Writing Nonfiction Books (Part 16)

Here is a sample query (or cover) letter:


Dear Editor: (Send to a specific editor)

Wounded by Words: Healing the Invisible Scars of Emotional Abuse offers hope and healing through Christ from these unseen hurts. Women who have grown up with the harsh reality of verbal abuse understand the pain and suffering it causes. The results of this kind of mistreatment may not cause bruises and other visible injuries, but nevertheless, the scars are there. These scars remain in the heart and mind, causing fear, powerlessness, and dependency.

In Scripture, the stories of Leah, Joseph, Hannah, Job, Abigail, King David, Mary Magdalene, and Mary and Martha demonstrate examples of verbal abuse. How they overcame this invisible destroyer is encouraging to us all. These stories demonstrate how God dealt with emotional abuse in biblical times, and He expects us to deal with this issue today as well.

Accurate statistics are hard to find. But surveys show that emotional abuse exists in marriages and other family relationships, the workplace, nursing homes, college campuses, and many other situations. One out of four women admits to being verbally abused. In one study, 77 % of women reported emotional abuse in combination with physical abuse. In this same study, 43 % experienced emotional abuse as children or teenagers, and 39 % reported verbal abuse in a relationship within the last five years.

Growing up in an alcoholic home, Karen Kosman learned the pain of demeaning, caustic words. Susan Osborn also was verbally abused by her mother. Later both women married men who continued the cycle of emotional abuse. Once again angry, thoughtless words daily eroded their self-esteem. Gradually through Scripture, counseling, and God’s love, healing began. Today, both women are remarried to supportive, Christian husbands, and the cycle of abuse has been broken. Susan is a CLASS staff member and has published over 30 books. Karen is an inspirational speaker for church groups. Jeenie Gordon has dealt with numerous patients who have been verbally abused in her 30-plus years as a marriage and family therapist. She has published 10 books, one of which was a Gold Medallion finalist.

Wounded by Words contains 12 chapters filled with personal stories of people who have experienced verbal abuse. The issues these people have learned to deal with will provide hope and wholeness for those who are in the process of finding answers. We transition from one story to the next with inspirational thoughts, biblical truths, and practical advice for the reader. We invite you to join our ultimate mission of bringing understanding, hope, and healing to women who are struggling with verbal and emotional abuse.

Yours in Him,

Susan T. Osborn                                   Karen Kosman                   Jeenie Gordon