query wars: report from the front

Why there were no query wars last week: I was at the RWA National conference.

I headed out to San Francisco on Tuesday the 29th, and flew back last night (and, boy, are my arms tired…. thank you, thank you — I’ll be here all week), arriving at home sweet home around 1:30ish AM local time. I read no queries while I was on this trip, as I was meeting with clients and editors and only in my hotel room to sleep, or change for the Harlequin party or the RITAs. Maybe I’ll have time to write up a full report sometime this week.

# of e-queries in my account when I left (as of end of business Monday the 28th): 166
# of e-queries now in my account: 295 (to which I say: “bring it” and the chorus replies…. “it has been broughten”)

I haven’t counted the snailmail ones. I hope to start chipping away at things, but will also be on vacation later this month, so things may not be back up to my regular level of speed until after that. Thanks for your patience while I review these and look for the next story to fall in love with….


I am also woefully behind on the blogosphere and could certainly appreciate links to articles of interest that cover the last week or so. Please leave them in comments on this entry. Thanks!

10 responses to “query wars: report from the front

  1. I have nothing to offer except well wishes for your vacation, which I hope you do not have to work during. I will be writing during mine! 🙂

  2. Question
    I hope you had a great time at the conference, and thank you for the update. If it’s not too much trouble, I was wondering if you could help with a question:
    How much emphasis is placed on gender in the publishing world? I realize that agents and editors get excited when they discover a new voice, but some of the comments I’ve read in various books have made me believe that these same agents and editors become more excited if that voice is female.
    I am a female writer with a male name, so if there is an emphasis on finding fresh female voices, it seems logical that I tell an agent my gender in my query letter. However, I also run the risk of sounding odd if I end my letter with something along the lines of “by the way, I’m a woman.”
    I’ve been puzzling over this predicament for some time, and I hope you can help me.

    • Re: Question
      I’m not — but you could probably get away with an ending along the lines of “Sincerely, Ms. Cl. Caztx”?

      • Re: Question
        Thank you for the reply.
        That was one of the solutions I considered, but I worried about the possible connotations. I didn’t want an agent to see that and think: ‘She insists on being called Ms? Is she full of herself? Will she be hard to work with?’
        Talk about over-thinking, right? When it comes to these darn query letters, it’s easy to lose perspective.

        • Re: Question
          For someone who was Linda Jones, it might have connotations (though I’d be more likely to think that it’d be the connotation of “nervous query-letter writer found a form that says to use this closing”).
          For Miss Lee Smith, or Mrs. Gareth M., or Ms. Andre Norton? The agent would probably be glad for the clue. (My mother is named Gareth. Seriously. When she and my sire went around in England, people hearing about them assumed that they’d be brothers, not spouses. (And yes, I know Andre Norton is a pen name. Took me years to realize “Andre” was a boy’s name, though. *grin*))
          I hope that Ms. Jackson would correct me if I’m wrong, mind!

        • Re: Question
          With an unusual name, I think the recipient would be aware of the purpose of Ms. rather than assume something negative about you. Another option (though not quite as clear) is to put it the letterhead.
          My name has gotten me into some interesting places. I’ll bet we could swap stories.
          Yeah, over thinking those queries. It’s all part of the process, eh?
          Carson Flanders

  3. 295 e-queries?! Ai-yaaaaaa!!!

  4. To catch up on the blogosphere, I’d check out Matt Staggs’ Bookosphere roundup posts from the last week: http://entertheoctopus.wordpress.com/

  5. First names
    I, too, am a woman with a (usually) male name. Carson McCullers is a noted exception, as was my grandmother after whom I was named. I sign everything with Ms. as I did just last night when I added to the query wars numbers. Oh, well. Wait and see, eh?

  6. Rest those eyes
    Jennifer, please rest. I can wait for you to read mine. 😉

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