Last year, I watched Pitch Wars with the kind of fascination generally reserved for Adam Levine. I won't digress by getting into the parallels there, but let me say, sitting on the sidelines was excrutiating.
Not even half way through last year's War, I emailed Brenda begging to come on board, not fully understanding the scope of this brilliant event. Holy crap is this an amazing opportunity for aspiring authors!
For me too.
Sure, I didn't like watching from the sidelines (though I rooted for everyone involved, including many dear friends), but it was MORE than the idea of missing out on the fun that had me all sad faced.
It's that Pitch Wars represents so much of what I love about this industry, about the kind of writer and editor I want to be—supportive, encouraging, a beacon of hope at the end of what can sometimes be a dark tunnel of despair.
Today, I'm the author of three young adult books published by Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster) including ANNE & HENRY, OVERDRIVE, and LIZZIE, 10 educational graphic novels, and short stories in anthologies published by Leap Books and Vine Leaves Press, where I am also the development editor. I'm repped by Agent Awesome Mandy Hubbard who is truly a wizard at making dreams come true.
I love helping others grow and succeed, and in many other capacities as an editor, critique partner, and writing coach for youth, I get to do just that. It's not enough. It's never enough!
When I started my writing career, I was lucky enough to receive writing advice and personal coaching from several New York Times bestelling authors. Their lessons still resonate. I continue to acknowledge them in every piece of work I publish, because it is their encouragement and support and advice that got me through some frankly depressing times. Giving back is important to me. I want to give back to YOU.
So imagine my absolute THRILL that this year—RIGHT NOW!—I get to be a Pitch Wars mentor!
My inbox is salivating at the thought of what will land in it. (That may or may not be another parallel about my Adam Levine fascination... *cough cough*)
I can't wait to get reading!
So what am I hoping to read?
A fast-paced young adult book that makes me swoon, or scares the crap out of me.
Insta-love can work, but if you can keep me engaged with a slow burn, I'll fall in love with the manuscript...and you. 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 there's a fresh teen slasher book lurking in your imagination, give me that. (Please!)
I'm also not opposed to paranormal, but it MUST be fresh.
While I like 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. They're to die for.
I like 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, U.
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. (Just kidding! Sort of...I suck at them, so any help, er, appreciated.)
For submission guidelines and all you need to know about Pitch Wars, go to brilliant Brenda's post here: http://www.brenda-drake.com/pitch-wars/
And then check out all of the other fantastic mentors making Pitch Wars amazing this year.
So looking forward to hearing from U. You can find me on Twitter via @dawnmius :-)