When you’re trying to land an agent to sell your book, you have to send out what is called a “query letter”.
I looked up my original query for the Hitwoman series. Here it is:
I hope you’ll consider reading my 80,000 word novel Confessions of a Neurotic Hitwoman (think La Femme Nikita meets Bridget Jones Diary).
Not long ago, remarkably unremarkable Maggie Lee had a soul-sucking job, a less than stellar family, and hadn’t had a date in over a year. Now she’s a hitwoman….but that’s okay, because her lizard approves.
When she awakes in a hospital Emergency Room, Maggie learns that a drunk driver has killed her sister and brother-in-law, and seriously injured her three-year-old niece, Katie. Only Maggie seems to have escaped the horrific crash unharmed (except for the fact that she’s now able to converse with Katie’s pet gecko, Godzilla. “You can just call me God.”).
Keeping Katie in a premiere medical facility costs big bucks. Maggie has no idea how she’ll continue to provide Katie with the best care available, until she’s offered a lucrative job opportunity — $100,000 to “off” someone. She politely refuses the offer until she’s informed that Katie is on the verge of being booted out of the rehab facility. Maggie’s all too familiar with the shortcomings of state run institutions. Her mother is a permanent resident of a state run psychiatric hospital and her father’s locked up for life. Maggie can’t let Katie end up in one of those places.
Against her better judgment, she accepts the job and is paired up with a hitman mentor who teaches, “Life Lessons: How to Take a Life and How to Avoid a Life Sentence.” With some help from God (the lizard, not the deity) Maggie uses her newly developed skill set to become a contract killer. But the road sure isn’t easy….
And here’s the version that eventually landed me my agent
Maggie Lee is not your average hitwoman. For one thing, she’s never killed anyone before. For another, her sidekick is a talking gecko, a picky eater who is obsessed with Wheel of Fortune.
Desperate to help her hospitalized niece, Maggie finds herself accepting a mobster’s offer of a big payday in exchange for killing his even more monstrous son-in-law. Paired with Patrick, a charming murder mentor (who just happens to moonlight as a police detective) Maggie stumbles down her new career path, while contending with self-doubt, three meddling aunts, and a day job she hates.
And in case you’re interested, here’s the blurb the publisher ended up using for CONFESSIONS OF A SLIGHTLY NEUROTIC HITWOMAN.
Maggie Lee is not your average hitwoman. For one thing, she’s never killed anyone. For another, after hitting her head in the car accident that killed her sister, her new best friend is a talking lizard—a picky eater, obsessed with Wheel of Fortune, that only Maggie can hear.
Maggie, who can barely take care of herself, is desperate to help her injured and orphaned niece get the best medical care possible, so she reluctantly accepts a mobster’s lucrative job offer: major cash to kill his monstrous son-in-law.
Paired with Patrick Mulligan, a charming murder mentor (who happens to moonlight as a police detective), Maggie stumbles down her new career path, contending with self-doubt, three meddling aunts, a semi-psychic friend predicting her doom, and a day job she hates. Oh, and let’s not forget about Paul Kowalski, the sexy beat cop who could throw her ass in jail if he finds out what she’s up to.
Training has never been so complicated! And, this time, Maggie has to get the job done. Because if she doesn’t . . . she’s the mob’s next target.