Ismael Manzano resides in the Bronx with his wonderful wife and his amazing son. He’s been a lover of books since he was very young, discovering the wonders of C.S. Lewis’ Narnia at the age of nine and devouring the entire series in one summer. From there it was on to Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain series, which led to Piers Anthony’s Xanth series, and opened the gateway to Terry Brooks’ Shannara series.
As he grew older, he moved away from hardcore epic fantasies, and embraced the speculative fiction of Neil Gaiman and Dean Koontz, the horror of Stephen King, and the urban fantasy novels of writers such as Kelley Armstrong, Jim Butcher and Kim Harrison. His current reading obsession has him emerged in the rich and rewarding world of gunpowder fantasy that is Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series. Aside from reading fiction, Ismael is a fan of history -- specifically Roman and Tudor England -- and has rarely met a science fiction or supernatural television series that he has not liked—even if only a little.
On a professional note, Ismael's short fiction can be found in the web magazines Grey Matter and This Dark Matter. His fantasy novel, Soulless, Book 1 of the Soul Broker series was released in 2016, by Fantasy Works Publishing. Ismael has been working as a freelance editor for years, culminating in his run with The Inkwell Council, which has allowed him to help many struggling artist hone their craft.
His co-workers at The Inkwell Council dubbed him ‘The Question,’ (probably to annoy him), but mostly because his style of editing has evolved over the years from intrusive suggestions to inquisitive observations that force the writer to rethink or justify their choices. As a result, he is well suited for content editing, and has been able to point out plot holes the others had not realized were there.
Manuscript Wish List:
I’m going to be a little difficult here, because I do like a wide range of things, and don’t like to say no too much, but I will admit there are things I’m not as qualified to critique as others, even if I enjoy reading them.
I like all things fantasy. High, Low, Epic, Urban--you name it, I like it. If there’s magic, sorcery, vampires, werewolves--hell, a gnome--I’m in. I like horror, more particularly cerebral, well-paced horror, but I’ll take a good bloodbath if the story is strong. Basically, I’ll take just about anything, but be prepared to justify every act your character does.
Anything supernatural or paranormal. Bring me your ghosts, your demons, your imprisoned angels yearning to be read.
Science Fiction is an old favorite of mine, but I do better with lower end Sci-Fi, that doesn’t bog the reader down in technical-babble that doesn’t feel natural. If you’re over-explaining a new technology that’s supposed to be commonplace in your world, it always feels forced and awkward.
I enjoy Young Adult along a vast spectrum of genres, though I look for something more original than the love triangle trope that has become popular in recent years.
Contemporary Romance is not my forte, seeing as I have the social skills of a moldy scone. You might get a unique point of view from me, but I can’t say with certainty that I will do it real justice.
I cut my teeth on MG books, so reading them is a unique pleasure as it reminds me of my younger days when I would get swept up into Narnia, but being the old man that I am now, I tackle these stories with a more critical eye than the books’ target audience, so be warned.
I’m not my best with stories dealing with topics of rape or child abuse (unless it is essential to the plot and not done for sheer shock value).
I love history, but am not the best to judge whether a period is historically accurate. I usually get lost in the world and will only notice a historically inaccurate detail if it was glaringly and embarrassingly obvious.