Weird Romance

Elizabeth Gilliland Rands
4 min readApr 21, 2024

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Bayou Rose Press and what we’re all about

Bayou Rose Press Logo

If you’ve been following Bayou Wolf Press for any amount of time, you may have heard vague mentions of Bayou Rose Press, our romance imprint. Up until this point we haven’t made any sort of official announcement, so I thought it was time to explain what Bayou Rose Press is and what we’re all about.

Mike and I founded Bayou Wolf Press to publish “weird” books — our motto is “publishing books with freckles and glasses.” We like books that don’t fit into any clear, neat category, that are well-written and interesting but might not otherwise get their fair shot at publication.

In the past, I myself have written primarily mystery and horror novels, and those have been the books I’ve sought out for publication. I’ve been so pleased with the reception for Cassondra Windwalker’s Love Like a Cephalopod and Rowan Hill’s Foxfire, both of which are excellent novels and most definitely fit into that “wonderfully weird” category. (And I have a great cozy mystery/Jane Austen anthology coming out this summer in July — so keep an eye out for that!) Mike also writes in the literary horror space and recently edited the excellent The Old Data Miner which I would lovingly classify as “literary weird.”

We’re enormously proud of what we’ve accomplished so far with Bayou Wolf Press, but I’ve found myself increasingly interested in tackling another realm of weird that we hadn’t yet taken on…weird romance.

Weird can have a rather wide range of expectations. Maybe it’s romance that dabbles in another genre. Maybe it’s a love story from an unexpected narrator, or a retelling of a familiar story from a weirdly romantic new perspective.

Or maybe, in the case of Andrew Knott’s upcoming Love’s a Disaster, it’s rom com that focuses just as much (maybe even more?) on the comedy and tragedy and weirdness of family as it does the wonderful romance at the core of the story.

I truly cannot wait for the world to read Love’s a Disaster. This book is so funny and touching and insightful and will stick with you for a long time after you finish reading. I wholeheartedly believe this is the best book to launch our Bayou Rose Press imprint and establish what quality of work we’re looking for.

If you have a weird romance that you’d like to consider for publication, please keep Bayou Rose Press in mind! Bayou Wolf and Bayou Rose are both closed for queries until June 2024 (hey, we’re teachers, and this time of year we just can’t keep up with the emails), but that gives lots of great time to put together a killer query and sample chapters.

What I’m particularly looking for as an editor:

  • Romance that makes me laugh
  • Romance that makes me think
  • Romance with unexpected subgenres attached (in particular, I’d be very interested in some romantic horror!)
  • Romance with strongly developed leads who have lives and issues outside of the core romantic plot
  • HEAs that feel earned by the journey the characters have been on

If that sounds of interest, please email me — Elizabeth — at bayouwolfpress@gmail.com (but not until June 2024! All queries that come before then will be deleted unread — boundaries, people). Please address me and put Bayou Rose in your subject line and/or opening address (ex. Dear Elizabeth at Bayou Rose Press)

For other specifications on our submission requirements, go to bayouwolfpress.com

And don’t forget to check out our first Bayou Rose title, Love’s a Disaster, by Andrew Knott! This book is really special and I hope you all love it as much as I do.

Cover for Love’s a Disaster by Andrew Knott

Twelve years after a disastrous, failed marriage proposal at a punk rock concert, Caleb and Sadie meet again. Sadie has left her fast-paced job in the music industry and moved home to Florida with her 11-year-old daughter, Scarlett. When Scarlett asks to try a sword fighting club she found online, her instructor is none other than Sadie’s armor-clad ex. The spark is still there, anyone can see it, but things are now… complicated.

Caleb and Sadie must figure out if a second chance at love is possible or if some obstacles are too big to overcome. After secrets from their past are revealed and a path to reconnection emerges, Caleb’s unexpected family drama threatens to upend everything again. Is love always a disaster? Or will Insta-famous peacocks, meddling babysitters, and homemade suits of armor be enough to prove to Sadie and Caleb that lightning can strike twice?

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Elizabeth Gilliland Rands

Writer, Mom, Wife, English Instructor, Dr., Chocoholic. Co-founder of Bayou Wolf Press and the Detours Ahead podcast: www.bayouwolfpress.com