Thursday, July 2, 2009

A New Diet and A New Query Letter -- Things are Cookin'!`

Hi Everybody,

I was sitting down to blog last night when I heard cries of "I want my Mommy" from down the hall. I curled up next to my three year old to comfort him and I fell asleep! Well, here it is 1:30 in the morning and my family is all happily asleep and I just woke up to do my blog and another hour or so of work. To be honest, some of my most productive writing time is at the oddest hours!

I was formally discharged yesterday from my physical therapy from my back injury (Yeah!) but it's going to be awhile until I can start riding again. It was a mild injury and full recovery is predicted, but boy is it taking its time! In the meantime I'm starting a three-time per week workout routine to strengthen my core (which should help with riding in the long term). So everybody, as you're doing your no stirrup work, you're also, I've discovered, strengthening your back against injury. (Yet another of the many advantages of riding!)

I also got on the scale at the doctor's office as part of my follow-up and (Yikes!) I've had a ten pound weight gain! Oh, my gosh! Okay, I decided to A) panic and B) pull out the diet. I'm going to meet with the nutritionist later this month but I'm starting back on the diet she set up for me in the meantime (Yes, I admit I drew some chocolate comfort during the back injury ouchy moments. Unfortunately, there were a lot of ouchy moments and therefore a lot of chocolate). Ummm, along with absolutely no exercise, about ten pounds of ouchy moments.

Well, fortunately I have this diet specifically designed for my height, age, amount of weight to lose (plus now ten more pounds). It's pretty simple to follow. It's three meals and three snacks. Snacks are things like 1/2 bagel with peanut butter with cheese or yogurt, lunches of 2 oz. tuna or chicken salad with light mayo and vegetable, sensible breakfasts and dinners. Should be do-able, right? I even get half a cup of ice cream and half a banana for bedtime snack! Consulting with a nutritionist has given me the healthiest, best weight loss plan I've ever had. I'll keep you posted on the results!

At least all this time lying around has given me lots of opportunity for writing! I posted my draft query letter before my May conference. Well, here's the newly minted final version. It's a much tighter letter, with a higher overview of the storyline. It also emphasizes successful books to which it could be compared. I heard over and over again that agents want to know where a book will be shelved in the bookstore. Here's my best effort at delivering that:

June 22, 2009

Dear __________________:

I have just completed The Grimoire, an 80,000 word contemporary fantasy that will be enjoyed by readers of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series and Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson novels. THE GRIMOIRE, the first book of The Foreseers series, is available for your review.

Gemma Morrin is a talented witch whose world is shattered when a witch from her ancestors’ coven, The Foreseers, shows up bedraggled and frightened. The Foreseers have been decimated by the wizard Cathaoir in his pursuit of a key central to the coven’s power. Gemma must use her unique ability to alter memories and perceptions to protect the key while Cathaoir engages in escalating terror attacks on her family and town in hopes of coercing her into relinquishing it. THE GRIMOIRE’s full cast of characters includes a mortal boyfriend coming to terms with Gemma’s powers, magical family, and a fun-loving but ghostly roommate.

The Foreseers organization has been designed to mirror the intelligence community. In developing the world of The Foreseers, I relied on my husband’s background teaching the Yale course titled Intelligence and Covert Operations as well as our contacts in the industry. The magical creatures integrated into the story are drawn from numerous mythologies and cultures. I created the equestrian setting for THE GRIMOIRE based on my experience showing in hunters and equitation.

The majority of my writing and editing experience has been in the medical communications field. More information regarding my background and writing is available at Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,

Mary Paine

Well, folks, that''s it for now. Happy Fourth of July weekend!


1 comment:

mugwump said...

Thanks Mary, I'vwe printed out your query and stuck it in my file....I sit on an exercise ball at woirk, it has really helped me with my back and core strength.