I found myself wanting to post a lot of #mswl wants on Twitter lately and decided to do a big compilation post about what kind of manuscripts I’m currently looking for. Don’t forget I also keep my Goodreads page up to date for those who want to see what I’ve been reading lately to get a feel for my tastes. Keep in mind while this includes some of what I know I want, I love finding surprises in my inbox. Often times I’ll say I really want horror and the next book I sign ends up being romance or some other genre. I want to find things that surprise me. Stories I never could have imagined before reading them.
The below goes for both adult and young adult works. If you want to query me do so here.
I’m seeing a lot of stories about royalty, rebellions, evil leaders, and fighting for the throne lately and the market is crowded with those types of stories right now. I’m craving something different. Something fresh with intimate personal stakes. I want to find stories that surprise me and that I didn’t even know I wanted. I would love some fantasy set in Eastern Europe or Asia or other places with riveting history and myths that haven’t often been covered. I love fantasy about folklore but I like seeing new twists on it. In contemporary fantasy I would love something that isn’t your typical urban fantasy. I’m always craving historical fantasy and recently loved Enchantée. Humorous fantasy is always great as well.
I love books that revolve around the human element. Books about the human experience and struggle. Think The Loneliest Girl in the Universe. I loved The Martian in movie form but not so much in book form. The heavy science and slow pacing just wasn’t for me. I love space mystery, horror, and survival along the lines of Adrift by Rob Boffard or Contagion by Erin Bowman. I enjoy books about the early days of colonizing a new planet or even crashing onto a new planet. Space military type of books aren’t for me and to be honest I’m not a Star Wars fan either, but I love Star Trek (huge Next Generation fan) and I think that sums up my tastes pretty well.
I want historical that heavily crosses with other genres including mystery, horror, and fantasy. I’m always up for historical romance too. Straight historical needs a really good hook since it’s hard to sell. I tend to gravitate toward plotty, pacy historical compared to the literary, character driven side. As an example I recently read Big Water. Its about two teenagers who survived a historical ship crash as the only survivors and I would love similar historical survival stories. Takes on lesser known tragedies or events instead of already popular ones like the Titanic. I also enjoy books like Stalking Jack the Ripper and Jackaby. I’m dying to find a creepy historical horror.
In historical romance I’d like something that has a touch of mystery, fantasy, or some other element to it. Recently I enjoyed reading Suitors & Sabotage which mixed some mystery into the romance. I’m also a big fan of Christmas themed romances, especially historical ones. I would love some romcoms that can make me laugh out loud. In contemporary I admit I’m not drawn to stories about women moving back home to their small town and falling in love with a man from their past. I like contemporary romance that stands out from the pack with unique elements. For example in Up to This Pointe by Jennifer Longo I really enjoy the unique Antarctica element. I would like to see some fantasy or science fiction romance.
Outside of some of the romance mentioned above, I’ve been reading a lot of young adult contemporary mysteries and thrillers lately and would love to add some to my client list. I also want realistic survival stories, but not dystopians. I’m talking books like Dry about real-life struggles and possible events. I’m always looking for horror as well. I don’t generally gravitate toward your usual murder mysteries. When it comes to murder mysteries I like books like This is Our Story that focus on the human element and carry more weight than just “someone died, let’s find out who did it.” I’m also looking for Black Mirror type stories that have unique takes on how we interact with technology.
When it comes to non-fiction I tend to gravitate toward accessible non-fiction that is easy to absorb even for newcomers to the topic. I enjoy reading books about history from little-known events and people to weird history. I enjoy reading about women in history and their experiences. I also enjoy science about space travel and colonization, the future, and similar topics. I like takes on pop culture or other unique experiences. I’m not a good choice for memoirs focused on surviving abuse, drug use, religious journeys, divorce, or other similar topics.