I am looking for any opinion on a query letter. I have written a first draft of the query of my first novel. I want to submit to agents soon but want a little feedback on the query itself. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Query Letter Draft
The Demons of Denny Rouleau is an 89,000 word fiction novel set in a coastal Maine tourist town and tells of young love turned tragic, unfolding over decades of small town secrets and the confines of a maximum security prison. One mistake leads to a 40 year prison sentence for the protagonist as his high school love is then left alone, unknowingly pregnant in 1969 New England.
The story unfolds as Jackie, the girlfriend left behind, struggles to raise a child alone trapped in a tourist town and tells of the parallel life Denny is leading trapped in prison until old age. The conflict peaks once Denny is released and returns to Unity, Maine. He discovers how the world and his former love moved on without him as he now struggles to begin his life anew. Jackie, upon realizing he is free, then wrestles with how to keep the secret she has hidden for decades, as she simultaneously grapples with moving forward with her own life, independent of being a mother and now grandmother.
The first chapter is told from the perspective of their shared granddaughter, then from the perspective of Denny and Jackie both, spanning from their youth until the present conflicts they face. Denny’s demons spawn from his youthful mistakes and agony of unrealized dreams, and also in knowing the pain and suffering he caused Jackie. As he works to quell these demons and right the wrongs of his past, he is determined to help Jackie realize the dreams he destroyed for her years ago. Discovering he has a family, a fact that was hidden from all, threatens to further upend the lives of Denny, Jackie, their mentally ill daughter Clara, and granddaughter Janey.
The novel will appeal to those who enjoy thoughtful narratives exploring varying perspectives from family members, who may not differ much from their own. The realistic struggles of those family members over decades mirrors those suffered by many in reality, including dealing with mental illness, small town secrets, unrealized potential, unexpected loss of parents, single motherhood, and the regrets that can keep us all up at night. It is also a story that richly reveals the unique landscape and lifestyle in coastal northern New England and will appeal to those who enjoy learning about or already know the area. I believe it can be successfully marketed toward those who find the location intriguing and a younger to middle-age female audience who enjoys a mix of romance and setting driven fiction with a focus on family relationships, particularly as women age and move beyond the role of caretakers and into a role of wanting to be cared for as a women.