Agents and editors will frequently talk about things they're looking for in submissions/queries. Sometimes it's genres, sometimes age groups, sometimes things that are more specific. As I'm kind of in a reading slump, I felt like discussing some of the things I would like to see.
1.) Downton Abbey. Maggie Smith Character Preferred
A lot of books have been riding the Downton Abbey-train lately. They tout their likeness to the series and say if you're a fan of the show, you'll love this book! And while they may seem similar on the surface, I've only found one book to really capture the feel and pull me in the way Downton does (Cinders and Sapphires). I do have...I think only two more on my TBR (one of which ties in to another item on my wishlist) and a third I've been eying to see if it really is all it claims to be and I may test out at some point. But, I'd like more. Something like Downton/Cinders and Sapphires please. (And if you can throw in a Dowager-like character, I'd be extra happy.)
2.) Traveling Through Time and Space
This past fall, I kinda fell into the Doctor Who fandom courtesy of my roommate. And lately, I've had an itch for more Who, except I really don't know if I can handle rewatching episodes so soon and the next season doesn't really start for 2 months. So, I could really use a literary version for the between-season-itch it looks like I will now have. I know there are a few YA books with time travel in them. Time Between Us, which is in my TBR pile, and Hourglass, which many of you know is one of my favorite books ever. And, of course, there's The Time Traveler's Wife, which has been another favorite of mine for years. I may have others in my TBR pile that aren't coming to mind right now, but if I loved Hourglass and The Time Traveler's Wife long before Doctor Who entered my life, it seems pretty clear that time travel and I get along well. I want more in my life. And if you can make it very Who-esque (which, I think Hourglass does to some extent), then that'd be extra awesome.
3.) New Adult...The Right Way
I've discussed at length what I think about New Adult, and it's probably not the last time I will. But a lot of the New Adult books I've seen either feature unhealthy relationships or are basically just YA books...but with the sexy times. And I'm not a fan of reading about unhealthy relationships where they're made to seem okay and I've already discussed how I feel about sex and YA and NA in the post linked above. I get it because NA is still pretty new but...I'm ready for some of the good stuff.
I have a Downton-esque NA book on my Kindle and I do have one very well known NA author's book on my Kindle, though it's not the book she's known for since it fell into the unhealthy relationships category from what I can tell. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm trying her other book first. I also know a couple of authors who I have a lot of faith in have been playing around with NA, some of them I've even read their YA or romances. But, you know...I'd like more. Nao.
4.) Robots Take Over the World
I read my first cyberpunk some time ago and I've also read Cinder and...I feel like there's not much more cyberpunk that interests me. I've asked for suggestions, but I get the same handful of books/authors each time and not one of those appeals to me. And it makes me sad because one manuscript (that, admittedly, I love and is part of a series I hope to keep reading), and the next three Lunar Chronicles books are not enough for me. I'm dying for more cyberpunk. It doesn't have to be intense but...gimme something, huh?
5.) I Always Wanted to Be a Princess
I was one of those epic kids who was equal part tomboy and princess. I loved baseball and Matchbox cars as much as I loved my Disney girls and spent a good part of adolescence hoping I'd get a whole Mia Thermopolis-Princess-of-Genovia-SURPRISE thing. I was also a Disney princess for Halloween at least once and seriously considered it other times. I know there are a few fantasy books out there where there's a princess for a main character, and obviously The Princess Diaries, but why not more? I'd love more princesses in books! I read a manuscript recently that was contemporary and somewhat Princess-Diaries-esque and, okay, there was an awesome prince instead of a princess, but it was lovely. It was fun. Why not play with made up royals in more contemporary stories? Even in fantasy/cyberpunk/steampunk/insert-non-contemporar-or-historical-genre-here, why not have more main characters or love interests that are royalty from the get go?
6.) Off With Their Heads?
Most bloggers I know are pretty big fans of historical fiction. And yes, this is separate from Downton Abbey because Downton Abbey is one king of setting and one kind of mood. But what about the Tudors? Gilt is a fabulous book, as is The King's Rose. Or Victorian era, we can talk about Prisoners in the Palace! I would...maybe not kill but...no not my first born either...I would do something extreme if Sarah MacLean wrote another regency like The Season (even though her adult historical romance novels are awesome...Sarah, please, come back to us in YA too!). Then there's one of my ultimate favorite periods, the French Revolution, which was covered well by The Red Necklace, but still under developed in YA. And we can't possibly forget World War II, covered by the widely loved Between Shades of Gray and Code Name Verity (well...maybe not WWII. There might be enough of that). Beyond these, there's plenty of other time periods and places. I mean, Asian-inspired fantasy has been pretty big lately (looking at you, Prophecy and City of a Thousand Dolls), but what about...actual Asian history? Or African history? Or even Eastern European? South American? If you don't want to cover the same old, YA's lacking in the diversity. We're getting better in some genres, so why not work on history, too?
7.) Austen All the Time
I think we've all caught on that I'm a Jane Austen fanatic and will read and probably adore all of the YA retellings of Austen's work. And there's a lot of them. Doesn't mean I don't want more, stop judging me, okay?
I want books that make me feel like Anna and the French Kiss and The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, full of foreign-to-me places and romance. I want more boys-next-door like...Lola and the Boy Next Door and My Life Next Door. These books had other things going on in them, but at their heart, I'd call them romances. I want more romances. Lighter, funner, falling-in-love stories. I feel like we've got plenty of romance but...not a whole lot like these four books. And that might be why they're pretty well loved around the blogosphere.
These two kinda fit together, so, go with it, mmk?
I want more road trips. Like Amy and Roger's Epic Detour and Two-way Street (by the way, who else is SO PUMPED FOR RIGHT OF WAY?). I know there's a pretty good number out there, but I think we need more. I may have read more road trip books and I know there are more on my wishlist, maybe even on my TBR, but these are the two that stick. These are the books I need more of.
And I want more contemporary books in foreign places. As mentioned, there's Anna and SPoLAFS and I know there's at least one more on my TBR pile. And, we can't forget the incredible Sea. But I've barely left the east coast of the US and that was a short trip to the desert. I use books to travel and...that hasn't been going so well. Take me to new places. Take me to places that seem overdone, like Paris and London. Give me something like Just One Day, that gets me all over. I'll get to leave the country once, maybe a few more times if I'm lucky. Let me travel through your words more often.
I think that covers about everything? If I'm wrong, maybe I'll do another post about it.
If you know of a book that fits these descriptions or if you're an author who wrote one/is writing one/has sold one, please, let me know so I might stalk these books...and maybe the author (but, just a little bit. Like, twitter and stuff). And if you're a writer who wrote a book in one of these categories and wants someone to edit them/become their cheerleader, I would be MORE THAN HAPPY to be an editor for you (you don't have to fall under any of these categories but...these are clearly extra awesome categories in my book).
And I'm curious, what are you dying to read more of?