Welcome to my blog and my bio and wishlist for Pitch Wars! Although I’m a newbie mentor this year, I’m no stranger to Pitch Wars. I’ve been chosen as an alternate twice. First for a YA Thriller, then for a YA Historical (for which I had to pull out of the contest after signing with an agent.)
Because of this extraordinary experience, I understand all facets of this process and the commitment it takes to make a manuscript shine. I decided to dive in as a mentor this year because I know how it feels to have someone special on your side. Rooting you on. Pushing you to do your best work. I’m here to be mentor, guide, teacher, and above all a support base for what will be a long, yet thrilling ride.
I started out my career working in entertainment then moved on to my true love, advertising and marketing. In my many positions, I managed to work with writing at some level. Formulating pitches. Copywriting. Developing and creating marketing plans for new book releases. No matter the job, my love has always been the craft of writing.
To understand the publishing world better, I’ve completed internships at not one, but two publishing houses, as well as a literary agency. Currently, I’m a freelance editor for Wild Things Editing. And along with Michelle Hauck, I host a yearly contest called Sun vs. Snow where I mentor several entries (my favorite part!) Oh, and I also run this fun (and somewhat crazy) blog – hence the name.
When I’m not doing all the things above, I write Young Adult (Historical, Thrillers, and Contemporary). My work is represented by Roseanne Wells at the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency.
Six Fun Facts…
– After college I worked as an NBC Page. I met dozens of celebrities and tried to act cool, but after I made an ass out of myself in front of Garth Brooks I learned it’s best just to be yourself!
– I worked at a major book distribution company just when Harry Potter was being introduced to the U.S. market (I read an early ARC of The Prisoner of Azkaban). Right before Goblet of Fire released, I was in charge of calling bookstores and reminding them (over and over) that they could not release books until midnight (a lot of them did not listen – LOL!).
– I was a competitive gymnast for a good part of my childhood until several broken bones ended that dream.
– I’ve been to BEA three times – all for work. The last time, I presented to a major group of publishers while eight months pregnant. I got a few side-eyes, but I killed it!
– On a trip to England several years ago a tour guide informed me that every book published in Britain is housed in a huge vault below the University of Oxford library (not sure if this is true), but at that moment I realized I wanted to be a published author and have a book housed in that library one day.
– My favorite all time movies are: Somewhere in Time (I’ve watched over 20 times) and Field of Dreams (If you want a good example of Magical Realism, this movie is it!)
MY “HOPE” LIST…
I’m not going to say “wishlist” because for me it’s more about what I “hope” to see in my inbox! To add to that, I “hope” whoever subs to me will be ready to work. I’m looking for something that has a unique concept, but also has tons of heart. The manuscript doesn’t have to be completely polished, but it does have to be something I know agents and “hopefully” editors will want to see come across their desks. This includes the following:
Looking for family and friendship stories. Dual POV and male POV always catch my eye. If it’s an issue-based story, the approach needs to be unique. Love, love, LOVE strong heroines who make bad choices but rely on themselves to solve the situation (not a male or parental figure). HEAs not required, but there needs to be a suitable and satisfying resolution.
Overall favorite: SUCH A RUSH (Jennifer Echols)
Why I love…Strong heroine who makes bad choices. Believable Romance. Satisfying and honest ending.
If you submit historical to me, be prepared to be grilled about your facts down to the most minute level. I’m a stickler for authenticity and detail. I don’t have a preference for a specific time period, but I’m looking for a compelling manuscript that weaves in historical elements that elevates the level of storytelling.
Overall Favorite: Outrun The Moon (Stacey Lee)
Why I love…Fierce female heroine. Intriguing time period. Magical storytelling!
Please send me manuscripts with twists and turns. Psychological mind games. Huge bonus points for unreliable narrators. No gore or grisly murder descriptions. The best writers allude to these facts rather than splash them across the page.
Overall Favorite: Anna Dressed in Blood (Kendare Blake)
Why I love…Spot-on male POV. Intriguing mystery. A cast of minor characters who help tell a compelling story.
Please be aware I AM NOT looking for Peter Pan (or Captain Hook), Snow White, or any traditional “Disney-style” retelling. If you’ve got an obscure villain origin story or a side character who has been overlooked (think one of the ugly stepsisters), I’m in. Again, I’m going to be very selective here. Only send me something very unique if you have it!
It will not be released until 2017, but I’m dying to get my hands on fellow mentor, Sarah Henning’s SEA WITCH – the villain origin story of the Sea Witch from Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid.
A FINAL NOTE…
I take this process very seriously and am ready to get to work with a manuscript I know will blow agents away. If your book meets any of the criteria above, I hope you’ll send it to me. Please, if you have questions, or need clarification, leave a comment and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
Thanks and good luck! No matter which mentor “U” apply to, I can guarantee “U” will have an amazing experience.
There are many other incredible YA mentors. Check out the list below and click on the link to go to their bios and wishlists!