Query Letter Example: Narrative Nonfiction


In the introduction to her bestseller, Gulp, Mary Roach notes, “The alimentary recesses hide a lode of unusual stories, mostly unmined. Authors have profiled the brain, the heart, the eyes, the skin, the penis and the female geography, even the hair, but never the gut.”

To even a greater extent, bone has been overlooked. This is remarkable since bone has both supported and recorded vertebrate life for 500 million years. No other biologic material can make such a claim. It is a touchstone for understanding life, far more so than any other biologic substance. Its stories are intriguing and range widely across time and multiple disciplines, and are not well known or appreciated.

My book, All About Bone, offers an unprecedented and comprehensive telling of these stories. It will particularly appeal to readers who appreciate the factual, lively styles of Bill Bryson, Sam Kean, and Mary Roach.

Bone manifests remarkable properties, not least of which is its unique ability to heal without scar and to strengthen itself when conditions demand. Disciplines such as paleontology and anthropology would hardly exist were it not for bone’s exceptional permanence. Furthermore, human cultures have taken advantage of bone’s ubiquity; and by crafting it into tools, weapons, ornaments, and amusements, they have left important markers of civilization.

I am an internationally recognized orthopedic hand surgeon, educator, editor, and science writer. A reviewer described my previous book as “factually enriched information [that brings] out the warmth, wisdom, knowledge, experience and sense of humor of Dr. Meals.”

My e-newsletters and blog, www.aboutbone.com, reach 16,000 readers monthly, and LinkedIn provides over 14,000 additional connections. I also have a growing presence on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, and SlideShare.

The complete book proposal is included. Please let me know if you have questions. I look forward to hearing from you.