Saturday, September 10, 2011


It’s not every day the Editor-in-Chief for a romance publishing house offers to give you a third and final chance to prove you can write a great romance novel. With two solid rejections under my belt, I knew my latest effort had to use a high-concept plot idea and follow the criteria Miss Prettywell outlined for a romance novel. Something she had not taken the time to tell me until recently. According to her, all romances novels must follow three simple rules.

Rule Number 1: The hero and heroine must meet in the first chapter and are immediately attracted to each other.

Rule Number 2: The hero and heroine struggle throughout the story to overcome one or more obstacles keeping them apart.

Rule Number 3: In the end, the hero and heroine surmount all obstacles keeping them apart, and the reader is led to believe they live happily ever after.

Those three rules are so simple I’m surprised everyone is not writing romance these days.

I e-mailed my query today and look forward to hearing from Miss Prettywell. For those of you who have trouble writing a query letter, I'm sharing mine with you so won’t make the same mistakes I made.

Rose Petal Romance Publishing
ATTN: Ms. Prettywell, Editor-in-Chief

Dear Ms. Prettywell:

In my novel, CHIGGERS, global warming has caused an explosion in the chigger population in America, sending people indoors for cover. Robert (Chig) Langdroff, the country's leading authority on chiggers, is summoned to Washington, D.C., from his home in the Mississippi Delta, to offer a solution to the chigger crisis. Robert meets with the President and the President's top Scientific Advisor, Nancy Snatchit, a beautiful, but aggressive young woman bent on preventing the banning of makeup and perfumes even if Robert's advice might help prevent an exponential growth in the chigger population.

Robert realizes his first task is to win Miss Snatchit's trust. As Robert and Nancy lock horns and scratch chigger bites, millions of the country's outdoor sporting events are put on hold, causing a tremendous decline in beverage and fast food sales, resulting in a national decline in obesity, causing a surge in online clothing sales, home cooking, and family time. The White House grounds are soon engulfed by chiggers. The vast horde-of-chiggers are too much, even for the mightiest military in the world. As a last resort, Robert calls for help from some Good O' Boys. While everyone else in the country stays indoors, two Good O' Mississippi Boys, immune to chiggers, begin to mount an offensive just north of the Mississippi State Line. The Good O' Boys drive their truck toward Washington, D.C. killing billions of chiggers all along the way. The lethal gas, used to kill the chiggers, is emitted from their truck, as the Good O' Boys drink lots of beer and eat lots of barbecue. They arrive in Washington to a hero’s welcome. Everyone appears happy until one of the Good O' Boys unintentionally releases some of the lethal gas amongst a crowd of well wishes, sending thousands of people scrabbling back indoors for cover.

Later that night, Robert wins Nancy's trust in the Lincoln bedroom. They get married and move to Alaska, where no chigger has ever lived long enough to cause any trouble. The President takes credit for reducing obesity, the upswing in online clothing sales, and the national movement toward more family time.

Market Research: Having been bitten by more than a few chiggers, I can tell you chiggers are one of the most feared creatures on the planet. More people are attacked by chiggers than all other forms of wildlife in this country. One person can sustain literally hundreds of attacks in one outdoor walk to the barbecue grill. Just ask my neighbor, Eddy, or worse, make him take his shirt off so you can count the bites. I have enclosed a picture for your benefit.

CHIGGERS, a Romantic Thriller, runs about 86,000 words. May I send you my draft?

Thank you for your time. You do not have to return the picture of Eddy.

Jack LaBloom
Romance Writer       

No comments:

Post a Comment