Otherwise Engaged, Query draft 2
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Thanks to everyone who helped me fine tune my query letter! I've given the whole thing a serious make over and I hope you'll take another peek at it.  Any better?  Anything else that needs work?


All comments and feedback appreciated! Thanks so much! This help is truly invaluable :)


-Stephanie Haddad




Dear (Agent),


Tessa Monroe will happily cook you a meal, but it will probably be burnt beyond recognition. Fortunately, her skills in the boardroom far surpass her kitchen savvy and have helped her climb almost all the way up that corporate ladder. If only her apartment weren’t so empty, she might not watch so much Top Chef. But she loves her job—really—so it’s all worth it in the end, as long as she makes VP.


Christian Douglas, Tessa’s best friend since paste was considered a snack, has arranged his priorities in a different order.  He lives romance day in and day out as a wedding photographer, but has just been dumped by his fiancée.  Christian, she says, is in love with someone else, someone he “proposed” to on the third grade playground. Someone who has no plans for romance, marriage, or a family, thanks to her high powered career.  But that's ridiculous, since Christian and Tessa are just friends.  Aren’t they?


Otherwise Engaged, complete at 75,000 words, is a contemporary romance presented through Tessa’s viewpoint with humor and honesty.  While this is my first fully completed novel, my short fiction has won several contests and has appeared in publications such as The Broken Plate at Ball State University.  I am also a member of Romance Writers of America. Otherwise Engaged is a witty blend of women’s fiction and romance and would make the perfect addition to your current list of titles. 


Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.  May I send along sample chapters or the completed manuscript for your review?





Stephanie Haddad

  • I like this alot.  I would go with something more in line with Carolyn's second paragraph rather than yours.  It is a bit clearier.
  • Thank you for the vote of confidence!! It makes me feel good to get such a change in responses :)

    Thanks, Sarah !



  • Yes yes yes!!!  This is a huge improvement. Huge.  And the paragraph that Carolyn has tidied up above really seals the deal.

    You are almost there, and I know you'll get requests.

  • Hi Cynthia,


    Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.  I'll axe the question - which I sensed might need to be taken out - and I'll rework that sentence.  Glad to hear so few suggestions! I think I'm getting somewhere with this!


    Thanks again,


  • So glad to hear that, Carolyn!  I sorta threw away the old one and started fresh to shake things up :)  I'm happy to hear it paid off!


    And yes, that second paragraph was really bothering me because it wasn't quite right.  Great suggestions! I'm reworking it now and I think it will be ready to go!

    Thanks so much!!

  • Hi Stephanie,


    I'd consider it overall strong.  I have a couple of minor suggestions: (1) Cut the question "aren't they?" and rework the end of the preceding sentence a bit accordingly -- maybe just a pet peeve, but to me such questions are a little too "device-like" and coy.  (2) In paragraph 3, end the first sentence after "viewpoint" -- those qualities you mention should be (and are) reflected in the query itself!


    Good luck!  I look forward to hearing what others have to say --



    Cynthia Hoyt

  • Wow -- big improvement. Nice job! Still needs some smoothing, esp. in Christian's paragraph. May I suggest revisions along the lines of: "... He lives romance day in and day out as a wedding photographer, and believes he's found it for himself. But his fiancée dumps him because she senses he's in love with someone else -- someone he “proposed to” on the third grade playground, someone who grew up to have no plans for romance, marriage, or a family thanks to her high-powered career. But that's ridiculous, think both Christian and Tessa. They are just friends. Aren’t they? Their hearts think otherwise, and force them to rethink their priorities and choose life paths that will bring them together instead of tear them apart."