What are some upcoming trends?
Genre fiction that transcends its base, selling across and especially up the market. Gone Girl ignited a psychological-thriller bonfire, and The Girl on the Train is stoking the flames. Although this brand of moody, provocative suspense has existed in popular fiction for some time—Ruth Rendell was an early pioneer—it’s only recently that American audiences climbed aboard. The best psychological thrillers, by the likes of Sophie Hannah, Nicci French, and of course Gillian Flynn, bristle with insight into human behavior; they can appeal to a broad base of mystery fans and literary-fiction readers. The same goes for powerful, artful police procedurals by Peter Robinson, Karin Slaughter, Louise Penny, Kate Atkinson, Sara Paretsky, and Ian Rankin, bestselling authors all. Similarly, literate fantasy in the vein of Neil Gaiman and Deborah Harkness and sophisticated so-called women’s fiction writers like Liane Moriarty and Jojo Moyes are able to connect with both genre and literary readerships.
What book/genre/topic would you like to see cross your transom?
I’d love to publish a new Alienist and to see historical genre fiction gain more traction in the American marketplace. There are many exceptional authors of historical thrillers—C.J. Sansom, S.J. Parris, Alex Grecian, Lyndsay Faye, Iain Pears—but so far they haven’t consistently found the audiences they deserve.
What is unique about your corner of the industry?
Variety and impact. Morrow has been punching well above its weight in recent years, with outright (and ongoing) phenomena in the form of Orphan Train, American Sniper, The Pioneer Woman Cooks, and, under the new Dey Street imprint, Yes Please—a literary novel, a combat memoir, a cookbook, and a pop-culture title. Very few houses can acquire so broadly, publish so effectively, and market with such ingenuity. What’s more, Morrow continues to diversify itself, expanding into literary fiction and nonfiction, rebranding our pop-culture list, and leading the e-book–original charge with our Impulse imprints. It’s the best of the adult-publishing industry in microcosm. It’s the go-to destination for more and more big names. And it’s a lovely place to work—collegial, creative, professional, grown up.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I want to spread the wealth and recommend two new titles I had nothing to do with: Disclaimer, a gutsy, sensational psychological thriller by Renée Knight, and Philip and Carol Zaleski’s The Fellowship, which tracks Tolkien and Lewis through the many Oxford pubs where they debated theology and mythology and where, in later years, I would get quite drunk.
Daniel Mallory is vice president and executive editor at William Morrow. During his time as publisher of Sphere at Little, Brown UK, the imprint published or acquired books by J.K. Rowling, Nicholas Sparks, Patricia Cornwell, Stephenie Meyer, Mitch Albom, and Tina Fey. At Morrow, he publishes a range of New York Times and internationally bestselling authors, including Agatha Christie, Jenny Colgan, Sophie Hannah, Sara Paretsky, Peter Robinson, Karin Slaughter, Wilbur Smith, and Susan Wiggs. He also conceived and launched the Witness Impulse line of digital originals, which has recorded sales of 1.25 million e-books in its first 18 months. Daniel has been profiled in USA Today and on Radio 4, and he’s written for The Times Literary Supplement, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and Areté.