Woot Woot #PitchWars 2017!!!!
Another year has passed and it is Pitch Wars season again! I was once in your shoes hopping from one mentor’s wish list to another in 2015, searching for the perfect mentors for my manuscript. This in many ways was my favorite part of the contest. The exciting flutter in my stomach each time I read a mentor’s wish list, the hoping and dreaming. I still can’t believe I’m on this side of the fence, constructing my own wishlist. So let’s get to it!
With that being said, if you aren’t familiar with Pitch Wars and what it entails, check it out HERE. For those of you who know what it is, prepare yourself for a wild ride!
About me and what I bring to the table:
A lot of this…
*I laugh a lot.
*I’ll help you destroy bad prose and structure (aka assist you).
In all seriousness, I’m a 2015 Pitch Wars Mentee and my mentor (Wendy Spinale) whipped me and my manuscript into shape. I write Science Fiction and Fantasy and I’m represented by the awesome Tricia Skinner and Laurie McLean of Fuse Literary!! I’m an ex-paralegal and Disney cast member. In my spare time I write and read, watch way too much Netflix, and my favorite outing is going to a good movie with the hubby. And I have 2 Goldendoodles!
I critique and beta read a lot. I can assist with overall structure, character development, pacing, increasing tension, dialogue, and action scenes. I LOVE action. If your manuscript has a bunch of it, I can help you polish it until it shines. I’m great at finding the small tweaks needed to make a sentence/scene pop. I’ve been through edits with my agents so I have a solid idea in how to take a manuscript to the next level. Also what common mistakes we overlook and how to fix them. Depending on time, I hope to do an overall read and provide an edit letter with any plot, pacing, and structure issues. Then I will go through line by line and point out where you may need to polish more and offer suggestions.
I will push you to improve, challenge you to think outside the box. I will ask questions, and I will not sugarcoat my suggestions. (But all suggestions are given to improve your manuscript.) If needed we will kill your darlings, rework scenes, slash characters, add characters, cut chapters, and change POV. Hard work. I’m seriously awkward on the phone so if that’s how you like to communicate, I may not be the best mentor for you. However, I’m always available via email and DM on Facebook and Twitter and will be there for you for every step of this awesome journey. Need a shoulder to cry on or need someone to talk you off the ledge? I’m your girl! If you are still interested, proceed!
What I’m looking for in a mentee:
- Someone willing to work! I’m going to work hard to help get the manuscript where it needs to be and I want a mentee willing to work just as hard or more.
- Someone willing to take constructive criticism and who has an open mind. But also able to communicate if we disagree on a point.
- I want someone who is passionate about their story.
- Someone who is friendly and will laugh at my stupid jokes. Yes, we’re going to work hard, but I’ll make it enjoyable as well. There will be gifs, smiley faces as I notate my reactions as I go.
- Someone as serious as I am about the publishing industry. You don’t have to know everything, but you should be willing to come into this partnership ready to learn and grow as a writer.
This year I’m a YA mentor. This is what I write and what I read most. Now for the specifics. Yeah, yeah, I know. I have genres that I gravitate to more than others. This benefits you as a mentee. Requesting something that I don’t read or have a lot of experience in, I can’t effectively mentor. Trust me, this is a good thing!
If there’s something you’re not sure about, feel free to ask me a general question on Twitter. No pitching your project, please.
Let me give you an idea of the types of books I have read or are on my TBR (To Be Read) list:
- RED QUEEN by Victoria Aveyard
- THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins
- AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir
- DEFY THE STARS by Claudia Gray
- REBOOT by Amy Tintera
- CINDER (Lunar Chronicles)& HEARTLESS by Marissa Meyer
- LEGEND & THE YOUNG ELITE by Marie Lu
- DIVERGENT series by Veronica Roth
- SHADOW AND BONE series & SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo
- PASSENGER by Alexandra Bracken
- ILLUMINAE by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
- WINDWITCH by Susan Dennard
- UPROOTED by Naomi Novik
- TALON by Julie Kagawa
- CARAVAL by Stephanie Garber
- FROSTBLOOD by Elly Blake
- ACROSS THE UNIVERSE by Beth Revis
- HARRY POTTER series by J.K. Rowling
Are YOU starting to see a theme here?
