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Jessica Faust’s 2021 #MSWL

As I finished up 2020, I considered my goals for 2021, including what I want my list to look like.

I don’t envision the genres I represent changing. I’ll still focus on upmarket, literary, and women’s fiction as well as suspense, thrillers, and mystery. In nonfiction, my list aligns with my personal interests. I like business and leadership books, as well as personal development and self-improvement titles. And of course, I’m seeking to find books on identity, race, and feminism.

My focus in 2021 continues to be about lifting up marginalized voices. I am actively seeking #ownvoices and diverse books across all the genres I represent. BookEnds continues to strive to be a safe space for LGBTQ, BIPOC, neurodiverse, and all marginalized creators.

Fiction Wishlist

Now that you know my genres, let me tell you a little more about specific ideas or themes that I’m searching for.

I’d like more books on marriage and motherhood. I’d love to find books similar to AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE by Tayari Jones, ALL ADULTS HERE by Emma Straub, or THIS IS HOW IT ALWAYS IS by Laurie Frankel. These stories, like life, can be messy and marvelous all at the same time.

Family relationships, whether by blood or not, but especially unusual or unique relationships, are also high on my list. Books like MY SISTER THE SERIAL KILLER by Oyinkan Braithwaite, TRANSCENDENT KINGDOM by Yaa Gyasi, and A WOMAN IS NO MAN by Etaf Rum.

I’ve also long been seeking a novel, mystery, upmarket, whatever you have, featuring a transgender character. And I don’t mean a secondary character, I mean a protagonist. One living in joy too. No trauma stories please.

I’m a foodie, whatever that is. I collect recipes, cook to relax, to celebrate, and to heal. And my love of food transitions over to books. I am a junkie for anything food-related. It’s one of the reasons I love J. Ryan Stradal‘s work. That and the Minnesota setting. Did I mention a need for more things Midwestern?

You know who else we need more of in fiction? Drag queens. What about a drag queen PI, or protagonist, sleuth? Anyone but the murder victim, please.

I also will always have a soft spot for magical realism, like those worlds created by Heather Webber or Melissa Payne. I just can’t get enough of this genre, just like I can’t get enough of books set in Alaska or the wilderness.

In the genres of mystery, thriller, and suspense I tend toward suspense. Kia Abdullah‘s TAKE IT BACK is the perfect example of a book that embodies everything I love in good suspense. Wait until you see her next book, NEXT OF KIN.

And I think books on identity, race, and feminism shouldn’t be relegated to nonfiction only. My goal is to see fiction telling more diverse stories in all of my preferred genres. Well in all genres really.

Nonfiction Wishlist

My nonfiction authors come both through my Query Manager or my own contacts. I’m always seeking the next book to add to my own TBR pile.

I definitely want more business and leadership books, especially as we enter this new world of remote work and a quickly changing work world. I am desperate for a remote leadership book. As someone who has lead a team remotely for years, it’s a book I’ve been seeking for a long time. I’d also love an update of a book I did years ago called CORPORATE CONFIDENTIAL. An inside guide to what companies really think about things like your hairstyle, Zoom background, or the pictures on your desk.

I’ve long been interested in the role of the death doula and think there is so much someone has to offer outside of what the traditional “planning for your death” books that have already been done.

I want more women’s health titles–especially if they focus on Black women’s health.

And generally, I’d love to see more books by women business leaders and business leaders of color, but for all business leaders. We need to change the idea that women business leaders only write for women or business leaders of color only write for people of color.

This list is not in any way all encompassing and it will likely change as the year goes on. But when I start digging into my new 2021 queries, these are the types of books that will likely catch my eye the fastest.

And if you have one of these great ideas. let me make it easy. You can query me right here.

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