Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Eva Scalzo of Speilburg Literary Agency) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.
About Eva: Eva Scalzo was born in New Jersey, but has lived in Houston, Buenos Aires, San Juan, and Boston before settling down outside of Binghamton, New York. She has a B.A. in the Humanities from the University of Puerto Rico and a M.A. in Publishing and Writing from Emerson College. Since graduating in 2002, she has spent her career in scholarly publishing, working for Houghton Mifflin, Blackwell Publishing, John Wiley & Sons, and Cornell University in a variety of roles.
Eva has been reading romance since the fifth grade when she discovered the Sweet Valley High series. On inheriting her grandmother's collection of vintage Harlequin Romances, she promptly set about filling the gaps, and her goal is to someday finish reading all the treasures. Eva is looking to represent all subgenres of Romance, with the exclusion of inspirational romance, as well as Young Adult fiction.
One last fun fact: if you've been reading this bio and pronouncing Eva's name with a long E sound, you've been saying it wrong.
She is Seeking: I want to see more romance novels where the tension is less about the relationship and more about the obstacles outside of the relationship. One of my least favorite tropes in romance is the grand gesture trope—relationships are built on trust and communication. If your characters develop and grow their relationship organically, there shouldn’t be a big misunderstanding that breaks them apart, especially if all they need to do is actually talk (and listen!) to one another.
Multicultural romance is also something I want to see more of. I support the #OwnVoices campaign to increase the diversity in Romance not just of the characters but also of its authors. As a Latina I love seeing my culture represented in the books I read, I want others to feel that way too.
As a category mainly written by women for women, I want to see strong, smart female leads. Dominant men are okay, but misogyny and sexism are not. One subcategory I struggle with is Motorcycle Club romances, because I really don’t enjoy the club above all mentality and the way they tend to treat women. Ironically, I don’t have a problem with Highland romances where one could argue the attitudes of the clans are similar to a motorcycle club, but the historical context makes a big difference here.
In Young Adult I’m open to most subcategories, but there should be strong romantic elements regardless. I’d like to see contemporary, paranormal, science fiction, mystery/suspense and fantasy, but not historical.
Here’s a list of some of my favorite Romance & YA books (listed alphabetically by author):
- Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
- Keeper by Amy Daws
- Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin
- Dark Notes by Pam Godwin
- Only in My Dreams by Rowan Kirby
- Marrying Mr. Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas
- Last Chance by Jill Marie Landis
- Ruthless King/Defiant Queen/Sinful Empire by Meghan March
- Her Best Worst Mistake by Sarah Mayberry
- The Blue Castle by Lucy Maud Montgomery
- Replica by Lauren Oliver
- When He Was Wicked by Julia Quinn
- Solo by Lauren E. Rico
- Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
- An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
- Rebel by Rebecca Yarros
How to Submit: Please send all unsolicited submissions via e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the subject line of your query email, please include “Query [AGENT’S FIRST NAME]” followed by the title of your project.
For fiction, please send the query letter and the first three chapters in the body of the email, no attachments please.
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