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agent
Alyssa Maltese
Root Literary

Getting to be an early champion for authors' work is a huge privilege, and a responsibility for which I am deeply grateful. I'm excited to find and uplift books that you can’t put down, books that surprise you, books that make you think, and, above all else, books that help people.

YOUNG ADULT

Looking for:
- Contemporary fiction with speculative, romantic, or light fantasy elements
- High-stakes horror imbedded with social commentary

Likes:
- Coming of age
- 2000s-2010s emo culture
- Angst!

Favorites:
- Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
- Bad Witch Burning by Jessica Lewis
- The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson
- Catch the Light by Kate Sweeney
- Blood Countess by Lana Popovic
- Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

ADULT

Looking for:
- Commercial psychological thrillers, domestic suspense, & horror
- Upmarket speculative fiction
- Upmarket book club fiction

Likes:
- Female-centric concepts like motherhood, the gender divide, & female rage
- Technology-related sci-fi elements
- Propulsive pacing & twists that really surprise me

Favorites:
- The Secret History by Donna Tartt
- Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
- The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins
- The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix
- Pigs by Johanna Stoberock
- Hide by Kiersten White
- Nightbitch by Rachel Yoder
- Suburban Hell by Maureen Kilmer
- The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan
- Just Like Home by Sarah Gailey
- The Husbands by Chandler Baker

NONFICTION

Looking for:
- Prescriptive & research-driven narrative nonfiction from authors with an established expertise & audience

Topics of interest:
- Psychology
- Mental health
- Taboo topics such as death & sex
- Science pertaining to nature & animals
- Pop culture

Across the board, I welcome books about marginalized characters, by marginalized creators.

Other media I’d love to be able to comp:
- Severance
- Jordan Peele films
- Promising Young Woman
- Midsommar
- The Witch
- Search Party
- Midnight Mass
- Black Mirror (USS Callister, Playtest, Shut Up and Dance, Nosedive, Crocodile)

I am not accepting submissions for poetry, short story collections, screenplays, novellas, early reader books, chapter books, religious texts, picture book texts/illustrations, or graphic novel texts/illustrations.

I am not the best fit for high/epic fantasy, sci-fi, space operas, paranormal or historical romance, crime fiction/detective novels, sick lit, stories centered in rehab or mental hospitals, most things related to sports, grifter-themed stories, or torture porn/gratuitous gore.


GENRES & SPECIALTIES
General fiction, Suspense/thriller, Mind/body/spirit, Lifestyle, Commercial fiction, Debut fiction, Young Adult, Horror, Speculative, Contemporary Fiction
LEADING CLIENTS
Kate Anthony
Helena Haywoode Henry
MOST RECENT SALES/ FORTHCOMING BOOKS
Kate Anthony's SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO? (Kensington, winter 2024)
SUB-AGENTS/ RIGHTS CONTACTS
Audio & Film/TV: info@rootliterary.com
Foreign: heather@barorint.com
SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS
Please send a query letter and the first 10 pages of your manuscript to submissions@rootliterary.com.

All material should be pasted in the body of the email, as we do not open attachments. Only electronic queries for completed, full-length works will be considered. Once you submit a query, you will receive an automated response confirming receipt and noting our current turnaround time.

No paper, phone, or in-person pitches, please.