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Hello Iím Eileen and well, I am 11 years old, for years I have wanted to be an author, but I never had ideas, now that I started Middle School I have a whole bunch of things to say. The problem is that when I do write, it sounds really gloomy. Trust me, I am not the kind of person that gives up really easily, I wrote while I heard happy music, that didnít work. I tried to write small notes in my pocket notebook, but they were still really gloomy. I have ideas, I really do. I know that you are really busy, but I was wondering if you could, kind of, edit what I write and help me through. Even once a month would be ok. I just really want to do it, and I feel all I need is some guidance and I will write an awesome story, even if itís not the next Harry Potter hit, I will still feel accomplished ( since you are a writer, I know you know how good that can feel)
Thank you and please take me into consideration,

Hi, Eileen!

You're at an age where a lot of things are kicking in---physically and emotionally, so I'm not at all surprised that you tend to write gloomy. I did the same thing. But here's the thing...there's nothing really "wrong" with writing about things that make you sad. There are lots of shelves in the bookstore, and lots of people like stories that make them cry or think. Maybe you're just trying to write about happy stuff because that's what people are telling you is correct. The trick with writing is not giving into the emotions you put on the page. Writing depressing stuff shouldn't make YOU depressed or gloomy. It should be more separate and apart from your real mood.

If you want to send me a few paragraphs that are representative of what you write, I'd be happy to take a look. I really don't have time to mentor you (which is what the process you're suggesting is called.) But you might check to see if an English teacher at your school would be interested in giving you some help. I had a really AWESOME English teacher when I was your age who really helped me develop my writing.

Keep in mind that there are a number of very famous authors who started actually PUBLISHING at your age, so don't be afraid to be as creative as you want. Just take the time to learn about the novel writing process. It's all about learning, from plots to dialogue and descriptions. You might take a look at books by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes. She publishes young adult horror novels and published her first book at 11. :) So it's definitely possible if you take the time to do it right. The first book is called "Demon in my View" and is VERY gloomy. It's also slated to be a movie next year, and she's  a very wealthy young lady. So don't be afraid of what you're feeling. Write it down. :D

Good luck, and feel free to send a little bit.


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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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