Here it is:
April Mitchell is seventeen years old when she helps her terminally ill father commit suicide. Six years later, she has the perfect life, a medical student with a handsome boyfriend, but she can't put the past behind her. She lied to her mother that her father died alone, in order to protect their life insurance payout. After her mother’s breakdown, she hasn’t stopped lying. She’d prefer that the world were a better place, and that she were a better person. Lying changes it all, at least for a little while – her father alive, her mother still loving her, and April content.
The truth comes out when a jealous acquaintance discovers April’s secret, which she exposes to the insurance company and the medical school. April is faced with potential charges of life insurance fraud and expulsion. Telling the truth about her father’s suicide might cost her dream of being a doctor, her boyfriend, and any possibility of ever reconciling with her mom. Falsehoods won’t work anymore, either. Can a girl who was strong enough to help her own father die find her way out of this mess? Maybe.
SHARDS OF GLASS is women’s fiction, complete at 83,000 words.
I have been previously published in the literary magazines Cicada and Windhover.
I look forward to your response.
Queries are hard. I've found some resources that definitely make them easier, though. This is the process I went through with SHARDS:
- Read Query Shark to learn from others' mistakes. I loved Miss Snark too, in her day, so her archives are worth checking out.
- Critiquing other's queries, as well as having your own critiqued, is so helpful. I love Agent Query Connect; it's very informal, so you can have a real dialogue about what's happening in your query letter and pick up on its strengths and weaknesses. Join the Query Critique Corner, read and critique, critique, critique.
- Meanwhile, read and critique away as well at the Public Query Slushpile. Once I was satisfied with my query from working on it with the Query Critique Corner, I posted it here and also got great feedback.
One thing I wish I'd done before I finished SHARDS was to start working on the query letter, but I think writing an elevator pitch accomplishes the same thing as an early start on the query letter -- forcing you to focus on the core of your story (check out my easy elevator pitch tutorial here). It's easy to get distracted by our subplots and amazing secondary characters, but those generally have to be cut in the query letter - which is part of what makes writing one so torturous!
Now I need to get back to work on that non-fiction query that's in work, which is a whole 'nother story (And perhaps even worse than the fiction query).
No. 1 thing I love about poetry and short fiction: sending the work out on its own merits, with just a cover letter. Easy peasy!