I love coffee. Sometimes people try to switch my coffee to decaf when I’m not looking. I can always tell the difference. I also like Pringles, but only the reduced fat kind because they crunch better when you bite into them and they don’t leave grease on your fingers. I’m…

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Successful Query, yay!

As some of you may know, I have been querying agents for a book I finished. My first book of memoirs, a couple of which are featured on this blog. The style of my book is very unusual, as it is in short story format, but the stories are sequential and with a narrative story arch.

I’ve had a lot of success with my query letter and have had all but 3 agents request to see partials or fulls of my manuscript. So far, I have yet to hear back, but my fingers and toes are crossed! I thought that perhaps, you all would want to see an example of one letter I sent out to a senior editor at Citadel Press (no, she’s not an agent, but I figured what the hell…it couldn’t hurt). The writing in my letter was very stylized and the type of format that will either be loved or hated by those reading it. I guess my mindset was that since most of my book was written in this style, if they didn’t like it, better to weed them out early. And since there’s no way to please everyone, I took a risk, hoping to grab the attention of the agent and/or editor most like myself with a similar sense of humor.

So…here’s my letter with one response (from the editor):


Dear Ms. *********,

I love coffee. Sometimes people try to switch my coffee from caffeinated to decaf. I can always tell the difference. I also like Pringles, but only the reduced fat kind because they crunch better when you bite into them and they aren’t as greasy. I’m an actress sometimes, a photographer rarely, a producer most of the time, and a friend always. But seriously, and yes I can be serious, I consider myself a work in progress. I believe if you fall asleep at night the same person that you were in the morning, you might as well have stayed in bed. Life will kick you in the balls, but I kick back harder. I am a dreamer. I am a romantic. I am pragmatic. I am contradictory. I am who I am and I love who I am. I love my family, my friends, my life, and every crusade I’ve fought to get where I am. Although it’s been proven that caffeine is addictive, stunts your growth, and is bad for your teeth—I like it. And I’ll never allow anyone to steal the caffeine from my coffee. My book chronicles the important, the funny, the sometimes life-changing moments I have experienced. These are my stories. These are my memoirs. These are the reasons I became the woman I am today.

My memoir, I Forgive You…(and Other Appalling Lies), chronicles the groundbreaking experiences of my life. I use humor as my defense in the face of every hardship. From the first time I was dumped to my battle with cervical cancer (and HPV), you accompany me on the stories (large and small) of my life that have made me the woman I am today. And in spite of everything, I continue searching for a love that will curl my toes and a man similar to the coffee I drink each morning: Tall, Dark, Delicious…and will keep me awake all night long.

I read about you on Citadel Press’s website. After seeing that you are a senior editor for genres such as humor, memoirs, and narrative non-fiction, I decided to send you a query letter. I’m young, ambitious, and I guarantee that I will be a published author within two years.

What gives me an edge? Well, my current boss is a celebrity, an amazing writer, and extremely supportive of my efforts. Her name is Linda Ellerbee. I currently work as her associate producer for Nick News on Nickelodeon. My writing career began at age six when I started creating stories to accommodate my wild imagination. My favorite was about an angel whose job was to watch over a little orphan girl. I am a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, with a BFA in Photography and have been a regular writer for and a regional magazine called Chesapeake Pet. Most recently, I had a short story published in a book of anthologies, GRAB YOUR TIGER, which was released in April of 2007.

I’d be happy to send you a complete manuscript for your review. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.


Colleen Katana

Future Best-Selling Author

Her Response:

Dear Colleen,

Thank you for this most unusual and entertaining query letter. Things are a little crazy leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday, but I’ll be happy to take a look at the manuscript afterward. Feel free to send it along.

All Best,

2 Responses to “Successful Query, yay!”

  1. Take 5 Photography Says:

    Yay Coll! That is very promising! You definitely grabbed her attention :-)

  2. Ello Says:

    Hey congrats on the requests for partials and fulls and best of luck to you! I’ve got my fingers crossed tight for you!

    And your query sounded great, I really love your voice.

    Have a great Thanksgiving!

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