Looking for the July 23-27 Carina Press Not at Nationals Pitch Event information post? Click here: #CarinaNANPitch
Ah, summer. It’s always a busy time at Carina Press–some of us are off to RWA Nationals next week, some of us are heading out on vacation, some of us are sticking closer to home. We’re all hungry for enough excellent submissions to keep us reading well into November. A full breakdown of what each individual editor is looking for right now is down below, but I also wanted to take a moment to highlight six areas Carina Press is especially interested in as we build out our 2015 publishing schedule:
- Male/Male: While we’re always looking for contemporaries, we’d also love to see different genres with a m/m romance at the center. Mysteries, romantic suspense, sci-fi, you name it! And we are really hunting for New Adult m/m–all heat levels considered.
- Erotic Romance: Sexual tension is a must in this genre, and we’d really like to see projects with strong series potential. BDSM welcome but not required. 70,000 words and up, please!
- Romantic Suspense: True detective/FBI/true suspense, organized crime, and more. High stakes and real danger rule, and again we’re very interested in building a killer (ha!) series. 70,000 words and up preferred.
- Historical Romance: Send us your kilts, please! Scotland-set historicals are on our wish list this year, along with Regencies.
- New Adult: As noted above, M/M New Adult is a particular area of interest for us in 2015. We’re also looking to acquire other subgenres of NA, beyond contemporary.
- Mystery: Cozies, amateur sleuths, detectives, offbeat mysteries & grittier crime fiction. We want ‘em all.
As always, just because something is not listed above does not mean we aren’t acquiring it. If we publish it, we’re looking for it–and if you’ve written something that fits within our submission guidelines, we want to see it!
Angela James, Editorial Director:
Right now my personal wish list focuses heavily on two things: a dark erotic thriller that pushes the edges of exploring forced seduction, fantasy and eroticism, and a romantic suspense series that features mercenaries who are anti-heroes and anti-heroines.
Otherwise, some of my wish list remains much the same.
- I’m sill looking for that one cracktastic project to really pull me in.
- I long for a super, super sexy (but not necessarily erotic) contemporary romance with sexually charged dialogue, sexual tension build-up and a dirty-talking hero.
- I’d go to bat in the acquisitions meeting for a great cowboy rebellion-type space opera, still (I wonder how many years I’ve been asking for that Firefly-flavored story? 8? 10?)
- I continue to happily read sports romance submissions of all sorts, but I’d love to see a few break the mold .
Mostly, I would really love to see projects that push the boundaries, make me squirm a little in discomfort, but still deliver a satisfying romance with a happily ever after and a great sexiness. All alpha heroes welcome, including those who are kind of jerks to start off with, but spunky heroines who aren’t doormats are an absolute must!
Kerri Buckley, Editor: I’m actively acquiring in all genres except for sci-fi. Here’s what I’m crossing my fingers to find in my submission inbox ASAP:
- Dry, funny, or sarcastic mysteries, cozy or otherwise. If your gumshoe has a standout or off-color sense of humor, please send him/her my way
- Darker, grittier mysteries, particularly psychological thrillers
- Heroine-driven romantic suspense. Kickass girls with guns/knives/lasers/nunchucks. Unusual, non-traditional professions a bonus: female firefighters, submarine captains, military unit leaders, etc. Emphasis on the suspense (rather than the romance) or a 50/50 split
- Contemporary *and* historical projects set in Eastern Europe and/or involving Eastern European families, traditions, mysticism, lore. A lot of flexibility here, but no time travel, please
- An Army Wives-like contemporary series where the focus is on the homefront rather than the battlefield
Freelance editors actively acquiring (* indicates the editor will be participating in #CarinaNANPitch July 23-27):
Rhonda Helms:Here are some types of submissions I’m always eager for:
- New Adult (contemporary, sci-fi/fantasy/futuristic, historical)
- LGBTQ romance
- Romance in any steaminess level from sweet to spicy, though I love super-hot stuff. ;-)
- Laugh-out-loud romantic comedies
- Contemporary, historical or sci-fi/fantasy/futuristic erotic romance
- Genre blends (LGBTQ western? Paranormal Victorian? Hit me with ‘em!)
- Multicultural and/or PoC (people of color) submissions
- Action-packed sci-fi/futuristic non-romance (or with romantic elements)
- Epic fantasy series with clear, thorough worldbuilding and unique/atypical elements
And now, a few specific submissions I’ve been craving:
- LGBTQ romantic comedy
- A regency/Victorian romance or western romance featuring PoC
- A fresh take on the upstairs-downstairs romance (like Downton Abbey)–contemporary or historical
- A sexy romance featuring heroes or heroines who work with their hands, like carpenters or skilled tradesmen/women (series are great!)
- First-responders romances featuring firefighters, police officers, EMTs, etc. (series are great!)
- Military romances (series are great!)
- A dark, atmospheric, sexy gothic romance–contemporary or historical
- Edgy/envelope-pushing New Adult romance, any genre
- Edgy/envelope-pushing erotic romance, any genre
Deborah Nemeth*: I’m looking for stories with flawed, passionate characters and high-stakes conflict. In my favorite books, the protagonists have to suffer before saving the day or getting their happy-ever-after. I’m drawn to antiheroes and clever characters, and I have a special fondness for alphas, geeks, soldiers, cops, athletes, cowboys, blue-collar heroes/heroines, and bad boys who walk on the wrong side of the law.
