Jake joined SDLA in 2023. He earned his MA in Literature and Writing Studies from CSU San Marcos in 2021. He is also a veteran, having joined the Army in 2008. During his time he was promoted to Sergeant and served on two deployments overseas. Born and raised in Southern California, Jake proudly comes from a mixed cultural background and is second generation Chicano on his mother’s side.
He is actively looking for adult fiction and non-fiction. He is interested in upmarket fiction, with an emphasis on: Gothic, horror, thrillers, westerns, military, and speculative fiction (supernatural, paranormal, UFOs, etc…; think Jordan Peele or 10 Cloverfield Lane). When it comes to fiction, he loves dark stories that cause readers to question turning off the lights before bed. Dark stories permeate through all cultures, backgrounds, and histories, and he wants to hear them. His tastes lean more in the vein of The Hunger by Alma Katsu, The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones, Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica, and works by Paul Tremblay, Mona Awad, and Colson Whitehead. In general, he’s especially drawn to character driven stories written in distinct and diverse voices.
On the non-fiction front, Jake is looking for captivating stories and perspectives that stay with readers and keep them coming back. He is especially interested in working with historians, up-and-coming scholars looking to transition to trade readership, journalists, doctors, veterans, and people with unique takes on important issues. Think: Freakonomics, Outliers, A Molecule Away From Madness, Columbine, American Sniper, Empire’s Workshop, and The Fact of a Body.
Jake is NOT looking for: romance, fantasy, Sci Fi, YA, or children’s books.
My Current MSWLs are:
- I am keen on finding good horror stories that build suspense and venture into those uncanny valleys. Think Sara Gran’s Come Closer.
- I’m a big fan of Cormac McCarthy so I’m usually drawn to anti-heroes and stories that don’t shy away from our darker natures. Think Blood Meridian and The Road.
- I love history, particularly US history and Westerns. The expansion of the West has so many great untold stories for both fiction and non-fiction that need to be told.
- Indigenous stories and Latin(x) stories are both extremely underrepresented and I am dying to read and represent new authors from these backgrounds; fiction and non-fiction.
- I love murder mysteries like Sharp Objects and Girl on the Train, not mystery as the main genre/market however, but something that aligns more along the vein of thriller. I’m also a sucker for a good whydunit and True Crime.
- Having served as a sergeant in the Army, I have a soft spot for military fiction and non-fiction. Would love to hear from historians and veterans for the knowledge, experience, and stories they can share.