2019 Wishlist

Hello, lovely querying writers. There is a plethora of #MSWL information on Twitter that I’ve posted over the years. (Click here to read it all.) But I wanted to share what I am really hunting for in the slush pile at this moment.

+ Historical Fiction: like WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING and THE GREAT ALONE. I like setting that feels like a character.

+ Commercial Fiction and Rom Coms: (especially with a diverse cast!) like AYESHA AT LAST, JANE THE VIRGIN, ONE DAY IN DECEMBER, THE PROPOSAL, and Elin Hilderbrand. I need a very strong hook.

+ Upmarket Fiction: like LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE, COMMONWEALTH and THE LAST ROMANTICS. I love family drama.

+ Fiction with a splash of whimsy: like THE TWELVE LIVES OF SAMUEL HAWLEY and WHERE THE FOREST MEETS THE STARS. Not quite magical realism but maybe.

+ Women’s Fiction: like CHARLOTTE WALSH LIKES TO WIN, FAMILY TRUST, EVERGREEN TIDINGS FROM THE BAUMGARTNERS and SEVEN DAYS OF US.

+ Domestic Suspense: like ALL IS NOT FORGOTTEN and THE PERFECT NANNY.

+ Memoir: like NO ONE TELLS YOU THIS and EDUCATED.

+ Literary Mystery/Thriller: STAY WITH ME and ALL THINGS CEASE TO APPEAR.

+ Cookbooks: like OVEN TO TABLE, MODERN LUNCH and EAT MORE PLANTS.

+ Business/Current Affairs: like THE FIFTH TRIMESTER, HEARTLAND, DOUBLE BIND, and EVERYTHING IS NEGOTIABLE.

Also, of course, check out my recent client books to see where my taste lies: WHERE THE FOREST MEETS THE STARS, THE NIGHT OLIVIA FELL, DEAD RECKONING, ANOTHER GOOD DOG, THE WOO WOO, RIVER BODIES, NOBODY CARES, SHE REGRETS NOTHING, THE SUBWAY GIRLS and more!

*****Very much interested in #ownvoices and LGBTQ+ submissions*****

2019 Client Projects

There’s a lot of delicious reads from talented writers (mine!) coming in 2019. Don’t miss out! You can order or pre-order today.

 

THE NIGHT OLIVIA FELL by Christina McDonald (February 5, 2019)

“I was absolutely hooked, it was such an emotional read that I was broken by the end. Heartbreaking and thrilling at the same time.” — Jenny Blackhurst, bestselling author of How I Lost You

“Beautifully written and moving with characters I felt I knew, The Night Olivia Fell is a stunning debut that kept me guessing right until the final, heartbreaking twist.” — Claire Douglas, bestselling author The Sisters, Local Girl Missing and Last Seen

nightoliviafell

Abi Knight is startled awake by a mother’s worst nightmare: a phone call that her teenage daughter Olivia has fallen off a bridge. Not only is Olivia brain dead, she’s pregnant and must remain on life support to keep her baby alive.

But when heartbroken Abi spots the angry bruises coiling around Olivia’s wrists, she questions if her daughter’s fall was more than the accident the police ruled it to be. Desperate, Abi decides to find out what happened the night her daughter fell. The truth.

Now, Abi must unravel threads of her daughter’s life to uncover evidence filled with family secrets. Riddled with suspense, this book will make your question how well you know your children. And how well do they know you?

Order at: Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes and Noble | Chapters Indigo | Goodreads

 

OVEN TO TABLE by Jan Scott (February 5, 2019)

“Jan Scott makes everyday cooking so fun and delicious—and it couldn’t be easier when everything is cooked and served in one pan or pot. These recipes are cozy, comforting, and packed with effortless flavour.” — Claire Tansey, Cityline guest expert and author of Uncomplicated

oventotable

Perfect for the busy schedule or anybody who hates doing dishes, food writer and creator of Family Bites Jan Scott has gathered 100 appetizing one-pan and one-pot dishes for feeding the family or hosting a large gathering. Using one of six cooking vessels – skillet, sheet pan, Dutch oven, baking pan, roasting pan, and casserole dish – these recipes have never been more stress-free, mess-free, or delectably foolproof.

