Stevie Finegan


AGENT

Stevie is currently CLOSED for submissions.

I joined Zeno at the beginning of 2020 after time served working for science fiction and fantasy imprint Gollancz, adult non-fiction publisher Icon, and almost every Waterstones bookshop London has to offer. My degree specialised in children’s literature with a dissertation debating what Young Adult fiction actually is. All of the above strongly influenced the kind of books I get excited about, as well as broader narratives that explore stories connected with LGBTQIA+, BAME, disability,  mental health, and other marginalised experiences.

I’m particularly interested in submissions in the following areas…

Fantasy — Big epic fantasies with strong characters and something new, particular favourites of mine are Brandon Sanderson and N.K. Jemisin. I love a world that feels original, China Mieville-esque weird is right up my street. Books about books, or with some clever meta-stories, like Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series or Lev Grossman’s The Magicians.

Science Fiction — Often quite soft on the science, but I love character driven stories that imagine a more egalitarian future like Becky Chambers’ Wayfarers Series or The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal. Also high concept questions like those found in the stories of Ken Liu and Ted Chiang.

Children’s — Picture Books, early reader, MG and YA. I’m a big fan of queer romance at any level and across all settings from Micheal Hall’s Red: A Crayon’s Story to Benjamin Alire Sáenz’s Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. I’m a sucker for a boarding school story and would love something Enid Blyton-esque that contained a more inclusive cast of characters. I like whimsical, soft magic systems like those found in Diana Wynne Jones, Eva Ibbotson’s Middle Grade or Dave Rudden’s Knights of the Borrowed Dark. I also like books with a good sense of humour such as Holly Smale’s Geek Girl series or Libba Bray’s Beauty Queens. In picture books I go for beautiful art with a deeper message like The Red Tree by Shaun Tan or Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love and works that contain as much of the story in the art as the language, like Oliver Jeffers or Jon Klassen.

Graphic Novels — Strong feminist and LGBTQIA+ themes with real heart like Isabel Greenberg’s The One Hundred Nights of Hero, Jen Wang’s The Prince and the Dressmaker or Alice Oseman’s Heartstopper. Funny cartoonists like Tom Gauld, Sarah Andersen and Kate Beaton are also a plus.

Non-fiction — Books that comes with a clear promise, such as Reni Eddo-Lodge’s Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, Philippa Perry’s The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read or Isabel Hardman’s Why We Get the Wrong Politicians. Strong feminist themes like Caroline Criado Perez’s Invisible Women or stories of women and other marginalised groups travelling or otherwise undertaking an amazing task, I would love to find an Eat, Pray, Love or a Wild for a new generation. Books that address struggles with mental health I also find very interesting, such a Bella Mackie’s Jog On, Nancy’s Tucker’s The Time in Between or David Adam’s The Man Who Couldn’t Stop.

Contact Details:

Email: finegan@zenoagency.com

Twitter: @StevieFinegan

Clients:

Travis Baldree

Alice Bell

Cierra Block

Marie Brennan

Rebecca Brownlie

Andrew Cartmel

Mário Coelho

J.R. Dawson

Clio Evans

Craig Laurance Gidney

J.T. Greathouse

Daniel B. Greene

Elizabeth Helen

Grady Hendrix

Laura Kerseviciute

Shannon Mayer

Anna McNuff

Katy Nyquist

Bryce O’Connor

Adam Oyebanji

Sian Radford

Emily Rath

Farrah Riaz

Cassidy Ellis Salter

Calah Singleton

Emily Turner

R.R. Virdi

MJ Wassmer

Angus Watson

Gary Wigglesworth

Jasmine Wigham

Yudhanjaya Wijeratne

Catelyn Wilson

THE FIRST BINDING by R.R. Virdi is Out Now in the UK!


R.R. Virdi‘s THE FIRST BINDING is out now! The first novel in the Tales of Tremaine epic fantasy series, it is published in the UK by Gollancz. An immersive and engrossing story, here’s the synopsis…

All legends are born of truths. And just as much lies. These are mine. Judge me for what you will. But you will hear my story first.

