Sunday, August 2, 2015

Pitch Wars 2015 Bio

Pitch Wars 2015

Today the mentors for Pitch Wars are posting something about themselves and what they’d like to critique for the writing contest. (What is Pitch Wars? Basically, if you are a writer and you want an agent, this contest is an opportunity like no other.) This year I will be co-mentoring with my rock star mentee from last year, Mara Rae, who FYI landed an agent via this very 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;
  • Coach Tennis; 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, released October 28, 2014. And also became an Amazon bestseller, blah, blah, blah...

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.

And for some stuff about Mara:

Hey all! I'm so excited to be assisting Jessie, my kick-ass mentor who helped me land my agent, John Cusick of Folio Literary Management, last year. Team B-Words racked up a ton of requests: 12 for me, and 8 for our alternate, Jocelyn. I tied for second place behind my dear friend Elly, but this year I want to win! 

A little about me: I'm a triplet born on Leap Day, currently living in Lima, Peru, with my diplomat husband and our two sons. I grew up in Southern California but have since lived all over the place, including six states, England, and Russia. I have a rather narrow comfort zone and I'm constantly living outside of it, and I wouldn't have it any other way. You can read a little more about me and my novel, WINTERSOUL, at to get an idea of what I'm all about.

Now down to business: I've worked as a copyeditor so I have excellent editing skills, and I like to think I'm a good mix of critic and cheerleader. I definitely prefer Fantasy (Contemporary, High, Urban, you name it) though I do read a little of everything. I skew toward Upper YA and I like things a little dark and creepy-in-a-good-way, like Neil Gaiman. Some of my favorite books are Daughter of Smoke and Bone, The Scorpio Races, and A Darker Shade of Magic. Most importantly, I've been in YOUR shoes, and I know how exciting and stressful Pitch Wars can be. I'll be here to answer questions, give you pep talks, and help you make the most of this amazing opportunity.

Go Check It All Out Here:

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  1. Hello Jessie and Mara! I'm doing the PitchWars blog hop and finding a wonderful and encouraging writing community. I'm not quite ready to query, but I'm visiting the blogs, so I thought I'd leave a note to say hello. Good luck with your applicants,and thanks for reaching out to support other writers as they make their way along. :)