Getting published

Author Jane Corry shares her original covering letter

Jane Corry

Jane Corry is the bestselling author of My Husband's Wife. She has kindly agreed to share the original successful covering letter she sent to her literary agent, as we know picthing your book to an agent can often be tricky. 

Dear Kate,

After my first marriage ended, I took a job as writer in residence of a high-security male prison for three years. It taught me that prisoners were very different from the stereotypes I had in my head. Towards the end of that time, I got married again. This made me think about the relationship between first and second wives. The two strands knitted themselves into an idea for My Husband's Wife.

My novel - a psychological suspense with a strong black domestic flavour - has two main female characters who tell their stories in alternative viewpoints. Lily is a young newly-married lawyer. On her first day back to work after her honeymoon, she is instructed to handle a murder appeal for a clever, charming man. Before long, she becomes convinced of his innocence. Carla is a young Italian girl who lives with her mother in the same block of flats as Lily and her new husband. The young couple help to look after her when Carla’s mother is working. The story fast-forwards fifteen years in the middle so that we then meet the grown-up Carla and a mature Lily. Carla is on a murder charge and the only person who can help is Lily. The woman whose husband she stole.

There are several twists and turns. For example, My Husband's Wife opens with a murder but the reader doesn’t know who has been killed until much later. There is also a third viewpoint in the first person. The reader knows that this person is in grave danger and is fed clues throughout the book until the identity is revealed.

My background is in journalism. I was a graduate trainee for Thomson and worked on various magazines including Woman and Woman’s Own. I have also written for The Times and Daily Telegraph.  This experience has taught me to write to a deadline and has fostered a fascination with people. I believe this – alongside my ‘taster’ of prison -  has helped me to get inside my characters.

I have also had several short stories published in women’s magazines.

I am acutely aware that you must receive several submissions but would be very grateful if you would consider the first three chapters of My Husband's Wife.

Kind regards,

Jane Corry

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more