My Successful #PitchWars Query

Here’s the two versions of my query from when I was searching for an agent. Different title aside, this is actually for my debut, Hollywood Homicide.

If I had a personal reason for contacting the agent, I would use Version 2. Otherwise, I would use Version 1. I think for Pitch Wars I just used version 1.

On a side note: It’s not surprising for much of your query to be used by your agent when they are contacting editors when you’re sub and by your publisher when writing back jacket copy for the book.

Version 1:

Dear XXXX:

Dayna Anderson, a semi-famous, mega-broke black Hollywood actress, doesn’t set out to solve a murder. But when she drives past the hit-and-run of aspiring actress Haley Joseph and the LAPD offers a $15,000 reward, she figures she has two choices: get the reward or become a stripper. And she doesn’t possess the inner thigh strength needed to properly work a pole.

Dayna’s pretty sure she saw the vehicle. The problem is she can’t remember what the dang car looks like…not that she’s willing to let a little thing like that stand between her and fifteen grand. What starts as simply trying to remember a speeding car soon blossoms into a full-out investigation. Dayna even recruits her friends – including her long-time crush-turned-Hollywood-It-Boy. They haven’t spoken since a slight misunderstanding involving his hand and her non-stripper-worthy thigh. Her friends aren’t even allowed to mutter his name. He’s like Voldemort, except with a nose.

When Dayna uncovers a link between the accident and an even bigger Hollywood crime spree, she enacts her own version of Law & Order: Hollywood at paparazzi hotspots, celeb homes and movie premieres. She loves every second of her growing investigation – until someone tries to kill her. And there are no second takes in real life. Dayna may be dead broke but it sure beats being just plain dead.

Intended to be the first in a series, IOU is an 85,000 word mystery with the same broad appeal of Lisa Lutz’s Spellman books and Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. Because of XXXX, I thought you would be the ideal person to represent me.

The story draws on my experiences working in Hollywood, including a stint as a staff writer on the CBS procedural Cold Case and developing projects for Idris Elba and Lionsgate Television. I often encountered the various people chasing fame, be it a sprint, marathon or journey that never reaches the finish line. These are the people who populate IOU. If you’d like to meet them, I would be happy to send XXXX.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Kellye Garrett

Version 2

Dear XXXX:

I’m a former TV writer (CBS’s Cold Case) seeking representation for my 85,000 word mystery novel, IOU. Intended to be the first in a series, IOU has the same broad appeal of Lisa Lutz’s Spellman books and Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. Because of XXXX, I thought you would be the ideal person to represent me.

Dayna Anderson, a semi-famous, mega-broke black Hollywood actress, doesn’t set out to solve a murder. But when she drives past the hit-and-run of aspiring actress Haley Joseph and the LAPD offers a $15,000 reward, she figures she has two choices: get the reward or become a stripper. And she doesn’t possess the inner thigh strength needed to properly work a pole.

Dayna’s pretty sure she saw the vehicle. The problem is she can’t remember what the dang car looks like…not that she’s willing to let a little thing like that stand between her and fifteen grand. What starts as simply trying to remember a speeding car soon blossoms into a full-out investigation. Dayna even recruits her friends – including her long-time crush-turned-Hollywood-It-Boy. They haven’t spoken since a slight misunderstanding involving his hand and her non-stripper-worthy thigh. Her friends aren’t even allowed to mutter his name. He’s like Voldemort, except with a nose.

When Dayna uncovers a link between the accident and an even bigger Hollywood crime spree, she enacts her own version of Law & Order: Hollywood at paparazzi hotspots, celeb homes and movie premieres. She loves every second of her growing investigation – until someone tries to kill her. And there are no second takes in real life. Dayna may be dead broke but it sure beats being just plain dead.

IOU draws on my experiences working in Hollywood, which also included developing projects for Idris Elba and Lionsgate Television. I often encountered the various people chasing fame, be it a sprint, marathon or journey that never reaches the finish line. These are the people who populate IOU. If you’d like to meet them, I would be happy to send the complete manuscript.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Kellye Garrett

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