Saturday, October 19, 2013

Question: how much ankle to reveal?

I've been working on a book for the past three years now. It started off as a humorous account based off of real life experiences, but after many edits, it is now in the YA fiction genre. Also, I intend on this book being part of a series. What I'm wondering is if I should mention this information in my query letters. Is it even relevant?

Please do not mention the circuitous route your book took to reach its final (illustrious we hope) form.  This is akin to watching food prepped for a beauty shot on a cooking show (blow torch, paint and glue, yum yum) or Miss America practicing her fire baton routine.  It's better just to see the final result.

As to whether your book will be a series, my standard advice is to treat the novel as a stand alone at the query stage.  You've got to get one published before you have two.


ProfeJMarie (Janet Rundquist) said...

I usually skip this information in author interviews, too. I mean, if there was a cool event or story that inspired the novel, I'm sometimes interested in that, but I don't care about the entire assembly line process as a stand-alone anecdote. I can only imagine reading a fantastic query letter and then forgetting about all those amazing words as you read through a life story of the book baby.

John "Ol' Chumbucket" Baur said...

I think we sometimes overestimate how fascinating we think "the story behind the story" is. We think it reveals the process, and people will find it fascinating. And of course, it's about us, the writers, so how could people not be riveted? The truth is, they mostly don't care. Other writers, MAYBE. But most people, not so much. If they ask, tell them, but don't be surprised if the question never arises. And don't force it on them if they don't ask.