Dear ____ & ____ Literary Agency,

Enclosed in this very large envelope are the first two chapters of my novel, The Whispering Monkey, and me. TWM is a chilling account narrated by a precocious monkey, who, residing in a cage at the Bronx Zoo, decides to counsel his caretaker, a zoo-keeping divorcée, who finds herself hanging on every one of his astute words, at which point suspense, romance, and murder, not to mention aggressive page-turning, ensue. In a voice at once playful and somber, TWM is a tale that is both haunting and full of hope.

As for me: You’ll see I’m wearing a white Fruit of the Loom T-shirt ensconced in a gray sports jacket on which white pinstripes have been stitched ever so gracefully by workers in Thailand whose garment factory, according to the label, manufactures for H & M. Lastly, due to certain postal restrictions, going barefoot was necessary.

Thanks in advance for taking a look at the both of us.




Dear ____ & ____ Literary Agency,

For what seems like a considerable amount of days, my ms. and I seem to be lying under a pile of papers in what I can only assume is the storage room. Why the assumption? It’s dark, and yesterday, I was roused awake upon hearing someone say, “Just throw it in the storage room,” at which point the door opened—florescent bulbs flickering above—and I yelled, “Hey!” from the confines of the large manila envelope into which my query and the first two riveting chapters of The Whispering Monkey and myself are stuffed; my attempt was futile, I’m afraid, for the door shut, leaving me once again in the dark and to only assume that the intern (?) responsible for tossing miscellaneous items into the storage room in haste, and thereby ignoring my plea for help, is attached to an iPod (or a similar MP3-playing device), as seems to be standard protocol among kids today.

Please note: Out of respect for the fine staff at the ____ & ____ Literary Agency, I fear any emerging from the storage during office hours might startle employees, as any exiting during off-hours would undoubtedly trigger a security alarm. Nevertheless, a response would be much appreciated.




Dear ____ & ____ Literary Agency,

It’s been days since I sent you a query letter and the first two riveting chapters of my novel, The Whispering Monkey, and myself (as well as a follow-up letter), and yet, no response. How many days I am not sure, since I’m starting to have “spells” where I spend hours in a kind of lucid dream that involves T.J. Hooker-era Heather Locklear. Apparently, no one has bothered for quite some time to open the storage room, wherein I remain in a large manila envelope. I’m tempted to flee, but I worry that the sight of a ragged stranger emerging from the storage room would only terrify an otherwise rational staff at the highly esteemed ____ & ____ Literary Agency.

I beg of you, please send someone to fish out me and my ms., TWM (which, I’m ashamed to admit, is slightly soiled—you can do the math), or, if nothing else, just toss in a bottle of water and perhaps a plate of what smelled like pad thai someone had microwaved or ordered yesterday.

Anxiously awaiting your response,



Dear ____ & ____ Literary Agency,

Last night, I heard faint coughing emanating from other side of storage room. Have been debating since then whether to inquire aloud as to the identity of my newfound neighbor. Should a physical struggle break out, however, I fear I may lose advantage, as I appear to have lost all motor sensation in my legs. No matter. Stuffed into a large manila envelope, along with the first two engaging chapters of my novel, The Whispering Monkey, I await with an anticipation, I imagine, to which only a warrior could relate.

Still, can’t help but wonder who he is, the cougher. Or is it a she? One of those leggy blonds coupled with lascivious sample chapters of chick-lit fluff? Is that what your agency is after? Reduced to targeting the Sex and the City demographic in search of a quick buck? More coughing. Yes, it is a woman! “Who’s there?” I’m tempted to say, “reveal yourself, you hack!” Must remain … integral …

Would appreciate a look. And maybe some of Linda’s birthday cake (couldn’t help but overhear the song yesterday). Please send her my birthday wishes.

Clutching the first two riveting chapters of TWM, waiting, waiting … more coughing. Oh, Jesus!



… aching belly … vision going. Coughing hack removed yesterday. I and query and ms. placed into container, wheeled through office. “The Whispering Monkey is an engaging tale woven just right for the current marketplace!” I would have said, had I not been too weary. In the elevator, lowered into parking garage. Going to an agent’s apartment, I hoped. That beeping noise made when industrial truck slowly backs up. Long ride. Then: stench of sulfur. Chest stinging on each breath. Can’t wiggle toes. Sound of seagulls squawking. Slow, methodical movement … if weren’t riddled with delirium, would think I and query and sample chapters were moving along body of water. As if to confirm my suspicion, a foghorn. Oh, God! TWM is a riveting tale, I assure you. Thanks in advance for the look. Looking forward … to … hearing … from … you.