First, an update to my "names" post - I did come up with a new name for the bad guy's "real" name, and it is mentioned in this book now. The revision, telling more of his backstory, really helped. He's obviously more evil now, and also a tiny bit more sympathetic. I like how this revision turned out, yay!
I spent many long hours working on my query letter yesterday and last night (not the first time I've worked on it, either) and came up with four different versions, all of which meet the widely varied criteria various resources say "must" be there. I also spent a lot of time researching how to write the query (again! Fourth time for that research, I think - I'm beginning to lose count) and researching which agents seem likely to be interested in my books. Some articles on writing query letters said you MUST reference other authors whose work yours resembles. So I listed two authors whose work combines reality and fantasy in one query letter. Other articles on writing the perfect query letter had completely different things that went into writing the "perfect" query letter. So after much trial and error, I kept the line about my work combining reality and fantasy, and dropped the authors' names. I didn't really want to be compared to them anyway - I thought it felt presumptuous to compare my work to them, and if *I* feel that way, an agent probably would too.
So the struggle continues. I'm going to be traveling in September but I'll pack the submission packets required by the agents I'm submitting to first so if my hubby tells me I've gotten a positive response from one, I can send out what they want right away. THAT's thinking positively! Or at least being prepared, and I was a Girl Scout for ten years, so "Be Prepared" is kind of in my blood (that's the Girl Scout Motto, in case you didn't know).
I hope to have my queries ready to send by early next week. Now my biggest quandry is, do I believe the article that said it's important to use letterhead stationery with a logo, or just keep it simple??? I have created letterhead with a clip art logo and am "living with it" for a few days to see what I think. I'll also post the question on my writing ng, and will ask the published authors I know online their opinions. Hopefully, with all that input, I'll make the right choice! This query stuff is harder than writing the book was! And not NEARLY as much fun!!! I'll be glad when I have the query process started (letters sent out) so I can get back to writing the second novel!