The Best of the Worst
I write a lot of query letters in my effort to become published, which is how you formally beg for a book to become real. It gets dull to always have to say the right thing, so, here's a compilation of things you shouldn't say...if you want a positive outcome.
Dear Madame Sirs, and all Employees hitherto,
Hello and may I please introduce myself? Once again, and to be clear, we did meet in the convention center bathroom last May. What a coincidence that I had to go at the same exact moment as you. All! Weekend! Long! Boy, were we sure in synch. And do you remember, during one of those precious moments, I provided you with a verbal account of my life, some jokes, and, a copy of my manuscript. You know, the comedy about nurses, pets, mining, and the cheese conspiracy no one seems to know about. I slid it under the stall to you along with the artisanal toilet paper "rose" I crafted.
Does that ring a bell? Ding-a-ling!
Enthusiastically, I hope we have put that little encounter behind us and let bygones be bygones--Do over! Therefore, I humbly seek the opportunity to send you my latest word-child, freshly birthed from my mind’s womb. Fortunately for you, that opportunity is right now. Here it is!
Keep reading. Please.
Make your eyes continue to travel from left to right, down this page. If you do that, your world will morph into something new and unidentifiable. After you read my semi-nonfictional autobiographical young adult picture book, your former ways of thinking and feeling will be turned upside down.
Have you ever stayed awake for more than three days? Or been severely dehydrated? Yes? Have you ever done drugs? Like, handfuls of drugs? If that happens to have only been baby Aspirin, consider my story to be the Aspirin that comes on golden hand, through parted clouds, straight on a sunbeam and into your open mouth. Say Ahh! My book will be likened to the Great Drug From the Sky, a mind-bending, mood-altering masterpiece that will warp the landscape of literature as we know it. Forever.
I mean, in a good way, naturally.
Who will read this book, you ask? PEOPLE WHO READ. My fan base is growing, even as I write these words. I gain one new Twitter follower every couple of days! In fact, my dog and neighbor’s baby love this so much that they fall into a deep and peaceful sleep whenever I read it aloud. Think about the calm and tranquility we can give to humanity with this book!
Perhaps you did not receive my manuscript all the other times I sent it? Check your spam settings (you never know what other little gems are in there), because I send it every morning at 10:03 am. I’ve done this the past 17 months in an effort to be predictable, which I hope you will appreciate. Relentless! Grrrr! With the grip of a Pit Bull! Which is good, because we both know that’s what it takes to get published.
My oeuvre (pronounced: HOO-ver) is a lot like Harry Potter. In terms of word count. I am talking about the whole series, not just Book the First. It is also like Mr. Potter’s franchise in terms of potential for a big audience and an avalanche of money. My work contains action, adventure, fantasy, science fiction, drama, romance, and a dash of autobiography. There is also gobs of self-help woven into nearly every page. Truly, it defies all categories! Barnes and Noble will need to rearrange the furniture to make room for this new genre. I will also mention that my mother says my book reminds her of watching Bob Ross paint on television, which is to say it is intensely soothing and hypnotic.
So, dear penpal-agent-editor-employer-co-conspirator, in closing, let me offer one more image for your mental mastication. Just imagine, me, silently jogging up behind you after work, in the brisk twilight...to give you--SURPRISE--a hearty slap of congratulations on the back.
I choose you, the esteemed one-and-only upon whom I bequeath this work!!! So, buckle your seatbelt, put on a pair of rain pants, and grab my hand—never mind the clamminess--and allow me to lead you on a dark, uncharted, unforgettable, nail-biting, literary frolic deep into the tangled avant-garde of my subconscious.
Here’s a nutty idea. Let’s play Peek-A-Boo! After that, let's pretend for a moment that you do not like my work. My oeuvre. This is hard to imagine, but I suppose, not impossible. Therefore, would you like me to create something else? Your biography, perhaps? An account of my own personal, deepening depression? The Untold History of Cement? I will happily tweak to your preferences. My wish is your command! And, just spit balling here, but if you sublet your garage to me, I will be within arm's reach, always at the ready.
I bow to you now, and sign off with deepest thanks and at least one minute of unbroken eye contact,
The writer who is changing society, oodles of words at a time.