I buried the village of Ampur under a mountain of ice and snow. Then I killed their god. I’ve stolen old magics and been cursed for it. I started a war with those that walked before mankind and lost the princess I loved, and wanted to save. I’ve called lightning and bound fire. I am legend. And I am a monster.

My name is Ari.

And this is the story of how I let loose the first evil.

Thus begins the tale of a storyteller and a singer on the run and hoping to find obscurity in a tavern bar. But the sins of their past aren’t forgotten, and neither are their enemies. Their old lives are catching up swiftly and it could cost them the entire world. No one can escape their pasts and all stories must have an ending.

In case you need more convincing, the book has been generating a lot of pre-publication buzz from fellow authors and reviewers alike. Here’s just a small sample…

‘An ode to storytelling, complete with a rich mythology, turbulent adventures, and a flawed hero you’ll root for… Approached with patience, this epic fantasy will satisfy any fan of the genre.’ Kirkus

THE FIRST BINDING is the first volume in a new magnificent and ambitious high fantasy series to obsess over.’ Novel Notions

‘R.R. Virdi’s THE FIRST BINDING is engrossing and beautiful, joyous and painful—always entertaining, sometimes profound. This book makes me remember why I love epic fantasy.’ Kevin J. Anderson, New York Times bestselling coauthor of Dune: House Atreides

‘Crafted with patience, passion, and most importantly, tremendous love. Read R.R. Virdi!’ — Jim Butcher, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Dresden Files

‘An epic like no othergrand, sweeping, dramatic, a love letter to fantasy burning with with the dust and heat and mythos of South Asia. It reads like magic and tastes like saffron.’ — Yudhanjaya Wijeratne, Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia, Washington Post bestselling author of the Salvage Crew and the Commonwealth Empire

THE FIRST BINDING was one of my most anticipated releases of 2022 and I am happy to say that it met my expectations. A worthy Epic South Asian Fantasy to look out for.’ — Book A Fiction

‘[A] new favourite of mine, and I can’t wait for the next book to come out!’ — Library of a Viking

Zeno represents R.R. Virdi in the UK and Commonwealth, on behalf of the JABberwocky Literary Agency in New York.

R.R. Virdi’s THE FIRST BINDING is out in Two Weeks!


The release of R.R. Virdi‘s THE FIRST BINDING is fast approaching! The first novel in the Tales of Tremaine epic fantasy series, it is due to be published in the UK by Gollancz, on August 18th! Check out the synopsis…

All legends are born of truths. And just as much lies. These are mine. Judge me for what you will. But you will hear my story first.

I buried the village of Ampur under a mountain of ice and snow. Then I killed their god. I’ve stolen old magics and been cursed for it. I started a war with those that walked before mankind and lost the princess I loved, and wanted to save. I’ve called lightning and bound fire. I am legend. And I am a monster.

My name is Ari.

And this is the story of how I let loose the first evil.

Thus begins the tale of a storyteller and a singer on the run and hoping to find obscurity in a tavern bar. But the sins of their past aren’t forgotten, and neither are their enemies. Their old lives are catching up swiftly and it could cost them the entire world. No one can escape their pasts and all stories must have an ending.

A special, limited and signed edition of the novel is available for order from The Broken Binding (EU only).

