I just finished the first draft of a query letter for At the Pump. What did I learn? Next time–do it sooner. Write the first query letter after you finish the first draft. Seriously, by the time I was done with the letter I knew just what to change, what to add, and what to leave the same. And–I’m charged–getting right to those edits as soon as I’m finished here.
I’m posting the query here for a few reasons. First, to communicate to you what my novel is all about. Second, to put a sample query out there for the curious or interested. Lastly, for feedback. Notice anything that might help me improve this letter? Please, please share not just with me, but with anyone who happens across this blog and might be in a quandary over the quagmire of query writing.
So here it is–minus the address and closing:
Travis Steele would be perfectly content to work the gas pumps at his parents station for the rest of his life, so long as he could have his one burning desire: true love. However, at twenty-four years old, he’s beginning to worry that love is not in the stars for him. This possibility terrifies him.
Veronica Smith does not desire contentment. She craves mystery, honesty, and adventure. True love? She’d scoff at the prediction.
What happens when this unlikely couple becomes entangled in an unusual community, an unsolved crime, and an unexpected attraction? My novel, At the Pump, explores that question, among others.
Situated at a gas station on a long stretch of road between two small towns in Southeastern Oregon, At The Pump is the first in a series of novels about an unusual group of characters scattered across two small towns. Their stories converge at a common point: Steele’s Gas ‘n Go. This novel is an homage to love, its many iterations, and its power to transform.
At The Pump is a love story full of mystery and insight into the predicament of being human. It’s a work of literary fiction written in poetic diction, but with a playful, casual tone. It’s a short novel of approximately 45,000 words.
At The Pump is my first complete novel. I have two more in the works and ideas sketched out for companion novels to At The Pump. I’ve also written a book-length collection of short stories and hundreds of poems. I’ve published one short story and a few poems and am working toward my MFA in Fiction through Pacific Lutheran University’s Rainier Writer’s Workshop. I also publish a blog for writers at lizshine.blogspot.com. Though I love my job teaching English to high schoolers, writing is my life’s work.
Upon your request, I will gladly send a synopsis, sample chapters, or the complete manuscript of At The Pump for your consideration. Thank you for taking the time to read this query.