It’s only been about six weeks since my last #MSWL post, so not too much has changed. Take a look here for what I had to say at the end of January since all of that still holds true. But I’ll try to expand on that some and give you some insight into other interests. Remember, no matter what, I’m interested in representing a diverse range of voices.
–Romance, romance, romance. My entire professional career has been based around romance, and it is still very much the cornerstone of my list. As of right now, I’m particularly interested in seeing more category romance and more inspirational romance (either single title or category-length). I have a special fondness for Presents-like stories, but my interests in this area are varied. I have a lot of historical romance on my list right now, so I’m being extra picky in that area but it’s also something I really, really love. If you wow me, I might not be able to resist a great historical romance. Also, I am still insanely jealous that Kim Lionetti got to represent Helen Hoang’s THE KISS QUOTIENT, with its neurodiverse heroine and part Vietnamese-American hero. I have a particular interest in seeing more Asian characters represented in books, and those always pique my interest.
–Women’s fiction. I recently read Jojo Moyes’ STILL ME, and (like everyone else in publishing) I’d love to find women’s fiction that manages to combine humor and lightness with depth and quite heavy topics. That said, with everything going on in the world, I don’t want anything too dark and depressing. While the characters can go through difficult times, I’d like to have a happy ending. That said, I won’t complain if someone in the vein of Liane Moriarty or Kristan Hannah came knocking on my door.
–A historical fiction set in New York. I’ve been watching the Alienist lately and it reminded me how much I loved The Knick–if you haven’t seen it and gore doesn’t bother you, I highly recommend this upsettingly short-lived series about a tortured surgeon in 1900 New York. I’d kill to have a book like it on my list.
–A mystery, thriller, or suspense set at a boarding school. I am such a sucker for a good boarding school book. I’m a New England boarding school alum and that setting seems so ripe to me for murder and mayhem. Note, I’m thinking something in the adult sphere here, but I would be open to the right young adult project. I might be particularly intrigued if this were historical
–Nonfiction. Right now, I am wide open in terms of my nonfiction interests. I’m reusing the picture above from a previous to post to illustrate some nonfiction I’ve read and enjoyed recently. I am a cookbook hoarder and want to get a few on my list. I’d especially love to see narrative nonfiction with a culinary bent. I also have a somewhat bizarre love for medical examiner memoirs–I can’t get enough of them! My obsession with the macabre could also extend to mortician memoirs (a la SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES or CONFESSIONS OF A FUNERAL DIRECTOR) or a history of the Mutter Museum.
A few special areas of interest, regardless of genre:
- Asian characters
- Blended families
- Boarding schools
- Cooking, restaurants, anything culinary
- Dysfunctional families
- First responders
- The macabre (medical examiners, morticians, etc)
- Mental illness
- Plus-sized characters
- Vietnam (the country and culture, not as much the war)
–What I’m NOT Looking For. I always hesitate to go into the negatives here because occasionally something comes along that makes me change my mind, but I definitely do not want paranormal, time-travel, sci-fi, or fantasy. I’m also not looking for anything in the children’s realm. There are other agents at BookEnds for all of those areas, so take a look at them. I’m also probably not the best fit for literary projects–my tastes lean toward the commercial or upmarket.
Of course, this is just a sampling of what I want, so please don’t be put off if you don’t see something listed here. If you go to http://QueryMe.Online/JessicaAlvarez, you’ll find a more comprehensive list of the genres I represent and will be able to submit your query there. I look forward to hearing from you. Happy querying!