I'm SO thrilled to be mentoring this year. I've been in awe of the entire Pitch Wars event for the last couple of years and I'm excited to be throwing my hat into the ring of amazing authors and writers and mentors and agents.
I'm the author of THESE GENTLE WOUNDS (2014 - named one of Buzzfeed's Best Books of 2014 as well as one of Epic Reads 30 Books That Will Change Your View of the World) and WHAT REMAINS (2015). I'm agented by the amazing Beth Phelan of The Bent Agency. When I'm not writing fiction, I work as a communications manager and freelance journalist.
WHAT I'M LOOKING FOR - YA (only)
Before I go in-depth about the things I'd love to read, I'm going to list the genres that I don't think I'd be a great mentor for. - YA dystopian. - A novel much over 100,000 words (although if you have something with amazing characters, go ahead and try me). - High fantasy - Southern Novels - Horror (However...I will say that I love Andrew Smith's The Marbury Lens and Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Black. Why? Because while the story is fantastical and horrific, the characterization drives the story) - Thrillers (although, see above...)
WHAT I WOLD LOVE TO READ:
-Contemporary YA. This is where my heart lies. If you can made me cry and/or make me swoon and root for complex and flawed characters, then I'm the mentor for you. If your book is heavy on action, but not on character development, I'm likely to pass, but I love quiet novels that I can't get out of my head long after I've closed the cover. I'm going to state my bias here - I'm partial to male POV. However, that's simply a preference and I do read a ton of female POV books. Just saying...... Also, I'm a sucker for beautiful words. Make me want to read your sentences over and over.
- Urban Fantasy YA This is the one place where fantasy holds my interest. If you're writing somewhere in the vein of Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely, Maggie Steifvater, or Holly Black's books, then I'm on it.
- Historical YA I love historicals set in cities in the 20th century. Trust me when I say that, regardless of how well-written it is, I'm not going to love rural novels. However, if it's full of 60's politics, 20's flappers, 70's flower children or almost anything in the 80's, there's a good chance I'll fall for it.
- Magical Realism YA/Paranomal I'm going to merge MR and Paranormal here, because the line can be so murky given the way MR is currently thrown around. Think Maggie Steifvater's books which I love. Again, because, above all else, her characters are at the forefront of the story.
- YA Memoir I have a weak spot for memoirs, but they can be hard to sell and a lot of agents won't read them. You'll have to really throw something unique at me here.
-LGBT YA Yes. Please. While I'm not at all adverse to coming out stories, I'd love to read something where the characterization goes much further than this. People are complex and I gravitate towards books that show that complexity (Think Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, or Teeth). The top things I read for are voice and complexity.
Why should you pick me? My first agent found me through Authoress' Baker's Dozen contest and I really believe that these opportunities are invaluable. My long-term crit partners would probably tell you that I'm not one for mincing words, but that when I fall in love with characters or plots, I fall all the way. My strength has been helping them to round-out their characters and dialogue in ways that can illuminate their character’s inner core. Also, I love brainstorming in long, multi-colored emails (much to my agent’s probable dismay), so expect a lot of discussion about motivation and voice and intense inner workings!
To find out more about Pitch Wars, visit the wonderful Brenda Drake's blog.And don't forget to check out all of this year's amazing mentors!