Paul Stevens

 

paul-stevensPaul Stevens joined the Donald Maass Literary Agency in 2016. Before that he worked as an editor for 15 years, primarily at Tor Books, where he edited science fiction, fantasy, and mystery.

Paul represents Dave Bara, Alex Bledsoe, J. A. Bradley, Leigh Butler, Kat Clay, Jeremy Finley, Iain Hannay Fraser, Agnes Gomillion, Alyc Helms, Leanna Renee Hieber, Kel Kade, Dan Koboldt, Michael Livingston, Elle Andrews Patt, Stephen S. Power, Kevin Singer, and Melissa Work, among others.

Paul’s deals.

Recent client news.

Paul is an Ohio native and a graduate of the Ohio State University. He grows carnivorous plants. You can often find him hanging about on the walls at nearby climbing gyms.

Submissions:

Paul is currently closed to unsolicited queries. Questions?

Paul represents science fiction, fantasy, and horror, mystery, and suspense. For more info, see below. He’d love more humorous, laugh-out-loud projects in all these genres.

(Paul is not looking for young adult or middle grade books at this time. If you have a YA or MG project, please consider submitting to one of the other agents at this agency.)

He’s looking for strong stories with interesting characters. Paul is definitely interested in seeing projects with well-rounded LGBT characters as protagonists or major characters.

Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror:

Paul is looking for science fiction, fantasy, and horror in all subgenres. He would love to see stories that take tried-and-true genre tropes and turn them on their heads in an inventive way.

For example, epic fantasy should stretch the boundaries and shake things up. If your book is about a group of characters going on a quest, be sure you have an inventive take on the quest fantasy subgenre. Show us something that we’ve never seen before.

Mystery and Suspense:

Ideally your book should have an intriguing concept that makes the reader think, “Oh, that’s a cool idea.”

Given Paul’s strong interest in speculative fiction, Paul is drawn to mysteries and suspense that incorporate some speculative element, such as weird creatures, psychic sleuths, or unusual settings (historical, far future, the moon, Viking times, etc.) Straight-up, contemporary mysteries and crime fiction are unlikely to be a good fit. Again, strong, memorable characters are key.

Humor:

Paul’s looking for humorous books in the genres mentioned above. Humor is very subjective, but if he’s inspired to rush into a coworker’s office to show them a funny passage, that’s a very good sign. Think Terry Pratchett or Christopher Moore.

Here are some great examples of books that Paul edited at Tor. They’ll give a good sense of what appeals to him:

A. Lee Martinez: Gil’s All Fright Diner, In the Company of Ogres, A Nameless Witch, The Automatic Detective, and Too Many Curses.

Robert Brockway: The Unnoticeables.

Also check out Gail Carriger’s Soulless and Richard Kadrey’s Sandman Slim, two books that Paul wanted to acquire for Tor, but, unfortunately, we can’t get them all . . .

 

Paul is not looking for short story collections, poetry, memoirs, screenplays, picture books, chapter books, young adult or middle grade.

 

To query:

Paul is currently closed to unsolicited queries. Questions?

Paul only accepts queries via Query Manager at QueryMe.Online/PStevens

This link will take you to a form where you’ll be asked to enter:

  • a query letter.
  • the first 5 pages of your manuscript. (Don’t stress if the formatting isn’t perfect. As long as Paul can read it, it’s fine.)
  • an optional synopsis. If you have one ready, please include it. If not, don’t worry. Just leave this field blank.
  • a optional biography. If you have relevant writing / publishing credits, please list them here. If not, you can leave this blank.

When you submit, you’ll receive a confirmation email with a link to a status page. On the status page you’ll be able to inform Paul of any changes to your query.

If you have questions about Query Manager, please check out their FAQ page. Answers for authors are toward the bottom of the page.

Contact:

For all other matters, email Paul at pstevens@maassagency.com. (Please do not send queries to this address. Use QueryMe.Online/PStevens.)

Appearances:

 


Deals

March 3, 2021 – TRINITY by Dave Bara

Fiction: Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Two books in Dave Bara’s Trinity’s Children series, featuring space-faring adventure and battle, to Tony Daniel at Baen Books, by Paul E. Stevens at Donald Maass Literary Agency (NA).

