Melissa Chinchillo joined the agency in 2004, after ten years of teaching literature, women’s studies and film at universities in New York and Boston. She is the agency’s Director of Foreign Rights and manages rights for select clients of 3 Arts Entertainment and IT Revolution. With an eclectic list of clients ranging from philosophers and historians to literary horror writers and syndicated cartoonists, Melissa’s clients include Gordon Chang’s Ghosts of Gold Mountain (HMH), Douglas Smith’s Rasputin (FSG), Aaron James’ Assholes: A Theory (Doubleday), Jonathan Howard’s five-book series Johannes Cabal The Necromancer (Doubleday & Thomas Dunne), and Dave Coverly’s Night of the Living Worms (Holt), the first in his “Speed Bump & Slingshot Misadvanture” middle grade series. Melissa holds a BA and MA from Simmons College and is ABD in the PhD program at SUNY Stony Brook, where she also earned graduate teaching certifications in women’s studies and film studies.
More About Melissa
What are you currently reading?
Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday; No Stopping Us Now by Gail Collins
What’s important/interesting for potential clients to know about you and what you’re looking for?
I have a wide range of interests when it comes to non-fiction: from popular philosophy, science and psychology, to serious history, soft business, self-help and quirky gift books. I’m continually growing more interested in health, fitness and wellness and would like to work with more authors in this area. I work with many academics and historians and am open to projects in which the author is branching out from an academic audience to reach a broader trade market.
For fiction, I’m drawn to stories with a dark, suspenseful, philosophical or mysterious bent. They tend to be literary thrillers, mysteries or crime fiction (but not always) and could be literary or commercial, adult or YA. I’m intrigued by supernatural or fantastical elements (not high fantasy) woven into great writing, like the sensibility of Kelly Link, Karen Russell or Jonathan Howard.
What are you NOT looking for?
Cookbooks, children’s books, genre fiction (unless it aligns with the above). I personally don’t read a lot of memoirs, so a memoir would have to be incredibly special in some way for me to take it on.