Here are some things on my current wish list:
- Romantic suspense so adrenaline-fueled it will keep me reading all night—military, revenge, espionage, terrorists, serial killers, stalkers, conspiracies and cover-ups…
- Male/male, especially New Adult, mystery, romantic suspense or contemporary romance
- Mysteries and crime fiction, particularly brain-teasing cozies and gritty procedurals, with strong hooks, sharp sleuths and series potential. Also fast-paced capers and heists with elaborate cons à la Ocean’s Eleven and The Thomas Crown Affair
- Historical romance that will transport me back in time, especially Regency but also Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian and the courts of the Tudors and Plantagenets
- Contemporary romance with solid conflict and sparkling dialogue in any heat level/setting
- Edgy New Adult with a fresh voice and emotional intensity that pushes the envelope
- Political and palace intrigue, whether in fantasy (think Game of Thrones), historical romance (Tudors) or contemporary settings (West Wing, House of Cards, Scandal)
Mallory Braus: Mallory looks for characters first. Three dimensional and relatable characters—with depth and vulnerabilities—pull her into a story faster than anything else. She wants to dive into the complexities of character relationships. And even more, discover characters who may be morally ambiguous—people who do bad things for good reasons. The more complex the character, the more layered and complicated, the more she wants to read about him/her.
She’s looking for all genres, but there are a few things she’s especially keeping an eye out for:
- New Adult! I’m especially looking for those that feature quirky characters
- Stories with gothic elements
- I’ve been hoping to find a sweet M/M
- Historical Romance—While I don’t edit Regencies, I am always looking for intriguing historical settings. Anything WWII set or prior is fair game
- Romantic suspense
- An especially thrilling find would be a suspense that’s set amongst the Amish (non-inspirational)—like Witness or Karen Harper’s romantic suspense series
- I adore quirky characters. Nerdy/dorky heroines or heroes. Funny relatives, etc.
- Gritty thrillers. Bring on bad boys/girls, ambiguous morals, complex characters!
- I recently became hooked on the show Leverage, and the banter and continued growth as we follow the band of thieves kept me hooked to the end.
- Historical Mysteries. Especially turn of the century, urban settings (like The Alienist).
- Think Copper or Hell on Wheels
- If you have a character similar to Jax, from Sons of Anarchy, but in a historical setting, Mallory will bribe you with pie to send the book to her
- Cozy mysteries
- “Band of Brother” type series. Examples would be Nora Roberts’s trilogies, Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooters, or Nalini Singh’s Psy/Changeling series. Where an emphasis is on the building of multiple characters’ relationships and continued development of the world/external stakes
- Stories with unique worlds/setting, including, but not limited to: steampunk, post-apocalyptic, shifter-paranormals, and urban fantasy. I love stories that cross genres in an unique way.
- Erotic romance with strong dialogue and great sexual tension—bonus points for heroes and heroines who rock at talking dirty
- M/m in any subgenre and heat level
- Marriage of convenience romance
- Sports romance, particularly soccer, football, hockey and baseball. I can’t catch a ball to save my life, but I love editing these books
- New Adult, particularly m/m New Adult
- Geeky heroes and heroines. The more awkward they are, the more I love them
- Foodie romance, where preparing or eating food plays a large role in the plot and is part of how the characters come together
- Military romance, m/m or m/f. The hero or heroine can be active military or retired.
- Angsty, dark historical romance with high-stakes conflict keeping the hero and heroine apart
- Medical romance
- Romantic suspense with high-stakes conflict, twisted plots and awesome heroines who aren’t about to be damseled
- I’d love to see a teacher and student scenario where one of the adult characters is in the other one’s adult dance class, cooking class, film, etc.
- Any combo of the above. New Adult mystery military LGBTQ romance, anyone?
Jeff Seymour: I’d love to get my hands on a great romantic suspense or some truly can’t-put-it-down speculative fiction with romantic or LGBTQ elements, particularly:
- Romantic suspense with pedal-to-the-floor pacing and a high spice level
- I’m still waiting for my m/m steampunk romance
- Genre tropes explored, either playfully or seriously
I like my heroes more interested in nurturing than controlling and my heroines self-aware and empowered. I’m a sucker for great world building, interesting settings, and characters who are unusual takes on an archetype as well.
Melissa Johnson* would love to acquire:
- A contemporary romance with heroes and heroines who are passionate about each other and about something in their lives: community, career, family, hobby…etc. She’s looking for the couple’s personal conflicts to be woven with strong external conflicts.
- A traditional historical romance with the classic rake who is ready to reform and the innocent who disarms him and gains sophistication. Melissa would love them to have exciting and slightly devastating misunderstandings and obstacles.
- A fantasy/science fiction romance that combines elements of history and an imagined future to create a robust and unique world. She’d be thrilled to see an author build a new genre, comparable to steampunk, but with a different era, region and tech/historical elements.
Tina Burns*: I’m looking for romance, from sweet to erotic and open to any sub-genre. I love unique stories and twists on the norm. I’m looking for flawed but redeemable characters that linger long after I’m done reading. Specifically I would love to see:
- New Adult (contemporary and mixed genre, New Adult M/M)
- Romantic Comedies
- LGBTQ romance
- Historical Romance – Gothic, Paranormal/Psychic, Alternate, Wild, Wild West-ish
- Mystery Romance with paranormal/psychic/Other elements.