YA! I write YA (Contemporary and Thriller) but I’m open to most YA genres. Here are a few things I’d love to see in any combination:
Romance! I’m always looking for a love story in just about every genre I read. It doesn’t have to be the central focus of the book but a little romance is never a bad thing as far as I’m concerned. I’m a sucker for a good rom-com with smart and funny characters, flirty banter, tropes galore, and plenty of swoons (think Kasie West, Becky Wallace, Emiko Jean, Debbie Rigaud, Lynn Painter, and Jenny Han).
I also love Contemporary stories where, if there’s romance, it’s part of a bigger story! Give me books with complicated family relationships, real-life problems, and resilient protagonists (think Deb Caletti, Renée Watson, Jeff Zentner, Jason Reynolds, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, and, well, me).
I’m craving a good Thriller! I’m a huge fan of action-adventure or survival stories, something with plenty of suspense, intrigue, or even a dystopian twist. Pacing is key in stories like this, so bring on those cliffhanger chapter endings and maybe a dash–or more–of romance (think Holly Jackson, Anna Carey, April Henry, Kim Liggett, and my book GIRL ON THE RUN)!
And even though I write contemporary stories, I read a TON of Sci-fi and Fantasy (I chose an alternate history pirate fantasy my first year as a mentor) including Magical Realism, Speculative Fiction, and Retellings (think Marissa Meyer, Andy Weir, Leigh Bardugo, Margaret Rogerson, Joanna Ruth Meyers, and Tricia Levenseller).
Have you written about vampires and things that go bump in the night? I’m looking for Paranormal/Urban Fantasy in the vein of Twilight/Buffy. I re-read and rewatched all the Twilight books & movies after reading Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer and I’m re-watching Buffy & Angel right now before In Every Generation by Kendare Blake comes out next year. I’m excited to find fresh new takes on supernatural stories (think Jennifer L. Armentrout, Stephenie Meyer, L.L. Mckinney, Cassandra Clare, and Richelle Mead).
As a wheelchair user, I’m very excited to see characters with visible Disabilities in stories that focus on more than just disability (see the What I’m NOT Looking For section below for more on this). I’d love to see disabled characters in all the genres listed above (really any genre) doing the same kind of things that able-bodied characters do (falling in love, experiencing heartbreak, dealing with family/friend struggles, exploring mysteries or action-packed adventures, maybe encountering an alien, magic, vampires or becoming one themselves)! Check out the description for my upcoming Contemporary YA, EVERY TIME YOU GO AWAY. for an example.
Some of my favorite (mostly) YA authors (in no particular order) include:
Sarah Dessen, Holly Jackson, Jason Reynolds, Tamara Ireland Stone, Jeff Zentner, Rainbow Rowell, Renée Watson, Robin Roe, Emiko Jean, Katie McGarry, John Green, Deb Caletti, Becky Wallace, Jenny Han, Kasie West, Stephenie Meyer, Debbie Rigaud, Joanna Ruth Meyers, A.S. King, Suzanne Young, Lynn Painter, E. Lockhart, Margaret Rogerson, Leigh Bardugo, Jennifer L. Armentrout, Tricia Levenseller, Diana Gabaldon, Ilona Andrews, Jennifer A. Nielsen, Mindy McGinnis, Maggie Stiefvater, Andy Weir, and Marissa Meyer.