Friday, July 3, 2009

My First Attempt At The Romantic Query Letter

A Sample Romance Query Letter
Monday January 7th 2008
9 Agents queried, 7 form letter rejections, 2 none reply

Dear Agent Darling,

Ellesmere is a 150,000+ words romance set in late Regency England that tells with heart and humour the story of James Latimer, future Duke of Ellesmere, and Esmé Bessborough. The two collided in the spring of 1816 in the garden at the Countess of Irvine’s midnight ball when she, en route to meet with her fiancé in the rose arbour, tripped and fell into James. They shared one passionate kiss though she was intended for another and so the two parted.

In the ensuing years, Esmé, jilted on her wedding day, settles in Bath, a near spinster, miserably in love with James who was by then engaged to Esmé’s dearest friend the beautiful Lady Joanna Montgomery. That is until Esmé received a letter that forever altered the course of all their lives. The letter was followed shortly by the writer, Joanna, and her new husband Thomas Bessborough, Esmé’s irresponsible brother.

They had fallen in love and eloped when James, now the Duke of Ellesmere, frustrated at being engaged for fours years demands that a date be set. Married, but beholden to James due to the fortune he settled on her family, Joanna begged Esmé to marry James in her stead in order to save them all from ruin. Initially reluctant because of their shared past, Esmé journeys to London with the newlyweds where she is quickly pressured to go alone for the good of the family.

James, preoccupied by the awful news of his missing cousin, agrees to the substitution in order to save his already grieving family from further scandal. The two rush to the altar amidst rumours of resurrections, bigamy and abduction schemes. Now married, but essentially strangers, James and Esmé makes an honest attempt at understanding each other while reconciling past heartbreak and current upheaval.

The manuscript is complete and available upon request. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Simone Ogilvie
It melted no hearts and as a result I had to write another but I did not despair for I was confident all would be well. I wrote a lovely story and it was only a matter of time before my perfect agent would come along.


  1. Oooh, I hope you DO get published. It sounds like such a good premise.

    Esme isn't a name you see everyday. Is it French.

  2. The book is too long; the letter is too long; and I'm sorry to tell you this but 'Darling Agent' is going to put at least half of them off before they get any further. You're obviously serious about this so my two suggestions are (1) Join Absolute Write and really use the forums there - there are a lot of published romance authors who can tell you what you need to do and (2) read Nathan Bransford's blog about the life of a literary agent.