It’s submissions week at Carina Press! Every day this week, we’ll have a new call for submissions. Friday will be a special opportunity, for one week only, for all authors sending submissions to Carina Press. I suggest holding your submission to send after you read the blog post that day (but that’s up to you, don’t say I didn’t warn you!) We’ve also updated our submissions guidelines, so please be sure to read the new information and guidelines before submitting. ~Angela
Hellooooo, everyone! As you’ve seen, this week has been all about new submissions Carina Press is looking for. Today, it’s time for our editors to do a round-up of what we’d love in our inboxes.
Of course, our standard disclaimer applies: PLEASE note that in the end, what we really want is a good story, so even if yours doesn’t fit the descriptions below, don’t hesitate to send it to us anyway! Sometimes we don’t know what we want until we get it in our inbox. You can find out more info on all the Carina freelance editors on this page.
That said, here we go:
Rhonda Helms: I’m open to pretty much everything, with or without romance. But a few genres I’m eager to read more of right now include: new adult, atypical fantasy, sci-fi/futuristic, romance (any steaminess level, though I do admit I love the super-hot stuff, haha), stories with a mythological element, historicals (especially featuring real historical figures/events), stories set in unusual locales, thrillers/horror with unusual twists, super-funny romances, books with kick-ass heroines, and anything with a multicultural element.
Gina Bernal: Though always open to romance (of all subgenres and heat levels), urban fantasy and mystery/thriller submissions, there are a few specifics I’d love to see hit my inbox:
- I’m definitely hungry to build my contemporary, non-suspense romance list. Treat me to anything from a small-town tale to a cosmopolitan love affair, just as long as the story has high emotional stakes.
- Historicals are always a must-read, especially those that feature the grittier side of life (think shows like Spartacus, Deadwood or Copper), unusual time periods, countries or character types (non-British nobles need love too!). And it never hurts when the history comes with a hint of adventure.
- For paranormal romance or urban fantasy submissions, the key I’m looking for is world building. Hook me with a fascinating new universe I want to return to again and again. Fill my Game of Thrones void with sweeping fantasy or fantasy romance submissions bursting with drama and intrigue. I’m also interested in steampunk and gaslight fantasy stories, particularly those set outside of Britain.
- Regardless of genre, I’m seeking out authors with plenty of stories to tell, preferably consistently in one or two genres. I greatly enjoy working on series, so if you have a sequel, trilogy or more planned, make sure to say so in your query.
Melissa Johnson: Melissa is looking for a story in which the main characters have electric chemistry. She wants to read about two people who can’t resist each other and are enthralled by each other’s strengths and flaws. In the midst of their dramatic coming together, she’d like them to have meaningful friendships or family relationships, and exist in a fleshed out world.
Krystal Gabert: I’m currently looking for a captivating police procedural. Something with a female lead who is strong but not insufferable and with a narrative that is split between solving a mystery and exploring the relationships/personal lives of the detective(s). I’m also looking for a paranormal shifter romance in which the heroine is perhaps newly turned or is secretly a shifter and is dealing with the emotional issues of living a secret life.
Jeff Seymour: I’d love to see a sci-fi romance or romantic suspense played out in deep space. Bonus points for life-threatening situations involving monsters or ship breakdowns! Steampunk or alternate-history fantasy that takes place outside of Europe and the U.S. would be great as well. And, as always, anything with deep worldbuilding, heartstring-tugging characters, or can’t-put-it-down plotting.
Deb Nemeth: I’m interested in reading manuscripts by authors who plan to write multiple books in the same genre in order to build their readership. I enjoy a wide range of fiction and content—dark, lighthearted, any heat level—but, whatever the genre, I want to see stories with strongly motivated characters and high-stakes conflict. I’m attracted by writing with energy, passion, wit and intelligence. I’m especially drawn to characters on the edge, who have a lot to lose, whether emotional or physical; characters forced out of their comfort zone into no-win situations.
My wish list includes historical and fantasy romances with epic sweep, thrillers and romantic suspense with pulse-pounding tension, cozy mysteries with brain-teasing complexity, fun capers and clever heists, m/m romance, high-adventure space opera, gritty military SF, and contemporary romances with snappy dialogue. I’m looking for historicals in periods other than Regency (Medieval, Tudor, Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian, Jazz Age). I’m crazy about exotic settings—I’d love to get a historical series set in Asia. I enjoy Arthurian and myth-based stories, multicultural characters, blue-collar heroes, SEALs, smugglers, rebels, concubines, sheriffs, spies, bluestockings, nerds and outcasts of all kinds.
Elizabeth Bass: I would love to read a gripping police procedural/thriller with a complex detective anchoring the story. Also, a creepy horror story involving mutant critters, zombies, or really scary (not romantic) supernatural beings. Historical romances of all eras, but especially ones with World War (I or II) settings, Western historicals, and historicals involving actual events/people. I’d also love to see a good mashup, such as a time travel-police procedural or a horror-historical. Nothing makes me happier than when an author takes an offbeat idea and then knocks it out of the ballpark.
Alissa Davis: I edit and love both m/f and m/m and would be happy to see either of those pairings in any of the scenarios I mention below:
- Tortured heroes. I love ’em.
- Reunion romance. I’d love to see submissions where our hero or heroine returns home and falls for an old flame.
- Interesting settings.
- Foodie romance. In these books, food or cooking plays a pivotal role in the love story.
- Forced proximity situations that lead to love. Whether it’s a historical where the heroine is blackmailing the hero or a contemporary with a hero who has a love/hate relationship with his sick child’s doctor, I love books where the characters are stuck with each other.
- Erotic romance, menage, BDSM, etc. Turn up the heat!
- Heroes or heroines with blue collar occupations.
- Fantasy romance with amazing worldbuilding.
- Professional rivalry/conflict. Got two heroes with competing restaurants or two swimmers up for the same scholarship? Send them my way!
- My list is low on contemporary romance, and I’m looking for authors with a strong contemporary voice.
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’s looking for all genres, but there are a few things she’s especially keeping an eye out for:
- New Adult! I’m so excited that Carina Press will now be open to submissions in this genre!
- I’d love, love, love to find a romantic suspense or contemporary romance that’s set amongst the Amish (non-inspirational)—like Witness or Karen Harper’s romantic suspense series.
- Psychics – Especially if you have psychic FBI agents or members of a special government agency…
- I adore quirky characters. Nerdy/dorky heroines or heroes. Funny relatives. Etc.
- Gritty thrillers.
- Historical Mysteries. Especially something set in 19th century Urban America. I’ve recently started re-reading The Alienist by Caleb Carr and would love to read a story set with a similar atmosphere!
- “Band of Brother” type series. Examples would be Nora Roberts’s trilogies, Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooters, or J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood. Where an emphasis is on the building of multiple characters’ relationships.
- Stories with unique worlds/setting, including, but not limited to: steampunk, post-apocalyptic, futuristic sci-fi, and urban fantasy.
Angela James: If you’ve been watching this week, you’ve seen three calls I did. I’m going to acquire at least one New Adult author with an ongoing series to edit myself, I’m also avidly seeking what I’ve called “contemporary crack”, and yesterday I posted the 2013 holiday collection call, which I’ll be editing. In addition to those, I’m still interested in building some superstars in contemporary romance, something with a fresh hook and appeal, nothing old-fashioned, but a very fun, hip contemporary feel, and that has an ongoing series/trilogy potential. I’m also still interested in acquiring sports-themed romances (MMA/UFC included!) Last, I continue to look for a space opera w/a Wild West flair, fast pacing, incredible world building and fantastically drawn characters.
So, if you have anything that fits an editor request (or even just a great book in general!) to submit, visit our submissions page and follow the directions there. You can address your submission to one of the editors above, or the editorial staff in general. Thanks, and we look forward to reading your amazing stories!
Note from the executive editor: If I can give you one tip to stand out in what we expect to be a busy submissions month, it would be to write an excellent query letter that clearly says what your book is and makes it stand out to us. We have some hints on that here on the blog. Also, f you’ve written something that fits what someone above is looking for, it really does help your submission chances to address it to them, rather than sending it generally addressed and letting me send it to who I think is best. If you can match up with one of these freelance editors, do! ~Angela