This is my fourth year mentoring Pitch Wars and I'm so excited to be back! (If you don't know what Pitch Wars is, it's a mentoring/pitch contest combo for MG, YA, NA, and Adult fiction authors looking for a literary agent. Click for more info)
Let's get down to business...
First order of business: My mentee "won" last year in the YA category - i.e, she got the most requests. Most of my mentees & alternates have either gotten an agent or a book deal.
Okay, now that we have the whole "reigning champion" thing out of the way :-), I'll tell you a bit about myself.
I write YA as Sarah Nicolas (Dragons are People, Too came out in April) and adult romance as Aria Kane. I'm represented by Rebecca Podos at the Rees Literary Agency. I'm only considering YA manuscripts this year. I have worked as a Publicity Director for Entangled Publishing and in the editorial department of two small publishers. I used to read slush for Liz Pelletier and Prophecy Girl was the first book I ever "pulled out of the slush" and championed.
I'm a whedonite, a whovian, and am still convinced I'm going to marry Leonardo (the Ninja Turtle). I play a lot of wallyball and my day job is planning events for a public library. My social media links are in the sidebar to your right if you want to find me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or other places.
I'm interested in pretty much any YA genre except hardcore horror. (Honestly, I mean it; I love all genres in YA, so if you're wondering if I want to see xyz genre, the answer is yes.) My tastes tend to fall towards spec-fic of any kind, but I'm also very interested in contemporary or historical with a strong hook.
I'm especially interested in the following elements: lgbt (especially the b), multicultural, foreign settings, subversion of cultural norms (especially gender norms), mystery, supernatural creatures I haven't seen a lot of, conwomen, unique and/or rich settings. A strong voice is of utmost importance and I adore smart, witty writing. Make me love a villain, and I will love your book. If you have a genre-bender like my 2013 mentee Amped, bring it on. If you have a strong, complicated sister/sister relationship, gimme!
There are a few things that are a big no-no for me: hardcore horror, on-screen rape (no exceptions). If your book centers around sexual assault, your book is not for me.
If you're looking for someone to be your BFF and tell you how great you are all the time, I'm not your girl. I despise false flattery and anyone who knows me will tell you: If I give you a compliment, I really mean it. If you're looking for someone to challenge you to make your book better in every way and to help you write the best damn pitch & query letter your book has ever hoped for, that's more my style.
So if you have an awesome YA ready to go, submit to me on August 17th! In the meantime, read some of my query secrets and get your game face on!
Check out the other mentors: