Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Road Trip Wednesday

This week's question: What are your comp titles? In writing a query letter or seeking an agent, how would you describe your work to them by likening it to other books?

Nancy Drew meets Hoot by Carl Hiassen, meets The Highest Tide by Jim Lynch.

Nancy Drew because I think if you have a young girl solving mysteries, you have to give props to her. I remember feeling so bummed out when I learned there was no Carolyn Keene, but instead a series of ghostwriters. Though in retrospect it does make sense considering the formulaic, canned writing style. Still, ND made me think a mystery was ALWAYS just around the corner, and I LOVED that feeling. It continues to inspire me.

Hoot because it involves kids solving a mystery with some environmental elements. Though I can't pretend my characters are anywhere near the BIG, brassy, kooky characters that populate a Hiassen book.

The Highest Tide does not include a traditional mystery, but it is about a kid who loves nature who is trying to figure out who he is.

Take all three, stir them up a little, add something unique that could only come from me, set it in the sun to dry, and you should have some approximation of The Extraordinary Life of the Insect Collector.

A young girl who is trying to figure out her place in the world, who loves observing nature, and gets thrust into a mystery she feels she has to solve.

Check out the other responses at the YA Highway site.

Read Jess' interview of me for the Before They Were Published series here.


  1. I loveloveloveloveloved Nancy Drew growing up. Though she was a little TOO perfect (I think George was my favorite character, actually). I too was sad to know Carolyn Keene didn't exist...

    I read your interview on BTWP series -- it was great! I'm still shakin' my head over the dog food thing. ;)

  2. My sentiments exactly about Nancy Drew/Carolyn Keene but they're so a part of my childhood I think I've made them real.

    GREAT interview...thanks!!

  3. Okay, wow. You're the second person I've seen on YA Highway who has their book TOTALLY figured out! I struggle really hard with comp titles, so I'm impressed!

  4. Nice comp job! Your book sounds great!

  5. What WHAT? Nancy Drew meets Hiaasen? Please send copy now to my house okay thanks.

    I know exactly what you mean about the way Nancy Drew books gave you that sense that mystery could be right around the corer. I spent half my childhood dying for a real mystery, and investigating all sorts of things that really didn't deserve that kind of tortur... uh, attention.

  6. That's awesome! Unlike me, sounds like you really have it figured out.

    And your book sounds pretty cool. I loved the Nancy Drew books too! Haha, I'll just ditto what Amie said :-)

  7. Wow, your comparisons are so unique! Sounds like a great story. :)

  8. Great comps, Katharine! I love HOOT. :) Your story sounds very cool.

  9. Hey, check out The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley also--that sounds like that might be a good comp for your book.

  10. I only read a couple ND books and I haven't read either of the others, but... I'm still intrigued by the description of your book!

  11. I love your description of your novel!

    I remember being similarly disappointed to find out that Ann M. Martin didn't write all the Baby-Sitter's Club books.

  12. Oh man, I LOVE YA mystery and am always searching for it, your book sounds awesome :)


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