Monday, 25 March 2013

How to Write a Query Letter.

A query letter is the writers one shot at impressing an editor and signing on with a publishing company. This is a lot of stress on a writer and for some of us our OCD comes out in full effect during this process. We write, rewrite and rewrite this resume so many times by the end we could write it with our eyes closed. Below I've written a format on what I find works for me and has helped me publish articles, short stories and sign on with my publisher, Imajin Books twice.
The first bit of advice I can give you is to research the publisher you’re going to be submitting to. Each publisher will differ and therefore you need to study them individually. What books they publish, authors they’ve signed, and what they’re looking for. Read their guidelines for submissions more than once. Print them out and tack it to your office wall.
Respect them. They could end up being your boss.
Find the editors name and direct your letter to him/her. Do not address them as 'To Whom It May Concern' unless you want to end up in the slush pile. Take the time to find out who the Acquisitions Editor or Editor in Chief is for your genre. Phone the company or send a polite email if you have to.
Go fishing.

Make your query stand out and hook them with your first line. This part can be intimidating I know. Use a quote from your book. Tie your novel up in one strong sentence. Ask a question about a captivating moment in your book. If you had ten seconds to choose between your life or another’s what would it be?
The idea of the hook is for them to want more— to read on.
Once you’ve mastered your hook introduce your novel by word count, genre and name. In a small paragraph give the synopsis of your book like back cover text. Rewrite this paragraph at least ten times. Make it tight, concise, edgy, and intriguing.
If you are unsure on how to do this, pick up a few books and read the back. This is what sells the book, makes you want to buy it.

You’re doing the same thing with a publisher—sell them your book.  Give them a reason to offer you a contract.

In your next small paragraph tell why you’re qualified to write this novel. Give your credentials and other publications if you have any. Do NOT say I’d be an asset to your company or my book will be a bestseller. There is no room for arrogance in a query letter. Remember you are one in a million and the slush pile is an easy fix for an editor not wanting to deal with an egocentric author.
Wrap up your query by letting the editor know if you’ve had your manuscript professionally edited or critiqued. Sign off with your name and contact information, website, blog, facebook, and twitter handles.

Good luck!
Good books on Query Letter Writing:
The Writer’s Digest Guide to Query Letters, by Wendy Burt-Thomas
A Writer’s Guide to Queries, Pitches & Proposals, by Moira Anderson Allen
The Novel Proposal from Creation to Contract, by Blyth Camenson & Marsall J. Cook

Friday, 22 March 2013

International Bestselling Author, Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Will SUBMERGED, the movie, hit the big screen?


Today's special guest is Cheryl Kaye Tardif, international bestselling author of SUBMERGED, a psychological thriller that will have you holding your breath. As part of Cheryl's 10-day blog tour, she's stopping by today to share some thoughts on SUBMERGED, the movie…

Ever since the release of my first novel back in 2003, I've had very strong feelings that one day I'll see one of my books on the big screen. WHALE SONG (2003) has had a LOT of film interest over the past 10 years, and even came close to a major film deal, complete with a major book deal. But since the release of my thriller, SUBMERGED, on February 26, 2013, I am even surer that this new book will be "the one." Readers and reviewers are loving it. They're already demanding to see the movie!

With WHALE SONG, once I start imaging the movie, I can actually smell popcorn. It has been that way since the thought of a film entered my mind, as I imagined the people sitting in the theater, listening, watching, laughing, crying. And now the scent of hot buttered popcorn comes to mind the instant I think of watching SUBMERGED on the big screen. I can almost taste it now.

I imagine sitting in the back row, watching people file in, chattering about how excited they are to see this movie. I imagine the music, so dramatic and suspenseful. I envision the actors playing their roles so convincingly that people in the audience are laughing, crying, shrieking, holding their breath as Rebecca and her children are trapped in a submerged vehicle. And I can imagine their reactions once the film is over. A collective released breath escaping into the theater. Some won't want to drive home after.

When creating the character of Marcus Taylor, actor Gerard Butler came to mind. Handsome but scruffy. Not overly fit. Butler would be perfect as Marcus, the reclusive recovering addict who hides away as the faceless voice on the other end of a 911 call. He's making himself pay for past crimes by not looking after himself.

Strangely enough, I had no clear vision of Rebecca. Pretty, blonde, a mother of two. I'm a Katherine Heigl fan so she would fit Rebecca's character. But maybe someone a bit grittier…

If you've read SUBMERGED, tell us who you'd cast for the roles of Marcus Taylor and Rebecca Kingston.

And now, here's a bit about SUBMERGED…

From Cheryl Kaye Tardif, the international bestselling author that brought you CHILDREN OF THE FOG, comes a terrifying psychological thriller that will leave you breathless…

 "Submerged reads like an approaching storm, full of darkness, dread and electricity. Prepare for your skin to crawl."   —Andrew Gross, New York Times bestselling author of 15 Seconds
Two strangers submerged in guilt, brought together by fate…

After a tragic car accident claims the lives of his wife, Jane, and son, Ryan, Marcus Taylor is immersed in grief. But his family isn't the only thing he has lost. An addiction to painkillers has taken away his career as a paramedic. Working as a 911 operator is now the closest he gets to redemption—until he gets a call from a woman trapped in a car.

Rebecca Kingston yearns for a quiet weekend getaway, so she can think about her impending divorce from her abusive husband. When a mysterious truck runs her off the road, she is pinned behind the steering wheel, unable to help her two children in the back seat. Her only lifeline is a cell phone with a quickly depleting battery and a stranger's calm voice on the other end telling her everything will be all right.

