The Mother of All Query Letters
Dear Agent Sir or Madam,
I am writing to you, or your agency, to acquire literary representation in Manhattan, Hollywood, London and wherever else such deals are made to publish books and turn them into movies.
Why? Because my 333,333 1/3rd-word fictional novel (Book One of a 1 million-word trilogy) is guaranteed to be bigger than Star Wars crossed with Fifty Shades of Grey, with Oprah and Brad Pitt on top, like two cherries on a chocolate sundae instead of the single little cherry they give you at Dairy Queen over on 15th Avenue because those cherries, let me tell you, they taste like rubber mixed with corn syrup.
Now, I know the book world establishment is liable to pigeonhole books, and a person could say I KNOW WHERE THE BODIES ARE BURIED, DARTH SAREK OF VULCAN is a mystery about an ordinary gravedigger who’s secretly a half-ninja, half-Vulcan, half-Jedi and only finds this out on account of him falling into a freshly dug grave on a Saturday night and waking up in a strange world where he’s six inches taller, has pointed ears and a sweet green laser sword.
And I suppose you could say it’s a romantic comedy set in a sci-fi action universe, since this hero gets more action than James Bond himself judging one of them Miss Universe contests, but that would be selling this story short. Who doesn’t want to see ninja Jedi adventuring through space and time with laser swords and starship battles? Also, instead of green alien women, I’ve got purple and orange ones.
It’s got fighting, cussing, dark deeds, giant space battles with starships way out in outer space and new life forms with their own languages and strange ways of fighting, cussing and doing dark deeds.
As for reviews and such, all five of my cousins, my momma and even Grandma Wilma, who hasn’t read a book since she stopped reading Archie’s Digest back in 1963, well, they all say this story sounds like a sure-fire winner, the kind they’d pay full price to see at the drive-in, long as the weather held up.
The full fictional novel is attached as an encrypted WordStar document. It’s also available on 5.25-inch floppy disks, and I’m running out of those, so act now. I’ll give the winning agent the password to read it. Also, I’m fixing to finish the screenplay for the first two books before Christmas, so the best agent should also sell a lot of of movies.
Some agents want a synopsis, but reading the story is a lot better than reading about the story, especially the parts after the hero falls into that grave and wakes up.
My cousin has one of those internet phones and says agents want to know about my publishing credits. So listen: I’ve been a professional gravedigger for 23 years and have published 983 stories all over that world wide web on www.blogger.com, keeping my site set to private because I don’t want people stealing my ideas. See? That’s how VALUABLE they are.
The only question is this: are you gonna hop on this money train or are you gonna let it pass on by?
P.S. This here is my pen name, guaranteeing my trilogy sits smack dab next to all those books by Stephen King, who I figure from looking at his photos is older than Roy Rogers’s uncle by now and fixing to retire or die, whichever comes first. To write me checks, you’ll need my full legal name, though I’d prefer cash on account of some trouble with the IRS that started in 1997.
Guy Bergstrom won awards as a journalist before working as a speechwriter and cashing checks from The New York Times as about.com’s expert on public relations. He wrote a thriller (FREEDOM, ALASKA) that won some award and he’s represented by Jill Marr of the Dijkstra Literary Agency. Follow him on his blog redpenofdoom.com, or Twitter at @speechwriterguy, or Google+