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*****

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.

2018 Client Projects

There are some talented writers (mine!) with gorgeous books coming out (below!) that you can order or pre-order right now.

Andrea Dunlop’s SHE REGRETS NOTHING (Atria/Simon and Schuster, 2018)

Named a “Must-Read” by Town & Country * Elite Daily InStyle

“The love child of Gossip Girl and Crazy Rich Asians, plus the social climbing of a Gatsby party.” —Refinery29

SHE REGRETS NOTHING

Ross Benes’s TURNED ON (Sourcebooks, 2018)

A gripping exploration of the relationship between sex and our society, with a foreword by bestselling author A.J. Jacobs

TurnedOn_101117_CVR

Cara Sue Achterberg’s ANOTHER GOOD DOG (Pegasus Books, 2018)

A warm and entertaining memoir about what happens when you foster fifty dogs in less than two years―and how the dogs save you as much as you save them.

Another Good Dog Cover

Susie Orman Schnall’s THE SUBWAY GIRLS (St. Martin’s/Macmillan, 2018)

“Schnall has written a book that is smart and timely…Feels perfect for fans of Beatriz Williams and Liza Klaussmann.” ―Taylor Jenkins Reid, acclaimed author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

“A fast-paced, clever novel filled with romantic possibilities, high-stakes decisions, and harsh realities. Perfect for fans of Fiona Davis’s The Dollhouse, this engrossing tale highlights the role that ambition, sexism, and true love will forever play in women’s lives.” ―Amy Poeppel, author of Small Admissions

Subway Girls_Final Cover

Karen Katchur’s RIVER BODIES (Thomas & Mercer/Amazon, Fall 2018)

“Karen Katchur’s River Bodies has it all: a horrific murder, mysteries resurrected from the past, a story line packed with tension, and vivid characters to bring it all to life. A riveting thriller that suspense readers will love.” — Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author

cover Karen Katchur RIVER BODIES .jpg

Anne T. Donahue’s NOBODY CARES (ECW Press, Fall 2018)

From the author of the popular newsletter That’s What She SaidNobody Cares is a frank, funny personal essay collection about work, failure, feminism, and the messy business of being alive in your twenties and thirties.

nobody cares

Meg Myers Morgan’s EVERYTHING IS NEGOTIABLE (Seal Press/Hachette, Fall 2018)

Surprising ways we limit ourselves and our happiness, and how to challenge the internalized wisdom and circular thinking that holds us back.

9781580057899

Lindsay Wong’s THE WOO-WOO (Arsenal Pulp Press, Fall 2018)

In this jaw-dropping, darkly comedic memoir, a young woman comes of age in a dysfunctional Asian family who blame their woes on ghosts and demons when they should really be on anti-psychotic meds.

9781551527369_woowoo