Monday, October 28, 2013

Review-cipes: Pivot Point, Transparent, Arclight

It's high time I updated you all on some of my favorite recent reads!
Like last time I did "Review-cipes," I seem to be amassing a collection of new sci-fi favorites.

Pivot Point -- by Kasie West


1 supergirl seer
2 potential futures
A single choice

Juxtapose: a life in Normal, or one safe with the other Supers in the walls of the Compound, either way there's a chance for love, but both paths seem to lead to the same devastating end.

Parallel Pathways: Clarity by Kim Harrington, Parallel by Lauren Miller, Transparent by Natalie Whipple

Transparent -- by Natalie Whipple


1 invisible girl, born to a life of crime
A controlling, Vegas-crook of a father
A chance for a new life

She's trying to start over as a "normal" (super-powered) high-schooler in Arizona, but what will happen when she finds out she's not as invisible as she thinks?

Similar Superbooks: Invisibility by Andrea Cremer & David Levithan, Pivot Point by Kasie West, Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Arclight -- Josin McQuein


A girl with no past
The boy whose father died to save her
A dome of light

And beyond it? ... 
Everything fades to black. 

Other Post-Apoc Thrillers: In the After by Demetria Lunetta (PS: LOVE), Enclave by Ann Aguirre, Taken by Erin Bowman

Have you read any of these? What were your thoughts? 
Any other book recommendations for fans of these great reads?

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Scene-spiration: Romance

Writing romantic scenes doesn't always come easily to me.
Photo credit: Bschwen
It's one of those things I really have to be in the mood for. Maybe it's because while I like a little romance in the novels I read, it bugs me if it overwhelms the central plot. But that was another blog post. Writing a good romantic scene is also tricky because it's territory covered so many times over in YA, that you run the risk of filling it full of cliches.

Whatever the reason, when I'm not in the mood, writing romantic scenes feels like pulling teeth my characters wind up pissed off at each other. Not exactly the development I wanted in their relationship!

Like I mentioned last week, there are three key things I do to get in the mood for certain scenes: mood music, body language, and re-typing (or re-reading) inspiring scenes. What music and which authors I turn to for inspiration depends on the exact type of romantic moment I'm looking to embody in my scene.

For example, maybe I'll listen to Home by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros if the scene I'm about to write is going to have a cute, boy-next-door feel. Or Mazzy Star's Fade Into You if the scene is supposed to be more reflective or wistful. Or Breathe Me by Sia if the scene is a little sad (or William Fitzsimmon's So This is Goodbye if the scene is REALLY sad). I've compiled some more inspiration sources below.

******SPOILER ALERT: Quotes ahead! Read no further (or skim past the red text) if you don't want to see excerpts of scenes from The Sky is Everywhere, Anna and the French Kiss, Unearthly, Arclight and Transparent******

First Glances:
The first time the MC lays eyes on her/his love interest is always a key moment in a YA novel. Often (but not always!) you know immediately who this new character is.

Photo credit: Mario Trejo
It's tricky to write the "first glance" scene without filling it with the typical cliches. Catching someone's eye across the room, looking then looking away, the immediate 'electricity' - they're all things we've seen before, but hopefully with a unique setup, and a bit of work our scenes will be nice and fresh!  Here are some sources of inspiration:

Mood Music: 
Lights - Ellie Goulding
Little Bit - Lykke Li

Inspiring Authors: 
Jandy Nelson

Favorite "First Glance" Moments:

“His face is more open than an open book, like a wall of graffiti really. I realize I'm writing wow on my thigh with my finger, decide I better open my mouth and snap us out of this impromptu staring contest." 
          -- The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Just Plain Cute:
I'm a total sucker for the cute, 'maybe we're just friends but maybe not' type romance. It might start slow, maybe even with other significant others in the picture, but soon things get a little cuter, a little more flirty and soon you know that the playful banter between the MC and her/his "friend" is going to turn into something more. Here's some inspiration for those sorts of moments.
Photo Credit: Ozan Diril

