It is difficult for me to ask to see a manuscript or get excited about what I am about to read when the query or cover letter has no soul or personality. I understand that everyone is trying to be respectful and professional and I certainly appreciate that, but if I had to choose, I would prefer to know who you are rather than the word count or to what book your manuscript can most be compared (http://caseylmccormick.blogspot.com/2009/06/interview-with-literary-agent-marietta.html).I struggle with this balance between professionalism and openness all the time. I worked at a law firm for several years, so the professional, well-worded letter comes easily for me. What is not so easy is letting go of some of my inhibitions and revealing a little piece of who I am.
Using my "monkeypatch" logo has certainly helped, I think. I use it now at the top of all my letterhead, while also referring to my website. I guess I'm hoping really interested editors/agents will take the time to peek at my blog or website, but that's probably not realistic.
My plan then, is to be a little more carefree with my cover letters and queries. I don't know exactly how that will develop, but I hope it's a positive shift. I already have a beginning line ready for my "ugly mermaid" story (assuming it ever gets finished, polished, and decent enough to send out). Here goes...what do you think?
So I went to the library with my daughter the other day and she wanted all the picture books about mermaids. Guess what? There were only three. I said, "Mommy can write you a mermaid book!" And of course, my daughter replied, "Great! I think it should be about an ugly mermaid!" (Lesson: Be careful what you say to a five-year old!) The manuscript enclosed for your review was born of that conversation...Will that pique someone's interest and give them a feel for who I am? Or am I paddling out from shore in a sinking boat?