What are some upcoming trends for the next year?
Once we know the answer, it is likely too late, or nearly too late, to chase a trend. That said, I think (and hope) that we’ll see more noncontemporary adult romances acquired. I love contemporary, but I think editors are slowly looking for more paranormal and sci-fi than this time a year ago. In YA, there is a lot of contemporary out there as well, so I’m curious to see if the same can be said for the YA market soon. I’ll be watching along with you!
What book/genre/topic would you like to see cross your transom?
I’m looking for adult romance and young adult as well as select women’s fiction and cozy mysteries. To break it down further, in adult romance I’m looking for high-concept stories with sizzling chemistry. Some of my favorite tropes are enemies-to-lovers, fake relationships, and second-chance romance. In young adult, I especially want to read manuscripts by authors of color and LGBTQIA authors (although this applies to adult projects too). In women’s fiction, I am selectively looking for modern, commercial stories with wit and humor, multicultural stories, and novels that explore the relationships between sisters. For cozy mysteries, I want a lovable sleuth you can’t help but follow for many books, with a strong series hook, humor, and pets serving as an extra brownie point.
What topic don’t you ever want to see again?
Never say never, but I won’t be sad if I don’t see a mysterious new kid at school who turns out to have special powers or becomes the misunderstood love interest anytime soon. I’ve had my fill of those for now.
What is unique about your corner of the publishing industry?
Getting to see a project go from a query letter to a finished book never gets old. We are there for the journey before any offers arrive and weather some earlier storms than an editor does with an author, as well. Helping an author take a project from a Word document to a book deal is always exciting, and of course, it is unpredictable how that road will go. One thing it won’t be is boring.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Have interests outside the publishing industry too, and then let yourself enjoy them. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in the publishing bubble, or the wanting-to-be-published bubble, that you miss out on other things, including recharging your creative or work batteries. I say this as a reminder to myself to step away from the inbox occasionally. See, I should have said “regularly.” Working on it.
After three years as an agent at the L. Perkins Agency, Rachel Brooks joined BookEnds Literary Agency in June 2017. While at LPA, she established a mix of romance, young-adult, and cozy mystery clients. Prior to that, she was apprentice to agent Louise Fury. Fiction is still Rachel’s focus, and you can find more details about what she’s looking for on the BookEnds Submissions page. Originally from Washington (and then from all over as an Air Force brat), Rachel now resides with her gamer husband and chatty rescue cat. When not working, her other interests include trying new recipes, playing World of Warcraft, and spending time by the ocean.