Meaghan Wagner is a former editor from Penguin Random House and an amazing outfielder with a strong arm and a love of clutch situations. She is, however, a terrible bowler.
In her time at G.P. Putnam’s Sons, she worked across genres, specializing in mysteries and thrillers, though she’s personally an eclectic reader who has always had a love of science fiction and fantasy. Over her career, she has edited books as varied as her reading tastes, working with authors Thomas Sweterlitsch and Royce Prouty in sci-fi and horror, Mike Maden and Matthew Palmer in action and thriller, Ellen Meister and Shari Shattuck on general fiction with fun (and funny) female leads, and Eve Brown-Waite in narrative non-fiction. She even worked with some of the biggest names at Putnam, including Ridley Pearson and Robin Cook, as well as contributing to early works by Beatriz Williams and Ingrid Thoft.
In science fiction and fantasy, she looks for stories that go beyond mere escapism and reflect on the world today. Across genres, she loves a story with a strong narrative voice, full of character and personality. She refuses to use the term “women’s fiction” in anything but air quotes, and she will always apply the Bechdel test to your book and let you know if it passes.
With New York Book Editors, Meaghan is excited to to turn her sole editorial focus to working with authors, rather than spending her time managing interdepartmental relationships at a big publisher. Authors she’s worked with have described her as “creative and innovative,” and sensitive to their authorial styles. The solutions she presents to narrative sticking points are always well thought out and unique to your style and your story.
Meaghan's select booklist can be found below.
Pittsburgh is John Dominic Blaxton’s home even though the city has been uninhabitable ruin and ash for the past decade. The Pittsburgh Dominic lives in is the Archive, an immersive virtual reconstruction of the city’s buildings, parks, and landmarks, as well as the people who once lived there. Including Dominic’s wife and unborn child.
When he’s not reliving every recorded moment with his wife in an endless cycle of desperation and despair, Dominic investigates mysterious deaths preserved in the Archive before Pittsburgh’s destruction. His latest cold case is the apparent murder of a woman whose every appearance is deliberately being deleted from the Archive.
Obsessed with uncovering this woman’s identity and what happened to her, Dominic
follows a trail from the virtual world into reality. But finding the truth buried deep within an illusion means risking his sanity and his very existence...
"Edge-of-your-seat crime fiction that bends both time and mind. Think True Detective meets 12 Monkeys...This is cross-genre fiction at its best." - Sylvain Neuvel, author of Sleeping Giants
Shannon Moss is part of a clandestine division within the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. In western Pennsylvania, 1997, she is assigned to solve the murder of a Navy SEAL's family - and to locate his vanished teenage daughter. Though she can't share the information with conventional law enforcement, Moss discovers that the missing SEAL was an astronaut aboard the spaceship U.S.S. Libra - a ship assumed lost to the currents of Deep Time. Moss knows first-hand the mental trauma of time-travel and believes the SEAL's experience with the future has triggered this violence.
Determined to find the missing girl and driven by a troubling connection from her own past, Moss travels ahead in time to explore possible versions of the future, seeking evidence to crack the present-day case. To her horror, the future reveals that it's not only the fate of a family that hinges on her work, for what she witnesses rising over time's horizon and hurtling toward the present is the Terminus: the terrifying and cataclysmic end of humanity itself.
Joseph Barkeley has a gift. Without the aid of chemical testing, he can accurately determine the authenticity and age of any document, seeing details within the fibers the way a composer picks out the individual notes of a symphony. But rarely does Joseph get a job this delicate and well-paying. A mystery buyer has hired him to authenticate the original draft of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
When he travels to Transylvania to personally deliver the manuscript to the legendary Bran Castle, Barkeley, a Romanian orphan himself, soon realizes that his employer is the son of the infamous Vlad Dracula. Imprisoned in the castle and forced to serve “the Master,” Barkeley must quickly decipher cryptic messages hidden within Stoker’s masterpiece to find the Master’s long-lost bride - or risk wearing out his welcome.
