Bonnie Swanson

The Purcell Agency

My name is Bonnie Swanson (the agent not the cartoon character!). I am a former elementary school teacher who lives in Southern Illinois. I have a husband, three grown children, two bonus daughters, and three fur-babies who think they need to eat all the cat food. While I eagerly (and impatiently) await grandkids, I am lucky enough to have one granddog, Onix, and two grandkitties, Maki and Whiskey. I began work as an agent at The Purcell Agency in 2020-because why not start a new job during a global pandemic? I represent authors who cover all the age groups from picture book through adult, many of whom have their own furry overlords or small two-legged dictators commanding their households, too. When I am open for queries (check the TPA website for an announcement) here are a few of the things I look for: Across the board for all age groups I prioritize underrepresented authors. (BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, etc) I have very eclectic tastes and sometimes don't know what I'm looking for until I read it. However, there are a few consistencies in what I like/don't like. Adult/YA Likes: I'm dying for a good speculative psychological horror mystery! (Think a gender-bent/gay Sherlock Holmes, set in Middle Earth or outer space, with all the creepy feels of Silence of the Lambs!) Normalized queerness where it isn't the focus of the plot or subplot. I'm a sucker for a good romantasy (HEA required). Issue-driven stories that address timeless social issues and the people who fight to change them, stories where the underdog wins, non-traditional characters who feel real (even if they are in outer space), accessible literary prose, the Oxford comma. DISLIKES: stories with violence against women/children/animals, erotica, misogyny, alpha males. PB: Everything! Really. If it's good, I'll read it. But the story must be child-centered and give them all the agency. They have enough grown ups telling them what to do in their real lives; in books they should get to be the heroes. Fiction or Nonfiction is okay and if it rhymes it has to be absolutely PERFECT! MG: I am SUPER selective! But I like stories based on kid-focused issues that have a touch (or more) of magic. I'd love to see an aged-up version of the Junie B. Jones series with a nonbinary main character in a magical school setting. No animal stories please where they are the characters.

Subject Focus

Fiction: Debut
Fiction: Horror
Fiction: New Adult
Fiction: Paranormal
Fiction: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Fiction: Women’s/Romance
Children’s: Picture Book
Children’s: Young Adult Fiction
Children's: Fantasy



Years of Industry Experience


Member Since

Submission Requirements

How to successfully present your work

Please watch the Purcell Agency website to announce when I am open for queries. I will also post it on Twitter/X. All queries must go to my Query Manager link. Do not send queries to my email or DM them to me on social media. Any queries I receive there will be automatically deleted.