What I’m Looking For

  • By: Jessica Faust | Date: Feb 20 2007

It’s been a while since I’ve updated you on my most recent obsession. As you know, I am always looking for fresh new voices in romance, mystery, women’s fiction, and nonfiction, but sometimes you just get in a mood, and as I sit here looking at the teetering pile of submissions next to my desk I’m thinking about what I’d really like to find in there, what I’m in the mood for. Now keep in mind, I’m always looking for anything that makes my heart skip a beat, in any genre, but sometimes you’re just in the mood for something specific. I guess it’s no different than the average reader. You might be a fan of the classics, but not today. Today you’re in the mood for a good thriller or sweeping romance. Well today, here’s what I’m in the mood to find in that stack. . . .

A fantasy romance. Fantasy is fairly new for me, but I’m loving it. I want darker books set in new worlds. I love mythical creatures and fairy-tale stories, and if it’s erotic, even better.

A paranormal thriller. I know I’ve said it before, but I still haven’t found it. It could be romantic suspense or a new thriller series, but I would love to see one with a paranormal element. And today, I’m in the mood for dark.

And lastly, I just want to find the book that takes my breath away, that’s so good my chest seizes up, that I have to have and will call the author at any time of the day or night to get it.


16 responses to “What I’m Looking For”

  1. Avatar Sam says:

    Hi Jessica –
    I sent of a query for a paranormal thriller to Kim Lionetti on Jan. 30th. LOL!
    Maybe she’ll pass it on to you? It’s pretty dark!

  2. Avatar Anonymous says:

    This is what’s so bizarre about this business! I submitted paranormal thrillers for five years, up until two years ago. NO ONE wanted them. Lots of compliments, but lots of “we don’t know what to do with this, neither fish nor fowl” sort of deal.
    If you can hang on long enough….

  3. So I’m confused. How is paranormal thriller different from urban fantasy?

    Maybe I actually have a paranormal thriller…

  4. Avatar Wendy Warren says:

    Love what you wrote at the end, especially, Jessica. Now that’s passion. I bet we’d all love to get a midnight phone call from an agent or editor who simply couldn’t wait!

    May we hear from Kim and Jacky, too?

  5. Avatar Kim Lionetti says:

    Hi Wendy–

    Thanks for asking!

    I’m still looking for moving, gripping women’s fiction with really complex characters and issues. A little added humor isn’t out of the question, but the story has to have depth.

    Besides that, I’d love to see some really dark, suspenseful romantic suspense, that may or may not be paranormal. As long as it’s hot, sexy, and keeps me turning the pages.

    I’ll be watching the mailbox!

  6. Avatar Kimber An says:

    Alaska is dark enough this time of year, so you won’t be getting anything dark from me. I’ll stick with Science Fiction Romance for now. Although, since my stories are inspired heavily by mythology you might consider them more fantasy than science fiction.

    Cupid and Psyche, Oddyseus and Penelope, Demeter and Persephone, Fa Mulan, and Orachi – that’s what is inspiring me right now.

  7. Avatar jfaust says:

    In my world urban fantasy and paranormal thriller really aren’t different. I would be happy with both. And I second Kim on the romantic suspense. I would love to find some really good romantic suspense. Oh, there’s so much I would love to find…


  8. I sent a paranormal romance to Kim on January 20. There are no creatures, but there’s a ghost. It’s not so much genre romance as women’s fiction. Now that I’ve told you what it’s not, I’ll tell you what it is – an incredibly romantic tearjerker.

  9. Woo-Hoo! I have a romantic suspense in the proofer!
    Now I know where to send it when it’s ready to rise to the occasion. 😉

    The one currently buried in your stack is strike one-not fantasy…strike two, not paranormal…but will hopefully leave you giggling breathlessly…um, I mean in a good way :0

  10. Avatar Lesley says:

    I get so confused about the lines between one genre and another! If you have traditionally fairy-tale creatures in your first book, for instance dragons and fairies, but later in your series also have creatures that are traditionally part of the paranormal, like vampires, would you want to market the first book as Fantasy Romance or Paranormal Romance? Or can vampires fall into the realm of fantasy too?

    And I have to second Wendy’s statement about loving to get a midnight phone call! Who wouldn’t be flattered and thrilled?! hehe

  11. Avatar Tori Scott says:

    I have a romantic paranormal suspense that I’ve been wanting to submit for a while now. But I’m still working 16 hour days and can’t find time to print it and mail it. Grrr. 🙂

    Maybe next week, if I can wrangle a day off after the end of the month stuff is done.

  12. Avatar Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for this post, because I then decided to query you about my fantasy romance when I would not have otherwise. Even if it’s ultimately rejected, it’s a great feeling to see a blog post like yours and think, “hey, maybe my story will intrigue her.” Talk about fresh out of the oven…!

  13. Avatar Matthew says:

    Sorry, don’t have any fantasy romance or paranormal thrills up my sleeve. All I have is nonfiction adventure/comedy that won’t be finished until I leave China… which might be a while at the rate I’m going.

  14. Avatar merlinsmuse says:

    Okay, I just returned home from mailing out my query package. This story is a paranormal romance that quite insistently took on a slightly darker tone, so I hope you like it. *fingers crossed*


  15. Avatar Tracey says:

    Hi Jessica,
    I sent you a query recently for a Dark Urban fantasy series based on a paranormal CSI type team. Although the first one is more about the heroine just before she joins the team. It’s called Night’s Cold Kiss

  16. Avatar Isis McGowan says:

    I have a question:

    Why haven’t agents REALLY addressed what they want through their own favored reads?

    I mean, all I see in the listings are agents wanting generic sci-fi/fantasy, paranormal, etc…but no actual book examples, nothing based on books they’ve read–or anything of that nature.

    Why not break down such needs so that prospective authors can get an idea of what the agent wants?


    Paranormal–based on so and so’s published book:

    If agents want to cut down on the slush pile a bit, they should extrapolate on what they REALLY need. Not what the industry needs. Because saying, “I want science-fiction and fantasy” is pretty broad in itself. And there’s no telling WHAT that entails.

    It’s one of the reasons why I permanently dropped out of the agent and publisher hunt myself last year–after 8 years of trying.

    And I’m not complaining–though it may sound like it. I’m just one of the 99.9%ers that is considered “unpublishable” by the mainstream.

    And for some odd reason, I’m not really bothered by that–unlike 8 years ago: When I first started out.

    I guess time, experience, and a few other factors made me realize that traditional publishing isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Not when you see through its illusions of promise and grandeur.