I have lost my query mojo, if I ever had it.
Agents don't seem to be interested in my latest version of a query that I thought had all the right elements to snag a little attention, lay out the protagonist's quest and hint at the dire consequences to follow if he failed.
Some feedback from agents who did request pages led me to do some revising, but I'm left with a question because of a suggestion from Jacqueline Flynn at Joelle Delbourgo's fine establishment.
Like the others, she noticed that the opening chapter was confusing because there wasn't enough backstory to set the stage for the reader.
Not everyone knows the history of this piece of historical fiction, which isn't set in the Tudor or Elizabethan era. Those periods have been covered so thoroughly that fans of historical fiction already know what's up.
But there was more than that.
Ms. Flynn suggested that I have a professional editor work on the opening.
The problem, beyond the financial, is the fact that Joelle Delbourgo also provides editing services.
Not that Ms. Flynn mentioned it. She didn't include any sort of contact information or mention the fact that Ms. Delbourgo is an editor. Just a simple statement, to have an editor go over it.
So is there something in the writing that has merit, enough that it would be worth my effort to send the first chapter off with a check? Or was the suggestion a subtle way to promote the agency's editing department?
The temptation's been placed before me. I would like to find out if the writing could be fine-tuned and tweaked into something a literary agent would consider.
Alas, the money to pay for it just isn't there.
I'm back to doing it myself, hoping that I've figured it out on my own. Now if only the query would do its magic and get some agents to take a look at the revised version of the manuscript...