This is a query I submitted1 to one (and only one) agency for my first novel, BLACK MAGIC AND BARBECUE SAUCE. I repost it here as a lesson for you all. How not to get an agent:
I am Cyrus the Conqueror. I am not Mr. Whiskers. I am not Kitty the Conqueror. And I am most asuredly not Wittle Whiskers the Wonkerer. If you must speak, address me as your majesty, as you should every cat whose presence you are fortunate enough to be in. It has come to my attention that one of your ilk had the good sense to include me in his manuscript. I will overlook the fact that he did not ask my permission. The quality is such that to execute him would be a waste of human talent, what little your species possesses.
The story does not focus on me, and I am thankful for it. It is unlikely a book could adequately capture the wondrous life a cat leads. No, this monkey scrawl focuses on one of your own, Cy Lekkas. He is extraordinary in comparison to the rest of you and not just because he buys me gormet cat food. He can speak to me in the majestic language of cats, not that gutter language you use. He can speak to other things as well, doors, stoves, ceilings, anything really. He is called a Speaker. His kind has been known to my people for millennia. They live forever, speak in tongues, and eat strange foods that fuel their powers.
They are still humans despite themselves, and monkeys will be monkeys. They play games, steal from one another, beat their chests, and fight. Really, if you hadn't shed so much of your fur, I don't know if I could tell you apart. It seems that Cy stole a pearl from another Speaker, Christian, who then sold the pearl to antoher Speaker, Seth, who discovered it a fraud. Seth demanded that Christian find Cy and retrieve the pearl, hence the fall of dominos that lead to action-packed fights, daring rescues, and an epic faceoff of immortals. I watched the whole thing from the top of my couch and was quite impressed.
The whole thing is 110,000 words. How a human assembled 110,000 coherent words, I do not know. But there it is. He calls it contemporary fantasy and titled it BLACK MAGIC AND BARBECUE SAUCE. His name is Joe Selby, and he has written coherent words before. Perhaps he is a genetic anomoly. His ten-minute play was produced in Sioux Falls, SD, as a finalist in the Kennedy Center ACTF. He wrote the role-playing rule book, Dangerous Denizens for Kenzer & Co. in 2003. And he wrote 33 role-playing adventuures for Kenzer & Co. and Wizards of the Coast. This will be his first commercial novel. I am told he also follows your blog. I do not see the appeal. Your inclusion of a dog marks it as an inferior endeavor. Perhaps if you were to feature a cat, you might garner some success. I may be willing to make an appearance if your tribute is worthy.
That is all.
Your benevolent feline overlord
Cyrus the Conqueror
on behalf of
Joseph L. Selby
1 In case you were wondering, yes, this is the query with which I set my rejection speed personal record.