*Taps the mic*
Is this thing on?
Hi! Jami and I have paired up to co-mentor, as our experiment with doing that on a bonus pick last year worked out so well! We work together year round doing Chimera Editing, though not usually on the same book (except for KT’s The Domino Project series). More info about us is on there, if you’re not familiar with our work yet. Since we’re used to working closely together, we’ve already got a system down. Be prepared, this isn’t for the faint of heart, it’s a lot of work. By the end of this process, you should have a fantastic manuscript, query, and synopsis to make agents want to snap you up.
What we’re looking for:
VOICE! Above anything else, the mentee we pick needs to have a great voice in their novel. I want to travel to your alien worlds, your fairy castles. I want to smell the food, taste the betrayal, and feel my heart pound when we run from monsters. All that comes through in voice. KT would like to add that she was greatly influence by the Buffy The Vampire Slayer series. If you want to see the types of characterization to strengthen voice that she loves, look no further.
We’re mainly looking for ADULT SF/F. Jami likes romance in it as long as it’s not a distraction from theplot- If they should be more concerned with not dying, we could care less who they think is more attractive. But if sexual tension weaves in with the plot tension, that’ll grab Jami VERY quickly. Any romance elements have to be integral to the storyline. (It’s ok if you want it to be and it’s not quite there yet. That’s fixable!) It’d be really nice to see something aromantic as well though, so don’t feel like romance HAS to be part of the story. Think something Tor, Orbit, or HarperVoyager might put out. Dark stories are wonderful, though we can do without sexual violence, thanks much.
We’re not stressed about your query, that’s super easy to fix. Because #Pitchwars is about editing, and, well, we’re editors, we’re not looking for a perfect book. We’re looking mainly at the pages, for a voice and concept that we think we can help get to that next level, from good, to amazing.
We are EXTREMELY open to diverse books! Jami is a bi woman with a transgender boyfriend who has cerebral palsy and hearing loss, along with a long list of food allergies. KT is pansexual/demisexual as well, so we have a personal interest in seeing more diversity out there.
Obviously, marketability of the idea is going to be a fairly important factor. Adult spec fic is still languishing in the market, compared to the YA market, but they’re still picking up amazing debuts. The concept needs to be fresh, pushing boundaries while acknowledging the genre’s conventions.
Some of the books we love:
- Anything, at all, by V.E. Schwab- We both agree on this. The darkness, the complex world building, and the character development is AMAZING. Plus Jami’s fond of the way she uses description.
- The Toby Daye series by Seanan Mcguire- KT also loves her Mira Grant stuff. Jami isn’t much of a zombie person, except she loved Girl With All the Gifts.
- Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman- Jami would add his Ocean at the End of the Lane as well. The feeling it evokes still gives her chills to think about it!
Some things that won’t grab us:
- Military oriented fic-Think Honor Harrington, or the Vorkosigan series. While Jami’s read and enjoyed them, they’re really not something either of us grab much of, and there’s not a good market for it right now as far as we’ve seen.
- Dystopian/post apocalyptic/zombies/Vampires/werewolves/demons and assorted immortal characters-If you want to try these, there better be something SUPER different about them.
- Crime procedurals/cozy mysteries-Not something either of us are looking for.
- Hatefulness or bigotry- We absolutely will NOT consider anything that is racist, homophobic, or transphobic. If a character has a disability, there should be more to them than an inspirational sidenote. (More than one book has met the wall when a character is magically “cured” of their disability, especially when it happens without any struggle or work on their part.) We’d also be hard sells for anything with sexual violence. Stories that call this OUT, however, would appeal highly. One of the best features of creating your own world is that it can critique this one.
- Straight up romance with no speculative elements- Yes, Jami picked a steamy romance last year that now has a fantastic deal, and edits a lot of wonderful romances.. But KT is not as much a fan of plain romance. There’s a lot of mentors looking for romance this year, and we want to focus on speculative works this time.
Think we might be a fit? We look forward to reading! Remember, if you donate $20 or more to Pitchwars, you can submit up to 6 mentors. You can also win an in depth critique from us if you don’t get picked by donating any amount!
Looking for the scavenger hunt letter? It’s hidden on Jami’s blog!
What are you waiting for!?