An Alternate Query Letter For My Novel (Should All The Others Get Rejected)


Dear Mr. or Ms. Editor,

Sorry. I know it’s bad form to start out with an apology, but I must admit some mistakes I made in the process of writing my novel.

My novel does not have any zombies in it. This was my first mistake, I realized months too late. The living dead are metaphors for many things, and my novel is sadly lacking in this regard. There are no vampires, either, for the record, which is another mistake, but a much less egregious one. Vampires are really only a metaphor for one thing: sex.

There is sex in my novel, but mostly it’s just for the purpose of procreation. That was my third mistake, if you are keeping track. There should be much more sex. All kinds of sex. Somebody should have woken up some morning next to a stranger and stumbled through this unknown apartment, being reminded of the previous night’s activities by items strewn about. “Oh God, the stuffed penguin! I’ll never think of Teddy Roosevelt in the same way.”

That has potential. Alas.

There is a death in my novel. I do not consider this a mistake. Just a choice. We should not be judged so harshly for every little choice we make. This is life and we’re all just making it up as we go. We all have regrets. You do. Lord knows I have mine. There was this girl, once… but she has very little to do with my novel.

The characters in my novel are writers and atheists, which is probably another mistake, because people want to read about characters like themselves, and there aren’t that many atheists in the world. Or maybe there are more than we think. Maybe the atheists are just afraid to speak up. Maybe the president is secretly an atheist, but he knows this country would never vote for a nonbeliever. Who does an atheist talk to in his dark night of the soul? The country wants to know that in moments of doubt, the president does the same thing we all do: Guess.

I bet the president has regrets, too.

My novel also involves a very dysfunctional family. I’m supposed to talk about my credentials and why I’m the only person who could have written this novel. Well, we all have dysfunctional families. Yours was dysfunctional too, even if you don’t know it. (I hope I’m not being too presumptuous.) My family was dysfunctional. Boy howdy, were we dysfunctional. I don’t want to go into all that here because it’s kind of personal, but trust me. Life is my credentials.

I also have a degree in Creative Writing, but don’t hold that against me. Sorry, bad joke.

I hope you will look past all my mistakes and request to read my novel. It’s 75,000 words and explores a lot of big questions. The Big Questions. But there are no zombies. Again, sorry.

Sincerely,

Lyttleton

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