Rory Power lives in New England, where she works as a crime fiction editor and a story consultant for a TV production company. When not working, she reads reviews on Sephora and walks her dog, who is so beautiful that her local coffee shop has named a sandwich after him. She also has a Masters in Prose Fiction from the University of East Anglia.
I started writing seriously in 2013, and applied that year to MFA programs with the confidence of a person who knew absolutely nothing. Needless to say, it did not go well. In 2015 I reapplied and wound up going to the University of East Anglia in England to do my MA. (Grad school is not for everyone, nor is it at all necessary! I loved my program, but not everyone does, and I was lucky to attend on scholarship, which made it accessible for me. You don’t need a degree. Not at all.) After graduating, I wrote my debut ms in late 2016, and queried agents in March of 2017. I wound up signing a few weeks later with an agent who saw some of my work in an anthology my grad school published and asked for my full. She was in the UK, so she connected me with my US agent, and I continue to work with both. We revised for about six months before going on sub in October 2017, and the book sold later in the month.
I have worked as an editor and as a reader at a literary agency, so in both querying and going on submission, I have been on the other side of the process. I know what editors and agents are looking for, and can help you implement that in your own work to make your book as strong as possible.
I’ve been fortunate to have friends and mentors who have taken time and care to help my work get stronger, and I want to pass that on. We all need somebody to bounce weird questions off of, someone who will give us tough love when we need it. I also love seeing stories grow stronger and seeing writers get more confident and really come into their own.
Publishing is scary, but it’s less scary if you have someone to yell with about it at 3:00 AM when you’re freaking out. That’s who my mentors have been for me, and that’s who I want to be for you.
I’m looking for weird books about weird girls. Dark and creepy is good. Darker and creepier is better. I want something tangled and twisting and thorny, with maybe a glimmer of light in the middle somewhere. If your work lets girls be complicated and lost and angry, I want it. And if you’re not sure if your book is what I’m looking for, feel free to ask!
- Magical Realism/Fabulism
- Own voices
- Books that fall under the Speculative umbrella, particularly contemp books with a spec twist
-If the speculative twist in your contemp book is VR, I’m probably not a good fit.
-Space, in general, I find terrifying, so no thank you.
-I tend toward light sci fi over hard sci fi.
-I’m not like a Dragons Fantasy type person, generally.
-Eastern European/Balkan vibes are my jam.
-Jump scare horror, eh. Body horror, YES PLS.
-Mental illness as a villain is NOT the move.
I WILL PROVIDE:
- Edit Letter (Big Picture developmental feedback)
- Line edit (dropping notes into a Word Document)
- Skype or phone call
- Freestyle in chat
It depends, of course, on the MS, but I like to do a big sweep through, with a big edit letter supported by comments in specific places in the MS. From there, I find it helpful to chat through the letter before you dive into it – phone, text chat, however you like, really, and as often as you like – and then I’m always around for questions and check ins as you work through changes. After that first round, I usually like to check through and help smooth out the changes with a line edit.
Strengths include repetition (if you use a particular verb or phrase or adjective or WHATEVER too often, you will hear about it), story structure (we will fix that middle!), and continuity. Expect to revise thoroughly and to shore up every single weak spot.
Someone with thick skin, open to detailed and involved critique. Someone who values open and consistent communication. Someone who won’t mind when I drop the facade and resume typing without caps or punctuation like the internet hobgoblin I am.
(Someone who won’t mind when my language becomes increasingly foul the more we get to know each other.)
-Weird plants are my everything. Creepy nature. Creepy forests. Trees! Oh wow do I love trees.
-Are you comping Nova Ren Suma? GIMME. Are you comping E Lockhart? GIMME ALSO.
-I love horrible girls so much. Unlikeable girls. Angry girls. Girls who make mistakes. Girls who do awful things.
-Enemies to lovers (but like, real actual enemies pls)
-Anything Balkan-inspired (especially Greece, but not Ancient Greece)
-Books that do interesting things with structure. Give me non chronological. Give me fragments. Somebody give me a palindrome book.
-Ocean books (but not pirates)
-Fresh takes on folklore
-Something between genres (basically if you’re not sure what you wrote, I’m your girl)
DO NOT SEND ME:
-Fantastical creatures (unless the point of them is that they’re REALLY WEIRD AND CREEPY)
-Straight up contemp without some kind of twist (be it high concept or speculative)
-Portal fantasy (unless you’re Seanan McGuire in which case hmu)
-Romance as the main plot
-Princess taking back the throne
-Novels in verse (I am not qualified for that in ANY way)
-Suicide as a way to teach the surviving characters a lesson
-ATLA comps (never seen it, never plan to)
Books: The Night Circus, Annihilation, The Bear & the Nightingale, Deathless, We Were Liars, The Walls Around Us, And I Darken, Strange the Dreamer, This Mortal Coil, Furyborn
TV: um literally everything? I watch a truly absurd amount of television. Favorites include Fleabag, W1A, Veep, Crazy Ex Girlfriend, The West Wing, The Good Place, Gilmore Girls, The X-Files (but not the new ones), Succession, the new Sharp Objects, assorted crime dramas (Broadchurch, Luther, The Break), The Borgias (rip), and that modern classic Dance Moms.
Movies: Ex Machina, Star Wars in general, Room, Marie Antoinette, also documentaries about Lance Armstrong’s doping