The book has been generating a lot of pre-publication buzz. Here’s just a small sampling of it…

‘An ode to storytelling, complete with a rich mythology, turbulent adventures, and a flawed hero you’ll root for… Approached with patience, this epic fantasy will satisfy any fan of the genre.’ Kirkus

THE FIRST BINDING is the first volume in a new magnificent and ambitious high fantasy series to obsess over.’ Novel Notions

‘R.R. Virdi’s THE FIRST BINDING is engrossing and beautiful, joyous and painful—always entertaining, sometimes profound. This book makes me remember why I love epic fantasy.’ Kevin J. Anderson, New York Times bestselling coauthor of Dune: House Atreides

‘Crafted with patience, passion, and most importantly, tremendous love. Read R.R. Virdi!’ — Jim Butcher, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Dresden Files

‘An epic like no othergrand, sweeping, dramatic, a love letter to fantasy burning with with the dust and heat and mythos of South Asia. It reads like magic and tastes like saffron.’ — Yudhanjaya Wijeratne, Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia, Washington Post bestselling author of the Salvage Crew and the Commonwealth Empire

THE FIRST BINDING was one of my most anticipated releases of 2022 and I am happy to say that it met my expectations. A worthy Epic South Asian Fantasy to look out for.’ — Book A Fiction

‘[A] new favourite of mine, and I can’t wait for the next book to come out!’ — Library of a Viking

Zeno represents R.R. Virdi in the UK and Commonwealth, on behalf of the JABberwocky Literary Agency in New York.

Zeno at YALC!


YALC is this weekend, as part of the London Film & Comic Con. Zeno will be nicely represented by two of our agents — Stevie Finegan and Kristina Pérez, both of whom will be taking part in Agent 1-2-1s on Saturday, July 9th (1pm) in the Agent Arena.

In addition to Stevie and Kristina, two of our authors are also going to be attending!

Josh Winning, the author of the acclaimed debut THE SHADOW GLASS (Titan), will be taking part in the “Try the Fantasy” panel, which will ‘discuss the fun and fantastical world of fantasy YA fiction, and why we can’t get enough of these magical worlds.’

Here’s the synopsis for THE SHADOW GLASS

Jack Corman is failing at life.

Jobless, jaded and on the “wrong” side of thirty, he’s facing the threat of eviction from his London flat while reeling from the sudden death of his father, one-time film director Bob Corman. Back in the eighties, Bob poured his heart and soul into the creation of his 1986 puppet fantasy The Shadow Glass, a film Jack loved as a child, idolising its fox-like hero Dune.

But The Shadow Glass flopped on release, deemed too scary for kids and too weird for adults, and Bob became a laughing stock, losing himself to booze and self-pity. Now, the film represents everything Jack hated about his father, and he lives with the fear that he’ll end up a failure just like him.

In the wake of Bob’s death, Jack returns to his decaying home, a place creaking with movie memorabilia and painful memories. Then, during a freak thunderstorm, the puppets in the attic start talking. Tipped into a desperate real-world quest to save London from the more nefarious of his father’s creations, Jack teams up with excitable fanboy Toby and spiky studio executive Amelia to navigate the labyrinth of his father’s legacy while conjuring the hero within –– and igniting a Shadow Glass resurgence that could, finally, do his father proud.

Vincent Tirado, debut author of the acclaimed BURN DOWN, RISE UP (Sourcebooks Fire), will be taking part in the “History Repeating” panel, which will ‘explore the challenges and triumphs that come with bringing history back to life in new and exciting ways.’

Here’s the synopsis for BURN DOWN, RISE UP

Mysterious disappearances. An urban legend rumored to be responsible. And one group of friends determined to save their city at any cost. Stranger Things meets Jordan Peele in this utterly original debut from an incredible new voice.

For over a year, the Bronx has been plagued by sudden disappearances that no one can explain. Sixteen-year-old Raquel does her best to ignore it. After all, the police only look for the white kids. But when her crush Charlize’s cousin goes missing, Raquel starts to pay attention-especially when her own mom comes down with a mysterious illness that seems linked to the disappearances.

Raquel and Charlize team up to investigate, but they soon discover that everything is tied to a terrifying urban legend called the Echo Game. The game is rumored to trap people in a sinister world underneath the city, and the rules are based on a particularly dark chapter in New York’s past. And if the friends want to save their home and everyone they love, they will have to play the game and destroy the evil at its heart-or die trying.

