I accept queries through this form: QueryMe.Online/CateHart
I’m still closed to queries as I officially settle in this week at my new home but I will be reopening to queries next Monday, July 15th. And I will still only be accepting queries through QueryManager.
I specialize in Historical, whether in Middle Grade and Young Adult, Women’s Fiction and Romance, or narrative nonfiction. I am particularly drawn to oft-forgotten stories of the past and underrepresented voices, and especially personal to me is unexplored Southern history and culture. I also love high-concept fantasy in YA and Adult fiction. As well, I am always looking for fun or feel good RomComs, Contemporary YA, or a bit darker psychological thrillers and classic feel mysteries. I do prefer stories with strong romantic elements, or even better, a heart-pounding romance.
What I’d love to find in the Querybox.
- Time Slips or dual points of view connecting and converging over a single thread, event or object.
- Middle Grade, or even YA, adventure, something that reminds me of the Sandlot, Stand By Me, the Explorers or Goonies. Still love anything with a Stranger Things feel. Something that’s not only the adventure of a lifetime but about the balance and dynamics of friendship and growing up. Give me girls gangs!
- Fantasy YA and Romance with amazing, unique world-building in the vein of Leigh Bardugo, Victoria Aveyard, CJ Redwine, Sarah J Maas or Julie Kagawa.
- Magical Realism from diverse voices.
- Elements of the Fantastic in YA or WF. Something as lovely as The Secret History of Witches that explores the relationship between mothers and daughters wrapped in magic.
- In Historical Romance, I am particularly drawn to Scotland and France. Victorian England and The Gilded Age of America. The American and French Revolutions.
- I’d really love a Gilded Age Knickerbocker or Tycoon hero. Or the historical equivalent to a Navy SEAL, think Peelers or the Pinkertons.
- I love classic retellings. Shakespeare, Poe, Austen, Dickens, Grimm. Something unique with a vibrant voice.
- LGBTQ MG, YA, Adult Romance or RomCom. Bonus points for historical fantasy or mystery.
- As always I welcome Diverse and #OwnVoices
What I’m not looking for:
- Picture Books or Early Readers
- New Adult
- Anthologies or Novellas
- BDSM or Erotica
- Political or Environmental Thrillers
- Hardboiled Detectives or Police Procedurals
A well-crafted query letter is your introduction to an agent. It’s your first impression of not only your talent, skill, and story but also your professionalism and knowledge of the publishing business. I highly recommend checking out websites and other resources on how to write a WOW! query letter. Some of the top websites include :
QueryShark – Literary Agent Janet Reid’s query blog
Books Ends – unfortunately the Book Ends agents no longer blog, but the archives are full of excellent query letter advice
Daphne Unfeasible – Literary Agent Kate Testerman’s blog
PubRants – Literary Agent Kristen Nelson’s blog on queries, publishing, ect.
The same is true for a synopsis. There are dozen of online resources. When I read a synopsis, I am looking for tight plot development, character arcs, stakes, conflict and a satisfying resolution for your story. I’m also looking at genre reader expectations and making sure they’re present. Don’t leave out the most important parts, but don’t include every minute detail. In essence, show me how your story matters and what sets it apart.
Your sample pages should be the first ten of your manuscript. If you’re starting with a prologue, keep in mind is this the best place to start my story, am I introducing the main character, am I setting up the promise of the premise? If you answered no, rethink that prologue.