Friday, September 27, 2013

Inspirational Romance Query Letter that Worked!

Love On The RangeToday on my Writers Paying it Forward Friday, I am pleased to welcome inspirational historical romance author, and a good friend of mine, Jessica Nelson. Jessica was able to nail that elusive Harlequin contract with her query letter, and has graciously agreed to share it with us!

Hi Jessica! As you know, I've read "Love on the Range" and loved it! I'm not usually drawn to inspirational romances, but your character, Gracelyn Riley, was spunky and vivacious in a time in our history when it was not considered feminine to be either one. (Check out her book trailer and excerpt for "Love on the Range" here).

First, I'm passionate about showing writers Actual Query Letters that Resulted in a Contract, and yours is a great example not only of a query letter, but also of how a novel can change once it's in an editor's hands.

Would you share your query letter here, and tell us why you think it got a response? What made it successful? 

I think the query was concise and had some hooks that Love Inspired Historical was looking for. Maybe it was just luck too? :-)

I love that your query fits to the standard Anatomy of a Query Letter format, and you've even used one of my favorite Top 10 Do's and Don'ts for Query Letters--and that's knowing your market and sending exactly what would fit in a specific publisher's line.

Next, what is THE most important thing writers can do for themselves to get an agent/publisher in today's market? 
I think it's important to be flexible. Many writers can be rigid in how they write, what they write, or who they'll work with, but this is a business and I believe flexibility gives writers more opportunities.

Your query letter illustrates your writer-ly flexiblity in your willingness to rework your novel based on feedback. And in fact, even after contract, your novel changed. The title changed from "Waiting for Spring" to "Love on the Range," and your heroine's name changed from Prudence to Gracelyn. Kudos to you for using your editor's feedback to make your story stronger and get published!

If you could have done anything differently with your writing career so far, what would it be? 
I'm not sure! Great question. Hmmm. Maybe I would make sure I'm writing more often? I've been lax on the word counts and that is working against me now.

Who are your writing role models, and how have they influenced you? 
I love so many different authors for so many different reasons. Some for their prose, some for their plots.

Do you have any upcoming releases? 
I have a Love Inspired Historical releasing next June. In the meantime, I've been busy self-publishing my contemporary romances. I'm aiming to have my next one out in October. :-)

What's one fact about you that most people don't know?
I have extra bones in my feet. :-)

LOL. Extra bones--who knew? I know people will want to check you out online. Can you give us your website links and contact information? 
Sure! My website is
 (Or check her out on Goodreads, or on Twitter.)
I also play a lot on Facebook and love to accept new friends, so feel free to find me there! Thanks so much for having me, Dylan!

Thanks for sharing your Actual Query Letter that Resulted in a Contract, Jessica and good luck with your upcoming releases!

Happily My Ever After,

Ready to tackle your OWN query letter? Check out my printable, helpful tips on the Anatomy of a Query Letter, as well as my Top 10 Do's and Don'ts for Query Letters.

Need another example of a query that worked? Check out my query letter for my paranormal romance, DESPITE THE GHOSTS here.


  1. I love that you responded to my answers! LOL Thanks so much for having me, Dylan. :-)

    1. Thanks to you both for sharing this! I appreciate it! :)