Writing Books/Query


Is it okay to write "This is like blah, blah, that you represented"? Or mention other books the agent has represented. How do I make the query more personalized?

The trick with this is to make sure you ENHANCE the agent's list. If you write exactly like Clive Cussler and approach his agent, why would the agent take you on? He already HAS Clive Cussler. Why have two? But if you write books that aren't exactly like his books, but have the same flow, the same pace and are action oriented, then sure---mention that you approached the agent because you think you'll have the same or similar readership. I tend to say something like, "I believe readers of Clive Cussler would enjoy my novel." This phrasing is very intentional:

1.  "I believe..." You're not stating a FACT, and thereby insulting the agent by TELLING them what to think. It's YOUR belief.

2.  "readers of Clive Cussler..." This is "market demographics" It's something an agent can understand and if they agree with your assertion, they can pass on to an editor to get them excited.

3.  "would enjoy my novel." Again, this goes to the market. You're not saying they'll LOVE it, or that nobody will be able to put it down. "Enjoy" is fine. Agents like enjoy. :)

Professional, but humble. You'll get the most flies with honey.

Good luck!

Writing Books

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Cathy Clamp


I'm happy to answer questions about any aspect of writing novels, from the beginning kernel of an idea through completion. I can help with writing a query letter and synopsis to an agent or editor. I can explain publishing terminology and acronyms. I can also assist with questions about verifying the credentials of agents/publishers and how to proceed once you've been accepted for publication. I can teach the rules of formatting a manuscript, creating viable plots, characterization and flow in the following genres: romance, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, suspense, horror, women's fiction, mainstream and mystery.


I'm a USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance for Tor/Forge Books. Along with a co-author, I've published fifteen novels (combination of mass market and trade softcover) since 2003, and have contracts for four more books through 2011.

Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Western Outdoor Writers, Horror Writers of America.

Tor/Forge Books, Western Reflections Publishing, BenBella Books, Running Press, Wild Child Publishing. Many others.

My educational background is limited to real life experience of publishing novels commercially for the past five years.

Awards and Honors
USA Today bestseller, Waldenbooks Mass Market Paperback Top 20 bestseller, Nielsen BookScan Top 20 bestseller, RT BOOKreviews Career Achievement Award winner, 2009, Book Buyers Best Award for Paranormal, Romantic Times Best Werewolf Novel, Write Touch Readers Award, EVVY Best Historical Chronicle Award, The Lories Best Paranormal. Many others.

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