I’m actively seeking to add high-concept commercial and general fiction, young adult novels with a strong voice and propulsive pacing, and heartfelt and humorous middle grade novels across genres to my list. At the moment, my list is about 50% kid lit with an emphasis on middle grade projects and 50% adult fiction.
I often fall for books that sit at the intersection of a variety of genres (genre eclectic, if you will). I love mysteries, found families, sibling stories, haunted houses, buried secrets, disability and mental health rep, coming-of-age narratives, non-western cultures and mythologies, animal/spirit companions, strong (and potentially unlikable) women, toxic relationships (especially friendships), high stakes adventures, family sagas, smart horror, and anything that makes me laugh and/or cry (preferably a balance of both). I’m not the best fit for adult romance, though I love romance in b-plots, and am open to romance authors interested in establishing other lines of business, too.
I was born and raised in Southern California in a multicultural, blended family, so I have a soft spot for books that shine a spotlight on the nuances of family relationships and identity. And I’m especially looking for books that are inclusive and accurately reflect our world—I like characters who aren’t your typical lead and to be surprised by the unexpected.
- Emotionally resonant and adventurous genre fiction, historical fiction, and contemporary realistic fiction.
- Stories that don't shy away from difficult subjects. I respect the reality of readers’ lived experiences—kids today are dealing with everything from isolation and bullying to school shootings and climate change. I especially love stories that manage to touch on timely topics (immigration, poverty, civil rights, etc.) without being didactic.
Some of my favorites: Tae Keller’s JENNIFER CHAN IS NOT ALONE, B.B. Alston’s AMARI AND THE NIGHT BROTHERS, Kelly Yang’s FRONT DESK, Lynne Kelly’s SONG FOR A WHALE, Veera Hiranandani's THE NIGHT DIARY, Robert Beatty's SERAFINA AND THE BLACK CLOAK, Kelly Barnhill's THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON, and Alan Gratz's REFUGEE.
- Commercial, high-concept genre fiction. Stealing a phrase jointly coined by my colleagues Holly Root and Molly O'Neill—I want YA science fiction and fantasy that can be summed up as "feelings while running." Horror, mysteries, and thrillers that are a little twisty and dark (but full of hope, humor, and heart) with a strong structural hook and beautiful writing.
- Voicey, feminist, and intersectional high-concept contemporary realistic fiction with a strong emotional core.
- Anything speculative, especially if it includes a time loop element, à la Hulu’s Palm Springs.
Some of my favorites: Dustin Thao's YOU'VE REACHED SAM, Xiran Jay Zhao's IRON WIDOW, Meg Long's COLD THE NIGHT, FAST THE WOLVES, Tiffany Jackson’s GROWN, Courtney Summers’ SADIE, Megan Bannen's THE BIRD AND THE BLADE, Laini Taylor's STRANGE THE DREAMER, S.J. Kincaid's THE DIABOLIC, Jessica Lewis's BAD WITCH BURNING, and Yamile Saied Méndez’s FURIA.
- Voicey upmarket, commercial, and literary fiction.
- General fiction with genre elements (bonus points for something with an interesting structural hook, like Kate Atkinson’s LIFE AFTER LIFE).
- Give me something beautifully-written, well-researched, and expansive—a coming-of-age story that straddles the line between commercial and literary.
Some of my favorites: Julie Buntin's MARLENA, Hannah Tinti's THE GOOD THIEF, Chloe Benjamin's THE IMMORTALISTS, Kevin Wilson's NOTHING TO SEE HERE, Raven Leilani's LUSTER, Shelby Van Pelt's REMARKABLY BRIGHT CREATURES, Celeste Ng’s EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU, Emily St. John Mandel's STATION ELEVEN, Angie Kim’s MIRACLE CREEK, Riley Sager’s HOME BEFORE DARK, Brit Bennett’s THE VANISHING HALF, Madeline Miller’s CIRCE, Alex Michaelides' THE SILENT PATIENT, Kate Atkinson's LIFE AFTER LIFE, and Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s MEXICAN GOTHIC. Some tried-and-true favorites are Barbara Kingsolver’s THE POISONWOOD BIBLE and Steinbeck's EAST OF EDEN.
Keep in mind that this wishlist is not meant to be prescriptive. If you think we'd be a good fit but your project isn't an exact match, please give me a try! Part of what makes this job so magical is that you often don’t know what you want until you find it.
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