Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Did you "win" QueryShark?

 Hi Query Shark,

Really appreciate your blog.

Quick question: There are a few queries that I would LOVE to read the final published books from, but since you anonymize the blog posts, I haven't been able to find and follow the authors.

I know you mention some of the authors once they get book deals, so I'm guessing these haven't yet, but I'd love to just get on the authors' mailing lists even if the books aren't yet available.

Any chance you'd be willing to share the author names with a potential fan? The authors I'm interested in are query #124, #179, and #181.

(And let me know if I'm just a dummy and missed somewhere on the site where I can find this info.)

Thank you!

Well, I know about #124, cause that query was from Dan Krokos and he's a New Leaf client. While I wasn't able to find a home for the Ford Kelly novel, Dan has also written a wonderful trilogy, the first of which, False Memory, was the Young Adult Thriller of the Year at ITW in 2013.

And he's got a middle-grade series, The Planet Thieves.

As for the others, I don't know, but let's find out!

If you won QueryShark, and particularly if you're #179 and #181, your fans await!


french sojourn said...

Mine is #327, but you haven't received it yet.

Worth the wait, cheers Hank.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Not me.

Wasn't much of a surprise.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

If only I could write such clever queries. *sigh*

It'll be interesting to see if either of those belong to one of us Reef dwellers.

Donnaeve said...

That "otter" give someone a real boost of confidence to know others liked the concept of their books.

This sort of goes in line with the post yesterday. We ALL like great writing, even in it's earliest stages, meaning that reading a query is a lot like reading flap copy - a little more than that, but comparable enough.

Like Elise said, it'll be interesting to see if they're Reef Dwellers.

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

I've occasionally recognized a Query Shark novel when reading blurbs at work (most recently Waypoint Kangaroo, I think), and it's been super cool every time. Kind of like "I know them!" I don't recognize #179 and #181 as books my library has gotten recently, anyway, but it doesn't mean they didn't sneak in on me!

DLM said...

*PUN-ches* Donna (not very hard) on the shoulder. "AAAUUUUUGHHH!!"

It IS helpful and enjoyable when an OP joins the discussion - here, or at QS.

*Running off to read the archives*

Julie Weathers said...

I could only dream of writing a query that well. One of these days I'll be back in the query pit. I hope.

Colin Smith said...

The Dan Krokos story is, of course, legendary. At one time there was an interview floating around the interwebz that Janet did for the BBC World Service talking about queries. The interviewer threw a couple of faux queries at her (one he made up, the other was for THE GREAT GATSBY), and she critiqued them. The last one he gave was Dan's, which provided Janet an opportunity to talk about the positive benefits of Query Shark, and what a winning query looks like. I've looked a few times over the past couple of years, but it seems the interview has been taken down.

I have no idea who owns the other two queries, but I'm also curious to know.

AJ Blythe said...

Am heading off to bed so will return in the morning in the hope some Reiders have 'fessed up to their QS "for the win".

Gigi said...

Yay! Thanks for asking this. Fingers crossed they reveal themselves.

DLM said...

Worrying right now I have said the wrong thing, and I want to apologize if I did. Janet, I commented on #287 at QS and now the whole post has disappeared. If I was inappropriate in any way, I honestly apologize! Ack. *Packing a bag for Beyond Carkoon*

Colin Smith said...

Am I the only one who thinks it would be fun to write queries for a contest? In other words, a writing contest where the entries have to be, say, 200 word (max) queries for novels that don't exist. The winning query would be one that Janet most wishes was real because she would be demanding to see pages.

Maybe contest #101... :)

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Colin I think that would be a great exercise. I do not wish to join you in Carkoon so I am not suggesting in any way that our Queen need entertain this idea. Only that practice in query writing would help many of us bottom dwellers.

Julie Weathers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Colin Smith said...

Elise: I was simply throwing the idea out into the wild blue ocean... if a certain shark snaps it up, then well and good. If she leaves it to fall into the plankton infested crevices of the deep, where the half-digested remains of feeble ideas slip daily into the salty wasteland of eternal forgetfulness, then fair dos. I don't think I committed a Carkoonable offense... did I? :-O

Colin Smith said...

Oh... and for those who are interested, Sarah, my daughter, has accepted an offer of a place at UNC-Greensboro this Fall, majoring in Drama. She is very excited. Thanks for all your interest and well-wishes over the past few months. :)

There will, no doubt, be cake to celebrate. I'll eat a slice for y'all, because that's what friends do. It's all about sacrifice. ;)

Colin Smith said...

[For our non-US readers, UNC-Greensboro, or UNC-G, is the University of North Carolina at Greensboro]

DLM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DLM said...