February 24, 2021 – GHOST, by Elle Andrews Patt

Audio rights

Elle Andrews Patt’s GHOST, in which the ghost of a murdered girl helps a woman solve her murder, to Victoria Gerken at Podium Audio, in a nice deal, in a three-book deal, by Paul E. Stevens at Donald Maass Literary Agency (world English).

October 20, 2020 – PUTTING THE FACT IN FANTASY, by Dan Koboldt

Non-fiction: Reference

Geneticist and editor of PUTTING THE SCIENCE IN FICTION Dan Koboldt ed.’s PUTTING THE FACT IN FANTASY: ADVICE FROM EXPERTS TO BRING AUTHENTICITY TO YOUR FANTASY WRITING, a collection of essays from historians, linguists, martial artists, and other experts to help authors write more compelling fiction by getting the facts right, to Writer’s Digest Books, for publication in spring 2022, by Paul E. Stevens at Donald Maass Literary Agency (world English).

September 10, 2020 – A HAUNTED HISTORY OF INVISIBLE WOMEN, by Leanna Renee Hieber, Andrea Janes and Elizabeth Kerri Mahon

Non-fiction: History/Politics/Current Affairs

Author of THE SPECTRAL CITY Leanna Renee Hieber, owner of NYC historical tour company Boroughs of the Dead Andrea Janes, and author of SCANDALOUS WOMEN Elizabeth Kerri Mahon’s A HAUNTED HISTORY OF INVISIBLE WOMEN, an exploration of ghostly tropes, examining haunted places where women’s narratives are centered, with a foreword by Stoker Award winner Linda D. Addison, to Elizabeth May at Kensington, by Paul E. Stevens at Donald Maass Literary Agency (world).

June 25, 2020 – NEVER GREATER SLAUGHTER: BRUNANBURH AND THE BIRTH OF ENGLAND, by Michael Livingston

International rights: UK Non-fiction

Military historian Michael Livingston’s NEVER GREATER SLAUGHTER: BRUNANBURH AND THE BIRTH OF ENGLAND, the story of the discovery of a lost battlefield that redefines English history, to Marcus Cowper at Osprey, for publication in summer 2021, by Paul E. Stevens at Donald Maass Literary Agency (world English).

May 28, 2020 – DOMESTICATING DRAGONS, by Dan Koboldt

Fiction: Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Geneticist and author of THE ROGUE RETRIEVAL Dan Koboldt’s DOMESTICATING DRAGONS, in which a talented genetic engineer infiltrates a biotech firm that builds made-to-order dragons to advance his secret quest to cure his brother’s genetic disease, to Tony Daniel at Baen Books, by Paul E. Stevens at Donald Maass Literary Agency (world English).

February 11, 2020 – CRECY, by Michael Livingston

International rights: UK Non-fiction

Michael Livingston’s CRECY: THE BATTLE OF FIVE KINGS, about how the author and other modern scholars used neglected manuscripts, satellite technology, and old-fashioned fieldwork to discover that nearly everything that has been written about 1346’s Battle of Crecy—one the most famous and widely studied military engagements in history—may be wrong, to Marcus Cowper at Osprey, by Paul E. Stevens at Donald Maass Literary Agency (world English).

November 18, 2019 – FATE OF THE FALLEN and KING’S DARK TIDINGS SERIES

International rights: Fiction

Kel Kade’s FATE OF THE FALLEN and KING’S DARK TIDINGS SERIES, to Fabryka Slow (Poland), in a four-book deal, by Milena Kaplarevic at Prava I Prevodi, on behalf of Katie Shea Boutillier at Donald Maass Literary Agency for Paul E. Stevens.

August 8, 2019 – ROOK AND ROSE TRILOGY, by Marie Brennan and Alyc Helms

Fiction: Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Author of the Memoirs of Lady Trent series Marie Brennan and Alyc Helms, writing as M. A. Carrick’s ROOK AND ROSE TRILOGY, in which a clever but desperate con artist attempts to pull off the scheme of her lifetime—infiltrating a noble house by posing as a long-estranged family member—and finds herself drawn into an ever-deepening web of magical and political intrigue with dangerous consequences, to Priyanka Krishnan at Orbit, in a very nice deal, in a three-book deal, for publication in fall 2020, by Paul E. Stevens for Helms at Donald Maass Literary Agency and Eddie Schneider for Brennan at JABberwocky Literary Agency (world English).

