View Full Version : Querying memoir

05-15-2014, 07:04 PM
So I recently sent out my first query letter to a couple agents. Obviously I thought it was brilliant, but the lack of responses seems to suggest otherwise.

My memoir is based off of a journal I kept after being forced into rehab, I had no intention of doing anything with it until I looked back through it and realized how delusional I can be. My query letter reflected the voice of the book but as I realize rehab/alleged addictions can be a sensitive subject, I'm wondering if I should maybe include a disclaimer letting agents know I've somewhat matured?

To give you an idea of the voice I'm talking about, here is a very brief description to give you an idea of where I was at the time:

When I first entered rehab my major concern was that my Givenchy eyeliner was dull and I had stupidly forgotten a sharpener. Flying back to Paris after 28 long days, my major concern was that after my sixth glass of champagne the flight attendants seemed more likely to cut me up than give me another refill.

That wasn't party of my query, just kind of a blurb. I'm new to the boards so I do apologize if this is a weird question/thread and really appreciate any feedback.


05-15-2014, 08:18 PM

Sounds like you have an interesting memoir. I'd suggest going over to QLH (which stands for Query Letter Hell) and read the stickies.

You won't be able to post your own query there until you have 50 + posts, but that's okay. Just reading other people's queries, even if they aren't memoir queries, really helps to give some perspective on your own query.

05-15-2014, 08:46 PM
Will definitely do, thank you! :)

Siri Kirpal
05-15-2014, 10:08 PM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

For memoir, you need both a completed manuscript and (for most agents anyway) a proposal.

As far as letting people know that you've grown out of your delusions, you can put a little note in the bio section of your query saying that you've been sane x amount of time.

And yes, do get your 50 posts and run the query through query letter hell.


Siri Kirpal

05-17-2014, 06:15 PM
Thanks for your advice Siri! :)

I do have a completed manuscript, one other idea I've been toying with is whether to market it as a memoir or satire... From what I gather agents aren't huge fans of authors saying their books cross genres but I'd best describe my book as a satirical memoir.

From my point of view now, I realize my behavior during the time basically summed up the problems my generation is hated for: selfishness, narcissism, recklessness, and superficiality, and the voice of my book is me at the time. Imagine a real life White girl problems, with less money.

It also makes fun of the way rehab is now viewed as an easy "fix all" and had become socially acceptable, in my circle of my friends nearly have of us had been to rehab without having serious drug problems. I didn't and still don't believe I was ever addicted to anything, but during my 28 days I was constantly told every time in the past I acted with regard to consequences or others, it was not me at fault, because I was an "addict." I believe this encourages people to not take responsibility for their actions, an unfortunate trait that is all ready to common in society as well at the "yo yo rehabbing." 75% of the patients in the facility I was in had been in rehab at least one before, with a few patients having been to over 10. One of my best friends wasn't even 30 and guesses she's spent nearly 10 years inside and $100,000's of thousands of dollars. She didn't even do hard drugs.

So while it is a memoir of my experience, and I'd be happy just to have people read it in laugh. My motivation behind writing the book really make fun of my generations skewed sense of values and show the inherent problem with going to rehab almost being trendy".

Disclaimer: I'm in no way trying to say that rehab is pointless, I've seen it help many people a great deal. However, when it is overrun with directionless privileged kids who treat the macarons they ordered from the Mandarin hotel coming in late as a giant problem, it takes time away from the people who really need it.

Sorry for being long winded, I guess in short, I'm wondering whether describing my book as a satirical memoir may be a red flag for a potential agent and avoided or if I'm overthinking it far too much.

Thanks again!

Siri Kirpal
05-18-2014, 02:31 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Use the word "humorous" instead of "satirical;" it'll fly better, I should think.


Siri Kirpal

05-18-2014, 10:46 AM
Will do, thanks for the advice!