Thao is actively looking for upper Middle Grade and YA, whether in prose or graphic novel format and across genres, that are clever, heartfelt, and commercial. In the Adult SFF realm, she’s a fan of contemporary fantasy, near future science fiction, and romantic fantasy. In romance, her favorite tropes are: hate-to-love/enemies-to-lovers, slow burn, forbidden/doomed romance, fake dating/marriage of convenience, grumpy/sunshine, mistaken identities, and she is a sucker for beta second male leads who steal the show (and hopefully the heroine’s heart!). If you can make her think of her favorite Asian Dramas then you’re on the right track!
In general, she’s a fan of high concepts that feel fresh and exciting. She’s especially drawn to character driven stories about family and friendships from the POV of diverse protagonists. She’s a fan of characters who are passionate about the arts, STEM, activism, and geeky fandoms. She’s a big reader of fanfic and love that style of bingeable writing. She adores stories with a touch of magic and whimsy, and is a lifelong fan of mythology and fairytales. She’s interested in all things gothic, cottagecore, and dark academia.
Though she has represented them in the past, she is currently NOT looking for picture book writers at the moment.
Thao’s clients include New York Times and Indie bestselling authors such as Ali Hazelwood, Dustin Thao, Sandhya Menon, Jessie Sima, Jessica Kim, and more…
Thao is NOT looking for: non-fiction, adult literary fiction, adult general fiction, mystery/thriller/suspense, memoirs, poetry, religious/spiritual books, screenplays, or short stories.
My Current MSWLs are:
- I am keen to find high concept romances (either YA or Adult) with a touch of speculative similar to popular Webtoons like: See You in My 19th Life, Operation True Love.
- I’m a big fan of board games and escape rooms, so I’m usually drawn to MG and YA stories that are a little puzzle-y and wraps up logically and cleverly. Think The Westing Game and The Mysterious Benedict Society.
- I love murder mysteries like Knives Out, but not mystery as the main genre/market. I particularly like mystery in Middle Grade like books such as Lockwood & Co.
- I’m a huge fan of The Bear (Hulu) and would love to see an Adult romance featuring a sensitive yet tough and tatted Chef hero or other similar type of sensitive hero/love interest who is in a demanding career.
- I am a Jane Austen fan and my favorite is Emma. I’m always a sucker for a unique take on Austen such as a retelling through the POV of an unexpected character or a new setting.
- I’m also a fan of ships that have the vibe of the Princess Mononoke knife scene.
- My favorite fanfic AUs are: Coffeeshop, Flower Shop, and Soulmates/Fated Mates.
- Some of my favorite mythologies and fairytales include, but aren’t limited to: Chang’Er & Hou Yi, Yuki-onna, Swan Lake, Orpheus & Eurydice, Bluebeard, Tam Lin, Donkeyskin
While I enjoy GRRM and Tolkien, I’m not the best agent for adult epic fantasies unless it’s particularly character driven. I’m also not the best fit for any military, alien invasion stories, or hard science fiction. I’m also not the best person for most action thriller stories involving cops, spies, corporate espionage.