Colin, my dearest and oldest friend was a prof there for several years! Beautiful campus, great people (even though now she is gone). Huzzahs, felicitations, and congratulations!

I don't think the suggestion is necessarily Carkoonable, but it makes me wonder whether we need a discussion forum of our own where we can do writing exercises, discuss kale, digress, and the like online without impinging upon the QOTKU. Coz more is not more when we're depending upon her space! (This is NOT a suggestion, as I am not interested in maintaining such a space, and therefore would be loath to expect someone else to.)

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Colin That is wonderful news about your Sarah. Eat cake and celebrate for all of us.

My daughter has settled well in New York, apart from getting lost in Brooklyn on a daily basis. The bad news is she has a date. With a writer, a published author she gushes. Writer's are not for dating but I can't convince her of this. Now I am all worried. Although I am not sure if that is more for my daughter or the feckless writer. Oh dear.

Colin Smith said...

Diane: Thanks! She was quite impressed with the campus when she visited there last week. And Greensboro's a nice city.

As you're probably aware, the idea of a discussion forum has come up before. It seems like there should be something like that, so we don't eat up so much comment space with our daily digressions. Janet doesn't care as long as a) she's not responsible for it, and b) her name is not associated with it in any way, shape, or form. However, I don't think anyone is passionate enough about it and has the time to give to setting it up and maintaining it.

french sojourn said...

I wanted to pass along, that our own Writerofwrongs has a great deal on her Debut novel Adrift on Amazon for $0.99. A very good read and rated 4.5 out of 5.

...but that's, just soz you'll know.

Megan V said...


There is a space on Facebook that is not—I repeat IS NOT—associated with the QOTKU, where a few of us have parked our carcasses.

BJ Muntain said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BJ Muntain said...

Everyone who has read Query Shark is a winner. You can't help but learn a lot there.

Congrats to Colin's Sarah!

Colin Smith said...

Thanks for the tip, Hank. Here's WriterOfWrongs's debut on Amazon: ADRIFT--ebook edition. I need to add this to the Published Works page in the Treasure Chest. Don't let me forget! :)

Claire Bobrow said...

I'd love to know who #179 and #181 are, too. They sound like secret agents with those numbered monikers.

Colin: Congrats to Sarah! My mom is a graduate of UNC-G and currently lives in Greensboro, as does one of my brothers. Mom goes to a ton of musical events on campus. Great school, and a lovely city.

Melanie Sue Bowles said...

Hank, #327, HA!

Colin, Congratulations to your Sarah. How exciting! Cake, indeed.

Megan, May I ask you to reveal the Facebook group? Or add me? Thanks!

Unknown said...

I've often thought I'd like feedback from some of you talented folks. Would something like this be an appropriate use of this blog? "I just posted a draft [query, first chapter, story, etc.] on my [blog, FB page, google docs, etc.] at [address], and would appreciate comments." I don't think I've ever seen something like that here. It would let us share our work without grabbing all of Janet's bandwidth. Thoughts?

Colin Smith said...

Kathy: Probably not something to do in the comments. I know we often veer off-topic, but I'm quite sure posting requests to critique work here would be way beyond the bounds of Janet's tolerance. If you want feedback on your work from Reiders, the best thing to do is contact them directly, either by Direct Message on Twitter, or email.

That's what I think. What do y'all think?

Susan said...


We have a closed group over on Facebook (though anyone is welcome) that a few of us started last year as a place to share writing woes, celebrate success stories, and share resources. Feel free to find us at The Writer's Room, or by finding me on FB (Susan Pogorzelski). Please be sure if you message me to let me know where you're coming from so I can properly add you. This group, while it's made up mostly of reef-dwellers, is in no way endorsed by Janet or linked to this site.

Disclaimer over.

Julie Weathers said...

I have mentioned this before and I am not promoting it, but it's there if anyone wants to avail themself. Books and Writers has been around since AOl/Compuserve, so it's not going anywhere. This month the writing exercise is character traits. If someone wants to work on queries, they post it in the Writing Biz and Events section.

It's always open to new people. The writing discussions can break out a the drop of a hat about just about anything.

Unknown said...

Thx Julie, this looks like what I need!

Kregger said...


Please unpack your bag and ask for a refund on your ticket to Carkoon. If you had said something unsettling, I'm sure only your post would have been deleted. I swear I've seen this before, possibly the post is under revision?

I'm not a big Facebook fan, but I'd like to add my name as a follower of the page Megan V has mentioned. If someone could point me in the right direction?

Congrats to WriterofWrongs on her debut pub.

