Jim McCarthy – Dystel, Goderich & Bourret LLC

Jim McCarthyJim McCarthy interned for DG&B while studying urban design at New York University. Upon graduating in 2002, Jim realized he would much rather continue working with books than make the jump (as he had originally intended) to the field of city planning. As an avid fiction reader, his interests encompass both literary and commercial works in the adult and young adult categories. He represents New York Times bestsellers Richelle Mead, Morgan Rhodes, Livia Blackburne, Robin Talley, Denise Grover Swank, Suzanne Young, and many more.

I’m always looking for fresh voices–whether that means authors from underrepresented communities, new takes on old tropes, something that hasn’t been seen before, or all of the above. I love a great humorous novel, but I’m also not afraid of anything that’s extremely dark. I’m always on the lookout for great fiction of any stripe but do gravitate towards YA and the fantastical–still, that doesn’t mean I’m not very open to realistic adult fiction and anything in between.

At this exact moment, I would particularly love to find fantasy or sci-fi in non-Western settings, sagas of family or friendship in the vein of Mary McCarthy’s THE GROUP or J. Courtney Sullivan’s MAINE, queer stories of any kind (particularly if yours has an asexual, non-binary, or intersex lead), and a super fun mystery.

I’m probably not your go-to for political or medical thrillers or police procedurals or stories involving time travel (with very rare exceptions). And while I love YA fantasy, I have a strange aversion to stories about fae/faeries.


Pitch will be read: March 15, 2017

Pitching Guidelines can be found HERE.

Please post your Pitch in the Comments section below in this format:


PITCH (under 200 words):


  1. TITLE: Wings of Fate
    GENRE: Fantasy with paranormal elements
    LENGTH: 101,218 words
    AUTHOR: Sabrina Crestwood

    Meghan is Summoned to help the grigor in the battle against the Shadow Masters. She is taught to manipulate the Light, to change energy to matter. On the personal front, she is dismayed to learn that women must approach the men.

    Keitar is a grigor flight leader, a warrior who can shift into a winged lion. He volunteers as her guard and puts himself in her path. Meghan is powerful and their joining infuses him with more Light, so he becomes a being of legend: a gold grigor. He can purge Shadow; he can merge minds and he can fly further. Unfortunately, these gifts come at a price: he could lose his humanity.

    When Meghan is kidnapped, his attempt at rescue ends in his own capture. Meghan throws Light around them but only she can leave the Globe of Light unscathed. He is willing to die for her but hopes it is unnecessary, believing that their love is enough to infuse him in Light, so that he can become a layer a smoke around Meghan. Thus protected, Meghan can expand the Globe.
    Only by working together can Keitar and Meghan destroy the Shadow Masters.

    • Sorry, Sabrina. I’m just seeing this now. The pitches are always read on the 15th so unless you squeak in your pitch before they sit down to read and respond it won’t be answered. The good news is that there is always next month.

  2. Sage Bowman hates keeping secrets, but it’s the only survival strategy she knows since mother was murdered when the wrong person found out she was a witch. Only her Aunt Camille really knew Sage, but now Camille’s dead too, and Sage learns her aunt may not have been as careful. Apparently, Camille had been talking to Dr. Rohan Sharma, an Indian professor of Mythology who studies witches. How much does the charming professor know, and more importantly, can he be trusted?

    After learning Camille’s death wasn’t just a random tragedy— witches everywhere are dying of cancer when they should be immortal, she discovers Camille was working on preventing it. The answers are buried deep in the improbable crossroads between science and magic. Although terrified of exposure, Sage chooses to trust Rohan; only he can help her unravel this mystery.

    Together, they dig deep into world mythology, ancient texts, Indian mysticism, and most importantly Sanskrit, an ancient language that helps them unlock the secret to long forgotten magic. But when she learns another loved one is dying, Sage realizes things aren’t always what they seem. She will have to take a seemingly impossible leap of faith to save herself – and other witches around the world. Can she really trust the part of herself she fears the most?

    SAGE’S GIFTS is a complete 96,000 word low-fantasy novel, with romantic elements. The story blends world mythology and witchcraft with history into a diverse, modern retelling of an ancient Indian myth. This books draws on my experiences as a South Asian woman living in one of the most diverse cities in the world. I am a member of the RWA and the Toronto Romance Writers.