Lily Dane has returned to Seaview, Rhode Island, where her family has summered for generations. It’s an escape not only from New York’s social scene but from a heartbreak that still haunts her. Here, among the seaside community that has embraced her since childhood, she finds comfort in the familiar rituals of summer.
But this summer is different. Budgie and Nick Greenwald - Lily’s former best friend and former fiancé - have arrived, too, and Seaview’s elite are abuzz. Under Budgie’s glamorous influence, Lily is seduced into a complicated web of renewed friendship and dangerous longing.
As a cataclysmic hurricane churns north through the Atlantic, and uneasy secrets slowly reveal themselves, Lily and Nick must confront an emotional storm that will change their worlds forever...
“Get to know Christina ‘Tiny’ and Frank Hardcastle in this winner of a novel. The Kennedy-esque couple have a bright political future...but both have dangerous secrets.” - US Weekly
In the summer of 1966, Christina “Tiny” Hardcastle stands on the brink of a breathtaking future. Unlike her spirited sisters, Tiny was the consummate well-behaved debutant, poised and picture-perfect, raised to serve as a consort to a great man. Now, as her handsome husband, Frank, runs for a Massachusetts seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, that long-sought destiny lies nearly within reach.
But behind her glamorous facade, Tiny’s flawless life is cracking. She and Frank both have secrets in their pasts that could shatter their political ambitions and the intricate truce of their marriage. So when two unwelcome visitors arrive at the Hardcastle family’s Cape Cod estate - Frank’s cousin Caspian, a Vietnam war hero who knows a thing or two about Tiny’s hidden past, and an envelope containing incriminating photographs - Tiny is forced into a reckless gamble against a house that always, always wins…
“A delicious story about the ultimate romantic fantasy.” - Publishers Weekly
“Overseas is one of those addictive stories that grabs you and doesn’t let go. Beatriz Williams has an amazing storytelling talent.” - Lauren Willig, author of the Pink Carnation series
A passionate, sweeping novel of a love that transcends time. When twenty-something Wall Street analyst Kate Wilson attracts the notice of the legendary Julian Laurence at a business meeting, no one’s more surprised than she is. Julian’s relentless energy and his extraordinary intellect electrify her, but she’s baffled by his sudden interest. Why would this handsome British billionaire - Manhattan’s most eligible bachelor - pursue a pretty but bookish young banker who hasn’t had a boyfriend since college?
The answer is beyond imagining...at least at first. Kate and Julian’s story may have begun not in the moneyed world of twenty-first-century Manhattan but in France during World War I, when a mysterious American woman emerged from the shadows of the Western Front to save the life of Captain Julian Laurence Ashford, a celebrated war poet and infantry officer.
“A heartfelt and moving portrait of life on the sidelines. It is a book for anyone who has ever felt they didn’t count...A lovely, compelling novel about a woman you won’t soon forget.” - Kristin Hannah, #1 New York Times bestselling author
Ellen has been an outsider since she was a child. In fact, she has done everything in her power to make herself seem completely invisible to those around her - until she becomes exactly that. Overweight, awkward, and utterly alone, she rarely leaves her apartment except to work the night shift at Costco. Everything changes when Ellen meets a charismatic blind woman named Temerity and surprises herself by stepping in to save her from two violent muggers.
Ellen’s brave act sparks an intense friendship, and the unlikely pair - the invisible girl and her blind sidekick - begin a journey together filled with intrigue, humor, and surprises. Little by little, Ellen finds another, stronger side of herself as she realizes that she has so much more to offer than her invisible persona allowed.
Death cannot quell the feisty spirit of Dorothy Parker.
For more than forty years, Mrs. Parker has been spurning the white light and wandering the famous halls of the Algonquin, drink in hand, searching for someone - anyone - who will keep her company on this side of eternity.
She may have found the perfect candidate in Ted Shriver, a brilliant literary voice of the 1970s, silenced early in a promising career by a devastating plagiarism scandal. He is now a recluse hiding away in the old hotel, waiting to die.
