My first requested query.

2 Jun

Two Saturdays ago I went to the Indian Peaks Golf Club for a one-day writers’ conference given by the Colorado Romance Writers and did my first pitch to Kristin Sevick, editor at Tor/Macmillan. (See previous post for all the gory details.) Kristin, bless her heart, asked for a query letter, synopsis and the first three chapters of THROWN.


I knew Kristin would be busy at the Book Expo, a humungous book convention in New York, all last week, so I didn’t bother sending it to her then. (Plus I wanted to read the first three chapters a coupla dozen times and refine them.) I sent it yesterday, the whole shootin’ match. I have to admit, my heart was thudding as I clicked SEND. I wanted to open a bottle of champagne or something, but there was none nearby (besides, I always want to open a bottle of champagne).

Do I believe, deep down, in my heart of hearts, that Ms. Sevick will be asking for a “full” (the rest of my manuscript)? No. Before you kind-hearted people out there tsk tsk me for not having enough confidence in my writing, it’s not about that. It’s about the fact that were I to list the top 20 publishers most likely to publish my book, Macmillan wouldn’t be in the neighborhood; they may not even make the top 50. Then again, maybe she’ll love my words, maybe she’ll adore Grady and Amanda as much as I do.

As I’m learning, this whole business of finding an agent and getting published is a lot like dating. The agent has to love your story, because he or she will have to read it at least four times, which is the equivalent of liking someone so much, you can overlook the inevitable morning breath. There has to be chemistry. There has to be that je ne sais quoi. And, as with dating, you can’t predict when lightning will strike.

That said, you can bet I’ve looked up the agents and editors of my favorite authors, the ones whose writing is similar to mine. Keeping with the dating analogy, this is like learning which actors my favorite supermodels are dating, so I can flirt with those actors and try to get them interested in me. Some are too big and don’t accept unsolicited queries, but my best bet, Susan Elizabeth Phillips‘ agent, DOES. (Can you say “prepared to actively stalk him at the RWA conference?”)

But back to Ms. Sevick. As I said before, she was a delight. If I still lived in New York, I would want to be her friend. Now that she has my query et al, I wait for her response. If she likes what she sees in the first three chapters, she may ask for a full. Which would be totally cool and awesome, as my friend James would say.

In the meantime, I’ve been revising away, incorporating Joanne Kennedy’s suggestions. I may enter the Heart of the Rockies contest, sponsored by the Colorado Romance Writers, just to support our local RWA chapter. I managed to resist entering TWO contests with May 31st deadlines. So if you were concerned I was becoming a contest junkie, you can rest easy.

That’s the update on my writing extravaganza. Thank you, as always, for reading.


  1. Lisa Fields Says:

    Excellent post! The more I learn about publishing the more I understand author’s turning to self-publishing. It seems like you need the voodoo gods on your side to get a full request.

    That being said…I’ve got a really good feeling about thrown. Collette Auclair is gonna be big someday…

  2. Colette Says:

    Thanks, Lisa! I hope you’re right about THROWN. Do you have documented psychic abilities, by chance?

  3. Diana McOwen Says:

    She has gone from Colette Stiglich to Colette Auclair. Mistake? I think not. I would read ANYTHING with that name on it.!!!

  4. Diana McOwen Says:

    I am ashamed to say that my “elephant memory” has failed me in remembering Colette’s middle name. Damn my memory lapses!

  5. admin Says:


    Tom and I tell everyone I married him for his melodious last name.

    My middle name is Ann, a common workhorse of a middle name. So don’t fret about your memory.

    And thanks for reading!

  6. Susan Boucher Says:

    You’re welcome for reading. I firmly believe you’re on the cusp. Anders thinks so too.

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