    Thank you for your consideration.

  3. TITLE: Difference and Repetition
    GENRE: Contemporary Queer Romance
    WORD COUNT: 91,000
    AUTHOR: rain merton

    PITCH (under 200 words):

    Zhang Wei (25) feels trapped between career and familial expectations. Managing his family’s Hakka restaurant prevents him from fulfilling his dream of cooking haute Cantonese cuisine and breaking into the competitive Toronto culinary scene. While his circle of close friends has started as a LGBTQIA support group in Cooking College, Wei is not out to his parents, who pressure him into starting his own family. So timing could not be worse for meeting Trent Mbassi (32), an investment banker from Montréal on a 6-month contract in Toronto.

    Two years of loneliness after an eight-year marriage have brought Trent to Canada’s financial capital for a new life and the guarantee of a promotion on his return. Instead of certainties, however, Toronto responds with questions about his choice of pursuing a lucrative career in high finance, rather than his dream of writing poetry. These uncertainties open up the Pandora’s Box of his past to reveal the truce he made to appease his immigrant parents, and trap him in a spiral of repeat mistakes. To do things differently, Trent has to choose between his fierce lover and his responsibility at home. And that is no choice at all.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read this pitch.

    Best wishes,

    • Jim McCarthy says:

      Hi Rain,

      This might be a stretch for me, but why don’t I give it a shot? Send 50 pages, and I’ll dip in.


  4. Title: Pull Me Under
    Genre: Fantasy NA Romance
    Length: 88,000 words
    Author: Jacqueline Downie

    For centuries Underlings have been sent to Earth, unbeknownst to humans, luring them back to Underland and a fate worse than death.
    Dae once served that same purpose and now works for a resistance, trying to save as many humans as she can. Until the mistakes from her past catch up to her in the form of her first target, Alec. Alec drags her back to Underland, and back to the past she’d tried so hard to forget.
    Dae struggles to protect Alec from the horrors of Underland, all the while fighting the desire pulling her to him. Giving in to him would be giving in to what she used to be, becoming what she always swore she wouldn’t. But with the shadows that lurk even in safe havens could that very passion be her salvation, or her downfall?

    I received a response for the manuscript from a pitch to entangled editor Jenn Mischler and have recently submitted it as per her request to Entangled Otherworld line.

    Thank you for your time and consideration.

    • Jim McCarthy says:

      Hi Jacqueline,

      Unfortunately, I don’t rep New Adult, so this isn’t for me. Best of luck to you in finding the perfect match for this project.


  5. Virlana Kardash says:

    Title: Susanna Bailey and The Bag of Unknowns
    Genre: Suspense
    Length: 80,000 words, completed
    Author: Virlana Kardash

    Fish-out-of-water Washington D.C. court reporter finds the body of a witness on a park
    bench, is entangled in a web of lies and wrongdoing, and falls for sexy, dangerous Naval Intelligence officer, exposing old wounds and deep secrets.

  6. TITLE: Savant
    GENRE: YA Graphic Novel
    WORD COUNT: 12,500
    AUTHOR: Carrie De Simas

    Savant was created in a lab to be the superhero the world needed. Or at least that was what she had been told.

    When Savant discovers she had been created for a very different purpose, she runs from her creators who were the only parents she had ever known. This means also betraying her lab brother.

    A few months later everyone connected with her creation are killed in an unexplained explosion. Savant inherits a fortune but doesn’t use it in case the killers are tracking her. Had she been the target? Can she even be killed by an explosion? She knows nothing about her abilities or weaknesses. Anyone who might know is dead.

    Now it is just her and a mysterious cyber-hacker who suddenly appeared in her life. Lotus Hacker offers to help Savant. Savant agrees despite her nervousness about the attraction between them. Lotus has secrets. Savant has secrets. Can they trust each other?

    Together, they evade the people hunting them and uncover the details of Savant’s origins. But even though Savant thinks she is ready for the answers, she is not prepared for the truth…

    • Jim McCarthy says:

      Hi Carrie,

      Unfortunately, I don’t rep graphic novels, so this isn’t for me, but best of luck with it!


