Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Catherine Hedrick Armstrong of The Purcell Agency

Cathie Hedrick-Armstrong is a literary agent with The Purcell Agency.

Cathie 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 Fiction, 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. Her own authored titles include the young adult novel, Roam, and the women’s fiction title, The Edge of Nowhere.

Cathie looks for manuscripts that catch her attention within the first few pages. If you can evoke an emotional response 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 with paranormal/supernatural elements IF GROUNDED IN THE REAL WORLD are often a good fit. (Examples: Victoria Laurie’s 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).

Overall Wishlist:

  • As an Oklahoma native, Cathie is desperately searching for an #OwnVoices novel from a Native American perspective in either Young Adult or Adult categories. Bonus points if the setting is in Oklahoma or the characters are from one of the many tribes who call Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, etc., home.
  • A slow-burn enemies to lovers romance like The Spanish Love Deception, or a misunderstandings breed false assumptions like The Love Hypothesis.
  • Forever on the lookout for a contemporary rom-com similar to Jill Barnett’s Dreaming.

Young Adult:

Cathie is currently looking for YA romance, romantic comedies, mysteries, thrillers, and horror.
She loves strong female characters and would love a female athlete such as gymnast, competitive diver, or girl playing a non-traditional female sport and kicking butt while doing it.
Favorite YA Authors: E. Lockhart, Dana L. Davis. Tiffany D. Jackson, Karen M. McManus, and Nikki Barthelmess


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.

Favorite tropes are romantic comedies, enemies to lovers, misunderstandings, and best friends to lovers.

Varying heat levels are absolutely fine, but the story itself has to be strong enough that graphic sex isn’t what holds it together. Sex on the page should, in Cathie’s opinion, always make a story stronger and make sense for the characters’ story progression without “weakening” it if it was moved behind closed doors.

Favorite Romance Authors: Tessa Bailey, Rachel Van Dyken, Talia Hibbert, Helen Hoang, Alyssa Cole, Lyssa Kay Adams, Emily Henry, Ali Hazelwood, Kelly Cain, and Elena Armas.

Women’s Fiction, Mysteries, Thrillers, and Suspense:

Cathie wants to be pulled into the story immediately and forget everything else going on in the world around her. Oftentimes, these include stories with quirky characters, strong family relationships, or a hidden secrets the main character is keeping and must discover—or we, the reader, must discover.

Favorite Women’s Fiction, Mystery, Thrillers, and Suspense Authors: Colleen Hoover, Janet Evanovich, Kate Morton, Victoria Laurie, Lorna Landvik, Cathy Lamb, Heather Gudenkauf, Joshilyn Jackson, Mary Kubica, B.A. Paris, John Grisham, and Ruth Ware.


  • Nonfiction
  • High Fantasy
  • Science Fiction
  • Stories including sexual assault when included without an absolutely “need” for inclusion in the story.
  • Queries to any social media inbox.
  • Queries to her email address or when she is closed to queries except by specific invitation from her to do so.

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