Mood Music: 
Give me a Reason - Meiko
Home - Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
I'm Yours - Jason Mraz
All I Want is You - (cover by The Vespers)

Inspiring Authors: 
Stephanie Perkins, Jandy Nelson

Favorite "Cute" Moments:

“That was it? The whole story?"
“Yes. God, you’re right. That was pants.”
I sidestep another aggressive couscous vendor.
“Rubbish. Crap. Shite.”
Pants. Oh heavens that’s cute.
    -- Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

"Well, well, a troubadour," Gram says, opening the door. She has obviously noticed the mesmery that is Joe's face and has already begun flirting. "Here I thought we were in the twenty-first century . . ." She is starting to purr. I have to save him.
           -- The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Falling for You:
Often in YA, there's a tricky balance to developing chemistry soon but not too soon. One thing I love about all the novels quoted below is their ability to show the chemistry between characters without feeling like "Insta-Love." Building up the cute moments, romantic tension, and denial to a moment where the MC suddenly realizes s/he is falling for the other person is, in my opinion, one nice way to achieve this.

Mood Music:
Image Credit: Bartok Ambrozik
Fade Into You - Mazzy Star
Figure Eight - Ellie Goulding
Record Collector - Lissie

Inspiring Authors:
Cynthia Hand, Stephanie Perkins, Natalie Whipple

Favorite "Falling for you" Moments:

This summer hasn't turned out at all like I’d planned. I’m not supposed to be standing in the middle of a barn with a blue-eyed cowboy who’s looking at me like he’s about to kiss me. I shouldn't be wanting him to kiss me.
                  -- Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

And then there’s the other thing
The thing I’m trying to ignore. The thing I shouldn't want, the thing I can’t have.
And he’s standing in front of me right now.
           -- Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

We stay still for what could be hours, eternity, or a breath in time. No machines or alarms. No blinking light to remind us that danger could descend at any moment, and in the void, I find a point of focus where his arm wraps tight around my shoulders like a tether to keep me from spiraling into the abyss.
            -- Arclight by Josin McQuien

“I'm not crying over you.” His skin is warm, surprisingly comforting. I'm tempted to put my arms around his waist, just to know how it feels to hug someone besides Miles. Before I can think better of it, my hands are on his back. He flinches, but then relaxes again.
My whole body tingles and I feel slightly guilty about how much I enjoy the feel of him against me. I like Brady. Seth's brother. At least I think I do. But I can't seem to stop myself. I need comfort and he's here for me. I put my head on his shoulder, confused as hell. “I'm such an idiot.”
                 -- Transparent by Natalie Whipple

The Kiss!
For some people kissing scenes always come easy. I definitely have to be in the right mood. Maybe it's partially feeling frozen by the fact that, like first glances, it can be so easy to write kissing scenes full of cliches. It can be challenging to write them without sounding like a billion other YA kisses that have happened before. In my opinion, there's a tricky balance here too: detail enough to tantalize, but not so much that it gets 'gross', familiarity enough that readers 'feel' the scene, but also with descriptions/reactions that fit the unique personality of the MC.

Photo Credit: dtimoske
Mood Music:
Sweater Weather - The Neighbourhood
Desert - Emilie Simon
Collide - Howie Day
Kiss Me - Ed Sheeran

Favorite Authors:
Cynthia Hand, Jandy Nelson

Favorite "The Kiss" Moments:

“Come here.” His voice is so warm and rough-edged that it sends a shiver down my spine.
“I don’t think you really want to be with Christian Prescott,” he says.
I stare hopelessly down at my hands, afraid to look at him. “Oh and I suppose you’re my type, right?”
“I suppose I am,” he says, and he’s crossing the distance between us and taking my face in his hands before I can even think to stop him.
“Tuck, please,” I manage in a quivery voice.
“You like me Clara,” he says. “I know you do …. Try to tell me you don’t,” he murmurs so his breath is on my face. I look up into his eyes and see the beckoning heat in them. I can’t think. His lips are close to mine and his hands are drawing me closer.
“Tuck,” I breathe, and then he kisses me.
                        -- Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

He stops again. I think he's going to go on about Paris some more - but he doesn't. I look up at him. His face is serious like it was last night in the woods.
"Lennie," he whispers.
I look into his sorrowless eyes and a door in my heart blows open.
And when we kiss, I see that on the other side of the door is sky.
            -- The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

What about you? 

