So, long time no blog! 2014 has been an exciting year, full of book deals for authors I'm beyond lucky to represent, both in the US and in translation. I keep my client list small and selective, both because I want to give each one the love, care, and attention they need as I shepherd them toward a book deal and beyond; and because, with my ever-challenging, always-thrilling work as Folio's Co-Director of International Rights, I just don't need to sign new clients unless I can't live without them. (And be honest: how many books can you really not live without? A handful, no?) This year has been a wonderful year for my authors, and I've spent it working closely with them to achieve their goals.
I know it's that time of year when most sane people close to queries, but after having been closed to queries for a few months, I'm once again looking for that special author (or authors!) to join the team.
Have you written a middle grade novel that's a beautiful mix of humor and heart? A book that makes kids roar with laughter when they're not busy contemplating how they want to be in the world from now on, now that they've read this book, while also making adults tear up from sheer nostalgia and the pang of remembering the way anything once seemed possible? Please send it to me! Some of my favorites: Crystal Chan's BIRD, Wendy Mass's JEREMY FINK AND THE MEANING OF LIFE; Tim Federle's BETTER NATE THAN EVER; Jacqueline Kelly's THE EVOLUTION OF CALPURNIA TATE; Rebecca Stead's WHEN YOU REACH ME; Holly Goldberg Sloan's COUNTING BY 7S; Ann M. Martin's RAIN REIGN.
As for YA? I spent the last Frankfurt Book Fair raving about a YA novel I described as "the most feminist, sex-positive YA novel I've read in ages", only to have many foreign publishers ask with slight disdain, "Yes, but is it all handled in the American way?" -- to which I knew the only answer was a resounding "no," because this book wasn't judgmental or afraid to express the truth of teens' lives. And then the publishers were interested.
So I'm not looking for YA novel that "pushes boundaries", because that implies that teens' lives happen within prescribed boundaries in the first place, or that I want books that shock just for the sake of it. I'm just looking for real stories. Do you write novels like those by A.S. King, Katie Cotugno, emily m. danforth, Andrew Smith, Amanda Maciel, Jenny Hubbard, Rainbow Rowell, Benjamin Alire Saenz, or John Corey Whaley? Or maybe you have a frank, unafraid voice that reads like a teen take on Lena Dunham's voice in NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL (a must-read)? Please write me!
Fantasy was my first love as a reader, and I'm still looking for it in both MG and YA when the concept feels fresh and comes with strong writing in addition to great world-building. I'd love something in the vein of Sally Green's HALF BAD for YA, or Karen Foxlee's OPHELIA AND THE MARVELOUS BOY for MG.
More blog posts to come! In the meantime, please send your query and first ten pages in the body of the email to molly [@] foliolit.com.