News & Media

For Immediate Release: Katie Hoffman at DAW Books Acquires World Rights to Two Fantasy Novels by John Wiswell

For Immediate Release

New York, NY (October 12, 2022): Katie Hoffman, Senior Editor at DAW Books, has acquired World rights to two fantasy novels by Nebula Award-winning author John Wiswell, represented by Hannah Bowman at Liza Dawson Associates.

Wiswell’s debut novel, scheduled for Spring 2024, is SOMEONE YOU CAN BUILD A NEST IN. Pitched as GIDEON THE NINTH meets CIRCE, this highly-anticipated fantasy is a creepy, charming monster-slaying sapphic romance—from the perspective of the monster, a shapeshifter named Shesheshen who falls in love with a human.

At the core of this dark fantasy is a heartwarming, cozy rom-com. While a chilling tale of generational harm and the struggle of surviving in a hostile world, SOMEONE YOU CAN BUILD A NEST IN also stubbornly offers that possibility that, through surprising connections, we may still discover new definitions of love and relearn our own value. Acquiring editor Katie Hoffman says, “It feeds a growing delight I’ve seen in blending the gruesome and the whimsical, the bloody and the quaint.”

Short summary:
Shesheshen has made a mistake fatal to all monsters: she’s fallen in love. Shesheshen is a shapeshifter, who usually resides as an amorphous lump in the swamp of a ruined manor, unless impolite monster hunters invade intent on murdering her. Through a chance encounter, she meets a different kind of human, warm-hearted Homily, who mistakes Shesheshen as a human in turn. Shesheshen is loath to deceive, but just as she’s about to confess her true identity, Homily reveals she’s hunting a shapeshifting monster that supposedly cursed her family. Shesheshen didn’t curse anyone, but to give them both a chance at happiness, she must figure out why Homily’s twisted family thinks she did. And the bigger challenge remains: surviving her toxic in-laws long enough to learn to build a life with the love of her life.

SOMEONE YOU CAN BUILD A NEST IN will be published by DAW Books in Spring 2024.

John Wiswell, Fantasy Author


John Wiswell won the Nebula Award for his short story “Open House on Haunted Hill” and won the Locus Award for his novelette “That Story Isn’t The Story.” He has also been a finalist for the Hugo Award, World Fantasy Award, British Fantasy Award, and Locus Award. His work has appeared in acclaimed publications like Uncanny Magazine, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction,, Nightmare Magazine, and others, as well as numerous podcasts, including LeVar Burton Reads, NoSleep, Podcastle, and Escape Pod. He was most recently a finalist of the Hugo Award a second time in 2022 for Best Novelette. You can find him online at and on Twitter at @Wiswell.


DAW was founded in 1971 by veteran paperback editor Donald A. Wollheim, along with his wife, Elsie B. Wollheim. Now over 50 years and 2,000 titles later, DAW has a well-deserved reputation for discovering and publishing the hottest talents in the industry. Many stars of the science fiction and fantasy field have graced the pages of a DAW book, including Patrick Rothfuss, Nnedi Okorafor, Tad Williams, Seanan McGuire, C. J. Cherryh, and Kristen Britain. DAW is strongly committed to discovering and nurturing new talent and seeks to publish a wide range of voices and stories.