Mafia story

Do agents have a tendency to critique a mafia story negatively just because it’s a mafia story? (Not to do with romance)

Thanks :smiley:

Generally, agents don’t critique.

They either like, and ask for a longer sample, or – 95% of the time or more – they don’t like, and move on, often without replying at all.

All agents have certain areas of interest. Some may care only about Romance, some about Fantasy, some about gritty thillers - e.g. Mafia stories. You have to research an agent’s interests and ‘wish list’ before sending a query to have any chance of success.

Then, of course, the query has to hook their interest. It has to be an interesting or unusual take on the Mafia story that they haven’t seen before, and the query letter, blurb, etc. have to fit the accepted structure and be very well-written.


@gilharriss nailed it!

I’m just wondering if my genres are clashing. It’s a contemporary surrounding a mafia family, but the main character is an 18 y/o who goes through realistic life problems.

Are you aiming at YA or NA? It sounds interesting to me, personally.

Thanks! The issues explored in the story is closer to YA than NA, but there’s talk of recreational drugs, and occasional profanity, which lean more to the NA side. I really don’t know lol!

YA books can have profanity, sex, school shootings, cutting, terrorist attacks, drug use, prostitution, bullying, gangs…

Teens these days live in an ugly world. Their reading helps them feel less alone.


Would you mind explaining the difference between YA and NA then? Is it the reading difficulty? I’ve seen that YA fantasy writers need to watch what they’re writing (I.e. Cassandra Clare couldn’t include sex in her Shadowhunter series), but that sort of goes against what you’ve said.

I can tell you what they won’t like. A cliched mafia story. One without a strong hook or a unique premise. Stock mafiosi and cardboard-cutout characters.

But what does it matter? Just write the best book you can then put it out there and see what happens. You’ve got nothing to lose by querying.


I can help on the distinction between YA and NA.

YA is about asking questions - the big ones. Like, who am I, what do I wanna do with my future. Coming-of-age sort of questions, that often revolves about finding yourself without the context of your parents defining you.

NA sets out to answer those questions - often dealing with more mature issues of actually starting a family with your loved one, more mature relationships (like figuring out how to live with your partner, for example) It’s also about navigating the world as a grown-up. You’re between 18 and 25 now and there’s different expectations of you now. You gotta finish or start your education, find a job, find a way to live a stable life.

Basically, YA is about finding your place in the world - NA is about claiming that place as your own and settling.


makes me wonder what the heck it is I write. My characters mostly function, but at almost 40 they still haven’t got their act together… SA - Senior Adult?

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Hahahha, I think it’s just Adult (and tired) :joy:



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