With Pitcharama swinging into gear, we thought we’d get to know a little more about each of the fabulous publishers we have involved. Today? Introducing the lovely Mandy Schoen, Managing Editor at Swoon Romance.
Tell us what makes Swoon Romance unique.
Swoon Romance is a digital-first publisher of contemporary YA, New Adult, and adult romance. All of our books go through a rigorous, multi-stage editorial process. We work very closely with our authors and value their input on everything from cover design to marketing. At Swoon Romance, we’re a family of staff and authors who work together to bring readers great, swoon-worthy reads.
What’s on your current wish list?
Currently, I’m acquiring for Swoon Romance. To that end, I’m always looking for the next happily-ever-after, and I don’t so much care whether the path there is of the sweet or the sexy variety. I’m interested in contemporary YA, adult, and New Adult. In New Adult, I’m particularly looking for collegial or home-for-the-summer settings, and I definitely wouldn’t mind seeing more New Adult paranormal romance. My current list of genre favorites include The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden, Wait for You, and Crash.
I’d love to see more dual-narrative POVs, male protagonists who are not necessarily McHottie (ala Beauty and the Beast), unique contemporary fairy-tale retellings, quirky female protagonists with heart, witty dialogue, a relatable voice, settings with as much personality as the characters, deeply flawed but redeemable men, and clever humor. I like a lighthearted tone over a deeply emotive one, and I love to see complex characters in familiar situations.
Is there something for you that’s a big query no-no?
Yes. Bad grammar and punctuation. Spell-check, people. I don’t mind a couple of mistakes (they happen!) but when I see a query with more than that I start to roll my eyes and think “if this author doesn’t care enough about their story to proofread their query, then why should I?”
When you read a query, what are you hoping to see?
The obvious, for starters: a good storyline that snags my attention. Something new, or a unique twist on a tried-and-true plot. But I also look for a cohesive, solid few paragraphs. I want an author who can craft a query that flows well and keeps my interest. If they can do that with a query, I get excited to see what they can do with a book.
What author would you love to publish?
Okay, I’m aware this answer sounds like a cop-out, but I couldn’t be happier with the authors we have now. We don’t just publish stories, we publish writers, and we love every single one of our authors as much as their stories. We’re a family, and one that’s always growing. 😉