Monday, August 3, 2015

Come One! Come All!

You! Hey you!

If you've come here for PitchWars, you're in the right place. Thanks so much for stopping by. It's always been a dream of mine to be a mentor, ever since I was chosen as a mentee (top pick!) for the 2013/2014 year by the stupendous Stephanie Garber. I remember how hard it was to go through the mentor bios and attempt to narrow my selections down. But never fear, for I am here to tell you all about me and what I want.

Very short description of what I'm looking for: 

I want to fall in love--with your plot, your world, your characters. Plain and simple. 

Short list of genres I'm looking for:

YA: epic fantasy, high fantasy, dark fantasy, urban fantasy, low fantasy, contemporary fantasy, historical fantasy, historical fiction, alternate history, contemporary, action-adventure.

NA: contemporary, speculative fiction. 

Across all genres, I would love for there to be romantic subplots of all varieties.

And now to be much more detailed...

My Young Adult Wishlist: 

It's no secret I'm a fantasy nerd. Huuuuuge fantasy nerd. I live and breathe fantasy novels because there's just something so magical (pun intended) about creating new worlds. With that said, I love all kinds of fantasy--historical, urban, contemporary, low, high, epic (the latter two being my true loves). So give me all your fantasy. I will fight others for it.  

In fantasy, I love love love big, epic plots. The bigger, more epic the plot, the better. Think novels like THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS, AN EMBER IN THE ASHES, DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE, or MISTBORN. I want plots that put the world (and, as a result, the characters) at stake. Make me squee or cry or punch me in the feels and you've got me hook, line, and sinker. 

I also love fantasies on the quieter side. Think UPROOTED, THE SCORPIO RACES, GRACELING, or THE WINNER'S CURSE. If you have dark elements, I will probably love your book forever. The darker, the better (I love SHADOW AND BONE and THE YOUNG ELITES). I love finding out what prompts characters to kill, make bad decisions, hop over into the dark side...If you're wondering about what qualifies as "dark" to me, feel free to shoot me a question (either in the comments, on Twitter, or through my Contact Me page, though Twitter is definitely fastest)!

Beyond fantasy, I would also love to see historical fiction. The Agency series by Y.S. Lee is one of my favorites and so is BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY by Ruta Sepetys. I'm a history major in university, so history is definitely my thing. If it has a fantasy twist, so much the better. I absolutely adored GRAVE MERCY by Robin Lafevers. 

In contemporary, I fell in love with (and continue to force upon others) I'LL MEET YOU THERE by Heather Demetrios. Huntley Fitzpatrick is another favorite author, as are Miranda Kenneally and Jennifer Echols. 

Other things I like: wars, empires, epic battles, swoons, kissing, forbidden romance, adventure, genre mashups, re-imaginings of paranormal creatures (my book is about a new take on demons, for example), anti-heroes/heroines, unreliable narrators, palaces, swords, magic, dragons, heists, assassins, pirates, spies, strong friendships between girls, brothers/male friendships that are like brothers (think Sam and Dean from Supernatural), plot twists, heartbreak, character deaths (I love to feel that pain!), cocky heroes, kick-ass heroines (and it doesn't have to be in the physical sense), people with pasts better left unsaid, hate-to-love romance, happy endings, not-so-happy endings, and multiple points of view. If you have sex in your YA, I'm your gal! I'm a huge advocate for representing sex in YA

My favorite cultures are medieval anything, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Persia, Ancient Rome, Sparta, the Mughal Empire, Athens, and Troy. But if you introduce a new culture to me, I might love you forever, so go ahead and try me! 

Things I dislike: abusive relationships (unless it's about overcoming them!), too-young protagonists (if your book features protags under the age of 16, there are better people than me to query), and love triangles (or squares, pentagons, hexagons, etc). 

New Adult Wishlist: 

In NA, I am mostly looking for contemporary, though do feel free to send me your speculative fiction queries. NA is definitely mostly contemp, but I would love to see it branch out. I recently read INSPIRE by Cora Carmack, which is paranormal, and it was amazing. In NA, I'm mostly looking for books set in/around college, or following life shortly after graduation. I love sexy contemporaries.

My favorite type of NA books are those like BOOMERANG by Noelle August, UGLY LOVE by Colleen Hoover, and FAKING IT or FINDING IT by Cora Carmack. I love forbidden romance, resisting romance, stolen kisses, fuck-ups and hook ups, families, friends, loners, soldiers, pilots, cowboys...Gimme gimme gimme. 

