Writing Books/genre


Let's say a person writes a story about a Chinese American who starts a detective agency. Does he send the query to the agent handling ethnic fiction, or to the agent handling mysteries?


Hi, Demetrius! Sorry for the delay in responding, but didn't notice this question come through the loop.

It all depends on where you want the book to be shelved and, ultimately, where you want your readers to come from. It's likely you're looking at the amateur sleuth category of mystery, which is a well-selling genre. "Ethnic," as a category, is often strongly African-American or Latino, rather than Chinese-American. You probably wouldn't have a lot of Chinese looking in that section for a book unless there was a lot of advance publicity. On the other hand, readers of mysteries don't much care about the ethnicity of the detective. They're looking for a good plot and EVENTUALLY get to the point where the character personality becomes important. They become invested in the PERSON you've created. But not at first . . . not in a debut book.

You can do either, but I think you'll have a broader audience in mystery. JMHO. :)


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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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