It’s been awhile since I’ve posted what I’m looking for, so it seems like as good a time as any. Because let’s be honest, the idea that publishing shuts down in the summer is more or less a fiction. Things might happen at a slightly slower pace because vacations interrupt things and we have the option of cutting out a little earlier on Fridays, but the volume of work, judging by my inbox and Kindle certainly, never slows down all that much. And I’m always on the lookout for new talent.
I’ve long said that I’m not especially interested in historical fiction. Then a year or so back, I signed on a delightful historical romance author. And at BEA a couple weeks back, I snagged a copy of Amor Towles 1937-set novel Rules of Civility which I read in one sitting and tumbled head over heels in love with. It’s not that I’m not interested in novels set in the past, it seems. I’m just not interested in novels about history. Which is to say that if someone novelizes Napoleon’s life, I’ll still not be interested. If, however, someone writes a rollicking murder mystery set in an interesting past, then I’m right on board. So now I’m thinking I’d particularly love to find something rich and exciting set in an exciting period. My personal taste would lead more urban and plot focused than rural and ruminative. Think more The Alienist than The Girl with the Pearl Earring.
It would be a delight for me to find some young adult fiction set in the real world. I adore the paranormal, fantasy, and sci-fi novelists I work with, and I’m certainly open to more, but with very few exceptions, I don’t have much real life fiction. I’d love to find some more—think Sarah Dessen or Lauren Myracle. Basically, I love what I do, but I’m always interested in expanding my boundaries and trying new things.
Has anyone read Swamplandia? I loved that book—the author depicts really unusual characters whose lives aren’t remotely mainstream, but she never relies on quirk or absurd humor to render them. It’s a beautiful book about people whose story isn’t necessarily relatable but whose feelings and thoughts are. It reminded me of Geek Love and made me want to find a novel about a bunch of misfits to call my own. Want to get started on a specific idea? In the early 20th Century, Coney Island was the home of “Lilliputia, the Midget City,” a self-contained village for little people that charged admission for visitors. I once gathered about 100 pages of information on this fascinating place thinking I’d use it some day before I remembered that I don’t write. So someone else: hop to!
And then, of course, I want to find the next astounding, jaw-dropping, brilliant, wonderful, high concept, bestselling, award winning novel in any category, adult or young adult. So if you have that, by all means, send it along!
Anything that you all would give your right arm to see on the shelves right now?
On a side note, an orange randomly appeared on the roof outside my window last week, and I’ve checked on it every day, waiting for decay to inevitably set in. I anticipated long weeks of IM’ing my colleagues updates on the state of the orange. If I’m being honest, I probably would have included State of the Orange updates in my blog entries. In fact, I just went to the window to photograph it—the beginning of the long saga of a lonely fruit. Alas, the orange has disappeared. I’m suspecting foul play. Now I’m going to need to come up with more new blog ideas. This is all very alarming.