Hello! I’m thrilled to join the Upstart Crow Literary family. For my inaugural post, I’d like to introduce myself and discuss a little about what kinds of projects I’m looking for.I hail from Austin, Texas, and even though I’ve been based on the West Coast for a decade, I stay connected to my southern roots through cooking and wearing cowboy boots. I started my career in children’s books working for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), where I had the privilege of working with numerous award-winning writers and illustrators, before moving on to work with Jennifer Rofé at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.I’m currently representing books for children: picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and young adult, along with some nonfiction. I’m also representing illustrators, and am drawn to painterly style with a distinctive voice. I’m searching for stories that I cannot get out of my head; books that demand every spare moment of my time. I love stories that make me think “how is this going to end?” I gravitate toward flawed, multifaceted, lively characters who make me laugh out loud or hold my breath in anticipation at what they might do next.If there’s a murder or a mystery to solve, I am in. I devoured Nancy Drew mysteries as a kid, and now can’t get enough of thrillers like Girl on the Train or The Guest List. If there is a prep school involved, even better. (Think The Swallows.) Give me a plot that draws me in and makes me turn the page.Speaking of plot... twists and turns are fantastic, but plots don’t have to be complicated to be compelling. Give me a satisfying resolution that makes sense with the rest of the story. Whether the plot is character-driven or high concept, I’m looking for smart, imaginative storytelling that feels authentic.In YA I’m searching for:
- Thrillers or mysteries and rom-coms with a unique hook. I gravitate toward contemporary YA, yet I delight in stories with a fantastical twist or magical realism. I am also interested in historical fiction, especially World War II era stories that haven’t been told before. I would love to find a YA about the African-American experience during World War II.
- I devour a good family story, dysfunction and all, especially sibling relationships. I have a penchant for Wes Anderson films, and would be smitten to find a Royal Tenenbaums-type literary tale.
- I want vibrant, authentic world-building. A world doesn’t have to be high-fantasy or magical to require exceptional world-building. If the setting is a small Texas town, I want to feel like I live in that town, and I know the neighbors.
- Gutsy, smart characters, with a bit of wit and snark. I’d love to find a fantasy in the vein of Carry On by Rainbow Rowellor the charm of a Simon Versus the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli.
- A sharp, sexy, honest, diverse romance.
- Some of my favorite recent YA reads: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Dumplin’, Girl in the Blue Coat, The Diviners, The Cheerleaders, Parachutes, Felix Ever After
For MG I’m interested in:
- A funny, honest protagonist with a passion for (fill in the blank). Maybe it’s a passion for painting, cooking, inventing…
- Edgy, sophisticated MG that pushes the boundaries of “upper MG.”
- Contemporary stories with cultural flavor and family history. I love to learn about different cultures and family dynamics.
- A taste of magic! A misunderstood witch, a family curse, an unwieldly power. The same YA notes apply to world-building for MG.
- Some of my favorite recent MG reads: Merci Suarez Changes Gears, The Last, Last Day of Summer, His Dark Materials, Amal Unbound, Moving Target
For Picture books:
- Texts that make me laugh out loud or have an unexpected twist.
- Tug-at-my-heartstrings stories with an unforgettable protagonist.
- Perennial stories that will spark a passion or open a child’s worldview.
- STEM stories or stories with multiple hooks/concepts for developing little brains.
- Illustrators with a bold, individual style. I’m a fan of the painterly esthetic, but am open to all styles. Some of my favorite illustrators include: Mike Boldt, Vashti Harrison, Eliza Wheeler, Amber Ren
- Some of my favorite recent PB reads: Bad Dog, After the Fall, I Don’t Want to Be a Frog, Strictly No Elephants, Penguin and Pinecone, I Want My Hat Back
I’m an editorial agent, and relish in helping a client fine-tune their work. I love to be surprised, so if you’re unsure whether your project fits any of the above descriptions, please still feel free to submit to me. Sometimes I don’t know I love something until I see it.