This is my second time around volunteering as a mentor for Pitch Wars and I’m absolutely thrilled. Last year was awesome and I’m ready to work with even more crazy talented people. You have HUGE shoes to fill though, because my mentee last year, Brian Palmer, was Ah-mazing. (Haha! You’ll be fine! We’re in this together). There are interviews and things out there about #TeamDumbledore, but here’s our story in a nutshell:
Brian didn't even know I'd picked him for several hours...
I wrote a massive edit letter. Brian worked hard. We chatted. A lot. Brian got an agent. Success!! He's also a mentor this year, but for YA.
Once again, I'm only mentoring ADULT manuscripts. I love MG and YA too, but I don’t know enough about writing the genre to be of any use. Here's a few of my long-time and recent favorites, to give you a better idea of what I like:
JONATHAN STRANGE AND MR. NORRELL by Susanna Clarke (I would LOVE to find a manuscript like this!!)
THE GOLEM AND THE JINNI by Helene Wecker (I met her, squee!)
DUNE by Frank Herbert
THREE MEN AND A BOAT (NOT TO MENTION THE DOG) by Jerome K. Jerome
THE THIN MAN by Dashiel Hammet
THE READER by Bernhard Schlinck
BIG MAGIC by Elizabeth Gilbert
MISS JANE by Brad Watson
ONLY IN SPAIN by Nellie Bennett
THE FANGIRL'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY by Sam Maggs
Can I list all the fabulous manuscripts from CPs that I've read? Pretty please!?
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Sherri L. Smith
Susan Elia MacNeal
I'm forgetting TONS and I will think of them later, and then be sad.
And here are some TV shows I love (because why not?):
Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries
Agents of SHIELD
What I'm looking for:
~Adult manuscripts only.
~Historicals, mysteries, themes with magic, magical realism, fantasy, and time travel (If it’s something like the plot from LOST, then oh my, YES). I didn't expect to love a thoroughly contemporary novel, but that's exactly what I picked last year, so definitely try me!
~Strong women. There's a wonderful article here on what this means.
~I’m looking for DIVERSE characters.
~Complicated, “unlikeable” people done right.
~Fabulously built new worlds.
~Cultures and countries around the globe.
~I will consider memoir (should read like fiction).
~Polished and professional manuscripts written by serious and professional people. Negative tweeting about subs, agents, writers, or mentors, are my red flags. We are here to help each other on this wonderful and wild road.
What I am NOT looking for:
Horror, dystopian, or erotica. Please read that over carefully. I had far too many subs in some of these genres last year and I'm just not the right person for this, so, sadly, you'll be wasting one of your picks. I'm probably not the best mentor for thrillers. I also don't want your MS to include rape as a plot mover, or contain child abuse. I know quite a bit about mental illness, so please, no stereotypes. And for for heaven's sake, the villain in your story should not be motivated by depression/bi-polar/schizophrenia.
My mentor style:
I suppose I’m very editorial. I tend to note heavily as I read the manuscript, so there will be lots of comments in the document, along with an edit letter. I’ll tell you what I think works, and what doesn’t. This doesn’t necessarily mean I’m right, but it should open a discussion. So let’s talk. I encourage emails back and forth (in fact, if I didn’t have an email from Brian to read with my coffee, the morning was rather dull). So again: let’s chat!
I don't like useless characters or words, so we may be killing lots of little darlings, but if you have a strong enough hook, plot, pace, etc., you don't need them anyway.
I hope to have at least two edits done before the agent round. One for main things that need tweaking, and a last one for small edits. I'm more than happy to read new changes at any time you need input, or you if start pulling your hair out.
I will ask for more pages if I'm on the fence with a few manuscripts. I will probably NOT ask for a synopsis, as I love to be surprised. I could, however, change my mind if the decisions are vexing me, so have it on stand by. Sorry.
Unfortunately, I will not be able to send feedback to everyone who shares their work with me, but I will try to send a few notes to people from whom I requested more material. I think I got everyone covered last year, but if I missed you, I’m terribly sorry! It was not intentional. Depending on the workload and time, I may send out a tweet for anyone who’d like a bit of feedback, so be on the look out for that if you weren’t otherwise selected.
Thank you again for considering me! I can't wait to team up with one of you.
I think that's it! Feel free to tweet me if you have any questions.
Make sure you check out the other mentor sites! <---