James Mustelier is a literary agent with The Bent Agency.
“I’m looking for a range of commercial and literary fiction and nonfiction. In all genres (but particularly in literary fiction) I prize economical prose, complex characters, steadily building tension, narrative gravity, and the momentary relief of dark humor, even (or especially) amid dire circumstances.
“In commercial fiction I’m looking for compact horror and mysteries with big hooks and intricate plotting. In sci-fi and fantasy I’m drawn to stories that are grounded in reality and have high stakes that touch on contemporary issues — more speculative fiction and alternate histories than high fantasy or space opera.
“In nonfiction I’m looking for books that give me a vivid look into subcultures and events I might not otherwise have had the chance to explore. Much of my favorite nonfiction melds a distinct narrative voice with rigorous research.
“In young adult and middle grade I’m interested in epic fantasy, grounded sci-fi, and irreverent retellings of fairy tales, classic myths, and historical events. I’m specifically seeking stories written from diverse perspectives that draw from underrepresented cultures.”