5 Steps to Writing a Stellar Query

It's the first step, the first impression. It will get you off that "slush" pile and into the editor's lap...well, figuratively anyway. So how do you write that stellar query letter so your work can be recognized?

Step 1: Study your market. Know what the publisher will and won't publish and don't waste either of your time.

Step 2: Find the right editor. A name will always get attention vs. "Dear Editor."

Step 3: Start strong. Your lead will keep them reading. Use your top fact or main hook and SELL IT!

Step 4: Keep it brief. A one-page query is appropriate for anything you're sending out, whether it's an article or a novel. Any longer and they'll start snoozing.

Step 5: Proofread. Misspellings will mark you as an amateur. If you want to be a professional, write like one.


Top Ten Christmas Books

There's nothing better than sitting around the fire with your children reading a Christmas classic. Here are the top ten for me:

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
The Polar Express by Chris VanAllsburg
The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L Frank Baum
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Barbara Hazen
The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
The Nutcracker by E T A Hoffmann
The Little Matchgirl by Jon Erickson
A Wish to be a Christmas Tree by Colleen Monroe
Frosty the Snowman by Jack Rollins

So Merry Christmas and Enjoy!!


Writing Your Synopsis

You think you've got a bite for your novel! The only problem is...the dreaded one-page synopsis. How can you possibly explain your masterpiece in just one page, and in a way that will have them interested in tackling the 400-page effort itself! Well, here's a few tips to get you started and hopefully get them hooked:

1) Don't confuse 'outline' with 'synopsis,' this isn't a scene-by-scene rendition of your book. Go back to your original outline and pick out the main points.
2) Keep your synopsis in present tense.
3) It's OK to single space and make sure you include the title, genre, word count, and YOUR NAME and contact information in the upper left-hand corner.
4) Continue the same writing style as your book in your synopsis: dark and brooding? light and humorous?
5) Don't include dialogue unless it's absolutely necessary.
6) Keep it simple, yet professional. You don't need to print in color or add clip art, have it bound or illustrated. Let your story speak for itself.