Wednesday, November 20, 2013

#PitchWars: The Mentors by Category

Hello all! These are the Pitch Wars mentors sorted by the categories they've chosen to mentor. Each link leads back to their wishlist, so be sure to click in order to get specifics on what they're looking for.

Middle Grade

Brent Taylor
Marieke Nijkamp
Jennifer Malone
Veronica Bartles
Joy McCullough-Carranza
Jen Swann Downey
Gail Nall
Naomi Hughes
Shannon Duffy

Young Adult

Cora Carmack
Elizabeth Briggs
Shelley Watters (Romance only)
Erica Chapman
Molly Lee
Lindsey Sprague
Megan Whitmer
Michelle Painchaud
Fiona McLaren
Monica Bustamante-Wagner
Skylar Dorset
Meredith McCardle
Jaye Robin Brown
Dannie Morin
Stacey Lee
S.P. McConnell
Natalie Knaub
Jessie Humphries
Stephanie Garber
Trisha Leaver
Lori Goldstein
Evelyn Ehrlich
Rin Chupeco
Lindsay Currie
Laura Tims
Diana Gallagher
Sarah Nicolas

New Adult

Cora Carmack
Agent Assistant Lioness (aka ME)
Shelley Watters (Romance only)
Tina Moss
Mina Vaughn
Skylar Dorset
Dannie Morin
Stacey Lee
Nazarea Andrews
Veronica Parks
Trisha Leaver
Julie Sondra Decker
Diana Gallagher
Sarah Nicolas


Heather Webb
Agent Assistant Lioness (aka ME)
Susan Spann
Shelley Watters (Romance only)
Tina Moss
Sarah Henning
Mina Vaughn
Elizabeth Penney
Nazarea Andrews
Julie Sondra Decker

And, of course, the hostess with the mostess, Brenda Drake!

#PitchWars: My Wishlist

Man, I thought writing my bio was hard. I'm going to be mentoring in the Adult and New Adult categories, and I wanted to just be like,
Original art © Allie Brosh*
But I was pretty sure that would rate a disapproving look from Brenda and, perhaps, shunning by the other mentors. So then I decided to look at the agents' websites to see what they wanted to see as well as the Agent and Editor Wishlist Tumblr. I managed to narrow it down to Some of the Things.

Here's what I don't want: no horror, cannibalism, evil zombies, incest, child abuse, animal abuse, pedophilia, necrophilia, or anything that goes beyond taboo and into despicable. I also do best with books that have a happy ending, whether it be happy forever or happy for right now. The book can be full of struggles and angst, so long as I have the comfort of knowing everything will turn out all right by the end. 

Moving onto my area of expertise, I am best with romances (big shocker there, huh?) and, more specifically, paranormals. I do read pretty much anything that has a romantic element in there somewhere, regardless of overall genre. However, if you have something that you think isn't my usual fare, but you're sure I'm the perfect fit because Joss Whedon is your Master too, submit it to me anyway. 

Now, onto, my wishlist with specifics (these are my dream plots; if you have any romance-y book, please consider submitting to me!):

My 'I Wanna Read This' Wishlist
  • Urban fantasy along the lines of Ilona Andrews or Patricia Briggs, but with a different twist. Also, a modern-day Buffy book, complete with quirky humor.
  • Thriller/Mystery/Romantic Suspense/Military Romance centering on a realistic plot ripped from today's headlines like global warming, genetically modified foods, superstorms, or honeybee extinctions. 
  • Magical Realism Contemporary, something like Eureka, but where it's magic instead of technology. 
  • Contemporary NA that focuses more on the college side of life or a long-distance relationship where they email during the semesters and reconnect during breaks. 
  • Science-Fiction with strong female characters and ethnically diverse characters. Think Voyager's cast with TNG's storylines. 
  • Contemporary NA involving a quarter-life crisis.
  • Steampunk set in America, where things diverged after Ben Franklin discovered electricity. 
  • Any paranormal romance, but it shouldn't feel like a clone of what's already been published. 
  • In any commercial genre, a book inspired by a gender-swapped fairy-tale. For example, a gender-swapped, sci-fic, Cinderella: He's the lowly grunt on his step-father's ship and she's the highly-decorated captain looking for a second in command. A fantasy-esque Swan Princess: He's cursed by the sorcerer because the Big Bad wants the heroine for himself, but she says F that and sets off on an epic quest to rescue the hero. 
  • Erotica. I would love a true mmf menage, a la Lauren Dane's Laid Bare. Also, something with a risque edge to it, like exhibitionism or voyagerism. I'd particularly like to see a NA erotica, but all parties should definitely be over eighteen and, to be the most marketable, they should ideally be at least twenty. No bestiality or water sports please. MM or FF is fine, but I don't have a lot of experience with FF materials. 
  • Contemporary romance where the main couple are/were contestants on a Voice-type reality show and their relationship starts to develop during filming, or if they were child contestants together twenty years ago and reconnected during a reunion special. 
  • Space Western, i.e. Firefly in book form, but it shouldn't read like Firefly fanfiction. 
  • A 'contemporary' that is set fifty years from now and is futuristic without being dystopian. 
I'm going to stop myself here because I could go on. In general, I'm looking for something I haven't read before. I've read over 300 books this year alone so I want something fresh with an unique voice. I'd also prefer books that aren't completely white-washed.  I live in white suburbia where there wasn't a single black person in my graduating high school class, but I still have people of various ethnicities, and sexual orientation for that matter, in my life. I'm not saying I want cultural stereotypes, just not a book full of straight white people. The only exception here is if your book is a historical or has some other setting where cultures wouldn't mix. 

