One awesome Literary Agent who is passionate about blends of literary fiction prose and genre tropes.
My novels play with convention and mainstream storytelling – the narrator is often not the obvious or easy character choice, and my books usually include meta-narratives, or moments of lampshading and self-awareness. My casts are usually queer, diverse, unafraid to tackle issues, and are socially or politically active. I’ve been repeatedly praised for my ability to convey emotion on the page, and spend a lot of time delving into motivation and emotional truth. My worlds are thoroughly crafted, filled with delicious details, and slow-burn worldbuilding that makes readers want to start rereading the book right away.
On the whole, my books err more on the side of Literary Fabulism or Light Speculative Fantasy rather than out-and-out mainstream Epic Fantasy and Space Opera Sci-Fi. While on the surface they contain elements of genre, my work tends to be more in the vein of character-driven literary fiction, where character’s challenges come from the context of the speculative world they inhabit.
I’m a self-marketing go-getter, a hybrid author with experience in both trade and self-publishing, and well-versed in the worlds of digital serialization and fandom.
View my full bibliography | Contact me
“The thing that truly sets Frey’s work apart is the depth of emotional resonance she manages to pack into everything.”
-Kisa Whipkey, editor of The Accidental Turn series, and The Skylark’s Saga
“The Skylark’s Song “soars with action, adventure and clever world building. The details are perfect, the characters are snappy, clever and real. Strap on your seatbelts, it’s quite the ride!”
—Arthur Slade, bestselling author of the Mission Clockwork series.
“A romantic, action-packed and just plain fun adventure, The Skylark’s Song is a classic superhero origins story that also manages to subvert tropes and expectations. I give it five fabulous jet packs.”
—Adrienne Kress, The Friday Society & The Explorers series
“I would highly recommend JM Frey’s The Untold Tale. It’s easily the strongest I’ve read in the last year. Frey’s novel takes a familiar trope – the idea that every novel written creates an actual world that the reader can enter, and it’s corollary, that we might be living in such a world ourselves – and gives us an entirely new take on it. […] In The Untold Tale, however, we have the entirely fresh perspective of the story being told by one of the fictional characters. […] The fictional world = real world trope isn’t the only one Frey twists. She also plays with the ideas of the hero and heroic adventure, feminism, gender roles, and the role of the narrative itself, in innovative – and occasionally cheeky – ways.”
—Violette Malan, Dhulyn Parno Series
An upmarket book club romance with a light sprinkling of fantasy, like The Ghost Bride, His Majesty’s Dragon, and The World Above the Sky, with a young, contemporary Red, White & Royal Blue-esque voice.
In this meet-ugly, a queer dragon named Dav inadvertently sets his human crush’s café on fire in a misadvised courting effort. To make up for the damage, and to apologize to the barista Colin, Dav breaks draconic taboo and roasts the coffee beans with his firebreath in secret. When the truth gets out, this causes a shockwave of recrimination in the dragon world, threatening Colin and Dav’s budding romance, and endangering the precarious balance of human/dragon relations worldwide.
While a magical-realism-esque romcom on the surface, this is a novel about the price of detrimental selfishness and the violence of indifference.
It’s about what happens when the marginalized and beaten-down demand that those in power stop screwing them over. It is about the responsibility of a community, about the burden of care that the wealthy and the privileged have—should have—for those who suffer, who live in poverty, who are ill, who are struggling.
It is a novel about colonialism and settler accountability. It is about the climate crisis that looms ever closer, and how the mad Empire-building scramble of European nations have been the root cause.
It is also a novel about grief, and hopelessness, and anger. Written while processing the death of my grandmother during a global pandemic, it’s also a novel that directly reflects my experience of grieving in a family where ‘too much’ emotion is considered exhibitionist. It’s about saying goodbye from behind a glass wall, about suffering through the heart-destroying, wrenching grief of losing loved ones through a computer screen, because of other people’s selfish, juvenile willfulness to ignore health guidelines.
It is also a novel about believing in the next generation, and the power of people who rise up and protest, and fight, and form unions, and demand better. It is about the incredible, overwhelming empathy of front-line health workers, environmental activists, and back-bench hardworking politicians. It is about celebrating the small things that all of us do, every day, to pay forward kindness, protect the environment, and serve and love our fellow humans.
Because ultimately, this is really a novel about celebrating hope.
(Nine-Tenths is currently a stand alone novel, but there is narrative space for both a prequel, and a sequel.)
- THE WELSHMAN’S DAUGHTERS – A stereotypical Regency-era Gothic Romance, except in this one, the wealthy daughter of the lord is secretly in love with her hired companion, and a curse seems to stalk the romantic relationships of everyone who lives in the dark and twisted Tŷ ar y Bryn Manor, and there may actually be a real ghost.
- THE MADDENING SCIENCE – A Toronto Arts Council Grant winning first-person account of the life and loves of a pansexual (former) supervillian, told in a blend of memoir-style prose and fabricated ‘found’ documents. Based on my short story of the same name.
- LATE BLOOMERS – An adult-market graphic novel about a group of 30-something friends who secretly saved the world as Magical Girls in high school. Now the Big Bad is back, and they have to repair their fractured friendship while also grudgingly donning the ridiculous sparkles and bows of their youth.
- LETTERS – A lesbian vampire in a world where we’ve always known about bloodsuckers, fighting alongside her meal-ticket girlfriend against greedy gentrification and pro-deathers who protest medical bodily autonomy.
- NORTHANGERED – A modern adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Northanger Abbey”, set in the world of Hollywood, insular film festivals, backstabbing celebutants, and smack-dab in the middle of the #MeToo movement. (This project needs a re-write to transfer it from YA Market to Adult.)
- IS SPIDER-MAN INTO BONDAGE? – Graphic novel script about a small-town girl moving to the big city and using a dating blog to discover who she is not only as a person, but as a proudly out queer geek. But when her blog becomes super popular, she faces a backlash of fannish hate, and has to come to terms with a brand of fame that’s come at the expense of others. (This project is still in the process of being converted from a screenplay to a graphic novel script.)
- TO A STRANGER – Mark Farthing is an unremarkable lawyer living an unremarkable life, when his twin brother is diagnosed with breast cancer. After Mark falls for his brother’s oncologist, life suddenly seems remarkable. But the tragic death of his brother puts the lovers on opposing sides of a legal dispute, and Mark learns that finding your way back to yourself sometimes means having to leave others behind. (This project is still in the process of being converted from a screenplay to a graphic novel script.)