Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Looking for an Agent and/or a Publisher

Dear Editor,
I’m writing to you to find a publisher for my book, Sneakatara Boatman and the Priest of Loki.  It’s a quest-based fantasy novel organized around a set of sequential short stories I wrote for my daughters but which skewed a little older once I’d collected them into a single, cohesive work.  The story is aimed at the young women my girls are becoming, and as a result, the professional women in my life were its most avid readers.  If I had to describe the book in terms of what’s already on the market, I’d say that it casts Katniss Everdeen as a homeless hobbit on a quest to find her place in the world.  That might make it a Young Adult book, but the themes are decidedly adult subjects: war and poverty, religion and faith.
My story follows Sneakatara “Sneax” Boatman, a homeless sneak-thief living on the docks in the mythical city of Wanderhaven, and her best friend Elaina Emboo, an apprentice wizard whose father owns a major international trading concern.  Sneax is looking for a way out of the grinding poverty she’s known her entire life, but when a deal-gone-wrong leads her and Elaina into the orbit of the notorious Draks, the fire elf, she learns the hard way that every opportunity comes with a cost.  Soon Sneax finds herself embroiled in a frontier war alongside Nathaniel, the mysterious priest of a dark and evil god, and then things really start to get out of hand.  
The Priest of Loki works because it’s the story of two young women who triumph in the face of adversity and also because there’s not a hint of romance in the entire story.  These girls kick butt on their own terms. I should note, too, that the book is done in draft.  I’m still re-writing it, but the current version runs just over 140,000 words.  Now is the time to get it in front of an editor.
I am a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and a veteran of the U.S. Army with service in Korea.  I hold an MBA from Fordham University in International Finance and currently work as a senior engineer at a major utility in New York City.  I write as a hobby, albeit one about which I am passionate, and in my spare time, I coach the Triathlon Club at my local YMCA as a volunteer.  
My writing credits include:
I have an active social media presence.  I tweet @dan_t_head and keep an almost daily blog at  If you have any questions or would like to learn more about my work, please feel free to contact me.

Thank you for your time.
Dan Head


  1. Hi Dan, I think this letter is good. you could trim some of it up. Take out some of the obvious language that is extra... like everything prior to the title of the book as an example and "on a final note, I'll mention" which is all extra. Just say what you want to say without rolling out the red carpet for the words.) Other places to look for that so maybe have Sally read it through and suggest other trims.

    What book series (successful one!) is this book like? Not exactly like, but would have similar readership appeal? State those books and state clearly what age group this is for: YA, pre-teen (the Harry Potter/Percy Jackson age group) or even younger.

    Just state: I tweet @ and I blog at ... and list those items. It's a foregone conclusion that you do. If you have over 1000 followers on Twitter, mention it. If not, don't mention it. If you won any blog/writing awards, mention it.

    Oh and say that you wrote the book for your daughters instead of kids. Since you have daughters and no sons. It's more specific to marketing. However, if you think the book will appeal to boys also (ala Frozen!!) then give a sentence as to why.

    OK, that's it.


  2. Thank you Elizabeth. You are awesome! Extra words... Not so much.