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Okay, I'll dive in. The query that got me the agent who sold my book.

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#1 thrownbones


    Veteran Of A Thousand Wine Bottles

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 03:55 PM

Not sure if I ever did this before, so forgive me if I've posted this at some point in past, many wine bottles ago, lol. The caveat here is that this IS the query that got me my agent, but it was another 2.5 years before we sold one of my books. THIS version of the book did NOT sell. I had to rewrite it. Just as an FYI. :smile:

Anyway, here you are:


Dear Ms. Agent Lady,

I'd like to tell you about my latest mystery novel, THE DAMAGE DONE (73,685 words):

Mark Mallen had been a great cop, before he succumbed to the needle. Driven from the narcotics division and run off the force, Mallen's been surviving day-to-day in the gritty world of San Francisco's Tenderloin district. But just as if it looks like his life will end in addiction, his upstairs neighbor comes to him begging for help in finding her daughter's murderer. The man hidden deep inside the addict is prompted to action, as Mallen sees an opportunity to redeem himself and re-emerge.

However, staying clean turns out to be the least of his problems. As Mallen struggles to find the killer before another child is murdered, a couple of rogue cops come after his head, his ex-partner tries to turn him into an informant, and a growing number of people seem to want him dead the deeper he dives into the tangled threads of the investigation. When he finally comes close to unraveling it all, he discovers at its center something darker and more sinister than any nightmare he's ever known: the murder trail leads directly to a police officer he once trained.

I am writing to you because I read on AgentQuery.com that you were passionate about mysteries. I am hoping that mine is one you could also feel passionate about. My short fiction has been published in various online literary journals, including Pindeldyboz, Cherry Bleeds, and Word Riot. I am also a produced screenwriter with another script currently under option.

Thank you for your time.

Best wishes,

The first Mark Mallen novel, Untold Damage, is now available via Midnight Ink! Look for the second Mark Mallen novel, Critical Damage in April of 2014 (Should we all be here, natch).


#2 shivalgupta


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Posted 30 April 2012 - 01:06 PM


#3 Adriana


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Posted 19 August 2012 - 07:25 PM

Thanks for sharing! And thanks for the caveat. I finished my book 6 months ago and have been editing and rewriting pretty steadily. It's good to remember that even AFTER the book gets representation it'll need additional edits.

Good luck!
No doubt the universe is unfolding exactly as it should...

#4 Joey


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Posted 20 August 2012 - 01:04 PM

Great query Bones and can't wait to see Mark Mallen come to life in your book (which I intend to read) :)

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#5 Steph



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Posted 20 August 2012 - 02:45 PM

WOW! Great letter :) I want to read it!

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