My query for literary representation. Otherwise known as "Good god, that agent took one hell of a leap of faith"

I'm whipping up two PowerPoint workshops for the upcoming Florida Writers Association Conference next month and while working on my agent and mine's joint talk on "I've Got Your Back: The Agent/Author Relationship" I included a slide of my query letter. 

What the hell was I thinking?

I did my research on agents in 2010, I queried only my favorites and where I fit in the best (pop culture), and sent this piece of literary genius:

Dear Ms. Frederick:

Vampires are moody. Werewolves leave hair in the sink. Ghosts are notoriously vapid. What’s left in the paranormal dating world that's not already been left for dead? The Undead! No longer content to shuffle in a corner, moan, and sniff the cheese tray, Zombies are ready to lumber into the dating world, and THE ZOMBIE DATING GUIDE is here to help. I am seeking representation for my work in progress, THE ZOMBIE DATING GUIDE, a tongue-in-half-rotted-cheek handbook looking at relationships for the reanimated.

With the success of Max Brooks’ ZOMBIE SURVIVAL GUIDE series and BREATHERS: A ZOMBIE'S LAMENT by S.G. Browne, the Undead are now the life -- and death -- of the party. Romance, humor and zombie aficionados will learn smooth pick-up lines such as, “Look baby, you’re making me rise from the dead” and “I like a woman with well developed BRAAAAAAAIIIINNZZZZ.” THE ZOMBIE DATING GUIDE will cover the basics on the best places to attract a lover (and not just flies), creative first dates, flirting and how to start over after a seeping date gets dragged off by stray dogs.

My short story, EYE OF THE BEHOLDER, was e-published by Ravenous Romance in the zombie romance anthology, HUNGRY FOR YOUR LOVE and will be released in print by St. Martin’s Press in October 2010.

Thank you for your consideration of THE ZOMBIE DATING GUIDE. A proposal is available for your review and I look forward to hearing from you soon.  Please note that this is a simultaneous submission.

Best wishes,

Stacey Graham

Holy crap. I had nothing to my name but one short story and a truckload of moxie.

While ZDG failed to find a publisher, Dawn and I have had many merry adventures in the last four years, but dude, did she take a gamble.  ;)

Thanks, Dawn!


  1. Well, your letter was worthy of attention!

  2. It was entertaining, isn't that what they want?!

    1. I think it depends on the agent. If I wrote my query now, I may tone it down a bit. Kept the humor -- definitely -- but I'd hit the decaf first. ;)

      Thanks for writing!

  3. Oh my gosh! I love this query!-to the point I snorted my tea through my nose! “I like a woman with well developed BRAAAAAAAIIIINNZZZZ.” Thanks so much for sharing! (Yes, I overuse exclamations:p)