Another query letter sample, this one for my novel The Comic Book Writer. A reflection follows. The first twenty pages can be found here.
Emerald City ComiCon in Seattle forces MARK, a semi-famous
comic book writer with a career perhaps on the decline, to reevaluate his life
while sharing the space with his ex-girlfriend CATHERINE, whose own career is
peaking, and MARION, a young barista/poet. Over the four days and three nights,
Mark navigates the comics world, while working through his life-long
depression, and desire. Along the way, readers get an in-depth look at the pop
culture phenomenon of comics, graphic novels, and cosplay.
The Comic Book Writer
takes the premise of The Sportswriter
by Richard Ford and puts it in the hipster sub-culture of comics, in the style
of Jim Harrison, Roberto Bolaño, Denis Johnson, and Charles Bukowski.
The Comic Book Writer
Word Count: 78,773
John Yohe holds a MA in Written Communication
from Eastern Michigan University and a MFA in Poetry Writing from The New
School for Social Research. His essays on pop culture have appeared at WORD
RIOT and SLOW TRAINS. He is a regular reviewer of books at ENTROPY, and graphic
novels at COMICS BULLETIN. Links to published short fiction and poetry can be
found at: www.johnyohe.com.
Born in Puerto Rico, John Yohe grew up in
Michigan, and currently lives in Portland, Oregon. He has worked as a wildland
firefighter, deckhand/oiler, runner/busboy, bike messenger, wilderness ranger,
fire lookout, as well as a teacher of writing.
A complete list of his
publications, and poetry, fiction and non-fiction writing samples, can be found
at his website: www.johnyohe.com
I have three other novels in my psych ward, along with
enough published short stories for a collection. And I've been writing many
reviews, along with some essays. Also a couple books of poetry.
Again, going with the strategy of jumping right into the action as an attention grabber. I still like the second paragraph, a re-framing of the summary. Instead of trying to decide whether to include a more formal or less formal bio, I decided to be different and do both. It's my fear of appearing too academic-y appearing, being written off as yet another MFAer, and trying on the other hand to show that I'm competent and have specialized experience. I have no idea if a lit agent would appreciate that or not. I didn't get any nibbles, so apparently not, but who knows.
I also couldn't resists including that last paragraph about having other works. I've seen this advised against, that lit agents just want to know about the one piece of writing. My thinking is, I'm trying to show them that this book isn't just a one-shot, that if they were to sign me up, that I'd have plenty of other writing to sell, and that I'd I'm showing that I'm a writer constantly working on more writing. Again, I have no idea if this is appreciated, or derided.
Again, the first twenty pages can be found here.