  7. Title: FLASH DRIVE

    Genre: Romantic Mystery Thriller

    Word Count: 80,000-words

    Author: Diane L. Kowalyshyn

    High concept pitch: Office manager (think Mary Tyler Moore) hooks up with Special Forces sniper (think Chris Kyle).

    After being manipulated by her mother and pushed around by a large retail chain, Julia Connelly, is ready to be the new office manager of New England Air, her father’s flailing air transport business. Her father is recuperating from surgery and the still–lingering effects a broken heart—his girlfriend and secretary left a few months ago, in the middle of the night, without so much as a good-bye.

    Months ago, to appease his frantic sister, Sloan Picard, Special Forces sniper, on PTSD sick-leave, is hired as a pilot at NEA and in no time determines the small air carrier has more than a DC3 full of financial trouble. Not only that, he suspects they’re flying cocaine or Incan antiquities into the States from South America.

    Once Julia arrives, Sloan turns into a red-hot mess. His instant visceral attraction triggers his PTSD’s flu-like symptoms, which cloud his judgment. He purposely seduces her and winds up being seduced. When their client sabotages the fuel line on the Cessna, Sloan is forced to make an emergency landing and he tells Julia everything. In commando mode, he and Julia work the case together—they fly the DC3 from Maine’s rugged coast to the jungles of Peru where they learn their client is in the fantasy business—he provides a safe and secluded environment to satisfy his customer’s unusual sexual proclivities and, now and then, their deadly mistakes. Once the investigation turns, so does everything else—these savvy hunters become the hunted.

  8. Title: CROSSBONES

    Genre: Horror with romantic elements

    Word Count: 96,000-words

    Author: Diane L. Kowalyshyn

    High concept: A man-beast, who is half Native American (think Jacob Black from Twilight) and half murdering cannibalistic psychopath (think Hannibal Lecter), is ousted by a rich socialite (think Paris Hilton).

    Keme didn’t think his life could get any worse until he is turned into a windigo––a creature with an insatiable appetite for human flesh. Remorse over his first kill prompts Keme to end his miserable life. The unsuccessful attempt frees Arthur, the first and last victim ensnared in the windigo’s internal soul-cache, and they switch places. Two souls, one body, what could go wrong?

    Arthur relishes his new windigo skill-set and intends to exact revenge on Nathanial, the man responsible for ruining his previous life. But eating Nathanial is too easy, Arthur wants to play with his food first. He wants to systematically destroy everything Nathanial holds dear.

    Arthur is captivated with Loretta, Nathanial’s daughter, but Keme is in love. After a whirlwind marriage, Loretta begins to realize her husband is made up of two diametrically opposed beings. She may be too late to help her father, but not too late to save herself. Loretta outsmarts Arthur at his own game and Keme, once again, seizes control.

    This time will Keme’s end-game succeed?

    • Jim McCarthy says:

      Hi Diane,

      This sounds a little more straight-up horror than I tend to go, so I’m not sure it’s a fit, but I wish you all the best with it!


  9. Title: Oleah Chronicles: Truth
    Genre: YA Fantasy
    Word Count: 56, 587 words
    Author: Michelle Johnson

    When reoccurring visions of lion-like creatures begin to haunt her dreams, Sixteen-year-old Angel Seriki starts to question everything. Especially her sanity. It all starts when she meets Zander Black; a new student to her high school who is smart, charming and devastatingly beautiful. Everything about him draws her in, while warning her to stay away at the same time. Curiosity becomes her downfall when Zander offers answers that bring her to face overwhelming truths about her so-called ordinary family. The revelations he uncovers about a danger that threatens to resurface from a past she never knew was her own, changes everything. Life as she knows it will never be the same again. In order to keep her family safe, she has to trust Zander, despite his connection to her enemy. He’s the only resource she has if she ever expects to understand the true reality of who and what she is. However, things become complicated when neither can ignore the magnetic energy between them. As their relationship and feelings deepen, so do the risks involved. Angel must accept her fate, even if that means giving up everything she knows, including being human.

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