Queries: The Best Of The Worst

Some people scribble a few lines down on paper and are convinced they’ve written something worthy of publication, admiration, and instant fame and wealth. Most of the time, this is so not the case. That’s when we get really bad query letters and all those books that give self-publishing a bad name. Every once in a while, though, someone good takes the time to do something so bad, it becomes awesome. I stumbled across one of those instances on Query Shark recently. So, now, for your edification and entertainment, I give you what Janet Reid called the ∑ of All Queries:

Dear Most Exalted Shark of Snark:

JOHN SMITH (who’s a girl, but her parents wanted a boy so they named her John, even though it’s totally misleading because she’s gorgeous with fiery red and orange tresses the color of autumn leaves, and sparkling forest green eyes that glisten with secrets) is the best friend of Aphrodite Pantaloonacy, who is actually our protagonist.
In a blinding fit of rage, John Smith (whom Aphro has nicknamed Elvis) runs off to Iceland, to better escape the ghosts of her past and the pitfalls of her own artistic temperament. While there, she plays ice hockey. They’re’s*** also an Amusing Scene with a Turkish ghost on holiday taking a bath (Turkish baths, etc.). But one day, when the sky churns with storms and across the see Aphrodite has a terribly chilling feeling of icy foreboding, Elvis falls down a rabbit weasel hole, killing her instantly.

In order to deal with her crushing grief, Aphro and the tortured-soulled boyfriend of Elvis, Maisie (who is actually a boy but his parents wanted a girl so they named him Maisie, go figure right?) flee to the mystical land of Genovia Canada Barbecuasia. It is a place where dragons roam free and the cursed are damned. Where blood can flow quick and fast or slow and at a snail’s pace. It is here that Maisie and Aphro can find their dreams. It is here that Aphro can finally confront her destiny.

Since birth Aphro has had a birthmark in the shape of a question mark right in the middle of her snowy forehead. It is a gift from the Barbecuasian gods signifying that she is her mother’s daughter. What this means, only Maisie can discover, because of the key his grandfather gave him that he’s always carried around his neck that opens the chest where the true powers of Lord Carbunkle dwell.

Aphro, Maisie, the ghost of Elvis, Dandelion, Alkaline, Mjehrithuuqreaei, a baby, a snaggle-toothed troll, a shark with a devastating scents of humor, all these characters and more go on a piercing and heart/gut-wrenching journey of self-discovery and what it means to be a human. Also tacos.

As your eyes pour over each and every carefully selected word (you tell us to edit a lot so boy did I!) I know you will guffaw with laughter (The book is funny). You may even maybe snicker and chortle and giggle and titter and then maybe cackle a bit but only at the funny parts. The serious parts are the parts where I am fully and fervently convinced you will boohoo. I tested this out on test readers (ages 7-84) and there was so much boohooing that I “drifted away on a sea of beautiful tears” (Rosemary, age 67, Tulsa, Oklahoma).

I would be so honored if you would consider reading my 350,842 1/2 (people get interrupted mid-word sometimes) word gritty crime novel work of fiction, the first in a series of seventeen tomes sure to rival the epic sagas of Larry McMurtry, William Shakespeare, Homer [Simpson] and Barbara Walters. It is a compelling work of staggeringly-employed metafores in the timely and bestselling genre of young adult thriller hipster communist manifesto. It is rated X for explicit sex scenes.

I sent a joke once to a joke magazine and they printed my joke (I have included the magazine and highlighted the page for your convenience). Literature is my passion and I have named all my cats after literary characters. Please do not tell me that you do not have the time to read my manuscript, since I know where you live and I see that you stay up very very late at night reading, and there really isn’t any reason you couldn’t be up reading my stuff too.

Ever faithfully yours,

(name redacted) aka (pen name redacted)

Am I the only one who kinda wants to read a book written by the character who wrote this query? Love it!

BUT, at the same times, don’t do this. It won’t get you far. 😉

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