Susan Velazquez Colmant

Susan Velazquez Colmant is the subsidiary rights director at JABberwocky, where she manages audio and translation rights in addition to her own growing client list. She was born and raised outside of Dallas, Texas and received a B.A. in Creative Writing with a minor in Gender Studies from SUNY Oswego in 2016. Her hobbies include visiting art museums, trying new restaurants, and practicing her French with her husband, who was raised in Corsica.

You may contact her at susan[at]awfulagent.com.

How to Query Me

This webpage will be updated when I open/close to queries, in addition to announcements on my social media pages. Please do not submit queries to my general email; those will be deleted upon receipt.

I will be open for queries from June 1st, 2024 through August 31st, 2024.

To query me, you can follow the submission guidelines on Query Manager. I request a 1-2 page synopsis and the first 20 pages attached as a Word doc.

Link: https://QueryManager.com/susanvcolmant

My Manuscript Wish List (#MSWL)

In general, I gravitate towards any story that details a complicated family dynamic, illustrates a transformative coming-of-age experience, and features unique voices like multicultural and LGBTQIA+ characters. To note, I’m open to stories where identity is the focus and also stories in which diverse identities play a secondary role to the main plot.

For queries submitted from June 1st, 2024 through August 31st, 2024, I am ONLY looking for romantasy, romance, general upmarket fiction, and women’s fiction in young adult, new adult, and adult categories. I am not seeking graphic novels in these genres or queries in any other genres not specified here.

Please do not submit to me if your query does not fit within these parameters.

What I’m Looking for in Adult Upmarket/Book Club Fiction and Women’s Fiction:

I believe you can have “a coming of age” at any point in life—I like to call it “a coming of self”—

so I love stories about protagonists discovering new parts of themselves or coming to terms with their past, whether they’re 25, 45, or 85.

I love family sagas centered on complicated family dynamics, where it’s between a mother and a daughter or between sisters or one side of a family versus another. I particularly enjoy stories where the younger and older generations make peace with their differences and learn to have a renewed appreciation for each other.

I also love reading stories about the immigrant experience, especially if they explore what it means to live within the diaspora and exemplify “Ni de aquí, ni de allá” (“not from here, not from there”). I would also categorize myself as one step above a “no sabo” kid so I would especially love projects that have a sympathetic perspective on characters who have lost their mother tongue or have lost connection with their family’s heritage and are learning to reclaim it. My dream project would be something in the vein of the film Past Lives or a story in which a character has to go back to their family’s country of origin and makes peace with the fact that they are in fact made up of two cultures, instead of trying to prove that they haven’t been Americanized.

I gravitate towards both contemporary and historical stories, although I really love to see historical stories set in diverse, underexplored time periods and settings. I am particularly interested in seeing stories set during the Chicano movement and stories set in the American Southwest (particularly Texas!) and Mexico.

I continually to be fascinated by the power of cults or things that feel “cultish”— parasocial fandoms, extreme loyalty to brands, super tight-knit familial or friend groups that become suffocating, etc.—so I’d love to see stories that explore these concepts. I don’t want necessarily want things to veer into the horror or thriller side; I want things to be more meditative on why these “cultish” things mean so much to the characters.

On a lighter note, I love “girl power” narratives and other generally empowering stories about young people forging their way through the world and learning from their mistakes to become stronger people, especially alongside a group of close-knit friends (the non-culty kind!).

I also enjoy what I call “rich people problems.” Think Succession, The White Lotus, Gossip Girl, Saltburn, etc. There’s just something that fascinates me about the people who have everything and yet nothing at all, especially when there’s an outsider trying to break into their midst and grab something for themselves.

Favorites in this area include Guapa by Saleem Haddad, Right Back Where We Started From by Joy Lanzendorfer, and How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent by Julia Alvarez, amongst others. TV shows that I’d love to find their book equivalent are Hulu’s Casual, Netflix’s Gentefied, Netflix’s Galerías Velvet, Freeform’s Good Trouble, and Lifetime’s UnREAL.

What I’m Looking for in Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult Romance and Romantic Comedies:

I’m looking for fun, high-concept premises that play with tropes in the vein of Netflix’s Set It Up or Netflix’s Always Be My Maybe whether set in modern day or a period setting. I will note that I’m getting a little bored of enemies-to- lovers/rivals-to-lovers so if your story is in this vein, I’d like it to feel fresh and different. (Please, no more stories where people are just straight up mean to each other in the name of banter!)

I’d really like to find a good friends-to-lovers romance or romances in which the love interests help each other grow and change for the better in the vein of When Harry Met Sally.

