Editorial Director Leigh Newman is the newest member of the Alcove team. Previously, she was an editor at Catapult Publishing and co-founder and editor-in-chief of Black Balloon. She has also served as Books Editor for Oprah.com, and taught in the graduate programs of Sarah Lawrence and New York University. She is looking for conversation book-club titles with a female lead and a world so rich in detail, you feel as if you’ve gone to that world and, perhaps, don’t want to come back. Contemporary novels, historical novels, the occasional memoir or essay collection welcome.
Senior Editor Faith Black Ross has been with Crooked Lane Books since 2016 after more than a decade in publishing. Previously she handled mysteries and historical fiction for the Berkley Publishing Group (Penguin Random House). For Alcove Press, she’s looking for projects with great voice that give her a good laugh (or a good cry, but nothing too mawkish or anything with dead pets), especially if it involves history, fun settings, or food.
Faith would love to receive projects perfect for fans of Paula McLain, Lauren Willig, Liane Moriarty, Graeme Simsion, Amor Towles.
Senior Acquisitions Editor Toni Kirkpatrick began her publishing career at St. Martin’s Press, where she worked for more than a decade acquiring historical and women’s fiction. She joined Crooked Lane Books and Alcove Press in 2019 and is looking for book club fiction that is provocative, humorous, and/or haunting. Toni loves reading about women in history and is drawn to biographical novels about remarkable but maybe not-well-known historical women of any time period. She would love to find stories that highlight contemporary women’s issues, common or odd family dynamics, female friendships, motherhood, and the immigrant or multicultural experience. She is very interested in novels by diverse writers, especially those writing from Latina/o/x, Afro-Latina/o/x, or indigenous perspectives. Works that step into speculative territory are welcome.
Tara Gavin has always loved books. She began her career very early—reading every book she could get her hands on. Her favorites were the classics, Women’s Fiction and mysteries.
She has spent years at Harlequin Books, where she pursued her love of Women’s Fiction, working with New York Times bestsellers Diana Palmer and Lindsay McKenna, as well as many others. Moving onto Kensington Books, Tara still worked with bestselling women’s fiction authors, but also was able to pursue her love of mysteries, suspense and diverse author voices.
She is excited to be working with Alcove Press and Crooked Lane Books, where the best of all worlds come together—upmarket, commercial women’s fiction, suspense, and mysteries. She loves complex plots that entertain and have deep, emotional characterization. Her wish list when she acquires for Crooked Lane Books include books in the tradition of: Ruth Ware, Lisa Gardner, and Karen Rose. She loves cozy mysteries that contain humor, a community of interacting characters, and animals or crafts. Examples of her favorite types of stories can be found in the books by Anne Canadeo, J.C. Eaton and Mary Marks.
Matt Martz, Alcove Press’s publisher, launched Crooked Lane Books in 2014 after eight years at Minotaur Books, the crime fiction imprint for St. Martin’s Press. During his career, he has published New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestsellers. In addition to crime fiction, Matt is looking for books that cross over to other genres, especially reading group fiction. He is particularly drawn to small town settings, stories with compelling family dynamics, and seemingly ordinary characters who harbor dark and explosive secrets.
Rema Badwan’s passion for reading led her to a career in books in one form or another. She began her journey at the Zachary Schuster Harmsworth Agency in Boston, MA, and then moved on to manage a small independent bookstore, The Spirit of ’76, in Marblehead, MA. Having lived abroad, Rema’s dream of combining books and travel came to fruition with a job in the International Sales Department at Random House where she spent six years. She continued her international sales career at National Geographic and Simon & Schuster before joining Crooked Lane Books.
Editorial and Production Associate Melissa Rechter graduated with a BA in English Literary Studies from York College of Pennsylvania and a MS in Publishing from Pace University. During her schooling, she interned for a myriad of literary agencies. In her last semester of her graduate studies, she joined Crooked Lane Books and Alcove Press, and is excited to get a taste for more bookclub fiction.
Marketing Associate Madeline Rathle graduated from Louisiana State University with a BA in journalism before completing her master’s in publishing at NYU. She has previously worked at Baton Rouge Parents Magazine, LSU Press, and Peter Lang Publishing. Her favorite genres to read are true crime and historical fiction, but she loves exploring other genres and finding new authors!
Publishing and Production Assistant Rebecca Nelson graduated from the University of Connecticut with a BA in English and BS in Biology, and she has an MA in English from Kansas State University, where she was the editor in chief of the literary magazine Touchstone. She has interned for Dzanc Books, Amphorae Press, Creative Media Agency, and Ayesha Pande Literary. Her favorite genres include thrillers, true crime, and YA, and she also enjoys bookclub fiction and popular science.