Also,congrats to Colin's Sarah. I remember the oldest walking away to the dorms on move-in day at OSU. It gave me an odd feeling in the pit of my stomach.

And, alas, *places back of hand on forehead and feigns fainting* I have been gnawed by our esteemed hembra de tiburón (way) back in 2009. My query went "thud" and I made Ms. Reid laugh (I heard maniacal cackling all the way to Ohio). Later revisions went splat and possibly other squishy noises on landing in the R&R pile.

I've noticed over the years that the commenters on QS were typically different than the Reiders of the daily blog. The queries #179 and 181 are from 2010. If you go back to FF contest #1 and scan the entries, I doubt more than a few Reiders would recognize many, if any names. I didn't, ditto for commenters of either of #179 or #181.

It would be grand to hear from either aforementioned writers and how they have faired in the query trenches, but more than likely they've moved on to other things (but, of course, not to better blogs. (Hint: that was a ploy to receive a get out of jail/Carkoon card). I may need one after this post.


Megan V said...

Loved many of the queries on qs. Read a few as books. First win I read was Premeditated can't recall the qs number offhand...

OT- Melanie and Kregger - the group is the one Susan mentions. I'd be happy to shoot you the link via email or twitter.

Colin Smith said...

Megan: PREMEDITATED was #192. :)

Unknown said...

Julie's Books and Writers is an easy sign-up for anyone interested. Thanks Julie.

Julie Weathers said...

Kathy Joyce,

I'm getting ready to head out the door to pick up the munchkin, but it is easy to sign up. Research and Craft is where I hang out most often, but I'm also in Exercises, Workshop,and Biz and Events. I occasionally slip over to Diana's section, but that way lies madness. There are too many rabbit holes to get lost in. That being said, it's an interesting diversion.

Introduce yourself somewhere and you will get a warm welcome. Diana had some interesting things to add to the Evoking Emotion and Description threads in Research and craft.


nightsmusic said...

Since I already host a phpbb forum on my hosting site (Bluehost) if someone was willing to oversee a forum, say...Carkoon.net, I would be willing to register the domain name and set the forum up. (I can't believe Carkoon.com is taken!) but I wouldn't want to be the only admin on the forum.

You can see the current one I have, which is a small group of 12 of us and was an offshoot where we could land after the forum we'd all belonged to just shut down.

I could set it up for a variety of topics etc, but it's up to Janet (only for the name Carkoon) and you all if you want to do this. Let me know.

Amy Johnson said...

nightsmusic If your idea winds up a "yes," I'd be glad to help out. It would be nice to get to contribute more--I get so much from this group (and Janet's posts, of course).

Colin Congratulations to Sarah! And to her mom and dad. I've also heard the area is great. A former Sunday school student of mine decided to stay in the area after graduating from UNC-G.

Writer of Wrongs said...

Hank, Colin, and Kregger ~

Thank you so much for the shoutouts and congratulations. I'm a published author because of my time on the reef. Her Sharkiness set me straight on more than one occasion!

Micki Browning
Writer of Wrongs

AJ Blythe said...

Morning all. No QS winners have revealed themselves, instead Colin has posted a good news story... Congratulations to Sarah. Enjoy the cake (did she have to make her own celebratory cake?). And thanks for the explanation of university =)

Megan V said...

Thanks Colin And Huge Congrats to Sarah! Wishing you both the best :)

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised there were no takers for Krokos' Ford Kelly novel. I absolutely would have read it. Now I'm curious about SO MANY of the queries I've read over there. It's almost like looking at a high school yearbook and wondering, where are they now? Only with a much higher likelihood that almost none of them are in prison.

Colin, congrats to your Sarah for the acceptance and best of luck to her on the new journey!

Micki, why didn't you tell us this news?! Congratulations to you as well. *one click*

Speaking of people who don't speak up and tell us things in this forum, our own Kelly Garrett (she comments infrequently these days and I can't remember what her comment name is over here) had her debut novel come out recently too: https://www.amazon.com/Last-Die-Kelly-Garrett-ebook/dp/B01MV7SWPA

Honestly, you guys, you need to share this kind of stuff with us. If it makes you unbearably uncomfortable to engage in what seems to be "blatant self-promo," think of it instead as giving the rest of us hope. And great new books to read.

Julie Weathers said...


That is great news about Sarah. I know she's going to be very happy and you also.

KD That's also wonderful news about Kelly Garrett's book.

Cecilia Ortiz Luna said...


Congratulations to Sarah and to you, too. You must be very proud.

Susan P.

I read your latest post on your site. Hugs to you.

Lennon Faris said...

