, Bangkok or Saigon,
But I’d rather be home languishing with you.

I know we’ve had our disagreements, dear.
But now I’m in an unfamiliar place.
I’m in boats, hotels and trains, houses, shacks and planes.
And sometimes you know I miss your angry face.

Oh, what a horrible life!
We always have such poisonous things to say.
Oh, what a beautiful night!
Thinking back I wonder why I ever walked away.

I’ve found some ways to occupy my time.
I try to stay distracted with the new.
I have wandered stranger streets, tried every kind of sweet,
But still I can’t forget the taste of you.

What’s it like when you don’t see me there?
Heard you’ve been trying to move along.
You’ve got boys and girls for miles, to keep you for awhile,
But do you miss me when you lay alone?

Oh, what a horrible life!
We always have such poisonous things to say.
Oh, what a beautiful night!
Now I just remember,
You didn’t ask me to stay.

I’m stuck here on the wrong side of the Earth.
What we had may be forever gone.
So I’ll pine away the nights, in these city lights,
But I know that you will never call me home.

New Song: “No Way Home”

I know it’s not exactly novel writing, but I’m trying to put together my EP, “The Owl,” this year. This is the first song.

Ain’t no way now to come back home.
Everything that I know is gone.
I’ll never see those familiar stones.
Ain’t no way now to come back home.

Left the land for a distant shore,
And they won’t see me forevermore.
All I’ll know is toil and war.
Left the land for a distant shore.

I want to fly in the clouds above.
I want to see my own true love,
But she won’t know me, stained with blood.
I want to fly in the clouds above.

Ain’t no way now to come back home.
I’ve fallen into the great unknown.
Maybe that’s where they’ll bury my bones.
Ain’t no way now to come back home.

I’m a Magical Writer (and You’re Not)

Disclaimer: Maybe I just don’t get it, and I’m willing to accept that.

“I’ve got the best job in the world. I craft universes. I create people and they tell me what they want. I’m a storyteller. I’m the bard in our global village.”

Sound familiar? You’ve probably heard it a dozen times, perhaps from some of your favorite storytellers/bards/creators/gods. I’m going to be straight with you folks here: I really dislike the spiritualization of writing.

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How to Plan a Writing Retreat, Part 3: Food

If you’re going to plan a writing retreat, you’ve got to get rid of the distractions.One of the biggest obstacles to good writing is that pesky need to eat. Here, our Head Chef (my incredibly talented wife, Renée White), enlightens you about the challenges faced by the cooks.

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