Maddy Belton Agent
What I'm Looking For
I’m looking for worlds to get lost in, adventures that transform what it means to be a hero, and unique magic that offers as many problems as solutions. I like books that make me cry and books that change my mind. Above all, when I finish a story about another world, I want it to have taught me a lesson which helps me live in this one.
I love all fantasy, but I favour richly imagined, complex worlds with a history to discover and a future to protect. Worldbuilding is one of my favourite aspects of this genre and I’m always looking for a new, dense world with series potential. Think Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere or the Marvel Cinematic Universe – the bigger the better! I also like character-driven fantasy with a diverse cast I can root for (or root against) and I want to see a range of different relationships depicted authentically. I particularly like epics that dip into big, universal themes such as grief, climate change, or war and which ask impossible questions in the vein of R.F. Kuang or N.K. Jemisin. I am also excited by authors that play with form and language in a fantasy setting.
In YA, I’m looking for much the same as in an adult fantasy, but with younger protagonists and a closer focus on relationships. I want to see the tropes I know and love in new and exciting forms and my favourite YA books often centre around belonging and becoming. I like a dash of romance in everything, because I’m sentimental that way, but it’s particularly important in the YA space.
Sci-fi is a big passion of mine, especially when it comes with a strong hook. I’m a huge fan of Becky Chamber’s The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet and Michaiah Johnson’s The Space Between Worlds. I like space as a metaphor, and I would love something that explores different alien species. Please send me your space operas and sci-fi romances which combine space, magic and mayhem!
In fantasy middle grade, I favour whimsy and animal companions; I would love to follow a group of kids through magic school. I tend to look for plenty of humour with a strong friendship at the centre, and I want middle grade stories which engage with the concerns of children growing up as well as offering an all-important escape (preferably on a dragon/unicorn’s back).
Above all, I have an open mind and my favourite books often surprise me. If it’s magical, I would love to see it!
I’m also looking for children’s non-fiction for all ages. In this space, I want something as creative as it is informative, and I think diverse voices are increasingly important.