Everyone knows I'm a huge fan of romance (and if you don't know, now you know). I read it for pleasure and for work. It's my favorite bookshelf to peruse while at the bookstore and of the 166 books read on my Kindle, about 80% of them are romance novels. But what a lot of people don't know is that I found the romance novel shelf late in my reading career (and how awesome is it to have a career where reading is a requirement). I cut my "reading" teeth on the horror, thriller and science fiction shelves while in junior high school. I devoured books like The Servants of Twilight and The Face of Fear by Dean Koontz, the entire Scarpetta series (which I'm now woefully behind on and must remedy) and Stephen King's It. That led me to Bram Stoker and Anne Rice with terrifyingly beautiful vampires who crossed gender and stereotype lines seamlessly.
In high school, I got bitten by the science fiction/fantasy bug as my English teachers introduced me to Ursula LeGuin, George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, H.G. Wells, Isaac Asimov and Madeleine L'Engle. I'd walk into my English class and find them reading some paperback with a tattered cover depicting some strange and wondrous world and immediately ask what it was about. Most of the time, they'd hand me the book when they were done with it and ask me to write a book report on it for extra credit.
My reading expanded in college with the discovery of urban fantasy authors like Sherrilyn Kenyon, Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews and Patricia Briggs. I fell in love with the worlds they created, the kickass heroines and the love stories they wove through their plot. It inevitably led me back to romance where I could find all of the genres I loved within a romantic arc that delivered on the promise of a happily ever after no matter how dark the work seemed.
But I miss those days of reading books that made my heart speed up with fear, made my mind wander at the infinite possibilities of worlds and stories within the realm of the impossible or soon-to-be possible.
All of this to say, that I'm ready to expand my categories for queries and will begin actively acquiring more horror, thriller, suspense and science fiction works.
So what am I looking for?
- Adult and YA Horror with a focus on works that twist a classic trope into a contemporary setting. Give me terrifying works where Bram Stoker's vampires are secret service to a Romerian zombie in the White House (then again, this could be less fiction than I thought). I want gothic horror, classic monsters reimagined. Scare me and thrill me at the same time. I dare you.
- Science Fiction/Fantasy with a focus on works that blend the genres in new and inventive ways; where magic and science collide. Books like Binti by Nnedi Okorafor do this beautifully. I'd love to see some manuscripts for both adult and YA SFF that play with theme and form. Love hard science and space opera, galactic battles, spacefaring bandits and adventure stories set in space!
- Thriller/Suspense with a focus on psychological thrillers that really mess with your mind. Think Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and A Killer's Mind by Mike Omer. I love strong female leads and if it's #OwnVoices or written by author of color, even better!
- Mystery and Crime fiction with that whodunit you're chasing to uncover in a small town or metropolis. I like cozy mysteries but I LOVE murder mysteries with a thrilling pace. Would love a YA mystery featuring a diverse cast of kids solving a crime!