Saturday, August 2, 2014

Pitch Wars 2014

Today the mentors for Pitch Wars are posting something about themselves and what they’d like to critique for the writing contest. So for the something about myself…here's some stuff:

Stuff I used to do:
  • Play tennis at San Diego State University;
  • Live in Paris and speak fluent French; and
  • Act like someone else on stage and camera for my Theater undergrad degree.
Stuff I currently do:
  • Practice law part-time;
  • Mother handfuls of children full-time; and
  • Write Young Adult novels.
Also, I like bullet points:
  • Some people like to call me a B-Word...for all sorts of different reasons! But for this contest, I'm going to say it stands for Best Choice of Mentor Ever!
  • I’m represented by Sarah Davies of the Greenhouse Literary Agency. 
  • My young adult contemporary thriller novel, KILLING RUBY ROSE, (Amazon Children's Publishing/Skyscape) was released as a Kindle First pick in April 2014 and quickly became an Amazon #1 Bestseller in Teen/Young Adult Books and #4 Overall in the Kindle Store. Traditional release in paperback and all other formats was on May 1, 2014.
  • Book 2 in the RUBY ROSE series, RESISTING RUBY ROSE, releases October 28, 2014.

What I’m coaching for the contest…
For this contest I’m coaching Young Adult manuscripts. I've only had to endure about one million revisions on RUBY ROSE (from critique partners, to beta readers, to agents, to acquiring editors, to developmental editors, etc.) so I'm a bit of an expert on which kinds of critiques help and which kinds help not-so-much. I've always believed that in order to deserve the help of others, I must be generous in giving back whatever help I have to offer. I will take my job as a mentor seriously and make sure to include helpful advice--not just tell you what I think you want to hear. Perhaps the number one thing that helps me in critiques is when the critiquer not only points out a problem, but offers solutions and examples as to how to solve the problem.

Stuff I like to read: protagonists with sass, cleverness, and an ability to make me smile with their ingenuity. I like surprises, twists, high-stakes, and above all...kissing! Or the almost-kiss, which can sometimes be way better! I dig contemporary, fantasy, historical (if there's kissing), thrillers, maybe a dash of horror, post-apocalyptic, and anything with a beach scene (even if it's sci-fi). I sort of love the dark stuff, but not too dark--I already have issues, I don't need any more. A few zombie slayings are however welcome.


  1. I love the bullet point approach! Very precise :) How light, fluffy and beachy do you like your YA contemps, or do you prefer them with some meat on their bones? ( kissing included, of course :)

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  3. Where in Paris did you live? For how long? Why were you there? I'm so intrigued! I spent a semester of college in Paris. I lived in a foyer, took classes at l'Institut Catholique de Paris, and spent most of my time wandering the city (after my passport was stolen during a weekend trip to Dublin, I got an emergency passport, and sent that to the States to get another student visa). Since then, I've sadly lost some of my French skills, although one of my coworkers is from France and we chat sometimes. I also try to put something French in my writing whenever possible.

  4. I dig the bullet points. It has order, and that's what I'm about. In my YA fantasy, there's some kissing with a twist that may surprise you. And it does get dark, but I promise that my story won't give you any more issues. :)

  5. Hi Jessie, this is my first Pitch Wars and I'm just trying to figure out the ropes. Excited! Would you be interested in Romeo and Juliet in modern Belfast?1st person YA, 2 POV, grief, family issues, and sectarianism? Thanks for considering!