Do you have favorite books or songs that inspire great romance scenes? 

Tricks to keep things cliche-free, while connecting with readers on an emotional level?

Friday, October 4, 2013

Getting into the Mood (of your scene)

Photo by: gorand1983
In order to write certain types of scenes well, I have to be in the right sort of mood. Particularly tricky are portions of the story that need to be especially emotionally charged. For example, I have to be in precisely the right mood to write key scenes if they're filled with:

  • Action
  • Fear/Suspense
  • Grief
  • Romance

Getting Myself into the Mood of the Scene

It's difficult to write a scene filled with adrenaline when I'm feeling calm and relaxed, a suspenseful scene when I'm amused, or a love scene when I'm impatient and frustrated. So, to get around this, I've started using a couple of tricks:

  • Mood Music
    Music helps me immensely when I'm having trouble getting in the right mindset for a scene. Music with lyrics is difficult for me to listen to while writing, but sometimes I'll listen to a few lyrical songs before I actually start to set the tone. Then, while I'm writing I'll put on some instrumental tunes to keep the juices flowing. These are some of my favorite instrumental artists to listen to when writing.

  • Body Language
    In my post about getting into the mood to write, I talked about how a change of clothing or scenery can help motivate. Likewise, silly though it may sound, something as simple as posture can really affect how well I can *get into* the mood of the scene. For slow, romantic, happy, or funny scenes, lounging on the bed or couch can actually put me in the relaxed mood I need to be to write them. But as soon as I want to inject a little more tension or action into a scene, it helps if I switch to a chair that forces me not to slouch. Literally sitting on the edge of my seat when writing can help the transform what could have been a mediocre passage into an edge-of-the-seat scene when reading.
    How are You Writing Today?
    Andrew Wales

  • Re-typing an Inspiring Scene
    One of my new favorite things to do is to pick up a book by an author that I know is a master at writing whatever type of scene I'm looking to do. Then I'll jump to those parts of the book and sit down and type it all out into an "Inspiration" document. The act of physically typing out the scene(s) helps get me in the right mood zone for writing my own. Much more so than simply reading the scene would (though this is good too).
    Note: This was an idea I saw on a blog somewhere, but I can't for the life of me remember where. If it was you, let me know so I can give you credit and link to the post here!!!

  • Skipping Ahead :
    Let the Mood Choose the Scene!

    Instead of forcing myself into a different mood, sometimes I just run with it and skip ahead to a scene that fits my mood better than the current one. If I'm feeling particularly jazzed up, I might leap to a chase scene I know is coming in a couple chapters. If I'm on edge, I'll shift to a tense, suspense-laden passage. Feeling punchy, I'll change to a moment of light-hearted banter between my characters. I'll cut and paste the anachronistic scene into a running "Add Later" document. Then eventually, when I get to that point in the story, there's a pre-written scene all ready and waiting for me. So adorable.

Interestingly, some emotion-laden scenes come more easily to me, whether I'm in the mood or not. For example, it's usually easy for me to conjure up: anger, curiosity, embarrassment, irritability or somberness. Read into that what you will!

Other Resources:

Not in the Mood to Write? Write What You Feel - Elizabeth Craig || Inspiration & Imagination - Miss Cole || In a Bad Mood? - Maybe it's time to edit your work! ||

What about you? Do you find it difficult to write certain kinds of scenes when in a particular mood? Which type of scenes are the most challenging for you? The easiest? What tricks do you use to get yourself into the mood of the scene you're writing?

Monday, September 30, 2013

Balancing Act - Life, PhD, Writing, and new Manuscript!

Why hello there! It's been awhile. I realized at the beginning of summer that I was going to have to start prioritizing my activities if I wanted to finish my dissertation and still enjoy my trip back to the states for my sister's wedding. So as you can see based on the timing of my last blog post, I took a little Blog/Twitter hiatus. 

