Lara Elena Donnelly, whose debut AMBERLOUGH has sold to Tor Books.

Lara Elena Donnelly, whose debut AMBERLOUGH has sold to Tor Books.

Hey there, Fuse Fans!

It’s been a crazy few months for me, between the holidays and three exciting new deals:

Jeffe Kennedy’s THE PAGES OF THE MIND, the first in a new series set in the world of THE MARK OF THE TALA, about a scholar who finds herself trapped in a foreign land by a warrior king who cannot understand her clever words, to Peter Senftleben at Kensington, in a two-book deal, for publication in Summer 2016, by Connor Goldsmith at Fuse Literary (World). Dramatic Rights: Brandy Rivers at ICM Partners.

Lara Elena Donnelly’s AMBERLOUGH, about a gay spy who must compromise all his ideals and beliefs to protect his smuggler lover from a fascist coup, pitched as TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY meets CABARET in a secondary fantasy world, to Diana Pho at Tor, in a nice deal, in a pre-empt, for publication in Fall 2016, by Connor Goldsmith at Fuse Literary (World). Dramatic Rights: Brandy Rivers at ICM Partners.

Alex White’s EVERY MOUNTAIN MADE LOW, about an autistic girl from the poorest depths of a subterranean factory city who must communicate with dangerous spirits to avenge the murder of her only friend, to Jonathan Oliver at Solaris, in a nice deal, for publication in 2016, by Connor Goldsmith at Fuse Literary (World English). Dramatic Rights: Brandy Rivers at ICM Partners.

Alex White, whose debut EVERY MOUNTAIN MADE LOW has sold to Solaris.I’m thrilled that I had the opportunity to help get these great books onto shelves. 2016 is going to be a wonderful year for SF/F!

In the meantime, I’ve been catching up on my query backlog. I’m often asked what helps a query stand out to me from the pile, so here are three quick tips:

1. Personalize: If you follow me on social media or we’ve met in person, please mention this. Tell me why I caught your eye as an agent, specifically! Did you see something I tweeted? Are you a fan of one of my clients? This always catches my eye.

2. Know Your Comps: This is a tricky part of any query, but it shows me you’ve done your research. A ‘comp’, or comparative title, is a book that you see as having a similar target audience to your own. Try not to go huge with massive best-sellers (e.g. HARRY POTTER, THE HUNGER GAMES, A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE), although that would be excellent if it were true! Giving me two reasonable, well thought-out comps shows me you know the marketplace and have a plan of action for your book.

3. Get To The Conflict: When writing a pitch for a query, it’s easy to get caught up in explaining the world of your novel and the characters who inhabit it. Don’t do this! Get straight to the heart of the story: the conflict. Tell me what’s at stake and why I should care.

Hope to see you in my inbox.

– C