I hope between the wishlist and my bio, you now have an idea if I could be the mentor for you. Follow Brenda's blog for more details on how to submit when submissions open on December 2nd. In the meantime, if you have any general, non-pitchy, questions, the comments are open! 

*Graphic was taken from Allie's hilarious Hyperbole and a Half blog entry, This is Why I'll Never Be an Adult, This entry was also reprinted in Allie's book, Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened. I gave it 5 stars on GoodReads. 


#PitchWars Bio: A few of my favorite things

I thought a lot about what to write in my bio since I am a lady of mystery. Then I realized that this is really an exercise in compatibility. It's like when contestants have to pick a judge on The Voice. Belters and Divas go with Christina. Quirky and Unusual go to Cee-lo. Country goes to Blake. Rockers go to Adam. It doesn't really matter where any of them are from, it matters what their areas of expertise are, on who will 'get' the contestant the best. So my bio is going to be focused on the things that, I feel, will best indicate whether or not we'd be compatible as mentor and mentee.

Professional Experience: I worked at Borders Books and Music for nearly a decade before the chain went under. I spent five of those years as a romance expert, a program run by the romance buyers. From there, I transitioned in academia and I now work in a university library. In addition to the library, in 2012, I was selected to be an intern for Literary Agent Boss and then she promoted me to assistant, which I've been for the last six months.

What's My Critique Style: Professional but blunt. I try to highlight the positive, but I am definitely going to mention the not-so positive. My goal is to help you grow, to become better than you already are, not to encourage you to stay the same.

Must-See TV: There are season passes on my DVR for The Voice, Sleepy Hollow, Castle, NCIS (original and LA), Hawaii Five-O, Bones, Haven, Grimm, Once Upon a Time, Person of Interest, S.H.I.E.L.D., Elementary, Switched at Birth, and Supernatural. I was a huge fan of Leverage & Veronica Mars before they were canceled, The Big Bang Theory before they made Sheldon a caricature rather than a person, anything that had Joss Whedon's name on it, and the first season of Glee. Oh, and the original Primeval, Dark Angel, and Kim Possible. I also wrote fanfic for Roswell, Stargate: Atlantis, and Wolf Lake.

Auto-Buy Authors: Shelly Laurenston/G.A. Aiken, Dana Marie Bell, Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs, Nalini Singh, Thea Harrison, JD Robb, Jayne Castle, Gena Showalter, Kristen Ashley, Kate SeRine, and Robin D. Owens.

Auto-Read Authors: Nora Roberts, Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick, Alyssa Day, Tamora Pierce, Jean Johnson, Jill Shalvis, Julia Quinn, Vivian Arend, Lauren Dane, and countless others.

Selection of my Favorite Books: Rose in Bloom by Louise May Alcott, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowling, Pegasus in Flight by Anne McCaffrey, Heart Dance by Robin D. Owens, Visions of Heat by Nalini Singh, Oracle's Moon by Thea Harrison, Law Man by Kristen Ashley, Written in Blood by Anne Bishop, and Conspiracy in Death by JD Robb

Favorite Music: Country and Top 40 Pop

Favorite Movies: The Hunger Games, The Avengers, Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog, Star Trek (2009), Meet the Robinsons, all three Lion King movies, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Live Free or Die Harder, and America's Sweethearts.

Least favorite holiday: Easter

Favorite 80s Cartoon: She-Ra, Princess of Power

Favorite season: Winter. I love snow.

Biggest Real World Pet Peeve: Inconsiderate people, especially people who don't use their blinkers.

Biggest Literary Pet Peeve: Authors who mix up discreet and discrete.

Stuff I Collect: Autographed books, nail polish (I went a little berserk this year), Disney vinylmations, baking recipes, and ticket stubs.

Dream Vacation: All expenses paid trip to either a Disney resort or the United Kingdom (I'd love to see Scotland and the Harry Potter Studio Tour).

Favorite spots in the City (aka Manhattan): The Strand, Books of Wonder, Cosi's, and American Museum of Natural History. I am not a big City person. Too many people too close together. I prefer my home in the suburb.

Apple vs PC: I prefer Apple for my mobile technology, but I'm a PC girl for my desktop and laptop computing.

I could go on, but I hope that's enough to give you an idea of who I am. If you're curious about anything, comment! Click on the linky to see the other mentors and go here for my wishlist.

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#PitchWars: The Agents!

Let's be real. While getting feedback from pretty phenomenal people is positively a plus, primarily Pitch Wars (Couldn't resist; I'm done now) is about getting your work in front of agents. I am pleased as punch (hee) to announce the 18 agents who will descend on the hosting blogs on January 22nd to request away. In no particular order:

  1. Louise Fury - Bent Agency
  2. Suzie Townsend - New Leaf Literary
  3. Nicole Resciniti - The Seymour Agency
  4. John M. Cusick - The Greenhouse Agency
  5. Sarah LaPolla - Bradford Literary Agency
  6. Victoria Marini - Gelfman Schneider Literary Agency
  7. Jessica Sinsheimer - Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency
  8. Pam van Hylckama Vlieg - Foreword Literary
  9. Quinlan Lee - Adams Literary
  10. Jen Udden - Donald Maass Literary Agency
  11. Emily Keyes - Foreword Literary
  12. Brianne Johnson - Writers House
  13. Carly Watters - P.S. Literary
  14. Lana Popovic and Natasha Alexis - Zachary Shuster Harmsworth
  15. Molly Jaffa - Folio Literary Management
  16. Evan Gregory - Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency
  17. Stefanie Lieberman - Janklow & Nesbit Associates
  18. Rena Rossner - The Deborah Harris Agency