Are you literary agent? I didn’t think so, but I was hoping. If you’re curious to know how we try to get their attention, read on.

Below is what’s called a query letter. Think of it as the resume for a book. And yes, they are just as “fun” as writing a real resume; hours upon hours of agonizing over every word, and no certainty as to what will catch an agent’s eye. I’d rather have an attractive book cover displayed here, ready for you to sample. (One day soon, I promise I will). For now you’re stuck with my query letter for Freelight:

The first thing to understand about ghosts is that they’re not actually dead. Everyone makes that mistake, even Jordan, who once crossed paths with a ghost—a red one, no less. Driven by a vision it planted in his head, he’ll go from struggling artist in the Midwest to human fault line, carving through the political stability of a spectral world called Arbor Florum. He’s twenty-five. He’s an idealist. And he’s caught in the cover-up of a triple murder, but doesn’t know it.

In Arbor Florum, a ghost’s color dictates remarkable talents and—as Jordan will quickly learn—motives and loyalties. This civilization is held together by an enduring injustice. A man, falsely accused of the murders, languishes in a dark prison while the lavish society around him revels in the light. The real killer is widely known: a ghost prince whose father is revered as a deity. Unrivaled in power, this aristocracy holds sway over Arbor Florum. To protect their lie is to preserve the peace. Coaxed by a band of go-for-broke radicals, Jordan enlists in a desperate activism to win freedom for the prisoner. Civil accord disintegrates, high society simmers in unease. With danger mounting at every step, Jordan learns that he alone can undo the injustice…but a century of peace will fall with it.

Freelight is a contemporary fantasy of 120,000 words, a ghost story told on a Tolkienesque scale. The concept of the ghost is reimagined with a twist, and given depth beyond its traditional portrayal. With justice, power, and hope colliding at its thematic heart, Freelight depicts the price a society must pay for turning its back on the wrongly accused.

The personal website of novelist Jon Aspen