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Anatomy of a Query letter

so, I’ve been querying agents for, well, a long time. If emails (and lack of responses) were letters, I’d have a wall papered with the rejections by now.

I’ve run my current letter by a few friends, but thought I would post it here to see what you all think as an exercise for everyone. Feel free to post concrits (I’ll accept “wow, that sucks!” but you have to tell my why, no random flaming) and even your own current query in the comments so we can share and learn together. :o)

as a note, the 6 week period has gone by from this agent which they say on their website means it’s another rejection.


Dear XX,

If you’re not a success until someone tries to kill you, then Daniel McTavish just made the big leagues. Leader of a small, maligned Amoven clan from sunny San Diego, Daniel’s plan to save his species from extinction nearly ends with his assasination in the brutal winter of the Colorado Rockies.

The Amoven – wolf shapeshifters – exist as they always have: hidden in plain sight among humans. They survive by staying in the realm of legend, disbelief, and deliberate misdirection. In this century, it isn’t hunters on a culling that’s killing them off, but nature and evolution. At the seat of Amoven power, Daniel’s ambitions throw him into the deep end of the political pool with a woman who’s held power for nearly one hundred years. It’s entirely probable she’s the one behind the attempt for being a thorn in her side like the McTavish Alphas before him, but it could be anyone offended by the young outsider’s plans.

With one of his brothers having visions, a vicious ex-wife trying to get at him through their young twin sons, and no idea who is trying to kill him, it’s about all Daniel can do to stay sane. Throw in a reporter too close to the truth of his family’s origins and when his son is taken by hunters, it’s no wonder that Daniel finally loses control, not caring if he paints the world in blood so long as he gets his son back.

This is the Dark Night of prophecy, when the Amoven will either be destroyed or brought to a new level and Daniel is the key.

Dark Night is an urban fantasy novel that stands at 101,925 words and is the first in a planned trilogy.

I have two novels and three short stories published by small presses, all well reviewed, and write a blog with over three hundred and fifty followers: https://nancygriffis.wordpress.com/. I have self-published two novels, also with excellent reviews – one compared me to Dan Brown, which I was thrilled about – and am in the midst of writing sequels to all of my works. I just can’t seem to write standalone novels.

On a personal note, I love that you’re a fan of the Black Jewel series! Such a great series. I have the trilogy on my bookshelf and actually, I think it’s about time for a re-read.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


N.M. Griffis


About Nancy M. Griffis

Author and screenwriter who loves scifi/action/adventure/urban fantasy genres. I have two published novels, Mind Games and Eternal Investigations, as well as a short story published for charity called "Home Fires Burning." All are available through amazon.com and barnesandnobles.com.


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Nancy at the Tim Burton exhibit in L.A.

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