My Wishlist – Tanera Simons

February 2023

My interests lie in rom-com, love stories, commercial historical fiction, book club, and in female-driven novels with a slightly darker edge. Across all of these I am always looking for a strong hook – a set-up that immediately intrigues me and makes me want to find out more – as well as rich, layered characters who we can’t help but invest in.

Premise, character, and plot are all more important to me than lyrical writing: I want a book that takes you in on the first page and doesn’t let go until the end. I also love books where the setting almost takes on the role of a character such as in Where The Crawdads Sing or Netflix’s Virgin River. I love to be transported when I read; to discover new countries/cultures/environments and to be able to imagine myself in that setting due to how evocative the novel is.

When it comes to rom-coms, I represent Beth O’Leary and she epitomises what I look for from novels in the genre: a very clear hook and a fresh take on the existing tropes. Nora Goes Off Script leans into romance tropes and the result is a completely escapist, funny novel brimming with sexual tension. I want to champion more diverse writers in this space, too, so if you have written anything along the lines of Last Tang Standing or Casey McQuiston’s novels then please consider me for your book.

There will always be space on my list for an epic love story – I’m thinking In Five Years meets One Day – and particularly a love story that ‘transcends’ in some way: whether this means it spans generations, or travels the world, or bucks the status quo in another way.

Female friendships is another timeless and universal theme that I will never tire of reading about. There are so many different forms of friendship and I think a book that champions it, is its own kind of love story. From Thelma and Louise to Grace and Frankie, to the slightly less wholesome dynamics of Desperate Housewives, I think there is so much to explore and that doing so helps readers make sense of their own relationships.

I have long been looking for a historical novel with a focus on character and plot, with the historical detail woven throughout rather than being the central premise. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I am looking for love stories and book club fiction, set in the past. Lucinda Riley’s Seven Sisters is a wonderful example of a dual timeline series that centres on the revelation of long-held family secrets across generations. I also greatly enjoyed Tammye Huf’s A More Perfect Union, a love story set during the slave trade in America.

I recently read Weyward and was completely absorbed by the gothic world Emilia Hart drew me into: if you have written anything witchy that comments on women’s rights then please do send my way! I also really enjoyed the themes of obsession, media, and wealth in Succession and would love to see these replicated in book form, preferably with more of a feminist angle too.

Finally, I am also looking to build my list on the book club side, and want to find novels that pose a dilemma for the reader in some way: perhaps how you would react in the character’s position; or perhaps even questioning the status quo.

Other books and writers that I enjoy and epitomise my wishlist include:

  • The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah
  • Outlawed, Anna North
  • The Hating Game, Sally Thorne
  • Bridgerton Series, Julia Quinn
  • Book Lovers, Emily Henry
  • The Paper Palace, Miranda Cowley Heller
  • The Herd, Emily Edwards
  • Marian Keyes
  • Jodi Picoult
  • Taylor Jenkins Reid

For full submission guidelines click here. I look forward to reading your work!

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