I also really enjoy good ol’ sweeping romances that feel like modern day fairytales like Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan or the film Maid in Manhattan (which is one of my favorite rom-coms of all time). I know Rosie O’Donnell chided Meg Ryan in Sleepless in Seattle, saying, “You don’t want to be in love, you want to be in love in a movie!” but that’s how I want to feel when reading a romance! I want to get lost in the escapism and have a smile on my face by the time I put the book down.

I am looking at all spice levels in this genre.

Favorites in this area include The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang, Seven Days in June by Tia Williams, Astrid Parker Doesn’t Fall by Ashley Herring Blake, Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler, and One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston.

Tropes I love in this space:

  • Grumpy x sunshine
  • Friends to lovers
  • Fake dating
  • Forbidden romance
  • Second chance romance
What I’m Looking for in Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult Romantasy:

Although I said I’m not open to any other genres at the moment, I would be open to genre blends in romantasy—a romantasy with a crime/mystery element, a romantasy with a twinge of horror, etc.

I am usually not a huge fan of complex worldbuilding or magic systems but lately, I have found myself longing to immerse myself in detailed worlds. I would especially love to see unique magic systems, like magic based on beauty/makeup as in Dhionne Clayton’s The Belles series or the light/shadows magic system in Garth Nix’s The Seventh Tower series.

As a general note, I’d love to see fantasy that involves the lesser known or less highlighted fantasy creatures such as unicorns, griffins, mermaids, selkies, etc.

And this may be crossing a little into science fiction, but I’ve really been enjoying stories that play with time travel, time slips, and parallel universes such as in Ashley Poston’s The Seven Year Slip and Casey McQuiston’s One Last Stop.

I am looking at all spice levels in this genre.

Epic/High Fantasy:

I’m looking for retold fairy tales and myths (especially if they are beyond the usual Grimm Brothers’ and Hans Christian Andersen retellings) or stories set in worlds inspired by various cultures, both low and high fantasy. My dream project in this space would be expanding a story from The Seven Wise Princesses by Wafa’ Tarnowska or Celtic Fairy Tales retold by Neil Phillip.

I’d love to see more myth retellings in the vein of Madeline Miller but beyond the typical Greco-Roman myths. I’d also be open to modern day versions of myths (those probably crosses over to the contemporary fantasy side).

Cozy Fantasy:

I am looking for stories with a charming setting—whether it’s a cozy small town or a particularly charming block in a big city—that feel like another character in the story and an emotional, cathartic arc for the protagonist as they undergo a “coming of self.”

I also would love to see stories that incorporate a quirky magical realism such as in the television shows Dead Like Me and Pushing Daisies whether it’s kept light and fun or leans to the dark, Gothic side. I also enjoy stories that play with “maybe it’s magic, maybe it’s mundane.”

I’d also love to see cozy fantasies that crossover into the romance or romantic comedy space such as The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna.

Urban/Contemporary Fantasy:

Open to anything but if it’s an urban fantasy then I want to feel the urban. I really want to feel like I’m walking around the city with the characters and feeling the neighborhoods change versus it just feeling like a generic city with skyscrapers and dark alleys.

I also really enjoy dark academia stories although I’d love to see some light academia come my way.

Favorites in this area include The City of Stardust by Georgia Summers, The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan, and The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh.

Miscellaneous Things I Am Looking for Across All Projects

  • Golden retriever/sunshine love interests! – I’m tired of these dark, brooding, tortured love interests. I want the Peeta Mellark, Aang, Leslie Knope, and Jeanine Teagues-style love interests to shine again!
  • I did enjoy Zutara and Dramione ships but I have to say my true heart lies with Kataang and Harmione – I really enjoy relationship dynamics where one leads with their heart and the other leads with their head and the two of them work together for a common goal
  • Anything set in Texas – I’m from DFW and so I have a special place in my heart for suburban Texas settings
  • I always appreciate a social commentary or critique of where our society is failing—with a twinge of hope that things can improve
  • Bookshop and library settings – It was a dream of mine as a child to get locked in the library overnight, probably inspired by the Arthur episode “Locked in the Library!”
  • Ghosts – friendly ghosts, evil ghosts, ghosts trying to find closure, ghosts trying to get revenge, etc.
  • Witches– Whether it’s Sabrina the Teenage Witch light-hearted, quirky witchery or dark sorcery, I love it all!
  • Scams and con artists – I don’t want to be scammed and I don’t condone scamming per se but I’m just mesmerized by the audacity of scammers. I’m a huge fan of podcasts like Scam Goddess and Scamfluencers and those are the types of scam stories I enjoy.
  • Latin American mythology – I would love to see LatAm myths or folktales being the center of a story a la Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Gods of Jade and Shadow and Gabriela Romero Lacruz’s The Sun and the Void

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