Question 1: What are you mentoring?
I’m mentoring New Adult and Adult books.
Question 2: Are you going to like my book?
Probably if it is one (or more!) of the following:
- A mystery
- A retelling
- A story involving politics
- Literary Fiction
- A romance involving fame
- A romance with a hero who is a bodyguard, cop, or other type of protector
Question 3: Why would I want to work with you?
Okay…so you’ve decided your novel is a good fit interest-wise. Yay! But there are other mentors too, so why would you want to work with me?
Well, I think I know how to write a good novel. But don’t take just my word for it. HEARTSICK and RED BLOODED, have received positive reviews from Library Journal, RT Book Reviews, and USA TODAY. My Wattpad novel, DENALI IN HIDING, has close to a quarter of a million views and is consistently on the list of top Science Fiction novels on the site.
I’ve been in the query trenches before, so I know what it’s like! I also successfully landed an agent—I am represented by Andrea Somberg. :)
I don’t just write novels. My short writing has also earned accolades from Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, Glimmer Train, and Writers & Artists, and my stories have appeared in multiple publications, including The Alarmist, The Binnacle, Crunchable, Jersey Devil Press, and Northern Virginia Magazine.
I also earned a master's degree in writing from Johns Hopkins University. While in the program I learned how to carefully and constructively offer feedback to other writers. I’ve continued to do that while CPing and offering critiques.
If you have any questions before you’d like to submit, just let me know. :)
Question 4: What is your letter for the scavenger hunt?
Mysteries: I love a good mystery, from cozies to gritty procedurals. I also define mystery loosely. If you’ve got a sleuth who’s solving a puzzle, send it to me. :)
Retellings: I love seeing how creative authors can get with these. Bonus...If you have a Jane Austen retelling, definitely send it to me! :)
Speculative/SFF: I love magical worlds, strange twists on the real world, and anything else that’s got some speculative elements to it. One caveat though: if your book is very high fantasy or really hard scifi, I might not be the best mentor for it. I’m into what you might call “pop” SFF. Think X-Files and Harry Potter, not Dune.
I realize that might be vague, so to give you a better feel for what I’m in to, here are a smattering of speculative books I like:
- Uprooted, Naomi Novik
- Throne of Glass, Sarah Mass
- The Cahill Witch Chronicles, Jessica Spotswood
- The 5th Wave, Rick Yancey
- Charm, Franny Billingsley
- The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood
- Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card
- Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
Anything political: I was born in DC. I work in DC (on a policy journal). I read the Washington Post and Politico on a daily basis. I’m a total political junkie, so if you’ve got something involving politics, send it to me! :)
And, if you also like political books, I recommend these!
- The Easy Part series, Emma Barry
- All-American Girl, Meg Cabot
- Sammy’s Hill and Sammy’s House, Kristin Gore
- Red Blooded, Caitlin Sinead (yeah, that’s me ...sorry, I couldn't help myself)
Literary Fiction: While the novel-length writing I do is all genre, I’ve also published literary short fiction and my work has been recognized by Writers & Artists and Glimmer Train. I also have a highfalutin master’s degree in writing.
So if you have a literary novel, please send it my way.
A few recent literary books I’ve enjoyed:
- The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Mohsin Hamid
- Redeployment, Phil Klay
- Love Walked In, Marisa de los Santos
- Charm and Strange, Stephanie Kuehn
- And the Mountains Echoed, Khaled Hosseini
Romances with a Fame element:
I’m a sucker for celebrity romances. A few I enjoyed...
- The Royal We, Heather Cocks
- Jesse’s Girl, Miranda Kenneally
- Under the Lights, Dahlia Adler
A romance with a hero as "protector" (cop, bodyguard, etc.)
These heroes make me weak in the knees. :)
Books I may not be the best mentor for
Historical: I don’t read a lot of these, so I may not be the best person to mentor you if you have a historical novel.
That said, if you’d still like to give it a go, here are some historical novels I enjoyed
- The Book Thief, Markus Zusak
- Caleb’s Crossing, Geraldine Brooks
- The Girl with the Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Mary Ann Shaffer
Books w/ no diversity, unless there is a darn good reason for it:
I grew up and live in a diverse community, so, basically, books that aren't diverse just..honestly...don't ring true to me. So, if your novel lacks diversity (aka an old, old wooden ship), there better be a really good reason for it. But that's hard to imagine. While there are certainly communities where almost everyone is of the same ethnicity, it would still be hard for me to buy a community/setting where EVERYONE was heterosexual, neurotypical, etc. etc. So, just something to keep in mind.