It’s my first year serving as a mentor for Pitch Wars, and I’m going to be mentoring YA. And while I read (and love!) all genres, I’m most drawn to fantasy. High fantasy, low fantasy, urban fantasy, historical fantasy: I love it all. I also love historical. Any time periods, though I particularly gravitate toward Tudor, Elizabethan, Regency, Edwardian, Stuart (if it’s English, it’s mine.) I also love sci-fi, adore horror, and they say dystopian is a hard sell these days, but I still love it.
I love well-drawn, complex characters: the funny, the angsty, the flawed (especially the flawed), the brash, the shy, the stubborn. The more, the better: I want them to be real. As for romantic leads, I’m drawn to beta males: the quiet, the circumspect, the smart. I want the guy who sits next to you in class who always has a spare sheet of paper for you to borrow (think Peeta). I don’t want the guy in the hallway tossing footballs (think Jace. Unless you want him taken down a notch. Then I do want him).
Speaking of footballs…I’m probably not the best one for sports stories. Ditto religion and politics, and, as much as I hate to say it, contemporary. I love to read it, but I haven’t a clue how to write (or mentor) it. I’d try and introduce a beheading or a haunting and you don’t want that (unless you do. In which case, please pitch me.)
Be prepared to work, and work hard. I’m nice, but I’m also honest. I went through a lot of revision to get my manuscript to the point where I got an agent…more to get a book deal…and even more preparing to bring it into the world. While what I ask you to do may seem like a lot, it won’t be anything I haven’t done myself.
My YA historical fantasy THE WITCH HUNTER will be published June 1, 2015 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Book 2 will follow in 2016, Book 3 in 2017. (You can read more about it here.) I’m represented by the incomparable Kathleen Ortiz at New Leaf Literary and Media and am a proud member of the 2015 debut author groups Freshman Fifteens, Fearless Fifteens, and Class of 2k15.
For more information about this year’s Pitch Wars agents and to submit starting August 18, 2014, please visit Brenda Drake’s website. In the meantime, please visit all the Pitch Wars mentors and learn about all our wish lists!