I LOVE action, thrilling adventures, kissing & romance. And what do I love more than this you might ask?
Here are some of my favorite movies & shows:
Lord of the Rings (love the books too):
The Guardians of the Galaxy:
Star Wars (ep. 4, 5, 6, 7 & Rogue One):
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (Hope this will be a favorite):
A Game of Thrones:
Things I’m Not Looking For
- Anything other than YA (No MG, Adult or New Adult).
- Realistic contemporary—I know myself. I will try to incorporate an alien invasion or ghosts. I’m also not the right mentor for sports or high school drama stories. I have nothing against them, but I don’t read enough of them to be helpful.
- Stories with cruelty towards animals and children.
- Stories that glorify rape and incest.
- Stories with a strong religious theme.
- Novels with high word count. You should have an idea what the appropriate word count range is for your genre. For example, 125,000 words for a YA contemporary is too high for the genre. And we only have 2 months to get your manuscript in order.
- No straight up horror with exorcism or clowns. I want to be able to sleep at night.
- If I’ve beta read for you or I’m your CP, I think you’d be better off getting a fresh pair of eyes on your MS. (This is only for full manuscripts. Query or a few chapter critiques are welcome to sub!)
- Quiet, literary or verse novels. Nothing wrong with these. Again, I’m not the right mentor.
- Books with loads of racial slurs, slurs against LBGTQ people, or people with disabilities.
- First draft manuscripts. At this point, your MS should be as polished as you can get it.
So with that in mind…GIVE ME YOUR
- Science Fiction that’s a kick in the gut! Near-future Sci-fi set on earth or in space, and points if it’s a survival story (or even post-apocalyptic or apocalyptic). I want your character-driven Sci-fi with romance set in an advanced technological setting. I’m also interested if it reads like Star Trek or Star Wars. I’m pretty open when it comes to Sci-fi! I love it all!
- Fantasy where the world-building will take my breath away. New cultures, and/or diverse cultures, political systems, strange creatures, and magic with rules. I love the court/politics intrigued fantasy stories more than the quest trope. I really want the dark and twisted. I want to see something new and fresh! And give me DRAGONS & WITCHES!!!! (The Winner’s Curse, by Marie Rutkoski, Red Queen, by Victoria Aveyard or even The Scorpion Rules, by Erin Bow.)
- All fairy tale re-tellings/re-imaginings, please. I LOVE fairy tales. As an ex-Disney Cast member, that was a prerequisite for the job. I’m not joking, ALL OF THEM! DARK or light. If you have a villain origin story, stop what you’re doing and send it to me NOW! (Queen of Hearts, by Colleen Oaks)
- Historical/Alternate History with a twist. Now that twist must be in the speculative realm be it, horror/thriller, fantasy, mystery, or sci-fi, etc. If you somehow have a story set in ancient Egypt but you have magic or aliens in it, send it my way! (Sekret, by Lindsay Smith and Becoming Darkness, Lindsay Frances Brambles.)
- Psychological thrillers/Mysteries/Thrillers. (Run Away by Laura Salters, Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano, and Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard.) Give me the dark and twisted, the flawed and unreliable narrators, and twists that will knock me out!
- Southern Gothic stories with bite. (Beware the Wild, by Natalie C. Parker, Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, and Sweet Unrest, by Lisa Maxwell.)
- Diversity be it the author, characters of color, LBGQT, characters with a disability. But I ask that your diverse characters be well thought out, respectfully represented, and have a good reason to be in the story.
WELCOME TO THE DARK SIDE!
*Find the YELLOW word “you” for the scavenger hunt*
I’m really looking forward to Pitch Wars 2017! Hope you consider me as a mentor. Happy hunting!!