I have recently turned my mind and energy back to querying one of my WIPs. Previously, I wrote before about the difficulty in crafting a query letter. One of the most difficult parts, for me anyway, is finding comparable work, be they books, TV, or movies.
The book I am preparing to query is quite sensual, so a few people were drawing links to 50 Shades of Grey, but I couldn’t agree. I read the trilogy a number of years ago and while I enjoyed them for the fun escapist adventures they were, I didn’t think they captured the essence of my story. I think it is an easy comparison for someone to draw, simply because we haven’t seen sex in the mainstream the way 50 Shades did it, in a very long time.
Beta readers have given me their thoughts about work my book reminded them of, but I was having a hard time connecting with those comparable titles as I may not have read or watched the things they mentioned. Or what they mentioned simply did not capture the tone of the book. Well, except for the one who mentioned the Sandra Brown-esque nature of the book. That I took to heart.
For me, it was such a stumbling block I stopped querying. I was up against this wall that, for many, many months – arguably years, I could not get around. I had the one element, the domestic thriller element, pinned down. To my mind, that element was the captured by the novel, The Girl on the Train. But there was nothing, NOTHING for the hot, intense, destructive nature of the lives of my characters and challenges they faced.
Not. One. Thing.
That is, until yesterday.
Early Saturday morning I was sitting on the porch drinking my coffee and editing my WIP.
I was listening to a playlist on Spotify as I was hard at work trying to choose just the right words for my character to say in a particular situation, when a song that I have loved since junior high, came on.
It was like a bolt of lightning to my brain.
This was it!! This was the comparable!!!
The song is called Slave to Love by Bryan Ferry and it is one of the most iconic songs from the 1986 movie, 9 1/2 Weeks.
9 1/2 Weeks is an intense sensuous whirlwind and it, as far as I’m concerned, is one of the best erotic dramas in North America. And even though it came out in 1986, it still stands up today.
I realized that I had been very focused on contemporary books, TV shows and movies when I was thinking about things my story could be compared to, and it honestly never even crossed my mind to consider something that had come out so long ago.
I don’t know how to describe to you the joy I felt when it dawned on me that this was the story. This incredible weight was lifted from my mind. I felt unburdened. I felt energized and optimistic about the idea of pitching my WIP.
For the first time in a very long time, I was excited about the prospect of querying. I now had the answer that for so long had eluded me and had stripped me of some of the confidence I had about the quality and marketability of my work. But now it’s back. I am very much looking forward to sending this sensuous domestic thriller to literary agents the world over (if, of course, it’s something they are looking for on their #MSWL – manuscript wish list).
So, if you or someone you know is looking for the sensuality of 9 1/2 Weeks and the domestic thriller elements of The Girl on the Train, I have what you are looking for! My query may be hitting your inbox soon.
Can’t wait for me to find you? Want to be the one to bring this sexy dramatic story to publishers and world? Reach out! I got the good stuff right here! ;o)
Until we meet in your inbox, please enjoy the song that broke through my mental block.