Catherine Hedrick Armstrong is a literary agent with The Purcell Agency. She is an Oklahoma native transplanted in Minnesota for nearly 30 years. A proud alumnus of The University of Oklahoma, she holds a B.A. in Journalism with a minor in History and is a rabid fan of OU Sooners Football.
A prolific reader of many genres, Cathie represents Young Adult, New Adult, Contemporary and Historical Romance, Upmarket Women’s Fiction, Mysteries, and Thrillers. She deliberately keeps her client list small to give her authors the attention each deserves while still allowing herself time for her own writing career as an author of issue-driven young adult and women’s fiction.
Cathie looks for manuscripts that catch her attention within the first few pages. If you can evoke an emotional reaction in the opening pages—make her laugh out loud, cause her pulse to race, make her cry—you’ve got a winner.
Cathie is never interested in Science Fiction or High Fantasy in any genre; however, fantasy grounded in the real world is usually a good fit if they contain paranormal aspects in the vein of Victoria Laurie’s Abby Cooper Psychic Eye or Ghost Hunter series, Juliet Blackwell’s Witchcraft Mysteries series, Karen Marie Moning’s Highlander series, or Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse or Harper Connelly series.
Young Adult: Cathie is especially drawn to issue-driven young adult fiction. She likes heart-wrenching stories of kids trying to navigate the difficult hallways of their high schools, and empowering stories of overcoming the odds when life throws you a curve ball.
Favorite YA Authors: Colleen Hoover, Nikki Barthlemess, Justin A. Reynolds, Tiffany D. Jackson, John Green, Angie Thomas, and Dana L. Davis.
Romance: The most important aspect of a good romance for Cathie is one with a slow burn that allows the reader time to get to know the characters and root for them. The more angst keeping them apart (and eventually bringing them together), the better. Additionally, her favorite tropes are romantic comedies, haters to lovers, and best friends to lovers. She loves a hero who is alpha on the outside, but sensitive on the inside. Varying heat levels are fine, but no erotica, please.
Favorite Romance Authors: Rachel Van Dyken, Brighton Walsh, Julia Quinn, Jill Barnett, Lauren Blakely, Talia Hibbert, Helen Hoang, Alyssa Cole, Tessa Bailey, and Lyssa Kay Adams.
MSWL: Cathie is dying for a Contemporary RomCom similar to Jill Barnett’s “Dreaming.” (jillbarnettbooks.com/dreaming).
Women’s Fiction and Suspense: Cathie loves stories that pull her in from the first few pages and make her forget everything else going on in the world around her. Oftentimes, these include stories with quirky characters, strong family relationships, or a hidden secret the main character has to discover.
Favorite Adult Authors: Colleen Hoover, Janet Evanovich, Kate Morton, Victoria Laurie, Lorna Landvik, Cathy Lamb, Heather Gudenkauf, Joshilyn Jackson, Mary Kubica, B.A. Paris, and Ruth Ware.
MSWL: I’d love something with a quirky cast of characters similar to Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series (not necessarily mystery/suspense…but something fun and Laugh out Loud funny).
When she’s not actively reading, Cathie is the published author of the young adult novel, “Roam,” and the historical fiction novel, “The Edge of Nowhere.”