Happy New Year, bookish friends!
I'm open for queries again on January 8th, and these are the kind of books I'm looking for... as well as the sort I'm not.
If you're new here (hi!), it's a good idea to check out some of the books I've already been lucky enough to work on. Here's a running list, and there are a few on the homepage. I also keep a manuscript wishlist here, that I update now and again. This post is basically a condensed version of that, paired with some of my favorite reads of 2017, to give you an idea of what I love.
Now then, let's dig in!
Young Adult: These books hold the biggest piece of my heart. I'm eager to find diverse stories (especially in sci-fi and fantasy), YA that does a bit of genre blending, LGBTQ+ stories, and heartfelt contemporary stories that'll make me laugh and/or cry.
What sort of reads do I dig? My favorite YA novels of 2017 were Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert, Want by Cindy Pon, Starfish by Akemi Bowman, Dear Martin by Nic Stone, The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana, They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera, The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli, and The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. That should give you an idea of the books I adore.
Science Fiction & Fantasy: I love accessible fantasy and sci-fi. John Scalzi, Cory Doctorow, Fran Wilde, Chuck Wendig, Kat Howard, and Cherie Priest are among my favorites. My author Mike Chen's Here & Now & Then is a good example of what I like in genre.
S.A. Chakraborty's City of Brass and Sleeping Giants (as well as the sequel Waking Gods) by Sylvain Neuvel were my favorite SFF reads of 2017.
Cookbooks: I love platformed cookbook projects, from writers who know how to use a camera, or have a partner in food-writing-crime that can. And if you have an idea that isn't quite there yet, let's brainstorm!
I'm hard pressed to think of examples from last year, but my own author Lindsey Smith's book Eat Your Feelings is a good one.
Non-Fiction: I really like books that focus on pop culture, geekery, or teach readers about the odd and the unique... and I love it when all of that collides at once. Mary Roach's work is a great example, as is my own author Alex Ruben's book on Missile Command.
I'm also very interested in essay collections and memoir, from people who are writing and publishing pieces actively. My client Bassey Ikpi, whose memoir is due out in 2019, is a great example. You can spot her writing for Vice, The Root, Catapult, and numerous other outlets.
Some of my favorite essayists lately are Michele Filgate, Brandon Taylor, Mira Jacob, Morgan Jerkins, Nicole Chung, R. Eric Thomas, and Ilana Masad. They wrote pieces that made me cry, laugh, and think about my life last year. Morgan Jerkins' and Nicole Chung's books are two of my most anticipated reads of 2018.
Literary & Commercial Fiction: This year I really want to discover some unique voices in literary and commercial fiction. The sweet spot there, is work that does a bit of genre mashing. Think Station Eleven, The Last Policeman (one of my favorite books ever), The Night Circus, and novels by Tom Perrotta, especially like The Leftovers. I like literary novels with a splash of quirk.
My favorite adult novels that I read last year were The Last One by Alexandra Oliva and Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton. Yes, I know they came out in 2016, but I read the 2017 paperbacks thanks. These were brilliant and the perfect examples of what I'm looking for.
I recently sold a literary novel that's in line with these, that I can hopefully announce soon.
What I'm Not Looking For & Dislike:
And now, a roundup of the kind of books I'm not looking for, as well as story lines I dislike. If you're working on something in any of these genres / categories, or something that tells this kind of story, I'm not right, sorry.
- Middle Grade or Picture Books (pitch my colleague Maria!)
- Angel & demon love stories, Heaven / Hell stories.
- Adult epic fantasy or military sci-fi.
- Books that are far over 100k+.
- Non-fiction about sports or politics.
- Thrillers about terrorism.
- Main-character-is-a-bigot-and-learns-a-lesson. Hard pass.
- Redemptive story arcs for abusers. Nope.
- New Adult books. Love them, but I don't know how to work on them.
- Horror novels. I love them, but I don't know what makes a good one.
- Anything comped as "Lovecraftian" (he was racist, not interested)
- Anything comped to Orson Scott Card (if I have to explain this, we can't work together)
- Commercial fiction about sports (exceptions made for sports YA, I love sports YA!)
And there we have it. Send me your books. Have a pitch? Here's how to query me.