But when a young, ambitious TV producer enters the hotel in search of Shriver, she and Dorothy Parker begin to discover a host of secrets surrounding the life of the famous man - and why he seems as anxious to enter the beyond as Mrs. Parker is to
Ellen Homes is done being invisible. Well, sort of.
Living with her closest friends, Temerity and Justice, has helped her step out of the shell of invisibility she once hid away in. She still seeks refuge in solitary time and observing from afar, but she has pushed herself to open up to others in ways that bring her unexpected happiness.
But when a terrible bus crash upends her normal routine, Ellen finds herself on a whirlwind crusade for the unseen and downtrodden. Only this time, helping others - including two young children with no one else to turn to- will mean facing a pain from her past that she’s long tucked away.
Picking up where Invisible Ellen left off, Becoming Ellen returns us to the touching, poignant, and compassionate world of Ellen Homes as she learns how to navigate the world she has decided to become a part of.
"Magical fun." - Booklist
“[Meister] reveals the pathos behind the pith.” - Washington Post
When it comes to movie reviews, critic Violet Epps is a powerhouse voice. But that’s only because she’s learned to channel her literary hero Dorothy Parker, the most celebrated and scathing wit of the twentieth century. If only Violet could summon that kind of strength in her personal life.
Violet visits the Algonquin Hotel in an attempt to find inspiration from the hallowed dining room where Dorothy Parker and so many other famous writers of the 1920s traded barbs, but she gets more than she bargained for when Parker’s feisty spirit rematerializes. An irreverent ghost with problems of her own - including a refusal to cross over to the afterlife - Mrs. Parker helps Violet face her fears, becoming in turn mentor and tormentor…and ultimately, friend.
“There’s the mission the public knows, and the mission we’ll never see. Matthew Palmer knows both, which is what makes this novel crackle with complexity and authority. What a debut.” - Brad Meltzer, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“This is first-rate fiction.” - Kirkus Reviews
After a devastating experience in Darfur strips Alex Baines, former rising star of the State Department, of his security clearances, he is faced with two choices: spend the rest of his career in visa-stamping limbo or move to the private sector. On the verge of resigning, he receives a call from his old mentor with an incredible opportunity to start over, restoring both his security clearances and his reputation.
The job isn’t quite what Alex imagined it to be when he finds a shady U.S.-based mining company everywhere he turns.
As violence in the political climate escalates, Alex struggles to balance the best interests of the United States with the fate of the Congo and its people. His loyalties are put to the test as he races to determine the right course of action.
Formerly the top South Asia expert in the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Trainor has moved to the private sector, working as an analyst for the consulting firm Argus Systems. But Sam soon discovers that for all their similarities, the government and their hired contractors have vastly different motives.
As he struggles to adjust to a more corporate, profit-driven version of the work that had been his life, he stumbles across an intelligence anomaly - the transcript of a phone conversation about the fastest ways to upend the delicate political balance keeping India and Pakistan from all-out war. Yet Sam knows that conversation can’t have occurred - because he is having an affair with one of the alleged participants.
As he digs into the source of this misinformation, he realizes that more is at stake than just bad intel. Someone is deliberately twisting the intelligence to stoke the simmering conflict between India and Pakistan, nuclear-armed rivals that have already fought multiple wars. And Sam’s new employer could be up to its neck in it.
“Brace yourself.” - Chicago Tribune
“Pearson’s narrative grabs readers and rockets through hundreds of pages of nonstop action laced by violence, double-dealing and shady characters...A cunning thriller worthy of the promised series, especially if the fascinating Grace Chu reappears regularly.” - Kirkus Reviews
A Chinese national working for an American-owned construction company is grabbed off the streets of Shanghai in broad daylight. His one-man security detail goes missing as well. Rutherford Risk, the company’s international security contractor, specializes in negotiation for and recovery of kidnapped hostages. Private investigation is illegal in today’s China. Operating within her borders is difficult at best: complex political situations and corrupt individuals combined with the intricacies of Chinese culture make such work anything but straightforward. The security company recruits two unique outsiders to do its bidding. Grace Chu is a forensic accountant hired to follow the money; John Knox is a civilian with unparalleled training in both combat and the street culture of Shanghai, brought in to support her.
