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Ask Daphne! About My Query XI

shoescynthia_1These fabulous shoes for Scott (seriously, I found them by searching for “fabulous shoes” on Google images), our next contender on About My Query. Without further delay…

Dear Daphne Unfeasible,

Telephone, telegraph, tell-a-gay man – the gayvine is the source of all information, plus a healthy dose of misinformation, within the gay community of Nashville, TN. In a strange twist of Fate (who he thinks is laughing hysterically at him), Jared suddenly finds his own life spreading throughout the tendrils of the gayvine as he struggles with the realization that his happily ever after – even for a gay man – is not so happy after all.

MARGARITA NIGHTS is a 72,000 word commercial fiction novel filled with a hearty dose of snark, plenty of margaritas, and the drama queen moments of Jared and the rest of the boyz (well, grown men desperately trying to hang on to their youth with an endearing term) as they confront their loneliness and insecurities in an often unaccepting world.

One question – do you love me? – by his partner of five years makes Jared realize that, sometimes, love is not enough. He loves his partner. He is also, perhaps unhealthily so, consumed with thoughts of a kiss – a simple peck on the lips, in greeting only – from a friend. He has somehow become a character in a Lifetime movie. He is not a happy camper. He doesn’t have a fairy godmother, though he knows a few drag queens in sparkly dresses, to wave her magic wand and fix his problems. He only has the boyz, snarky comments, and margarita nights once a month to help him figure out if even the most meaningless relationships, ironically, have meaning after all.

MARGARITA NIGHTS chronicles Jared’s struggle, and that of the boyz, adds in a healthy dose of gossip (the majority actual events cleverly concealed within fiction), and presents a realistic portrait of gay life.

My name is <>. My address is <>. My email is <>. On any given Friday night, I can be found drinking margaritas and listening, perhaps adding a tidbit or two, to the gayvine.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best Regards,

Scott, I love a good parenthetical, but I think there’s just a few too many here in your query. “Though he knows a few drag queens in sparkly dresses”, for instance, though it’s set apart by commas instead of parentheses, serves the same function in its sentence as “who he thinks is laughing hysterically at him” does above. That aside, I’m not certain from the rest of your query if the gayvine is actually the point of the story. It seems as if you could almost cut most of the mentions of it from your letter to focus more on Jared and his relationships. It becomes a less pithy query letter, but perhaps hints at a deeper story. Maybe. I’m a little torn, so I’m curious to hear what other readers think about it.

Format-wise, there’s no need to waste space in your letter with “My name is <>. My address is <>. My email is <>.” All that information can be conveyed in the header or footer of your letter, without taking up space within the body. Use the rest of that paragraph to tell an agent a little more about yourself — if you don’t have writing experience to crow about, then leave it with just your bio.

Another note — is a “Lifetime movie” really the allusion you want to make? I think of Lifetime for their women-in-jeopardy stories, and Bravo or USA (ie The Starter Wife) for something a little more fabulous. While that may be a little stereotypical, you’ve pitched your query with a stereotypical tone — the “boyz”, the drag queen mentions, fairy godmothers — and think if you are going to go for it, you should go whole hog or go home.

So, over to my readers. What do you think?

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