2017 Pitch Wars Wishlist & Bio!Written by Dawn Ius
DO YOU WRITE YOUNG ADULT HORROR, MYSTERY, OR THRILLER? K, SEND ME THAT PLEASE!
Let me just back up a step. Hi. *waves* I’m back for my second year of Pitch Wars and I’m so excited! My rookie experience was ah-mazing-ing. I met dozens of outstanding people, read mind-blowing work from talented writers, and worked on a mind-blowing book with my ridiculously talented mentee, Kimberley Gabriel. And guys, guess what? She landed her dream agent! I can hardly wait for her book to sell so I can set it on my bookshelf and drool on…er…admire it.
And yep, it’s a thriller.
That’s kind of my thing.
Scary stuff. Suspense. Edge-of-your-seat action. My heart is pounding just thinking about the kinds of book I’m dying (not literally, of course) to see in my inbox.
Don’t write horror or thriller? Don’t go just yet…
I have a few other interests. <grin> Like what? SO GLAD YOU ASKED!
But first…a little about me.
I’m the author of Anne & Henry (a contemporary retelling of the torrid romance between King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn), Overdrive (a teen heist book set in Las Vegas), and Lizzie (a modern retelling of the Lizzie Borden hatchet murders), all published by Simon Pulse. I’ve ghostwritten five novels, and am the author of 16 educational graphic novels for the Alberta Canola Producers’ Commission. I’m the Deputy Editor of the e-mag published by the International Thriller Writers Organization, The Big Thrill, and a book coach at Author Accelerator. I’m repped by Agent Awesome, Mandy Hubbard, founder of Emerald City Literary Agency.
If I’m not at my computer, I’m probably kayaking (new obsession), swooning over Adam Levine (old obsession), driving fast, playing with my GIANT dogs, binge watching whatever Netflix show has me hooked, or reading. Maybe I’ll be reading YOUR manuscript…
What am I hoping to read?
A fast-paced young adult book that makes me swoon, or scares the shit out of me.
Give me bad boys that aren't cliche'd and tough girls that my stepdaughters can look up to. Or deliver a suspenseful read that takes me through a series of shocking twists and turns, and makes me double-check that I've locked the front door. For a week. (Fair warning: I'm really hard to scare.) I prefer page-turning thriller to outrageous gore, but if your WIP is a teen slasher with a fresh twist, give me that. (Please!)
I’m really itching for a paranormal romance. (Seriously!) Not so much vampires (unless your vampires are exceptionally unique), but something fresh and sparkly (heh) and swoon-worthy. Pepper in some thriller elements and Hello!
Is your WIP a survival story? I want that! (Especially if your setting is real world.)
I like big hooks and a fast plot. If your YA is unabashedly commercial, I’m so reading it.
While I like to read some sci-fi and fantasy, I'm probably not the best fit there—I'm a Star Wars junkie, but beyond that, my reading in those genres is limited. (My advice will be, "Can you please add more Chewbacca?" and that's probably not very helpful.) I enjoy Game of Thrones, but could never aspire to write something so...big? But I do own three bearded dragons and sometimes my hubs calls me Khaleesi...though that MAY be in hopes of getting some of my chocolate chip cookies.
I prefer contemporary settings, but if you're killing it with a historical, I can be persuaded to hitch a ride on that time travel device with you. Just be sure you've aced your research!
And look, grammar / spelling is important (I'll be much more engaged if I'm not slogging through sloppy writing) but it's voice that matters. (Cliche, I know!) If you can wow me with your voice, I'll forgive almost ANYTHING in the story and character development and try out virtually any genre or cross-genre.
Why do you want me as your mentor?
1. I'm tough. One of the best lessons one of my mentors taught me is that you can ALWAYS write better. I will push you to write tighter and more efficiently. To dig deep. You will work hard in revisions. You will develop a thicker skin—because you need that in this industry. You will come out of this stronger, more confident, and ready.
2. I'll be your number one fan and cheerleader—even when I'm red-lining your work. (And I WILL redline your work...)
3. I WANT you to succeed.
4. I believe in you. Yes, you.
If you want to work hard, write better, and craft a kick-ass book that will have agents and editors salivating, pitch me!
Also, send Adam Levine gifs.
For submission guidelines and all you need to know about Pitch Wars, go to brilliant Brenda's post here.
And don't forget to check out all of the other great YA mentors!
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