An Open Letter to an Agent

"Whimsical Glance"

Image Copyright 1997 Larry Elmore
All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.

An Open Letter to an Agent

I am writing to determine if you would be interested in representing my fiction.

Though I was born in the United States, I noted that I preferred British authors when reading. These authors include Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Dame Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Ellis Peters, J.R.R. Tolkien and James Clavell. Wanting to write the kinds of works I love to read, I have been consciously developing my style, using elements from the styles of these authors. As a result, I thought it appropriate to submit my work to a British literary agent. I describe how I have been developing my style more fully on my web site (

I have good qualifications for being a writer. At the University of South Dakota, I studied (among other things) technical writing and writing screenplays. Literature and the English language are frequent topics of conversation at family gatherings. My wife is a technical editor. I have one sister who used to be newspaper editor and another sister who edits college text books. I have spent a good portion of my professional life writing technical works, and since 1997, I have been seriously writing fantasy fiction.

I believe a market exists for higher quality, "meatier" works than are generally published in fantasy fiction today. I find it telling that the only fantasy fiction author in my list of favorites is J.R.R. Tolkien, despite the fact I love the genre. In comparison to most of the fantasy fiction of today, the characters written by James Clavell seem to live and breathe. They develop in a consistent manner throughout the book. The settings of Sir Arthur, Dame Agatha and Ellis Peters are astoundingly vivid, and all three wrote so beautifully that the act of reading, itself, becomes a decadent pleasure. It would be quite arrogant for me to claim my works approach theirs in terms of quality. And yet, I feel it far better to attempt to improve my style through these comparisons, than to simply hack words together and be content.

I enclose for your consideration thirty contiguous pages of a complete novel entitled Justiciar ur hinn Dokkalfar, subtitled "Justice from the Dark Aelfs". A one-page synopsis of the book is enclosed with this letter.

I hope to hear good news from you in the near future,

Daniel Kelley

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