(...if anyone's still awake)
I've been reading through QS but hadn't gotten to those posts yet. They sound fantastic.

Megan V - I'd be interested in that link as well.

Susan I also read your post. Very honest and heartfelt. It brought me to tears (and is there nowhere to post on your blog?). An associate of mine also suffers from Lyme and she finally found relief through acupuncture and so became a homeopathic doc herself. I am saying prayers that you find some relief as well. Sending positive thoughts and virtual hugs your way!

Cecilia Ortiz Luna said...

Megan V,

Me, too.

Colin Smith said...

Thanks for all the congrats to Sarah! :)

BTW, Kelly's book is linked on the Reider's Works page in the Treasure Chest. I'm going to add Micki's in just a mo.

Panda in Chief said...

I just wanted to shout out a quick congratulations to Colin's Sarah, and to say that you need to eat a piece of cake for EACH ONE OF US here at the reef. In the interest of not making yourself sick, it does not have to be all in one sitting. I know she will have a wonderful experience in college, and aren't you glad she is closer to home.

I'm looking forward to going to Kelly Garrett's book signing in Seattle, and hope there are other Reiders in Seattle to share in the celebration!

Panda on and keep those cuppycakes coming!

Janet Reid said...

Any solicitations for feedback posted here will be deleted and a stern email received by the poster.

Here's why: this community, and its courtesy and intelligent commentary have extraordinary value. The last thing I want is people hearing "hey, you can get feedback if you comment on that blog" slinking over here to see what they can get, rather than what they can contribute to the conversation.

If y'all want to have groups elsewhere, that's totally fine with me as long as my name is NOT part of the title.

If anyone has any questions, drop me an email.

John Davis Frain said...

Well, that's a kinda tough one to follow. I was just stoppin' in to mention that I'm returning from a late trip to Walgreens where I saw Query #179 on the side of a milk carton. So I think we're gonna have a tough time finding that one.

But now I see Janet saying we're supposed to have intelligent commentary, so I'm not gonna tell that story.

Instead I'll say congrats to Colin and his daughter Sarah. That's great stuff. And the mere mention of her name raises the intelligence of my comment. Thank you, Sarah.

Kae Ridwyn said...

Congratulations, Colin! And enjoy the cake!

Janet Reid said...

I'm rather surprised John survived the trip to Walgreens.

Writer of Wrongs said...

KDJames ~ Thank you. The worst part of publishing is the "Blatant Self Promotion" that to an extent, all authors must engage in. My entire professional life was as a police officer who eschewed any social media presence. I'm still learning the balance.—but this is not a forum I wanted to misstep--first off, I hate Kale, and considering my pasty Irish complexion, I'm pretty sure I'd burn to a crisp in Carkoon. Hank’s plug was unanticipated, unsolicited and therefore all the more powerful. I am honored by it. That’s the beauty and strength of this community.

Sharyn Ekbergh said...

I just picked up WriterofWrongs book for my Kindle! You have a fantastic background for writing crime fiction.
I am looking forward to reading it.

Susan said...

Cecilia and Lennon: Thank you both for your kind words! They're unexpected, but deeply appreciated.

Lennon: I chose to turn off comments on my blog so it can remain an outlet--a place where I can be raw and vulnerable. But I usually cross-post to The Mighty and Medium, which do allow for comments, and I'm readily available across social media. I'm so sorry to hear about your co-worker, but happy she found relief and is now using her experience to help others! I tend to think that compassion is what it's all about--we have to find a way for our own pain to be useful to prevent that pain in others.

Lots of love and gratitude to you both.

Megan V said...

Just a friendly reminder that others(including friendly agents) can't reach out to you outside of the blog if you have what the QOTKU calls the Blog ID of Doom

Gigi said...

For those talking about wanting a place to connect with each other and talk queries and the like, I run a Facebook group for women and minority authors to talk all things books and to get group feedback on queries. Definitely some QueryShark/Janet fans in the group and we'd be happy to have other writers join us. If anyone is interested, let me know and I can post a link (if that's okay here?) or connect with you directly.

Stacy said...

Congrats to your daughter, Colin!

Love the blog, Writer of Wrongs.

Her Grace, Heidi, the Duchess of Kneale said...

Yay Sarah! Glad you found a uni.

I suck hard at one particular query letter. The others, not so much.

I have a teeny-tiny tummy so this Easter cake I've got is lasting an awful long time. Anyone who pops by place today to help me rewrite Hell's Query Letter will be plied with marshmallow-covered devil's food cake.

Allison Newchurch said...

The one I really want to find out about is query #112, titled "Little Hope", a story was about Emily Hunt and her lost dog.