*SUBMERGED has a unique tie-in to Tardif`s international bestseller,

More Reviews:

"From the first page, you know you are in the hands of a seasoned and expert storyteller who is going to keep you up at night turning the pages. Tardif knows her stuff. There's a reason she sells like wildfire—her words burn up the pages. A wonderful, scary, heart-pumping writer." —M.J. Rose, international bestselling author of Seduction

"Tardif once again delivers a suspenseful supernatural masterpiece." —Scott Nicholson, international bestselling author of The Home
"From the first page, Cheryl Kaye Tardif takes you hostage with Submerged—a compelling tale of anguish and redemption." —Rick Mofina, bestselling author of Into the Dark

"Cheryl Kaye Tardif's latest novel SUBMERGED will leave you as haunted as its characters." —Joshua Corin, bestselling author of Before Cain Strikes

"Submerged will leave you breathless—an edge of your seat, supernatural thrill ride." —Jeff Bennington, bestselling author of Twisted Vengeance

 Learn more about Cheryl Kaye Tardif at and follow her on Twitter.

Enter Cheryl’s March Giveaway – 60 Prizes!

Friday, 15 March 2013

March, you suck!

Happy Friday, Friends!!

If you live in Alberta, Canada as I do then I’m sure you’re about ready to hop on the nearest plane heading to warm sand, blue sea and a temperature above zero. Oh, and of course no snow. Yes, I feel it too and if you’ve purchased a ticket to a sunny destination I envy you. I fit into a normal size suitcase too, just sayin’.
The cold weather here brings grouchy and irritable people. March in Alberta gives a new meaning to winter and because I’ve lived here most of my life I can honestly say I am surprised every year when we get dumped on in what is supposed to be our Spring.

Like the rest of you Albertan’s once March 1st hits my body goes into winter survival mode and I swear I can feel warmer weather coming. I imagine shorts and tank tops and my nose picks up the scent of freshly cut grass.
To my dismay I open my eyes and see white fluffy snowflakes falling outside. In the privacy of my home I fall to the ground wailing, WHY?!?! I pound my fist into the hardwood floor until my body succumbs to exhaustion. I lay there feeling like all hope is lost, my bottom lip quivers and yes, I shed a few tears.
Blast you, March!!!

Where are my flowers, flip-flops and barbequed steaks? Slushes, ice cream, and cold beers don’t taste the same. I want my sun-kissed cheeks, highlights, and bronzed skin back!
Ugh. I am tired of you March. I am sick to death of that white crap outside!

Have you no pity? Do you not see our bright red skin from the frigid weather you have bestowed upon us? The twenty minutes it takes to warm up our cars and the gas we are wasting? You are one of the contributing factors as to why our environment is going to hell!
Bravo March. Once again you have come in like a lion and will go out like an asshole!

My fellow Albertans we must stick together. I am starting a petition to ban this month…who is with me?..... Anyone?..... Buelller?
Okay, I may have jumped the gun, maybe next year. J



Saturday, 2 March 2013

Killer Thriller Book Launch!

Submerge Yourself in the World of Cheryl Kaye Tardif

When people ask me what I do, I like to tell them: "I kill people off for a living." You can imagine the looks I get. Sometimes I'll follow with: "Fictitiously, of course. I'm a suspense writer." Sometimes I won't say anything else. Yeah, I'm bad that way.

Writing thriller, suspense, mystery and/or crime novels has always been my passion—especially if I throw a pinch of supernatural or paranormal into the mix. I've always been drawn to dark stories, ones that raise the hairs on the back of my neck or make me glance over my shoulder. The two greatest influences in my writing life have been Dean Koontz and Stephen King. Need I say more?

So what can I offer you if you choose to read my books? I hope and strive to give you a satisfying read, once that will impact you emotionally. If I can make you shudder or tremble or wince or even cry, then I've done my job.

In SUBMERGED, I share with you a very personal fear of mine—the fear of being in a car that's underwater and not being able to get out. I have traveled long distances by car hundreds of times during my life, twice from one coast of Canada to the other. Whenever we're along a stretch of highway with a body of water beside me, my fear kicks in. And I hold my breath…waiting…praying…

I want you to relate to this fear. But even more, I want my characters to come to life. I want you to feel for Marcus Taylor, a struggling recovering addict who has had his fair share of grief and guilt. I want you to admire his strength, even in the midst of his weaknesses. I want you, dear reader, to feel compassion for this man who has lost his wife and son in a terrible accident, who blames himself for their deaths, and who is searching for redemption, though he doesn't really know he is.

I want you to cheer on Rebecca Kingston, a mother on the verge of divorce who has left an abusive husband. I want you to feel empathy for her because this decision, no matter what others think, is not an easy one to make. I want you to cry with her when she realizes she is physically unable to help her children who are trapped with her in a sinking vehicle. And I want you to be holding your breath every time Rebecca does.

Marcus and Rebecca (and the others in SUBMERGED) may only be characters on paper, but they feel real to me. I gave "birth" to them and watched them grow. With every step they took, I wiped away their tears, hugged them and loved them. And, dear reader, I sincerely hope you'll love them just as much.

Happy reading…with the lights on…

Cheryl Kaye Tardif, international bestselling author

PS: The Kindle edition of SUBMERGED is available on Amazon from March 4th – 7th for a special price during the Killer Thriller Book Launch.

 Learn more about me and connect at: