Saturday, April 26, 2008

Introducing Spencer Ellsworth...

I'm the new agent, and I'm invigorated by some of the amazing books I've rescued from the slushpile. But there's a lot of things I'd like to see that I'm not. Some specifics:

Mormon historical novels. This is a rich and deep vein that hasn't been explored. I'd love to see a well-written book about Zina Huntington, a secret wife to Joseph Smith and faith healer, in the vein of Orson Scott Card's Saints.

Crusades historical or fantastorical novels in the vein of George R.R. Martin, Jacqueline Carey or Bernard Cornwell. Give me blood-drenched battles, intricate politics, good old steamy sex and bring the religious frontiers of the medieval Mediterranean into it.

Victorian, Edwardian, or Regency fantasy. Given the massive success of this genre lately, I'm surprised at how little we see it in the slushpile. If you have the next Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norrell, send me an email.

These are all genres where I'd accept the breaking of the traditional "word ceiling" for new authors, usually set around 100-120,000 words. Historical and fantasy novels need to be long and absorbing, and some new authors can pull it off. For shorter works, I'm always in the mood for a good memoir, particularly if it can deal with painful events through a good sense of humor. I also love Chuck Palahniuk and Dave Eggers, so if you can do literary satire, drop a note.

You can reach Spencer at


Ada [The Duchess] said...

Wow that sounds brilliant. Too bad I don't write any of that.

Congrats on joining the good ones.

Break out the margarita's eh?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your interests, Mr. Ellsworth, and congratulations on your new position.

I'm working on a steampunk (Victorian) fantasy. Would that interest you as well? Or is that what you mean by "Victorian, Edwardian, or Regency fantasy"?


ryan field said...

I'm either mainstream or erotica or narrative nonfiction, so I can't help.

But it was good to see your post, Spencer. You probably don't remember me, but I'm hoping really good things for you!!

Heather Moore said...

Sounds interesting. Any more specifics on Mormon historical novels? Have you checked out the LDS publishers? There are about 6 of them that might have books already in print that you can negotiate hard/softcover rights. As well as a plethora of amazing authors who are quite established.

Spencer Ellsworth said...


Now it's your turn, Lori, to tell us all what you're looking for. Cross-blogging.

none said...

Steamy sex? Is that like sex on a steam train?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Ellsworth -
Just out of curiosity, how long might it take to hear back from you if someone sends you a query? Do you respond to all queries, or do you let the unappetizing ones slide without response? And how long should someone wait without hearing back from you before resending?

Thanks! Best of luck with the slush!

Aimlesswriter said...

Welcome Spencer! Sorry, I don't write those genres you cover. When you're ready for a serial killer suspense novel let me know!

Ravenous Romance said...

To review what I'm looking for, see the What Rings My Bells posts (part 1 & 2) from 2/25-3/04 2007.

But a p.s. is that I'm looking for fanatsy and/or sci-fi or horror in that chick lit voice.

Cloudscudding said...

How do you feel about the science fiction, far-future variants of steampunk? Instead of aetherically animated clockwork grotesques, how about those controlled by artificial intelligences of unsavory origins?

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