ICYMI: Gollancz Acquires J.T. Greathouse’s THE HAND OF THE SUN KING!


We are very happy to report that Brendan Durkin at Gollancz has acquired UK and Commonwealth rights to J.T. Greathouse‘s debut fantasy trilogy!

The news broke earlier this week, via Bookseller, but we wanted to make sure nobody missed it!

The first novel in the series, THE HAND OF THE SUN KING, is due to be published in hardcover, eBook and audiobook, in February 2021! We’ll keep you updated with more news (covers, etc.) as soon as we have it. In the meantime, here’s a synopsis for the first book…

Wen Alder is soon to take the Imperial examinations, the first step to becoming Hand of the Emperor and to wielding the Empire’s legitimate magic. It has been years since his grandmother showed him her forbidden witchcraft, before she abandoned him to join the resistance. Now his path will take him from lowly student to Empire sorcerer, force him to choose between his country and his family, and have him uncover the truth: that an even greater war is being waged than that with the resistance, one that is magical rather than mundane, one into which he may find himself drawn, whether he wants to be or not.

‘I knew I was on to something special,’ said Durkin. ‘[Greathouse’s] writing flows like silk, the world he has created practically leaps off the page, and Alder’s conflicted journey kept me hooked from beginning to end. I can’t wait for people to read it.’

Here’s what the author had to say about the book and Gollancz acquiring it…

‘I’ve sometimes described THE HAND OF THE SUN KING, and the trilogy it begins, as a distillation of my undergraduate education in history and philosophy, remixed with some of my favourite fantasy elements including complex magic systems, coming-of-age stories, morally conflicted protagonists, ancient mysterious gods, and massive world-spanning empires. Seeing my novels in print is a dream come true, and I am thrilled that this project has found a home at Gollancz alongside many of the preeminent authors of the fantasy genre. I am grateful to Joshua, Stevie, and Brendan for their help and hard work.’

‘I actually picked up Jeremy’s HAND OF THE SUN KING on my very first day as an agent at Zeno and was thrilled to make my agenting debut with such a richly imagined fantasy,’ said Zeno’s Stevie Finegan. ‘Alder’s is an intricate, magical story and Brendan and Gollancz, with their stable including so many of the big hitters in this genre, are the perfect publisher to bring it to readers who will be enchanted by this tale.’

Zeno represents J.T. Greathouse in the UK and Commonwealth, on behalf of the JABberwocky Literary Agency in New York.

Please Join us in Welcoming Stevie Finegan to Zeno!


We are delighted to share the news that Stevie Finegan has joined the Zeno Agency as an agent!

Prior to joining us, Stevie was publicity manager at Orion. She brings with her a wealth of publishing experience having worked with numerous Sunday Times bestselling and award winning authors including Ben Aaronovitch, Joanne Harris and Dhonielle Clayton. Whilst at Gollancz, Stevie also founded The Gollancz and Rivers of London BAME SFF Award, a writing prize which aims to foster diversity and inclusion within science fiction and fantasy.

Stevie’s addition continues the agency’s expansion, coming in the wake of Kristina Pérez’s appointment towards the end of 2019, joining Associate Agent, Louise Buckley, and Director, John Berlyne.

Director of Zeno, John Berlyne says, ‘Stevie’s arrival comes at a hugely exciting time for Zeno. 2020 will be a key year for the agency and Stevie, with her extraordinary skillset will be a major component of our next steps. I am thrilled to be welcoming her on board.’

Stevie Finegan says, ‘I am delighted to be joining Zeno and starting my career as an agent. We’re currently witnessing a very exciting time for the genre as more and more stories are reaching wider and wider audiences. I’m delighted that Zeno has welcomed me onboard and I cannot wait to start finding and championing exciting new works, in particular stories from women, writers of colour, and others marginalised voices.’

Stevie Finegan can be contacted at finegan@zenoagency.com; she can also be found on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Westwood Photography