Order at: Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes and Noble | Chapters Indigo | Goodreads

 

WHERE THE FOREST MEETS THE STARS by Glendy Vanderah (March 1, 2019)

“Though the novel appears to start as a fantasy, it evolves into a domestic drama with murder-mystery elements, all adding up to a satisfying read.” — Booklist

“Vanderah’s beautifully human story reminds us that sometimes we need to look beyond the treetops at the stars to let some light into our lives.” — New York Journal of Books

wheretheforest

Determined to prove that her mother’s recent death and her own battle with breast cancer hasn’t broken her, Joanne Teale returns to her graduate research on nesting birds in Illinois.

But when a strange girl name Ursa, barefoot and covered in bruises, shows up at Joanne’s cabin, her life is thrust into a challenging situation. Ursa claims that she has been sent from the stars to witness five miracles, and Jo reluctantly agrees to house Ursa—at least until she learns more about the child’s history.

Now, with the help of a recluse neighbor, Jo sets out to discover the truth about this mysterious child. And as Ursa’s fifth miracle draws near, along with all the painful secrets she will be forced to open, their fates—all tied into a huge plot twist—will be left to the stars.

Order at: Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes and Noble | Chapters Indigo | Goodreads

 

MODERN LUNCH by Allison Day (March 5, 2019)

“Is it possible that Allison has just made lunch—the chore of all chores for a parent like me—the most exciting meal of the day? This book is bursting with flavor, inspiration, and most of all encouragement to make the midday meal something to savor.”
— Ceri Marsh, co-author of How to Feed a Family and The School Year Survival Cookbook

modernlunch

Find inspiration for lunch again! Modern Lunch is the lunchtime hero for time-strapped, budget-conscious, and salad-fatigued people looking for healthy, quick and—yes—Instagrammable recipes.

Inspired by fresh flavors, her travels, and minimal effort, Allison gives joy back to preparing (and eating) the abandoned midday meal. With meals in jars and adult-appropriate lunchboxes like Chicken and Cucumber Ribbon Salad with Peanut Butter Vinaigrette and Walnut-Crusted Avocado, Feta, and Eggs with Pesto Rice, you’ll look forward to lunch.

Order at: Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes and Noble | Chapters Indigo | Goodreads

 

DEAR SCARLET by Teresa Wong (April 1, 2019)

“This book is so important – it’s like a friend reaching through the darkness and telling your own story back to you. It’s universal and heartbreaking and so, so reassuring. Moms are so strong.” — Lucy Knisley, author of Kid Gloves

dearscarlet

An intimate, graphic memoir that shares Teresa’s personal struggle with postpartum depression, delivered in the form of a letter to her daughter Scarlet. Sewn with humor and honest depictions of her quiet suffering from PPD—and the profound feelings of inadequacy and loss—this memoir will make you laugh and break your heart.

Teresa also shares her experiences with fear, anxiety, and her attempt to heal through potential remedies, coping mechanisms, and her mother’s Chinese elixirs. This is a battle against a cruel illness, and Teresa offers it to you as a source of sympathy—a reminder that nobody goes through PPD alone.

Order at: Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes and Noble | Chapters Indigo | Goodreads

 

WE CAME HERE TO FORGET by Andrea Dunlop (July 2, 2019)

“A sharp, glittering story of wealth, family, and fate and one’s woman search to find her place in it all.” — Buzzfeed

She Regrets Nothing is the love child of Gossip Girl and Crazy Rich Asians, plus the social climbing of a Gatsby party.” — Refinery29

wecamehere

Olympic skier Katie Cleary spent her life training to become the best skier in the world, along with her best friends, Luke and Blair. That is, until a terrifying truth about her sister threatens to ruin her career, her family, and her relationship with the two boys she’s done everything with since a teenager.

Shattered, Katie flees to Buenos Aires where she reinvents herself as Liz Sullivan, a woman who is quickly embraced by a colorful group of (Gastby-esque) ex-pats and the alluring, charismatic Gianluca Fortunado, a tango teacher with secrets of his own.

But as her past threatens to catch up with her, Katie struggles to outrun the demons hunting her down. Or maybe they never left?

