Kristina Perez

Zeno Literary Agency

My Manuscript Wish List

I am a half-Argentine, half-Norwegian native New Yorker who has spent the past two decades living in Europe and Asia. Before joining the Zeno Literary Agency in London at the end of 2019, I worked as a journalist, academic, and author. I hold a PhD in Medieval Literature from the University of Cambridge and have taught at the National University of Singapore and the University of Hong Kong. As a journalist, I've written for many international news outlets including the Wall Street Journal Asia, Condé Nast Traveler, and CNN. I'm also the author of the Sweet Black Waves trilogy (Imprint/Macmillan), The Tesla Legacy (Tor Teen), and The Myth of Morgan la Fey (Palgrave Macmillan).

With my diverse background, my tastes in books are equally eclectic. I'm actively building my list in the following categories and particularly encourage submissions from marginalised writers:

Young Adult – I love retellings with a twist, whether it be contemporary or fantasy, especially LGBTQIA+ and those that draw on non-Western folklore and mythology. Pitch me light sci-fi in the vein of Illuminae and Once & Future. I’m an unabashed musical theatre geek so send me all of your contemporary YAs that feature backstage drama, RomComs that make me laugh like Kasie West or Nisha Sharma, and lyrical coming-of-age stories like Katie Cotugno’s How to Love. I have a real penchant for novels-in-verse. I’m also a fan of chilling ghost stories and, dare I say it, vampires. If you write historical fiction like Stacey Lee or Elizabeth Wein, then send it my way. Basically, I’m open to all genres within YA so surprise me!

In addition to fiction, I will consider YA non-fiction proposals in all subject areas.

MG – Tamora Pierce’s Alanna series is what made me fall in love with reading as a kid and I’m eager to find fantasy for younger readers. Other all time favorite middle grade reads are the historical novels, Number the Stars by Lois Lowry and The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi. I would like to see a MG novel-in-verse like The Moon Within by Aida Salazar. Other recent favorites include The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, The Unicorn Quest by Kamilla Benko, and The Storm Runner by J.C. Cervantes.

Fantasy – I love lush historical or secondary world fantasy like Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri. Feminist retellings like Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker will steal my heart. I am open to excellent Urban Fantasy with complex female characters. Show me a magic system that I haven’t seen before. My Argentine side loves magical realism in all forms from Practical Magic to Like Water for Chocolate. And witches, always witches.

Romance – I absolutely adore well-researched historical romance in any time period and I prefer spicy to sweet, especially with a feminist bent. I would love to rep a F/F historical romance. Recent favorite reads include The Duke I Tempted by Scarlett Peckham, The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite, and Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore. For the moment, I’m not looking for contemporary but I will consider paranormal.

Science Fiction – A great dystopian will keep me glued to my seat but there needs to be something new and unique about the world. I’m a huge Battlestar Galactica nerd and have a soft spot for light space opera. I’m not the right agent for hard/military SF.

Non-Fiction – I am primarily looking for current affairs, cultural history, and popular science. If you’re an academic who can write like a journalist, I want to hear from you. Think Latinx by Ed Morales.

Having lived in China/SE Asia for almost a decade, I am particularly interested in history/contemporary politics books on those regions. I want this decade’s version of China Pop by Jianying Zha or Asian Godfathers by Joe Studwell.

I am also always looking for feminist criticism like Susan J. Douglas’s Where the Girls Are. I studied Art History at university and love biographies of female artists or models, such as Strapless by Deborah Davis.

I’d like cultural history projects along the lines of Deluxe: How Luxury Lost its Luster by Dana Thomas or Alpha Beta by John Man. A biography on a lesser known female historical figure such as Widow Clicquot by Tilar J. Mazzeo will pop my cork!

Recent popular science I’ve enjoyed include: Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez, Inferior by Angela Saini, and Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker.

 

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be emailed to perez@zenoagency.com

Please send your query and first chapter pasted into the body of an email.


Guidelines & Details

Vital Info

Agent
Fiction: Children's, Commercial, Family Saga, Fantasy, Historical, Horror, LGBTQ, Middle Grade, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult
Non-Fiction: Biography, History, Journalism, LGBTQ, Pop Culture, Psychology, Science, Travel

Favorite sub-genres:
I'd like the next...

MG: Pax by Sara Pennypacker

YA: Huntress by Malinda Lo

Adult: Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

Non-Fiction: The Birth of the Chess Queen by Marilyn Yalom

Romance: anything by Courtney Milan or Joanna Shupe


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