Writing Books/word length

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Question
Hi
Once you wrote "Literary works are more likely to be accepted short, but SF/F isn't."
I had two questions. What is your definition of short, and would the genre  where short novels were accepted include a vampire dective story?
What's the best way to find out if this agency will accept works of a certain length?

Thanks.


Answer
"Short" for SF/F is probably in the less than 70K range. A vampire detective story could either be shelved in mystery or in SF/F. A "short" novel for mystery is probably less than 60K.

The only way to find out if an agency will accept short is to have them read it. Simply don't mention the length of the novel in the query and let them see for themselves if it's okay as is when they read the full manuscript. If they think the story works short, they'll represent it. If not, they'll suggest changes to beef up the length and you'll have to decide whether you're willing to make those changes.

Cathy

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Cathy Clamp

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

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

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

Education/Credentials
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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