#MSWL

My taste in books is eclectic, so it’s always a challenge to do my #MSWL because sometimes I love something I never thought I would love. Romance was never a genre I thought I would enjoy, yet in my late teens, I had a friend introduce me to her romance books, and I devoured them. YA was not on my radar until my 20’s, and once I read it, I was hooked. My brother often let me borrow his Opera Book Club books, and I would cry from the heartfelt words in each one. When my grandmother bought my brother the Harry Potter series for Christmas, I was the one who hoarded them to read. Literature is vast and beautiful. I want it all, but sadly, I don’t have enough time to read it all.  

Now on to my MSWL…

I’m going to be giving priority to Black creators. The #BLM movement is one I wholeheartedly believe in and support, and I want to do whatever I can to uplift their voices. 

With that said, I will also be giving priority to trans creators. I do not support JKR and what she stands for. I loved the HP series as much as the next person, but I love my trans friends more. I’ll especially be on the hunt for stories by trans women.

I am always looking for stories by all traditionally underrepresented creators. All POC, LGBTQ+/QUILTBAG, neurodiverse, body diverse, and disabled creators are highly encouraged to query me.

I’m looking for upper middle-grade, young adult, and adult fiction–some non-fiction. I’m particularly drawn to light fantasy and speculative fiction, romance, horror, and contemporaries.

MG and YA:

  • Best friend break-up stories.
  • Horror, especially if the setting is a character (think haunted houses, forests that eat people, etc.)
  • Bring back the classics, but with a modern twist. I’d love to see new takes on classics, like Anne with an E does with ANNE OF GREEN GABLES.
  • Funny, contemporary retellings of Jane Austen, Shakespeare, and other classical literature.
  • Non-western mythology and folklore.
  • YA VICIOUS or Killing Eve.
  • Mysteries in YA and MG like TRULY DEVIOUS.
  • Platonic love stories like Booksmart!
  • Commercial hooks with literary writing.
  • A story revolving around puzzles, riddles, or games. Extra points for adding a sphinx. Preferably in YA or MG.
  • I’d love a MG I can submit to Rick Riordan Presents!
  • All the graphic novel author-illustrators.
  • Queer Eye YA (graphic novel maybe?)
  • Anything compared to anime, Studio Ghibli, and Hayao Miyazaki.
  • Something with a similar feel to Tokyo Ghoul would be awesome.
  • YA NINTH HOUSE

General Adult Fiction:

  • RomComs for millennials (like RWRB).
  • Literary fantasy like THE NIGHT CIRCUS, THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE, CIRCE.
  • Historicals from underrepresented communities and their stories.
  • All speculative fiction.
  • Horror steeped in atmosphere. 
  • Authors similar to VE Schwab, Neil Gaiman, Madeline Miller, TJ Klune, CS PACAT.
  • Books similar to VICIOUS, NINTH HOUSE, and CAPTIVE PRINCE.

Non-fiction:

  • Non-fiction for children. 
  • Spiritual, tarot, metaphysical, occult.

When searching for the perfect manuscript, the first thing that draws me in is a compelling concept; the next thing is the voice. I love anything from blunt, funny prose to purpose prose. It just needs to match the genre, mood, and category of your book. Some author voices I particularly love:

  • Maggie Stiefvater
  • VE Schwab
  • Benjamin Alire Sáenz 
  • Rick Riordan
  • Casey McQuiston
  • TJ Klune
  • Adam Silvera
  • Laini Taylor

Once the voice has caught my attention, the element that will always keep my interest is character. I love characterdriven stories with well-developed characters. Then, world-building. I’m always in awe of seamless world-building that doesn’t distract from the story. This is why I’m often don’t like other-world (high fantasy) stories because authors tend to shove the world in your face with too much exposition and details. Recent book I read with flawless world-building:

  • THESE FEATHERED FLAMES by Alexandra Overy (coming April 2021)
  • A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC by VE Schwab
  • STRANGE THE DREAMER by Lainie Taylor
  • SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo
  • HOUSE IN THE CERULEAN SEA by TJ Klune

I’m not looking for:

  • Anything set in space or has aliens.
  • Anything 120K or longer that is all world-building and plot.
  • Political/military/crime thriller novels (especially in adult categories).
  • Romances with cops or military men.
  • Westerns.
  • Time travel.
  • Pirates.
  • Mermaids, vampires, werewolves, zombies. I’ll take monsters similar to these creatures (like THIS SAVAGE SONG), but not in the traditional sense.
  • Romances based on musicians or actors (I get so many of these).
  • Picture books and chapter books.
  • Plots revolving around cheating/infidelity, suicide, rape, or abuse.
  • Memoirs or biographies.
  • Novellas, short story collections, poetry collections/verse, or screenplays.

Books I’ve recently read and loved (some old and new):

  • BOYFRIEND MATERIAL by Alexis Hall
  • NINTH HOUSE and SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo
  • A CURSE SO DARK AND LONELY by Brigid Kemmerer 
  • THE EXTRAORDINARIES and HOUSE IN THE CERULEAN SEA by TJ Klune
  • TRULY DEVIOUS by Maureen Johnson
  • THESE FEATHERED FLAMES by Alexandra Overy (coming April 2021)
  • CRUEL PRINCE by Holly Black
  • LESS by Andrew Sean Greer
  • A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC and VICIOUS by VE/Victoria Schwab