Jonathan withstands my daily query rants. I tell him all about the "fictional novel"ers, the "harry potter competitors," the "I'm a Best-Seller in the making" ers. And because he knows me too well, he created a fake author persona, composed a query made up of all the things I hate in query letters, and sent it to me as a practical joke.
I auto-rejected him after the first paragraph, which was a shame because this letter is a RIOT.
Dear Mr. Marini,
First, thank you for reading my communique. Second, please excuse my taking the liberty of correcting your title from what is listed on the Gelfman Schneider website. I know (as I'm sure you do) that women cannot read. I assume, then, that you must have a woman proofreader working on your site, who incorrectly refers to you as Victoria, rather than your proper name of Victor. You might want to check that out, Vic. Can't have some lady messing up your submissions, you know?
Well, now that that's settled, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jason K. Hawthorne. I'm a 9th year sophomore at the East Midland Polytechnic Institute for the Maintenance and Repair of Tall Buildings and Light Watercraft. I'm also an accomplished author, with over 12 paperbacks currently in my backpack.
I'm writing you, Vic, to let you know about an opportunity. Not just for me. No. For you. And for me. But mostly for you. I've written a book, you see. And it's nothing short of incredible. As a trailblazing author with remarkable intelligence, lightning wit, and an impressive working knowledge of around-the-house plumbing procedures, I can say: It's the best book ever written by man or woman (except not woman, because they cannot read and therefore cannot write, as we both know).
It's called the Elsinore Ring. In it, I've defied the tyranny of basic storytelling in favor of an approach I have dubbed "you-ism." This approach allows me to TELL, rather than SHOW, how the story is progressing. As I'm sure you're aware, Vic: This is a major breakthrough.
Allow me to copy a brief excerpt here:
"The blood-wizard approached the virgin princess, leering in a deeply ominous fashion. In his eye sockets, his eyes burned ominously. More ominous than the Ominous Stone of Aruthesa. More ominous than the dagger-sharp stare of the Dagger Eye Dragon. They glowed redder than the Glowing Red Gem of the East. You feel a sense of deep, red ominousness. You are frightened."
You're no doubt frightened, and consumed by dread, Vic. But worry not! It's just words on a page. They can't hurt you. They can only help you. Help you get rich.
Please write me back. We should discuss my advance (it will of course be sizable). We should also discuss your website proofreader. I have a position in my larder in which she might be interested. She'd, of course, have to prepare eight course dinners using ingredients from a mini-fridge and cooked on a hotplate. But that's the life of a scholar, ain't it Vic!
I look forward to speaking soon, and to receiving my check (once we've settled on an amount).
All the best, Vic! Don't let a great opportunity, a great author, and a great book pass you by!
With the deepest love, respect, and admiration,
Jason K. Hawthorn