To be honest I was hitting a bit of a wall in terms of bloggy content. Does that ever happen to you? I felt like I had written about a lot of the writing related topics I wanted to, and I was even feeling too stressed to write up my book reviews. So I just decided to take a break. Some people are great at consistently posting things to their blog, but I have to be really driven by a topic, and I just  ... wasn't.

Now that I'm back from the daze of dissertation defending, and officially graduating (yay!!) I'm back in novel writing mode. Well editing mode technically.

The good news about taking my little hiatus is that I did all the things I set out to accomplish:

  • Defended PhD dissertation!
  • Spent great quality time with my fam 
    • who live so far from me now =(
  • Survived my first two trimesters without too many nervous breakdowns
    • had no idea how much anxiety pregnancy could cause!
  • Finished my new YA Sci-Fi Manuscript!

So all in all, I'm very pleased with the outcome. But I've missed you!

How do you deal with too many things on your plate? What's the first to go? Do you ever get blogger-block? Get overwhelmed with blog reading/writing? With Twitter? What are your tricks for achieving a balance?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Reason I've been AWOL: Part II

Yesterday I posted The Reason I've been AWOL Part I. This is Part II. 

Some of you may already know from Facebook and other channels that I have some very exciting (and non writing related) news! If you haven't seen it already, check out the video my husband and I made:

It is the story of our lives since we met each other, as retold by our little shell actors (Austrocochlea porcata to be exact -- yes I'm a marine biology nerd!). The story opens where we met in California, up to Seattle (note the Space Needle, heehee), to our grad programs in Arizona and then across the ocean to Sydney, where we are about to embark on a new adventure!

Our Lives In Shell Video:

That's right, my husband and I are thrilled to announce that we are expecting our first child!
Due Date December 3rd, 2013. This past year has been a very difficult one for me healthwise, so we are excited, shocked, and completely over the moon about this!

I won't be posting much more about the little one here, but if you're interested, there will be regular updates over on my personal blog: "Taylors in Sydney"

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Reason I've been AWOL: Part I

It's true. It's been over a month since I last posted. Here's why:

This is a graphic created over at JostWorld that depicts the standard distribution of PhD dissertation lengths.

See that large black hole sucking up the universe on the 300-350 page range? Yeah, that's mine.

And I haven't even added the references or conclusion yet.

I'm getting closer with my edits now (though hopefully for my adviser's sake I can cut down the length by 25-250 pages). Anyhow, that is why I've been sadly neglecting this blog. I'm graduating this summer and all my energy is being channeled into my dissertation. But, the end is in sight!

Stay tuned tomorrow for The Reason I've been AWOL: Part II.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Does your YA Paranormal Romance have enough clichés?

Does your YA Paranormal Romance
have enough cliches?
Click to find out!
Life's gotten hectic lately so for this month's IWSGI've decided to resurrect an older post!

For all of us out there writing  urban fantasy/paranormal stories with elements of romance, this flowchart should help us feel more secure in our capacity to avoid (or embrace) the cliché. Also, check out @TropeHeroine on twitter. She's not me, but so full of awesome I had to give a shout out on this page!

(Ok, so yes the subject is only tied to writer insecurity in the loosest sense, but hey - it's fun, and that's what IWSG is about too -- taking a breather from the stress of writing/editing)

               And now ... the original post:

Think you've written a YA Paranormal Romance? 

YAPRs can be difficult to write, because there are so many things to think about: physical attraction, hero swoon-factor, broodiness, eye color ... and the list goes on! No need to worry - just follow my recipe for success! Before sending your manuscript out to agents, use the following flowchart to make sure you've included enough clichés!

Flowchart:   Does Your YA Paranormal Romance Have Enough Clichés?
Click the flowchart
to find out

The flowchart is broken down into five key sections:

Plot || Pacing || Chemistry || Him || Her

Each of the sections includes valuable questions such as:

"Is he too dangerous for her, but can't stay away from her?"

"Has she been invisible her entire life until the new hotter-than-life paranormal guy comes to town and notices her?"

