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Jessica Faust’s Query Wishes

One of my favorite parts of this job has always been the hunt. I love digging through my Query Manager in search of that magical book I didn’t even know I wanted. Is this how a paleontologist feels while hunting for dinosaur bones?

Anyone reviewing my submission guidelines knows I’m seeking books in a wide range of genres in both fiction and nonfiction. But within those genres, there are always things I want to see more of. There are themes, characters, and stories missing not just in my inbox, but in the overall book market.

Mostly what’s missing are the voices. While there are more marginalized voices being published in YA and romance, I’m not seeing the same in other genres–especially those I represent. And that’s what I’m missing most in my inbox.

I want stories told from perspectives different from mine. I want to read more marginalized voices, LBGTQ stories, authors of color, and authors not native to the United States. There’s a hole in the market and I want to fill it.

So yes, I want domestic suspense that’s different, I still want stories of parenthood, and I’m hungry for more business books. But what is going to excite me the most is a story I haven’t heard yet and voices I’m not seeing enough of.

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11 comments

  1. Goddamnit, Jessica, here is a perspective different from yours: To find the proper context in my writing I like to drink beer all afternoon and bong rips and Old Crow all night and stay up till three-thirty until things start to fall into place – and then scare the hell out of myself… Ive written a horrific fiction novel about a black slave being forced down the Oregon Trail by an evil white master, a disturbing thing full of fighting, fucking, and flogging; a book that will give me a lot of trouble because it’s Too Good, or maybe just Too Much for the average agent. It’s certainly not a boozy crime novel full of lame cliques and bad plot twist. What I want to see in my inbox is an agent not stuck in a stagnant bog of mediocrity, employed by an agency that grinds out second rate swill to further contribute to the dumbness of our generation. Which hardly matters, really, but If this is what you are trying to get away from, Jessica, we should connect on some level. As for my shitty sarcasm, god only knows why I’m full of it, a pessimistic rage at not being published perhaps, sure to be alleviated when I finally crack that nut. Until then , I will send my wisdom in bits and pieces, and sometimes long bombs like this – sugarsean19@gmail.com

    1. This sounds like something the world needs. Something gritty and different from the norm. Even though you sound like a crazed starving writer. Hopefully she considers your work. I’d read it.

  2. Dear Ms. Faust,
    I’m interested in writing a novel about a particular woman in the American Old West. Her life has been the subject of at least three biographies but no novels. Would such a well-known biography be marketable as a novel, or would that rely solely on the quality of the novel’s writing?

    I appreciate your opinion.

    Sincerely,

    Hank Lawson

  3. If only I knew where the star dust was to sprinkly on my ms =)

    I think the ting we all have to remember, is when agents send out #mswl, they are always looking for a great read.

  4. Omg I have just discovered an agent that has a vision in line with my own! I shall soon be submitting to you! I agree wholeheartedly; more diversity, Lesbian protagonist… more, more, more… I tick so many minority and underrepresented boxes I think I’m the full diversity package lol

    I have written a 95,800 word novel about the cost of deadly revenge, a cat and mouse suspense thriller… my second I am halfway through and is set at Whittingham Asylum in the 1950’s, yes a Lesbian character, another who had a child out of wedlock and many more. Both have factual settings in Preston, a city with an ever growing representation desperately wanting to read about their home and their people.

    Whittingham also has a mystery at it’s core, bodies are piling up but Dr Kenny Rigby is desperate to cover them up. His only priority to protect Whittingham and keep it open.

    I have a million stories constantly coming alive in my mind. I want an agent i can work collaboratively with. The ultimate goal being to produce the best book possible and reach a wide readership.

    @christienewport

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