April 29, 2019 – FATE OF THE FALLEN by Kel Kade

International rights: Fiction

Kel Kade’s FATE OF THE FALLEN, to Heyne (Germany), in a very nice deal, at auction, in a three-book deal, by Sarah Knofius and Bastian Schlueck at Thomas Schlueck Agency, on behalf of Katie Shea Boutillier at Donald Maass Literary Agency, for Paul E. Stevens.

March 25, 2019 – SEABORN, by Michael Livingston

Audio rights

Author of SHARDS OF HEAVEN Michael Livingston’s SEABORN, in which a matriarchal sea-faring culture faces invasion by an airborne armada intent on eradicating the use of forbidden magic, to Steve Feldberg at Audible Originals, in a very nice deal, in a three-book deal, by Paul E. Stevens at Donald Maass Literary Agency (world English).

December 4, 2018 – BLACK CROW, WHITE SNOW, by Michael Livingston

Audio rights

Author of SHARDS OF HEAVEN Michael Livingston’s BLACK CROW, WHITE SNOW, a fantasy novella in which a desperate group of women warriors fights across a frozen wasteland in search of a mythical weapon they hope will repel a hostile invasion, to Steve Feldberg at Audible Originals, in a nice deal, by Paul E. Stevens at Donald Maass Literary Agency (world).

November 19, 2018 – PUTTING THE SCIENCE IN FICTION, by Dan Koboldt

Audio rights

Dan Koboldt’s PUTTING THE SCIENCE IN FICTION, with foreword by author Chuck Wendig, a collection of essays from scientists, physicians, engineers, and other experts to help authors get the science right and create more compelling fiction, to Kim Budnick at Tantor Media, by Katie Shea Boutillier at Donald Maass Literary Agency on behalf of Paul E. Stevens, and Stacia Decker at Dunow, Carlson & Lerner for Wendig.

August 7, 2018 – THE RECORD KEEPER, by Agnes Gomillion

Audio rights

Debut author Agnes Gomillion’s THE RECORD KEEPER, to Brian Sweany at Recorded Books, at auction, in a two-book deal, by Katie Shea Boutillier at Donald Maass Literary Agency on behalf of for Paul E. Stevens.

July 6, 2018 – THE RECORD KEEPER, by Agnes Gomillion

International rights: UK Fiction

Agnes Gomillion’s THE RECORD KEEPER, in which a model student discovers that the laws she has dedicated herself to upholding are the very laws responsible for the enslavement and extermination of her people, and she leads an uprising to topple the government, to Gary Budden at Titan Books, in a two-book deal, by Paul E. Stevens at Donald Maass Literary Agency (world English).

March 29, 2018 – DAUGHTERS OF FORGOTTEN LIGHT and ASH KICKERS, by Sean Grigsby

Audio rights

Sean Grigsby’s stand-alone DAUGHTERS OF FORGOTTEN LIGHT, plus ASH KICKERS (sequel to his debut SMOKE EATERS), to Brian Sweany at Recorded Books, in a two-book deal, by Katie Shea Boutillier at the Donald Maass Literary Agency on behalf of Paul E. Stevens.

March 20, 2018 – DAUGHTERS OF FORGOTTEN LIGHT, by Sean Grigsby

International rights: UK Fiction

Sean Grigsby’s DAUGHTERS OF FORGOTTEN LIGHT, pitched as Bitch Planet meets Escape from New York, when a baby is smuggled into a deep-space penal colony the leader of a fierce prison gang risks her life to save it from rival gangs and return it to Earth, to Phil Jourdan at Angry Robot, in a two-book deal, for publication in Fall 2018, by Paul E. Stevens at Donald Maass Literary Agency (world English).

November 22, 2017 – SMOKE EATERS, by Sean Grigsby

Audio rights

Professional firefighter Sean Grigsby’s debut SMOKE EATERS, to Brian Sweany at Recorded Books by Katie Shea Boutillier at the Donald Maass Literary Agency on behalf of Paul E. Stevens.

September 26, 2017 – FATE OF THE FALLEN, by Kel Kade

Fiction: Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Author of the King’s Dark Tidings series Kel Kade’s FATE OF THE FALLEN, the first in a brand new series in which a prophesied hero and his best friend discover that saving the world isn’t as easy, or exciting, as it sounds in the stories, and to make matters worse, the latter is beginning to fear that he’s lost his mind, to Christopher Morgan at Tor, in a major deal, in a three-book deal, for publication in Spring 2019, by Paul E. Stevens at Donald Maass Literary Agency (World English).

