I’m excited to be a 2021 PitchWars mentor. For those who don’t know, PitchWars is a volunteer-run mentoring program for writers. Published and/or agented authors, editors, or industry interns select one writer each to mentor during the event.
What’s involved in being mentored? If selected, your manuscript will be read in its entirety and the mentor will offer suggests on possible tweaks before the agent showcase which wraps up PitchWars. In addition, each mentor also helps fine-tune their mentee’s pitch for the contest along with their agent query letter.
A LITTLE ABOUT ME
I grew up in Los Angeles and have been a lifelong mystery fan. After losing our home during a California wildfire, we moved to the beach community of Los Osos along the central coast in 2021. I love all the mist and fog! I’m an avid gardener and am learning which California natives thrive in my new hometown.
A DEADLY BONE TO PICK is the first book in my new cozy mystery series and is slated for publication by Berkley in February 2022. My short story, The Midnight Hour, was included in this year’s Los Angeles SinC anthology, Avenging Angelenos. I have also had short stories published in two other mystery anthologies: The Best Laid Plans and Heartbreaks and Half-truths. My young adult adventure, Punishment Summer was published by Evernight Teen. I also illustrated the children’s book, Angie’s Great Big Beautiful Life: Tales of Angie the Rescue Cat. I’m a member of Sisters in Crime National and SinC Los Angeles.
WHAT I WANT
My focus for the contest will be:
Mysteries — running the gamut from cozy to procedural to traditional — and
I’ll be reading in the Adult age category but will also look at New Adult submissions.
MY CRITIQUE STYLE
My goal will be to help make the mentee’s prose shine. I’ll be evaluating the manuscript for structure, pacing and character development. If selected, I’ll read the manuscript in its entirety, and the mentee will receive an editorial letter which we can discuss. While the mentee revises, I’ll be available to answer questions and talk through any problems and brainstorm as necessary (via email or Twitter DMs). I’ll re-read the manuscript before the showcase to help with any last-minute edits.
Mentees need to be open-minded about making changes but I’m not a ‘What I say goes’ sort of person. I’ll give my opinion and will be happy to explain the thinking behind it, but whether or not a change is made is always the author’s choice. Communication is key, with an open back and forth dialogue between mentor and mentee.
BOOKS I’VE RECENTLY ENJOYED:
DEAD DEAD GIRLS by Nekesa Afia
WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING by Alyssa Cole
THE LAW OF INNOCENCE by Michael Connelly
BLACKTOP WASTELAND by S. A. Cosby
FINLAY DONOVAN IS KILLING IT by Ellie Cosimano
HE STARTED IT by Samantha Downing
AND NOW SHE’S GONE by Rachel Howzell Hall
ONCE YOU GO THIS FAR by Kristen Lepionka
STALKING GROUND by Margaret Mizushima
(Wow. Until I alphabetized this list, I didn’t realize how many wonderful mystery authors’ last names begin with ‘C’!)
Wishing everyone great success with their writing!
“Head back to the Pitch Wars post to see the complete list of mentors” and include this link: https://pitchwars.org/pitch-wars-2021-mentor-blog-hop/”
I lifelong mystery fan, I’m a member of Sisters in Crime National and Sisters in Crime Los Angeles. I am represented by Melissa Jeglinski of The Knight Agency.
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