"Does the first kiss include a 'soft moan' of any sort?"

The flowchart's easy yes-or-no question threads take you step by step through each aspect of your novel. Click on the link or the image above to see the full flowchart. Following each line of questioning are detailed recommendations for increasing the heart-throbbing swooniness and clich
é -count of the manuscript. Don't cheat! Follow the recommendations on this flowchart to the letter and you'll soon be on your way to a best-seller!

Other Random Pages of Distraction:  Pitch Factory - Generate Your Own Twitter Pitch || List of YA SFF Lit Agencies

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Write On Con Recap -- Part II

As promised (though a little later than I'd planned!) here is the second installment of  The WriteOnCon Pitch Fest Recap. Even if you missed the actual contest, you can learn a lot from what the agents liked/didn't like about the pitches they read!

In this installment, I've collected comments from Jason Yarn, Logan Garrison, Eddie Schneider, Dawn Frederick, Christa Heschke, Brianne Johnson and Amy Tipton.

Also, you can read Part I here.

WriteOnCon Agent Wishlists -- Part II

Read on to see what these agents loved and what they're tired of seeing!
Hopefully these quotes will help you slide your query on the right desk!

Jason Yarn - Paradigm Agency

  • Thumbs Up: Unique names, human villains, characters we care about, strong visuals

  • I like the main character's name - that can be a hook in and of itself in a world of so many similar character names popping up in queries. 
  • Villain that gives us more than the faceless Facility.
  • The environmental message can play well, just as long as we're able to quickly care about those characters/places affected in the pitch.
  • I like the opening hook,the strong visual.

  • Thumbs Down: Lingo/jargon, opening with a question or a logline, faceless villains 
  • Overdone themes: Dystopia, greek gods, elementals

  • Starting your pitch/query with a question ... not an auto reject for me, but it's not something that makes me smile. I think a lot of agents feel the same way - if you're asking me a question I can Yes/No to, and then I do, then I can move on and pass easily.
  • One other issue - using lingo ... is cool for the book, but for the pitch we aren't acclimated to your world yet, so they can be confusing if you don't capitalize them at least the first time we encounter them.
  • There's a villain shaped hole in the middle of your pitch.
  • The opening screams "generic dystopia" ...Dystopias are a dime-a-dozen, so showing what makes yours unique is key.
  • There are a lot of elemental stories being queried
  • First off, the opening paragraph is a Log Line, not a book pitch. What I mean is that it is a generic encapsulation of the story - this is fine to start pitching it as a film, that's expected, but it doesn't usually work (and def doesn't for me) not to get into the characters right away.
  • There are tons of gods/Greek queries and novels, etc.

Logan Garrison - Gernert Company

  • Thumbs Up: Thrillers, mystery,twist on post-apoc, cross-genre

  • I really like the thriller/mystery element
  • An element of post-apocalyptic lit that I don't often see ... shows how people prepared for a coming apocalypse and then survived it, which is ambitious and fun.
  • I really like the idea of a story set during the last days; that you're showing us the impending apocalypse, not just the usual post-apocalyptic fare.
  • Intrigued by the way you incorporate SF elements along with tackling more traditional YA issues, like depression. I think there's a lot of potential for a manuscript that can navigate different genres.
  • I love a super smart female protagonist (even if she makes a lousy boy decision every now and then!)

Eddie Schneider - JABberwocky Literary
  • Thumbs Up: Environmental issues, tight/unique world-building

  • Intrigued by the simple fact MC's charm was Chinese in origin.
  • Reminds me somewhat of Philip K. Dick's UBIK
  • A middle-grade fantasy mystery, where the environment's actually been thought through
  • There's a wrecked environment she's supposed to be using her magic to fix ... caught my attention
  • No ruleless fantasy naming scheme here! Someone has thought through their world building. 
  • I could go in for something like Bubba Ho-tep, which was goofy but had real verisimilitude 
  • Like the idea of a MG fantasy about a somewhat hapless dragon

