I love books that surprise me: the ones that are just a little unexpected, a little more clever, or funny, or twisty than I’d anticipated going in. Across the board, I’m looking for high-concept premises and manuscripts that demand to be read in a single sitting. I tend to connect with a strong sense of place, beautiful writing, and a voice that jumps off the page, and love books that blend genres or try new and interesting modes of storytelling, whether that means playing around with format, or putting a new spin on a tried-and-true trope.
Here are a few things that are particularly high on my wishlist right now:
YA & MG:
In YA, I'm especially eager to find fast-paced, high-stakes fantasy with incredible and unique worldbuilding, magical realism, and accessible, character-driven SF. On the contemporary side of things, I'm looking for a smart, funny, romcom (bring on the banter!) and would love to find a romance that feels larger-than-life. Across the board, I love sibling and found-family stories, swoony romance, and anything centering on friendship. Some of my all-time favorite reads include Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Robin LaFevers's Grave Assassins trilogy, Elizabeth Wein's Code Name Verity, and Jandy Nelson's I'll Give You the Sun. I'm also on the lookout for MG projects that strike that perfect balance of heart and humor. I'm particularly drawn to friendship stories, and books featuring kids who are passionate about their interests, whether that means space, art, magic, monsters, or cupcakes. I welcome authors from all backgrounds and am particularly excited to boost underrepresented voices.
Romance & women's fiction:
Send me books that are perfect for the beach! I'm always looking for smart, funny, voice-driven projects to add to my list --- the more fun and escapist, the better --- and have a tendency to fall for books that blur the lines between romance and women’s/general commercial fiction. (My client Sally Thorne's The Hating Game is a great example of my taste here.) High-concept is key! For romance, I'm primarily looking for contemporary, or a big, hooky historical series (moreso than paranormal or romantic suspense right now, but never say never!). In women’s fiction, I’m partial to multi-generational stories, and anything with a historical element that still feels relevant and important today. I want the book that you can recommend to your mom, best friend, neighbor, and yoga instructor all in one go, as well as books that are just plain fun – and extremely well executed.
I’m actively building my client list, and would love to hear from you if you think we might be a fit!
ABOUT THE AGENCY:
Literary agent Holly Root launched over two dozen New York Times bestsellers before founding Root Literary in 2017. The agency's clients benefit from our agents' proven skills in identifying talent, negotiating advantageous deals, and advocating for our books all the way from submission to publication. We offer our clients broad-based industry insights as well as individualized strategic thinking to empower each author to define and pursue their own unique path to success.
We love what we do, and we do it best in partnership with authors who combine skillful storytelling with the drive to build a lasting body of work.