Order at: Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes and Noble | Chapters Indigo | Goodreads

 

COLD WOODS by Karen Katchur (August 13, 2019)

“Intricately interweaving the past and present, Karen Katchur ramps up the tension and hits every mark with Cold Woods, the second installment in her compelling Northampton County series. Once again, Katchur has crafted an intense psychological thriller that pounds with heart-thrumming suspense and unexpected twists. With its intriguing characters and clever plot, Cold Woods will keep readers frantically flipping pages late into the night.” Heather Gudenkauf, New York Times bestselling author of The Weight of Silence and Not a Sound

coldwoods

When the long-buried bones of Trisha’s stepdad turn up in the middle of December, Pennsylvania homicide detective Parker Reed knows he’s in for a cold case.

Now, thirty years later, Trisha and her friends must confront their pasts to unravel the grim secrets about this man’s long, but never forgotten, disappearance.

But as Parker and his partner uncover the identification of the remains—leading the investigation to Trisha’s home—he’ll learn that the truth isn’t always simple. In fact, it’s so complicated that even Trisha and her friends don’t fully understand what really happened in those cold woods.

Order at: Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes and Noble | Chapters Indigo | Goodreads

 

EAT MORE PLANTS by Desiree Nielsen (August 27, 2019) 

“I’ve experienced the amazing benefits of a plant-based diet first hand. Eat More Plants is packed with illuminating health information and mouthwatering recipes that will encourage you to add more plants to your diet and enjoy doing so at the same times!”  — Angela Liddon, New York Times bestselling author of The Oh She Glows Cookbook and Oh She Glows Every Day

 

Chock-full of powerful, anti-inflammatory foods that heal, Eat More Plants will revolutionize your approach to a healthy diet with the power of plant-based foods and recipes that don’t sacrifice taste for health. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, or a meat-eater, Desiree’s recipes restore your meals with foods we all could eat more of: vegetables.

Coming to you from a registered dietitian, this book helps you restore your immune system, improve gut heath, reduce stress, and restore balance. Plus, you won’t be disappointed with choices like Pizza with Zucchini, Olives, and Basil, Creamy Pasta with Smoked Tofu and Kale, and Cocoa Cherry Brownies on your table!

Order at: Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes and Noble | Chapters Indigo | Goodreads

 

Thanks for checking out this amazing list! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Until next time —

Best of Blog: Round Up!

IMG_5222.JPGI spent 5+ years on this blog and I haven’t posted in awhile, but I wanted to share a great round up of some of my top posts throughout the years.

I think I’ve made this place a good launch pad for authors’ careers answering questions about all aspects of the writing and publishing arenas.

Let me know which articles were most helpful to you!

THE CRAFT

Top Tips for Writing / Editing:

On characters 30 questions to ask your main character.

On comparison to other writers 6 Tips on why writers shouldn’t (but might) compare themselves to others, and why they shouldn’t (what they should do).

On category and genre. Infographic: Do You Know The Difference Between Literary, Upmarket and Commercial Fiction? Helping writers understand the difference between these three categories so that they can market and sell (or query) their book better.

On writing page one: Tips To Hook A Reader on Page One Tips on what hooks a reader (so they keep reading) like a secret, verses mistakes that encourage them to put the book down.

On where your book begins Five reasons why you might be starting your novel in the wrong place.

On how to redirect a wandering book: 4 ways to edit your book back on track When you feel like you’re losing your novel, do these four things.

On writing synopsis Ways to write a synopsis.

Top Tips for Dealing with Writer Anxiety:

On what writers should stop worrying about Lessons writers should take to heart on what they can and cannot control.

On what writers should stop wasting their time on What writers need to avoid so their time is more productive.

THE BUSINESS

Top Tips for Social Media / Marketing:

On Instagram Tips on how to use Instagram and how it can establish brand/marketing.

On writing for the market and you Tips on writing for the marketing but not trying to write “trends.”

On agents googling authors Insight on the truth about agents googling writers after they like a query, as well as what social media is best for each kind of writer (including times to post).

On building platform 7 ways to build an online community which is essential to success.

On how social media hurts writers 6 ways social media doesn’t help you get published–i.e. what writers shouldn’t do or share online.

