Someotherville, a Novel
by Sheila Path McMahon
To Whom it May Concern:
What if you married a gifted, young, unpublished writer? You wait for your spouse to finish a novel, you hope, encourage and support. Years pass and still, a piece isn’t finished. It frustrates you that when you ask how it’s going, your spouse has moved on and has something new in the works. You grow attached to characters, but you never know the conclusion of the books. How patiently would you be able to wait? Joan Bridges’ husband is such a writer.
In my first 50,000 word completed literary novel, Someotherville, Joan, married for eight years to a man who suffers from literary wanderlust, awakes one day to find him dead.
At the funeral, she impulsively tells her friends and family that he had finished a novel, but hadn’t sent it for consideration. She maintains the lie, and, although not a writer herself, she goes through his unfinished works hoping to find something that she can finish rather than allow his memory to be reduced to a legacy of failed plots, characters, and dreams.
Joan struggles with the process, but settles on a piece her husband had titled Arlen the Quitter, in which the characters are able to speak to their author and question him as another character. Through the process of bringing her husband’s novel to completion, she explores her own discomfort with teaching, writing narrative fiction, being atheist, and life itself.
Well, that’s the query letter that I have used (I left off the last paragraph) for my novel, Someotherville. I think I will end up publishing it independently, maybe next summer. I am starting back to school next week, teaching high school English again, and I won’t have time to go crazy with publishing…
I do, however, plan to keep working on my next novel, tentatively titled Art is for Other People. 🙂
If you have comments about my query letter, or if you’re just dying to read the book, let me know. I recently read an advance copy of Julian Gough’s next book on my computer, and it was rewarding. Exciting, actually, to read it before it’s out in book form. I think if he can send perfect strangers a copy, I might be persuaded to send my blog reader(s?) a copy if I get a request…
Let me know if you are interested and we’ll talk.