The Bottom Line: I am looking for amazing stories. I am always interested in strong voice and authentic characters put into wonderful new worlds and/or compelling plots. A great premise will usually get my interest, the writing & the voice will will captivate me, and a great story will keep me reading! I tend to be drawn to tightly written, atmospheric stories that feel innovative. In my new role at the Irene Goodman Agency, I am also actively looking for literary or upmarket commercial suspense, thriller, mystery and drama. Whether supernatural or suspenseful or quietly sinister, I want gripping adult novels that I can't put down.
Some of my favorite books that I have not represented are MIDDLESEX, LOOKING FOR ALASKA, THE TESTAMENT OF GIDEON MACK, NIGHT CIRCUS, BEAUTIFUL RUINS, IN THE WOODS, THE SECRET HISTORY, A VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUAD, GIRL ON THE TRAIN, THE GRAVEYARD BOOK, GARDEN SPELLS, THE WINTER PEOPLE, PICTURE ME GONE, BITTERSWEET, BONE GAP, THE INVADERS and so so many more. I tweet and blog about such books often, though not as often as I'd like.
In Adult fiction, my tastes run from up market literary and high concept. I am open to almost anything as long as there's a great story to be told from literary fiction, to sweeping drama, to thrillers, sci-fi & fantasy, and edgy mysteries. I am particularly drawn to high concepts grounded in younger voices likeKaren Thompson Walker's THE AGE OF MIRACLES, Carol Rifka Brunt's TELL THE WOLVES I'M HOME, Megan Abbott's YOU WILL KNOW ME or Robin Wasserman's GIRLS ON FIRE. I love upmarket thriller/suspense novels likeTana French's IN THE WOODS, Flynn Berry's UNDER THE HARROW, Ruth Ware's IN A DARK DARK WOOD, Megan Abbott's THE FEVER, Emma Flint'sLITTLE DEATHS. I also like well-written upmarket crime fiction and thrillers like John Connolly's THE WOLF IN WINTER or Nicholas Petrie's THE DRIFTER or David Swinson's SECOND GIRLvein. I'm eagerly looking for under-represented cultures, stories and voices in adult as well as children's literature and recently loved MOTHERS by Brit Bennett, HERE COMES THE SUN by Nicole Dennis-Benn and everything by Colson Whitehead. I am very interested in domestic suspense, small town hysteria and atmospheric novels as well as novels that have a classic noir or gothic feel, with original appeal like Ruth Ware's IN A DARK DARK WOOD, Carlos Ruiz Zafon's THE SHADOW OF THE WIND, or Dennis Lehane's GONE, BABY, GONEor Daniel Woodrell's WINTER'S BONE. I want a literary page turner like THE SECRET HISTORY.I'm also obsessed with tonal, creepy, gothic suspense like Shirley Jackson's WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE . I am also looking for novels that deal with universal themes with a hint of magic or in altered worlds like THE PARTICULAR SADNESS OF LEMON CAKE by Aimee Bender or PRACTICAL MAGIC by Alice Hoffman, and STATION ELEVEN by Emily St. John Mandel. And I love historical with a strong premise and a sweeping sense of place like THE TIGER'S WIFE by Tea Obrecht orCITY OF THIEVES by David Benioff. Some of my favorite authors in adult fiction are Tana French, Sarah Watters, Ruth Ware, John Connolly, Lyndsey Faye, Megan Abbott, Emma Flint, Richard Russo, Julianna Baggott, Erika Johansen, Colson Whitehead, Shirley Jackson, George Saunders, Charles Yu, Jennifer McMahon, Emily St. John Mandel, Cara Hoffman, John Irving and Laura Lippman. In Young Adult fiction, I’m always on the lookout for heartfelt literary Contemporary novels with a great commercial hook and an indomitable voice a la Jennifer Mathieu's THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE, John Green's PAPER TOWNS, Kate Hattemer's THE VIGILANTE POETS OF SELWYN ACADEMY and Frank Portman's KING DORK. Again, I'm a sucker for a voicey, literary coming of age like Jandy Nelson's I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN and I adored Bonnie Sue Hitchock's THE SMELL OF OTHER PEOPLE'S HOUSES.I also like dark, edgy and commercial YA like DANGEROUS GIRLS by Abigail Haas, WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart and NOBODY BUT US by Kristen Halbrook. I am also open to big, splashy fantasy Marie Lu's LEGEND, Leigh Bardugo's SHADOW AND BONE, or Sabaa Tahir's AN EMBER IN THE ASHES as well as big sci-fi like Beth Revis's ACROSS THE UNIVERSE and Kass Morgan's THE 100. I'm also dying for YA thrillers and mysteries likeNIGHTFALL by Jake Halpern & Peter Kujawinksi, NEARLY GONE by Elle Cosimano, WHAT SHE LEFT BEHIND by Tracy Bilen, CIRCLE OF SILENCE by Carol Tanzmen andTHEN YOU WERE GONE by Lauren Strasnick. I like gothic creepiness a la THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER by Megan Shepherd or THE MAY QUEEN MURDERS by Sarah Jude. I like Heists and Cons a la Ally Carter's HEIST SOCIETY and Mary Elizabeth Summer's TRUST ME I'M LYING. Anything from Lauren Myracle to Meg Rosoff to Lauren Oliver to Beth Revis to Ally Carter to Elizabeth Wein, from the deep south to the northeast, to gravely serious or irreverently funny. I also want a classic YA horror in the vein of Lois Duncan and Christopher Pike.
I love Middle Grade with an element of magic, like Neil Gaiman's CORALINE, Carolyn Carlson's THE VERY NEARLY HONORABLE LEAGUE OF PIRATES, M.P. Kozlowsky's JUNIPER BERRY, BREADCRUMBS by Anne Ursu, BOUNDLESS by Kenneth Oppel, Ingrid Law's SAVVY, Hannah Moskowitz's ZOMBIE TAG, PETER NIMBLE AND HIS FANTASTIC EYES by Jonathan Auxier, and OPHELIA AND THE MARVELOUS BOY by Karen Foxlee, as well as traditional MG with fantastic characters and voice and literary storytelling like HOUR OF THE BEES, or Rebecca Stead's WHEN YOU REACH ME or PAX by Sarah Pennypacker, and I'm always in for an original concept, like Kiera Stewart's FETCHING, orCOLIN FISCHER by Ashley Edward Miller, and CAMO GIRL by Kekla Magoon. I like adventure tales, goofy boy stories, a dash of scary.
I’m interested in: diversity in novels, being a little bit frightened, a game of cat and mouse, a truly original myth or fairy tale re-imagined, and unexpected mashups (Rapunzel ... IN SPACE)
Bottom Line: I want great books!
I think the following things are pretty great: clockwork, cyberpunks, steampunk, the space-time continuum, love, forensics, mythology, covert operations, medicine, engineering, stars, nanotechnology, mysterious disappearances, weird science, awesome sidekicks, hackers, math geeks, spies, nerds, disguises, sexual tension, and all sorts of bits and bobs. I am also a big fan of diversity in literature and I am all about minority characters and authors! I tweet about aforementioned bits and bobs, and divesity at twitter.com/litagentmarini
Please note, that while I have my wish list, some of my favorites have been the ones that came by surprise.