Top Tips for Querying / Pitching:

On querying 8 query tips that nobody tells writers (but you do!)

On personalizing your QL 10 ways/examples on how authors can introduce their book in their Query Letter that shows they’ve done research and/or have similar taste.

On QL content–focusing on plot vs. theme 3 big reasons why agents are interested in plot-driven Query Letter instead of theme-elaborate Query Letter.

On passing on QLs 5 quick reasons why an agent say “no thanks.”

On pitch potential The advantages and disadvantages of various ways authors pitch their work to agents (in person, conference, etc.).

On reading slush (your strategies) How I read slush!

Top Tips for Publishing:

On publishing industry “rules.” 4 rules you can break and 6 you can’t.

On publishing your debut novel. 5 tips on how to get your book to the printer.

Top Tips for Agent Relationships (and getting one):

On lessons you’ve learned as an agent. Your 15 points on what you’ve learned about being an agent–I thought these were really sincere and smart and something to exemplify.

On what agents like to know about potential authors. What you like to know about potential authors.

On how to be a good client. 7 tips on what will make you a great client to work with (for your agent).

On what’s wrong with your manuscript. Agent perspective on what flags a weak novel.

2018 MSWL

Subway Girls_Final CoverI’m open to queries again and here’s the wishlist:

  • Upmarket, structurally interesting, sweeping love stories of all kinds. I’d truly love a LGBTQ in the vein of ONE DAY or THE VERSIONS OF US. Something like a more commercial PAYING GUESTS (which I loved, but I’m not interested in capital L literary fiction right now).
  • Historical novels where plot & setting have to work together i.e. NIGHTINGALE, ARCADIA, GIRL YOU LEFT BEHIND. I’m not interested in writers using historical novels to tell me how much research they’ve done. I want a very plotty historical. Beatriz Williams-esque.
  • Multi POV, time slip or dual past/present narrative structure women’s fiction, historical, domestic suspense, or upmarket like THE ALICE NETWORK, THE SUBWAY GIRLS.
  • Literary mysteries/suspense/thrillers with female lead i.e. DARK PLACES, YOU WILL KNOW ME, THE FEVER, THE POWER
  • Still looking at domestic suspense, and psychological thrillers. The stakes are high and competitive out there so I’m not looking for something that is overcomplicated and trying to out-do what’s on the market. I’m looking for excellent, simple (which is so much harder!), spooky/creepy writing.
  • Plot-driven story of marriage, complicated family drama, or mother/daughter relationships i.e. THIS IS HOW IT ALWAYS IS, EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU, MATING FOR LIFE, MODERN LOVERS, THE NEST, SHE REGRETS NOTHING, THE PEOPLE WE HATE AT THE WEDDING
  • Coming-of-age anything! i.e. THE TWELVE LIVES OF SAMUEL HAWLEY, YONAHLOSSEE RIDING CAMP, AFTER HER, THE SECRETS OF LAKE ROAD, THE GIRLS, HISTORY OF WOLVES, GIRLS ON FIRE, AGE OF MIRACLES, YOU WILL KNOW ME
  • Would love an East/West Germany or Berlin Wall historical with a romantic hook. Something sweeping and heartbreaking.
  • I’ve been fascinated by this actual event for a decade. Looking for a historical women’s fiction/book club book about garment district’s 1911 shirtwaist fire tragedy.
  • Accessible, smart, heartbreaking love stories: THE VERSIONS OF US, FOREVER INTERRUPTED, ONE DAY
  • Commercial “Millennial” novels: i.e. STARTUP, THE HATING GAME, THE ASSISTANTS, THE KNOCKOFF, THE REGULARS. Starting careers, moving to new cities, friendships etc.
  • Family secrets & single events that chance the course of many lives i.e. COMMONWEALTH, ONE DAY, VERSIONS OF US, ATONEMENT
  • #ownvoices, sweet, funny, family-centric love stories i.e. JANE THE VIRGIN, AYESH AT LAST
  • Non fiction: parenting, feminism, health, wellness, business, essay collections—from individuals with large platforms (bloggers, YouTube, newsletters etc)

Submission directions here.