September 25, 2017 – SMOKE EATERS by Sean Grigsby

International rights: UK Fiction

Professional firefighter Sean Grigsby’s debut SMOKE EATERS, after dragons awake from hibernation, firefighters are humanity’s first line of defense; one naturally immune to dragon smoke is permanently assigned to the front lines of the dragon war—whether he likes it or not, to Phil Jourdan at Angry Robot, for publication on March 6, 2018, by Paul E. Stevens at Donald Maass Literary Agency (World English).

July 26, 2017 – THE GHOST PRECINCT, by Leanna Renee Hieber

Digital: Fiction: Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Leanna Renee Hieber’s THE GHOST PRECINCT, in 1899 a secret division with the New York Police Department communicates with the dead to help solve crimes and, in some cases, intervene before a crime is even committed, to Elizabeth May at Rebel Base, in a three-book deal, by Paul E. Stevens at Donald Maass Literary Agency (World).

June 21, 2017 – PUTTING THE SCIENCE IN FICTION, by Dan Koboldt

Non-fiction: Reference

Geneticist and author of THE ISLAND DECEPTION, Dan Koboldt to edit PUTTING THE SCIENCE IN FICTION, a collection of essays from scientists, physicians, engineers, and other experts to help authors get the science right and create more compelling fiction, to Cris Freese at Writer’s Digest Books, for publication in Fall 2018, by Paul E. Stevens at Donald Maass Literary Agency (World).

October 17, 2016 – THE DARKEST TIME OF NIGHT by Jeremy Finley

Fiction: Thriller

Investigative journalist Jeremy Finley’s debut THE DARKEST TIME OF NIGHT, when a four-year-old boy vanishes without a trace from the woods behind the family’s home, the boy’s grandmother realizes that a long-buried secret from her past may be the only key to finding him, to Peter Wolverton at St. Martin’s, in a two-book deal, by Paul E. Stevens at Donald Maass Literary Agency (World).

May 13, 2016 – THE ISLAND DECEPTION and THE WORLD AWAKENING, by Dan Koboldt

Digital: Fiction: Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Dan Koboldt’s THE ISLAND DECEPTION and THE WORLD AWAKENING, sequels to THE ROGUE RETRIEVAL, in which a Las Vegas stage magician joins a mercenary extraction force infiltrating a world where magic is all too real and the penalty for impersonating a true magician is death, to David Pomerico at Voyager Impulse, for publication in February 2017 and February 2018, by Paul E. Stevens at Donald Maass Literary Agency (World English).


Q & A

Q: Why are you closed?

A: I have a backlog of initial queries. In addition to this I have a very large backlog of 50-page partials and full manuscripts that I’ve requested, and I need to respond to those authors.

Q: When will you reopen?

A: I don’t plan to reopen until I’ve caught up on all submissions and am in a position to consider and respond to submissions more quickly.

Q: I already submitted a query / 50-page partial / full manuscript? Will they be reviewed? Do I need to resubmit?

A: No need to resubmit. If you’re in the queue already, I will look at your material.

Q: You haven’t reviewed my query yet, and I’d like to update it. (See next question for 50-page partials and full manuscripts.)

A: As far as I’ve been able to figure, Query Manager doesn’t allow you to update an initial query without having to withdraw and resubmit, losing your place in the queue. The best thing to do is send me a message through Query Manager with a note that you have an updated query. When I get to your query I’ll ask you to send me the updated info.

Q: You haven’t reviewed my 50-page partial / full manuscript yet, and I’d like to update it.

A: You should be able to upload a new file on your query manager status page. When I see that you’ve uploaded more than one file, I’ll look at the most recent version.

Q: I’d like to withdraw my query, 50-page partial, or full manuscript.

A: You can withdraw for any reason via your query manager status page.

Q: Can I query other agents while I wait to hear from you?

A: Absolutely. The industry standard is that queries / submissions to agents are nonexclusive. We expect that you’re submitting broadly. If you get an offer of representation, there’s a button on your Query Manager page to let me know.

Q: Wait, didn’t you close earlier in 2019?

A: Yes. While I was able to catch up on initial queries at that time, I wasn’t able to get to the many partials and full manuscripts in my queue.