Earlier this year, the 4RV editing team connected over Zoom during one of their Between the Covers of 4RV sessions to chat with readers about what they would love to see for submissions. Here is my short list:
- Southern fiction - especially involving family secrets and the rich history of the South
Since 2007, Southern fiction has been one of my favorite genres. The rich history of the South lends itself to marvellous stories. I also enjoy stories involving family secrets. I'm not opposed to ghosts in these stories, but I am also okay if no ghosts are involved.
Authors/books in this genre that I've read: Rhett DeVane, Karen White, G.K. Davenport (whose debut novel, Dust of Lies, I was blessed to edit), Property by Valerie Martin, and Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper.
- Middle Grade/Tween/Young Adult paranormal mystery-solving friends
I grew up a huge lover of Scooby-Doo, and mystery remains one of my favorite genres. Most of the mysteries I read don't include a paranormal element, but they are popular in these age groups. The most important thing to note is that these mystery solvers and their storyline must be uniquely you. I would love to see underrepresented voices in these stories. Some humor would be great, and a dabble of romance for older readers.
Authors/books in this genre I've read: The Crypto-Capers series by Renee Hand, the Gus LeGarde Mystery series by Aaron Paul Lazar, The Case of the Haunted History Museum by Steve Brezenoff, and A Properly Unhaunted Place by William Alexander.
- Christian historical fiction featuring a fictional or Biblical female lead
This is a broad idea, so let me see if I can focus it for you. The fictional lives of Biblical women intrigue me because they allow me to explore my love of Bible history and help me better understand these women of faith. Michal, the daughter or Saul and wife of David, featured in The Secret Life of Kings by Yochi Brandes and Mary, Called Magdalene by Margaret George, come to mind.
However, I love Christian historical fiction set during almost any time period with fictional lead characters as well. Christian/inspirational romance also catches my eye.
Authors/books in these genres that I've read: Kathi Macias, the Crossroads of Grace series by Allison Pittman, and The American Patriot Series by J. M. Hochstetler.
- Historical fiction set during Colonial America or the American Civil War
These are times in American history that I am most familiar with, having studied them in college. I also read more historical fiction set during these time periods than any other. For younger readers, I like a time travel element where the characters travel back in time to solve a problem. For adults, I enjoy a good spy story, characters whose stories unfold against the backdrop of battles, or escape to freedom stories. Attention to historical detail is a must. However, no graphic violence or intimate physical scenes should be portrayed.*
Authors/books in this genre I've read: Revolutionary War on Wednesday (Magic Treehouse Series) by Mary Pope Osborne, George Washington's Spy by Elvira Wooddruff, The Civil War Trilogy by Michael and Jeff Shaara (*see note above), and Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez.
Cheryl C. Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of four children’s books including, A Christmas Kindness, released by 4RV Publishing. A blogger and book reviewer, she lives in Massachusetts with her husband and three adult children. Visit Cheryl's children’s book blog at https://childrensandteensbookconnection.wordpress.com