Writing Books/bio?


One agency asks for query with author bio and I think two or three page outline. I thought I had info about bio, but I can't locate it. I don't have a published history, so how should I handle the bio? Any tips on writing the outline?

Thanks again.


ANSWER: In this case, I think they are using the term "outline" when they MEAN "synopsis." But that's a question you should ask them. I don't think an email would be out of place to ask if they mean a narrative synopsis of the entire book, or if they're wanting a chapter-by-chapter outline (where each chapter has a little paragraph detailing what happens in that particular chapter.) 2-3 pages seems short for an outline, which is why I'm thinking synopsis.

As for a bio, I wouldn't worry too much about that. Just tell them a little about yourself. Where you live, if you're married, have children, are still in school, etc. If your employment relates to the book, mention it, but don't go overboard. Just a short paragraph is plenty.

Good luck!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I shouldn't have tried to report what they wrote from memory. What they actually wrote is : "Query first. Submit one page bio & one to three page outline with SASE" One page bio? Your "short paragraph" made sense. But an entire page? How do I write that?

I don't think they want an entire page. I'm thinking (and I could be wrong) that they want it on a separate page. But I suppose I could be wrong. In your place, I'd probably two paragraphs on a separate page and call it good. If they want more than that, they'll ask. :)


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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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