The process of submitting your work to an agent usually starts with a query, which is a short statement about your book meant to give the agent an idea of what it's about, with some hint of your writing style and credentials. Your query is at least as important as the book itself; you can write The Great American Novel, but if your query doesn’t hook the agent, good luck getting anyone to read it.
Below is my query for Ghost Notes, the result of an intense writing process meant to distill my novel down to the most enticing three (or so) paragraphs. I post it to give those of you unfamiliar with the process some idea of what a query reads like, and for those patiently waiting for more Ghost Notes. Here it is. Enjoy.
A bass player ready to jump ship from his mega-band, a drifter who hasn’t seen his son for twenty years, a sixteen-year-old high school dropout who’s going to rock the world come hell or high water, what melodies will pour forth from these rock ‘n’ roll hearts?
Josh “Hote” Hotle should have no complaints. He’s a founding member of Fun Yung Moon, a band that’s sold 2.6 million copies of its debut record. He’s seen his face on MTV mixed in with the biggest music names of the day, tours the country in an airbrushed bus, plays stages other musicians would kill just to stand on.
But all is not well. It’s 1995, and while the tidal wave of grunge rolls on, Fun Yung Moon’s sophomore record is dead in the water, with a single no one plays, a failing tour, and band members with their own agendas. Back home, his wife Celia is oddly distant, and perhaps worst of all, Hote can’t find the magic in the music anymore, that special pulse that propelled him through the songs and made the course of his life clear.
One day on the road, Celia reveals to Hote she’s been unfaithful, which sends Hote on a three-day odyssey through Orange County, culminating in an encounter with a father he’s never known. He meets many others along the way, but none as captivating as Betty, a sixteen-year-old singer/songwriter who wants more from Hote than an autograph on her ticket stub. Will Hote find renewed hope through Betty, or is his spirit as doomed as his dead heroes, haunting the rock ‘n’ roll afterworld, learning too late the cruel backlash of rock music immortality?
Come on. Who wouldn’t want to read that?
Next week, learn my plans for the first half of 2007. I hear music in the air.