Meet FicFest’s Team Israel

You may or may not know that I am part of a fun writing competition where participants submit completed manuscripts in the categories of Picture Book, Middle Grade, YA, NA, and Adult in all genres. The theme this year is World Tour, but this does not affect what genres can be submitted or the agent round.

I am personally the leader of one of 3 NA teams (“Team Israel,” but your stories don’t have to include Israel to be considered). I’m very excited for this opportunity and this post is about introducing me in my role, my 2 Team Members Vanessa Rodriguez and Edith Lalonde, and what all 3 of us would like to see in the submissions that come our way.

We will be choosing “three (3) finalist manuscripts and one (1) alternate manuscript to advance to the Agent Round.”-details of the contest Submission Guidelines

My New Adult Wishlist

When it comes to New Adult (romance) fiction, the market is FILLED with Contemporary Romances, but I want something more unique. Send me some fantasy and sci-fi! I will say I prefer those genres in this category to have romance, but I’m okay with it not being the main plot. I’ll also consider mysteries, thrillers, and suspense. If it’s a good story that keeps me guessing, you’re golden! I believe that NA isn’t always “the college plot” but the feel of NA-aged characters struggling with transitioning into adulthood, no matter what culture (or world) they’re inhabiting. Give me relatable, well-rounded characters (note that I didn’t say “likable”) and engaging plots. I love characters who are snarky, but not so much that every word they say is sarcastic. I’m diverse characters as long as it lends itself to the story. Love Cora Carmack and Elle Kennedy (in addition to the 2 authors I list below).

Favorite New Adult read(s):

  1. Fire of Stars & Dragons by Melissa A. Petreshock
  2. Eve: The Awakening by Jenna Moreci

Although a native Californian, Vanessa Rodriguez is an Indiana girl at heart and now resides in Los Angeles with her husband and two daughters. She writes most young adult sub-genres with a preference for fantasy and contemporary romance – because what’s a story without a little bit of angst and love. She also writes adult and new adult romance and her stories have been published in Short Fuse’s Hot Holiday Reads anthology, Pilcrow and Dagger and Avon Romance online. And you’ll never find her without a cup of coffee in hand.


Vanessa’s New Adult Wishlist

When it comes to New Adult romance my first love is Contemporary. Send me some new twists on classic tropes (I’m a sucker for fake relationship) and give me the steam, I’m talking hawt! I am open to fantasy and sci-fi but it needs to be sprinkled in with the primary focus on the romance. I’ll also consider mysteries, thrillers, and suspense if you can make the new adult angle work – give me your mercenaries, young cops, security detail, and rookie detectives. Give me strong, active protagonists no matter how messed up their lives are or how bad they’re going to mess it up. I’m open to LGBT, marginalized voices, disabilities, etc as long as it lends itself to the story. Love voices like Elle Kennedy and Samanthe Beck. Give me snark and sarcasm.

Favorite New Adult read:

  1. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire (Zara’s Note: I read this and liked it, but it’s not a fav)
  2. The Deal by Elle Kennedy (Zara’s note: DEFINITELY one of my fav contemporary NA books)

Edith Lalonde is a vodka drinking, F-Bomb dropping, romance writer. A Walking Dead fanatic who loves watching chick flicks, she’s a firm believer that Jamie Fraser (the book version) is the man against which all other men must be measured. She’s also a self-confessed exclamation mark abuser, but only on social media! Oh, and she’s powered by Tootsie-Roll Pops and Diet Coke.

A Federal Government Employee, Edith started her career as an Operational Security Analyst. She next managed her department’s Writing and Editing Bureau. These days she’s still working for the Government, can’t tell you more, or the Men in Black might come after you. Just kidding – mostly.

What Edith writes – romantic suspense that cuts both ways. Alpha females, alpha males, diverse characters with common goals, and she loves her bad guys. Conflict? Yep, she’s all over that.


Edith’s New Adult Wishlist:

Give me unusual and unforgettable characters. I want your strong, independent, fierce females. Dazzle me with women who know who they are and what they want. Take me beyond the high heels, short skirts, and rocking bars. Page turning plots. Looking for standout writing and plots that don’t rely on the coincidence driven storyline. Suspense, humor, dark and edgy — can be historical, Sci-fi, paranormal, mystery, thriller, contemporary, it doesn’t matter. If the writing is stellar and the concept stands out, I want to read it. Finally, give me voice! Lots of VOICE!

Favorite NA read:
I don’t have one! I love them all. One of the recent standouts was Chasing Crazy by Kelly Siskind. It was a well-written, well-crafted story with laugh out loud moments. Dripping with voice, I enjoyed this story from cover to cover.

Follow the conversation with #FicFest on Twitter

2 thoughts on “Meet FicFest’s Team Israel

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: