Acquisitions and Editor Wish List

Wish List (favorite reads, old and new)

FICTION

Magical realism or rooted in folklore

Literary horror

Family-centric literary fiction/suspense/mystery

Atmospheric/Psychological/Slow Burn

Very specific wants at the moment

I’d love to see a Black Swan-esque dark literary mystery/suspense/thriller set in the K-Pop world.

A novel similar to the sci-fi/mystery/drama Netflix show “The OA.”

A novel similar to the slow-burn crime/suspense Netflix series “The Sinner” and “Broadchurch.”

A novel similar to “Archive 81.”

Vietnamese authors writing beyond the Vietnam War.

WITCHES.

Novels about codes, ciphers, puzzles, etc. Recently adored The Cartographers.

Spark Words + More

Diverse voices (I wish I can underline this a thousand times!), ; unusual perspectives; Vietnam War; Vietnam refugee experience (and other refugee and immigrant experiences); misfits; supernatural events; hauntings and demons (literal and/or figurative!); human connection; trauma; psychological literary fiction; unrequited love; family secrets; clever plot twists; sisterhood; unlikely friendships; and more!

Editor’s Note

I can best describe my fiction interest as “literary plus.” Upmarket is the “correct” description, I suppose, but “literary plus” makes more sense to me. Maybe if these terms are placed in a line, it’d be commercial, upmarket, literary, then literary plus? Upmarket might still emphasize the commercial hook over the character/interiority development, whereas literary plus emphasizes the latter.

So, “literary” to me means the prose is polished, distinct, stylish. It signals that the author has paid attention to each word, sentence, and paragraph, and considered their emotional impact on the reader. The “plus” means elements such as horror, magical realism, or suspense that add propulsion to the pages and lift up the plot. Ill Will is literary + suspense . . . The Cosmology of Monsters is literary + horror. You get the point. I don’t respond as strongly to commercial fiction because it tends to have more plot versus character development. NOTE: This is not to say that commercial fiction isn’t valuable or important; I’m just not the editor for it.

In the story itself, I hope to encounter nuanced characters who feel as if they’ve lived a full life. They have a past⁠—a past trauma, a past love, a past hope⁠—but they also have a reason to move forward. And the secondary characters feel just as necessary as the protagonist.

I am also huge on atmosphere. I like feeling like I’m there in the story, and can easily imagine each scene playing out in my head like a film.

Bonus

Other small requests I have (since you’ve stuck around for this long….why not?):

  1. I don’t really care if you email first and ask if a manuscript’s right for me OR email me with the manuscript already attached. But can you include the agent pitch in the attached manuscript? Here’s why: I forward documents to my Kindle, and it’s a bit of a hassle to save the pitch email as a PDF, then forward that to my Kindle as well. (I know: you’re thinking just do it, it’s not that big of a deal, geez but . . . honestly, have you ever felt like if one small thing goes wrong, it might push you over the edge? That’s me throughout the whole pandemic.) But if the pitch is in the doc, then I’ll just need to forward everything once.
  2. I prefer Word docs. Sometimes PDFs don’t convert well on my Kindle.
  3. Make sure the space breaks, if your client’s manuscript has them, are where they are meant to be. Anxious me when I see a random space break: “Wait is that on purpose? Am I reading it correctly?” An easy fix? Use # to indicate a break!
  4. I LOVE author’s notes.
  5. Feel free to ignore this list. But if you follow it, I will 100% offer on your client’s book.
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