Team Chimera is really excited about 2017! We’ve adjusted our wishlist, put our Chimera skins on, and are ready to put all our heads together and kick butt!
What we’re looking for:
VOICE! Above anything else, the mentee we pick needs to have a great voice in their novel. We want to travel to your alien worlds, your fairy castles, your lush cities. We want to smell the food, taste the betrayal, and feel our heart pound when we run from monsters or villains with guns. All that comes through in voice. KT would like to add that she was greatly influence by the Buffy The Vampire Slayer series. If you want to see the types of characterization to strengthen voice that she loves, look no further.
We’re mainly looking for ADULT Romance plus. Plus sci-fi, plus fantasy, plus thriller. We want it all, so long as both the romance and the plus are integral to the story. Dark romance, steamy stuff, totally cool too. Just make sure it’s more than simple straight romance and the speculative or thriller elements aren’t just there for window dressing. They need to be integral, and the character arcs need to work within the structure of romance. Sexual tension between the characters is a must (or you’re willing to put in the major heavy lifting to make that occur. We cannot understate how much work this contest is if you get picked. Plan accordingly!)
For any Scifi/Fantasy aspects, think something Tor, Orbit, or HarperVoyager might put out. Dark stories are wonderful (seriously, KT lives and breathes dark stories), though we can do without sexual violence, thanks much.
We’re not stressed about your query, that’s super easy to fix. Because #Pitchwars is about editing, and, well, we’re editors, we’re not looking for a perfect book. We’re looking mainly at the pages, for a voice and concept that we think we can help get to that next level, from good, to amazing.
We are EXTREMELY open to diverse books! Especially bi, trans, asexual, pan, etc. Things more off the beaten path are especially welcome.
Obviously, marketability of the idea is going to be a fairly important factor. Adult spec fic is languishing in the market, compared to the YA market, but they’re still picking up amazing debuts. The concept needs to be fresh, pushing boundaries while acknowledging the genre’s conventions. Which is why the romance aspect is first, and the balance of the two is going to be so critical. Thrillers are doing moderately better, and dark, kinky romance is always popular.
Some of the books we love:
Anything, at all, by V.E. Schwab- We both agree on this. The darkness, the complex world building, and the character development is AMAZING. Plus Jami’s fond of the way she uses description.
The Toby Daye series by Seanan Mcguire- KT also loves her Mira Grant stuff. Jami isn’t much of a zombie person, except she loved Girl With All the Gifts.
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman- Jami would add his Ocean at the End of the Lane as well. The feeling it evokes still gives her chills to think about it!
The Libriomancer series by Jim C. Hines – KT loves the balance of sexual tension, exploring oneself through relationships, and spec fic that this series balances.
Anything by Julia Ember – Seafarer’s Kiss, Unicorn Tracks, and the up and coming The Tiger’s Watch. Seriously, for the types of beautifully interwoven romance and story we’re looking for – check them out
Some things that won’t grab us:
Military oriented fic -Think Honor Harrington, or the Vorkosigan series. While Jami’s read and enjoyed them, they’re really not something either of us grab much of, and there’s not a good market for it right now as far as we’ve seen.
Dystopian/post apocalyptic/zombies/Vampires/werewolves/demons and assorted immortal characters-If you want to try these, there better be something SUPER different about them.
Crime procedurals/cozy mysteries-Not something either of us are looking for.
Hatefulness or bigotry- We absolutely will NOT consider anything that is racist, homophobic, or transphobic. If a character has a disability, there should be more to them than an inspirational sidenote. (More than one book has met the wall when a character is magically “cured” of their disability, especially when it happens without any struggle or work on their part.) We are also hard sells for anything with sexual violence. Stories that call these elements OUT, however, would appeal highly. One of the best features of creating your own world is that it can critique this one.
Straight up romance with no other subgenre – KT is not as much a fan of plain romance.
So think you have the heart and brains in your story to fit us? Bring it on!
Team Chimera is ready to kick butt!
Onto the Linky!