Chu’s top-notch American education, as well as her Chinese military service, makes her an unassuming but effective operative, while Knox’s take-no-prisoners attitude provides the street smarts and arm-twisting necessary to pursue the location of the hostages. Following the money trail leads to more complex - and dangerous - consequences than either Chu or Knox anticipated. Who is actually behind the kidnapping? More important, can Knox and Chu locate the two hostages ahead of the ransom deadline?
“A brilliant read with astounding plot twists...Maden's trail of intrigue will captivate you from page one.” - Clive Cussler #1 New York Times bestselling author
Troy Pearce is the CEO of Pearce Systems, a private security firm specializing in drone technologies. A former CIA SOG operative, Pearce used his intelligence and combat skills to hunt down America’s enemies - until he opted out, having seen too many friends sacrificed for political expediency. Now Pearce and his team choose which battles they will take on.
Pearce is done with the United States government for good, until a pair of drug cartel hit men assault a group of American students on American soil. New U.S. president Margaret Myers secretly authorizes Pearce Systems to locate and destroy the killers wherever they are. Now Pearce and his team are in a showdown with the hidden powers behind the El Paso attack—unleashing a host of unexpected repercussions.
George Wilson, M.D., a radiology resident in Los Angeles, is about to enter a profession on the brink of an enormous paradigm shift, foreshadowing a vastly different role for doctors everywhere. The smartphone is poised to take on a new role in medicine, no longer as a mere medical app but rather as a fully customizable personal physician capable of diagnosing and treating even better than the real thing. It is called iDoc.
George’s initial collision with this incredible innovation is devastating. He awakens one morning to find his fiancée dead in bed alongside him, not long after she participated in an iDoc beta test. Then several of his patients die after undergoing imaging procedures. All of them had been part of the same beta test.
Is it possible that iDoc is being subverted by hackers - and that the U.S. government is involved in a cover-up? Despite threats to both his career and his freedom, George relentlessly seeks the truth, knowing that if he’s right, the consequences could be lethal.
The Ludlows are a hard-charging family, and patriarch Carl Ludlow treats his offspring like employees - which they are. But his daughter, Fina, is a bit of a black sheep. A law school dropout, her father keeps her in the fold as the firm’s private investigator, working alongside her brothers.
Juggling her family of high-powered (and highly dysfunctional) attorneys, the cops and Boston’s criminal element is usually something Fina does without breaking a sweat. But when her sister-in-law disappears, she’s caught up in a case unlike any she’s encountered before.
Carl wants things resolved without police interference, but the deeper Fina digs, the more impossible that seems. The Ludlows close ranks, and her brother Rand and his unruly teenage daughter Haley grow mysteriously distant from the family. As Fina unearths more dirt, the demands of family loyalty intensify. But Fina is after the truth - no matter the cost.
“Fina returns the female detective to the heart of the hard-boiled tradition: hard-drinking, hard-loving, moody.” - Sara Paretsky, New York Times bestselling author
It’s been a couple of months since Fina’s last big case - the one that exposed dark family secrets and called Fina’s family loyalty into question - but there’s no rest for the weary, especially when your boss is Carl Ludlow.
Renata Sanchez, a single mother by choice, wants to learn the identity of her daughter Rosie’s sperm donor. A confidentiality agreement and Rosie’s reticence might deter other mothers, but not Renata, nor Carl, who’s convinced that lawsuits involving cryobanks and sperm donors will be “the next big thing.” Fina uncovers the donor’s identity, but the solution to that mystery is just the beginning: within hours of the case going public, Rosie’s donor turns up dead.
Fina didn’t sign on for a murder investigation, but she can’t walk away from a death she may have set in motion. She digs deeper and discovers that DNA doesn’t tell the whole story and sometimes, cracking that code can have deadly consequences.