Marina De Pass

Agent

Marina joined The Soho Agency in 2016, after working for several years in the editorial departments of Little, Brown and HarperCollins. She is actively building her list of authors writing upmarket commercial, reading group and accessible literary fiction, alongside a select and eclectic non-fiction list. She works with #1 New York Times & Sunday Times bestselling authors, and #1 Kindle & #1 Audible bestsellers. Her clients' books have been selected as Waterstones' Book of the Month and for the BBC Radio 2 Book Club, among others. In 2023, Marina was selected as a Bookseller Rising Star.

Marina is looking for big stories, compelling writing and unforgettable characters. She reads across all genres in fiction, except for straight sci-fi, and gravitates towards stories told through a female lens. She loves reading submissions and would especially like to see:

  • Upmarket/literary historical fiction with a clear hook.
  • An adult or YA novel that captures something of the essence of Taylor Swift's August: a simmering beach summer, romantic hopes and/or betrayal, salt air and general pastel nostalgia. Something akin to Jenny Han's The Summer I Turned Pretty YA series, or in adult fiction, Miranda Cowley Heller's The Paper Palace.
  • A novel with a complex, competitive & ruthless (but also loyal, loving & unforgettable) family at its core - something like TV's Peaky Blinders, Succession, Yellowstone or Kin.
  • Equally, a sweeping family saga for fans of Lucinda Riley and Rosamund Pilcher.
  • An epic (and possibly tragic) love story – a novel with the emotional punch of The Titanic or the scope and structure of David Nicholls’ One Day.
  • Novels with unusual structures, in any genre.
  • A Viking novel, told through a female lens.
  • Thrillers/procedural crime with a point of difference. Also Dark Academia - The Secret History for a new generation of readers.
  • A YA locked-room mystery/thriller in the vein of Holly Jackson's A Good Girl's Guide to Murder or Karen M. McManus' One of Us is Lying.
  • Witty, dry, sharp contemporary literary fiction, like Monica Heisey's Really Good Actually.
  • A female-lead historical spy thriller in the vein of Lara Prescott's The Secrets We Kept or William Boyd's Restless
  • Speculative fiction rooted in our world, with just one subtle shift from reality - something like Apple TV's Severance.
  • A heist novel.

But this list is not exhaustive. Among other things, she is drawn to books that feature: action, and lots of it; mysteries; heatwaves and/or raging storms; plot twists; hotels; secrets simmering under the surface; dramatic landscapes, a vivid sense of place; an unusual structure; richly drawn characters; but also characters who are not what they seem; cults; against-the-odds survival; dry humour; a light dusting of myths and folklore; animals, preferably dogs; chemistry that leaps off the page; love triangles, family tensions, heady affairs and forbidden romances – relationships under pressure, essentially.

Novels she has loved recently include: In Memoriam by Alice Winn, Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros, Slow Horses by Mick Heron, Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister and Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus.

She would also love to see beautifully-written and compelling narrative non-fiction. The Salt Path by Raynor Winn, Arrangements in Blue by Amy Key and Notes to Self by Emilie Pine are firm favourites.

Marina is a trained copyeditor and proofreader – and takes spelling and grammar too seriously. In addition to her agenting work, Marina has a rare insight into the publishing industry – she is a published author and has studied creative writing at the Faber Academy.


Read a 'Meet the Agent' post by Marina here.

View Marina's Pinterest page to learn more about her taste here.


Marina De Pass