I decided to keep that fabulous first graph you guys got me to,but i decide to try to jump into the idea that this is a literary novel (where plot is less important than character and how it is written)and write a query "literarily."

Here's what I hope is basically my last query letter draft :


Dear whoever,
I have recently completed an epic literary novel, "THE COLOR OF SAFETY," which explores racism and internalized bigotry through the last century via one South Central Los Angeles near-mansion and its inhabitants--wealthy white, wealthy black and everything in between. I adored Tk, which you represented. It's rare to find work that discusses race in such a complex, nuanced way. For this reason, I feel you would be the perfect agent for THE COLOR OF SAFETY.

The backbone of the novel is Molly Lerner, whose mother, a Hidden Child of the Holocaust, raised her as the eternal outsider, fearful of the gentile world, ignorant and uneasy among her fellow Jews. Yet here, in this magnificent old house, in a neighborhood considered unsafe by most whites, blonde, blue-eyed, Jewish Molly not only finds a place to belong, but learns to fight for her new community.

The house’s stories--those of the earlier owners--are equally important. Together, Molly's tale and those of the past splinter black and white into the full spectrum of life, as residents of the house in their various ways and times, struggle to become THE COLOR OF SAFETY.

I am white, Jewish, and married to a child of Holocaust survivors. THE COLOR OF SAFETY is based on my experiences living in the inner-city neighborhood described in this novel. I have won three prestigious "Editor's Choice Awards" at the San Diego Writers' Conference, and have been a finalist for the mentorship program at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. The first three chapters of The Color of Safety follow below.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Tags: I, Query, bug, for, guys., hope, is, last, letter, literarily., More…literary, my, novel, this, time, to, written, you

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Replies to This Discussion

Sara,

I remember reading one of your first drafts here in the query group and I have to say, what a difference! You have filed it down to the basics and have made it a much better agent query.

'The backbone of the novel is Molly Lerner, whose mother, a Hidden Child of the Holocaust, raised her as the eternal outsider, fearful of the gentile world, ignorant and uneasy among her fellow Jews.'

What if it were something like this: Molly Lerner, the loyal daughter of a Hidden Child of the Holocaust was raised as the eternal outsider; fearful of the Gentile world but kept ignorant of Jewish customs. Or something like that....maybe 'one foot in each culture, straddling but never being accepted in either'.

The rest was very clear. What do you think?

This is the hardest part and my letter was awful. Just awful. I thought it was ok and let it rest and when I went back to it I realized how bad it was! I will put it up here again when I've tweaked it to within an inch of its life and you can tell me what you think.


Good luck Sara. I know you are working so hard on this, as we all are, and I would love to read the book someday.

All the best,

Aidan x

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