Writing Books/genre


I'm a first person Private Investigator story, but contains vampires. Can I call it "commercial fiction" or what's the best label to put on it?


ANSWER: Well, that sort of depends. Does the investigator just "happen" to be a vampire and the mysteries are otherwise mostly normal? If so, then I'd call it "paranormal mystery". Berkley Prime Crime does a line of paranormal mysteries that are on the Mystery shelves in a store.  

If it's a vampire investigator who investigates supernatural crimes (like Jim Butcher's "The Dresden Files" or P.N. Elrod's "Vampire Files") then call it Urban Fantasy. Ace, Roc, Tor and others do Urban Fantasies which are on the SF/Fantasy shelves

Good luck!


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

QUESTION: First, I'd like to say thanks. Secondly, could call my book "Mystery Horror?" I ask this because the word "paranormal" brings to my mind the occult and Harry Potter which is not what my book is about. I do have vampires, yes, but the tale doesn't go really deep into the supernatural and focuses a lot on the investigators.

Not really. "Mystery" is a shelf in the bookstore. "Horror" is also a shelf. You'll have to pick which is the MOST commanding of the plot. If the mystery is SOLVED, it sounds like mystery. If the mystery is solved, but everybody dies, might be horror.

IMO, query mystery agents and if they feel it's better suited for horror, they'll let you know.


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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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