Thursday, August 7, 2008

New release ~ New website!

Last week I was in San Francisco for RWA Nationals. I had a ball and especially enjoyed rooming with my critique partner, Darcy. She ripped my old website to shreds and started me down a path to designing a new one. Check out the results at First person to spot a fixable error (spelling, non-working link, missing picture, etc.) and drop me a note using the Contact Em form, will receive their choice from my backlist. The number of winners is limited to the number of errors. (So I could be in real trouble here!) Have fun!

I said I'd post a sample query letter, so here it is: (Of course, you use the standard business style for the letter with your address and contact info, then the editor's address before you launch into the body. The names have been changed to protect the guilty!)

Dear Ms. Editor's last name; (or Mr. Editor's last name. Be certain of the spelling!)

I enjoyed meeting you at the AnyoneCanWrite Conference last week. Enclosed please find the synopsis and manuscript (or partial if that's what they ask for--always send exactly what they request.) of HUSH, the 90,000 word romantic suspense, you requested. (I've reminded the editor of the request and exactly what type story I offer, and yes, they want a word count.)

In the stillness, evil waits. Megan Kelley can’t hear him coming, but she knows he is there. Set in Boston where politics have always been a blood sport, HUSH is a tale of ballot corruption and organized crime, of honor lost. And rebuilt.

A bout with meningitis left Megan with only 60% of normal hearing. When she practices her speechreading and ends up ‘eavesdropping’ on a murder-for-hire contract, she becomes a target herself. In a chilling game of cat-and-mouse, Megan must discover why an MIT professor was murdered before his killer catches up to her.

She’s forced to rely on the cop who’s her unfaithful ex-husband and the new man in her life, a former Navy Seal with some dark secrets. Megan must find the courage to trust again to find closure not only for the murder case, but for her heart as well. (This was my blurb-style pitch. It might be a tad long, but I wanted to show I've balanced the suspense and the romantic elements of the story.)

I currently write historical romances for Leisure Books as both Diana Groe and Emily Bryan. Since May 2006, I've had 5 books published to critical acclaim, and am under contract for a 6th title and novella for 2009. I love writing historical romances and plan to continue, but will not be violating my contract with Leisure when I branch into romantic suspense with a different publishing house. (These are my publishing credentials. If you're not published, include contest wins here. I'm letting them know I'm still writing for Leisure and also signalling that there will be no legal trouble if they pick me up in a different sub-genre.)

I hope you enjoy HUSH. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Diana Groe (I sign with my legal name, not my pen name)

And that's it. There may be a better way to query out there. This is what I do.

Don't forget to check out my new website. There are several pages just for aspiring writers under WRITE STUFF.



Monica Kaye said...

Thank you so much for this! I hate queries. Why are they so hard? Synopses are worse.

EmilyBryan said...

I'm with you Monica. Queries stink. However, like the dreaded synopsis, we have to learn to do them if we want someone to finally read our work. My advice is to relax. You're a writer. Your voice can't help but come out even through the query--it's all about word choices.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Diana, I adore the new site! Everything is so easy to navigate and you have terrific ideas with the library page and the links to all the excerpts. What a treasure trove.

EmilyBryan said...

Thanks, Leah. Did you see my Em Recommends page? Each month, I feature another writer's work. I may be a writer, but I was a reader first and I enjoy sharing my favorites.

And for historical romance readers, my Dorchester Historicals page spotlights my fellow authors. There's such a wide range represented, there's something for everyone.

Anonymous said...

Like the changes to your site. And you are right, if you don't do it like Darcy says, you'll never hear the end of it. :)

EmilyBryan said...

I wonder how many of us there are who can trace our writing roots to Darcy's kitchen table?

Congratulations on the RT Top Pick designation for your newest release TEMPTED BY THE NIGHT! Sounds yummy, Elizabeth.