Why you should pick me: 

On the silly side, I overuse gifs. A lot. (I had to really restrain myself in this post!) I'm a huge book-pusher and cheerleader (my CPs can attest to this!). I'm addicted to peanut butter, Oreo cookies, Chinese food, Dr. Pepper, and orange mango Sparkling Ice drinks. I'm a map enthusiast and hope to work as a cartographer one day (or star in a real life National Treasure, because how cool would that be?). My absolute favorite TV shows are Supernatural (I'm such a Dean girl) and I Love Lucy. My pastimes are kickboxing, hiking, drawing maps, making playlists, recommending books to random strangers in Barnes & Noble, and pinning on Pinterest (it's research, I promise). 

On the more serious side, I've been writing for eight (going on nine!) years, across all genres of fiction. My strengths for writing lie in action/battle scenes, intrigue, romance, character arcs, world-building, and solid endings. My query-writing skills are top notch. To be honest, I can edit in my sleep, and I didn't earn the nickname Grammar Nazi for nothing. I have plenty of industry knowledge after being involved in the YA community for more than three years. 

I'm represented by the invincible Emmanuelle Morgen of Stonesong Literary Agency, who also happens to be participating in the agent round this November! I blog occasionally on Write For Apples for the Teen Speak posts. If you want to know more about me, just take a look around my blog or my Twitter. And if you want to know about my journey to getting signed, check out this post on Brenda Drake's blog! 

I am completely, 100% honest in my critiques, but I am extremely conscientious about it, and I am ALWAYS open to questions you may have. I'm happy to talk you through problems and help smooth out plot knots, both during and after the contest. I'm afraid once you're my mentee, you're stuck with me for the foreseeable future. ;) 

And if you can use any of the books I listed in this post as comp titles, please send me a query! 

If you have any questions, feel free to comment (I always reply to comments), tweet me, or send me an email through my Contact Me page. Please reach out to me if you're considering me as a mentor (or even if you think we'd get along). I love meeting new people, and talking to me may improve your chances. Hey, it couldn't hurt. :)

I can't wait to read your queries!

Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Auto-Linky widget will appear right here!This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.


  1. Great post. Not a single thing here I didn't love. In fact, I think I cover about 90% of your 'other things I like' so I'd say that was a bizarrely perfect start to my Pitch Wars mentor-seeking adventure! *scribbles notes*

  2. History major and interested in a new culture. Intriguing. Would a political story set in 1979 Grenada as a backdrop to a 16-year-old American trying to adjust to her family's move there fit into your wish list?

    1. Hi, Jennifer! So sorry for the late reply--I'm on vacation and am crazy busy.

      Anyway, I don't know anything about 1979 Grenada, so I'm definitely going to say yes to that, if you think we're a good fit!

  3. How do you feel about someone who's not quite sure if they are NA or Adult? I think the universe overall is Adult, but this first book . . . well, I'm just not sure. Would you err on the side of caution and call it NA? (Let's just say my character starts at roughly 16, but quickly ages to her twenties and into her thirties by the book's end. (Time lapsing . . . I had a lot of ground to cover).

    1. NA is not just about the age of the protag and supporting cast. It has a lot more to do with themes and tone and what the characters are dealing with. I love this definition:

    2. Thank you for the illumination. . . course I'm still not sure, but I guess that's step one to getting into this competition. Again, thanks for the response.

    3. One thing that might help is search for mentors after both NA and A. That way, they can help you decide which age range yours would fit in.

  4. Love, love, love your post! :D

    I'm curious--do your YA wishlists carry over at all into your NA? The only reason I ask is because the YA section seems to dwarf the NA lol. Basically, my MS is a NA urban fantasy. :)

    1. Than you! I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

      And yes, my YA list does cover my NA!

    2. Woooo! So much Dean... So much love. That, and I'm not kidding when I say I have an addiction to Dr. Pepper. I think it's a trend--most people I meet either love it and drink nothing else, or hate it. <3 Definitely thinking we are a good fit!

    3. YES. Dean plus Dr. Pepper love = WINNNNNN. And I agree with you about the Dr. Pepper trend! Some people swear by it, others won't touch it.

  5. Love your bio! You had me at SCORPIO RACES and peanut butter. :-) Good luck as you choose between a bunch of amazing manuscripts! And good luck to all the writers subbing to you!

    1. Thank you so much, Jennifer! Good luck to you as well. :)