  • Thumbs Down: 1st person queries, Generic fantasy, generic dystopian, horror/body-snatching, "Chosen Ones", "Common Nouns Made Proper," celebrity caricatures, non-human protagonists in YA

  • Makes it sound to me like there's a bit too much going on, as if the pitcher felt continually raising external stakes is what's going to keep a reader interested, rather than the writing and the characters and the propulsiveness of a focused plot.
  • This is perfectly okay, but falls into the trap of fantasy queries that are perfectly okay.
  • The trouble is, within fantasy, it's not really doing anything to stand out. We get a lot of stock phrases ... clean the query up to reflect your own novel and not read like promo language
  • This draws more from horror, with the body-snatching ... the same suspenseful elements that might pique someone else's interest, where what fell flat for me.
  • Adjective pairing ... the effect is a bit cumbersome to me as a reader. 
  • Common Nouns Turned Proper that I'm not so very fond of personally....(there are a lot of these, in dystopian fiction and fantasy both, and they make my nose wrinkle),
  • Celebrity caricatures aren't likely to do it for me
  • Paint-by-numbers dystopian novel. 
  • Query letters written in first person really turn me off
  • It's better to not have any comp titles than for them to be this all over the place. If you're including comp titles, they should have more than just the lightest similarity.
  • Selling a novel where the protagonist is clearly not human, is a tough row to hoe. 
  • The exceptionalness of the protagonist leaves me cold, personally. ... my internal monologue: Yay. Another chosen one.

Dawn Frederick - Red Sofa Literary

  • Thumbs Up: Southern Gothic, Westerns, civil rights, twist on god stories, Native American, New Age, mobsters

  • Civil rights ... Ella Baker  ... seeing the other side of her appeals to my personal reading taste 
  • Immortal god interacting with humans. It's a formula that has worked many times ... set in Hawaii is a fresh approach.
  • Anything with a southern gothic ambiance is right up my alley ..... comes across as a darker, gothic story. It may be a good idea to mention books that are similar, that have done well. i.e. Darren Shan.
  • I'm esp. digging the Native American appeal of this story.
  • Idea of a plot based on constellations and the zodiac is nice
  • Like the mobster theme,
  • Western/cowboy stories are def. a gem

  • Thumbs Down: Religious and/or Mormon faith, near-Historical novels without an "event" to hook readers into that time period.

  • The story circulating around finding the Mormon faith is something that may appeal to some folks, but alas I'm not the best person to gauge it
  • Downside is that this MG novel is set in 1960. Kids need things they can appreciate in today's climate. ... The biggest hurdle to overcome is getting today's readers to want to read this book. What is the historical event that makes them want to learn more about 1964 and its events?

Christa Heschke - McIntosh & Otis

  • Thumbs Up: Steampunk, elves, twists on god stories, twists on genie stories, fairytale/folktale retellings, synaesthesia, Indiana-Jones type adventures

  • Most stories dealing with the Greek/Roman gods, are written with the assumption that a god is born a god. I like that you twist this on its ear. Zeus as a regular teenager...very cool! 
  • I'm a fan of steampunk
  • A different take on the genie which is great.
  • Intrigued by her love of storytelling
  • Norse legends/gods
  • Really intrigued by the idea of synaesthesia
  • I would like to see more stories featuring elves!
  • Intrigued by this idea of "mind linking" and astral projection.
  • I am a big fan of new takes on fairy tales, folktales etc.
  • I think there was an episode about man-eaters on Supernatural...great show, great episode and very interesting idea for a novel!
          ***NOTE: Christa just signed this writer (Congrats Rachel!!!)
                             so her list is probably now full in this regard.
  • Being able to smell ancient and magical artifacts is an interesting concept. I certainly am a fan of Indiana Jones type adventure stories, where the stakes are always high and there's always some amazing treasure to discover.

Brianne Johnson - Writers House

  • Thumbs Up: Physics/science geek, witches (though needs to be original)

  • There was something about this that felt fresh to me, and personally, I'm sort of a sucker for a good witchy book. 
  •  I like the physics angle

  • Thumbs Down: Anthropomorphism, Palestinian-American politics, High fantasy, suicide themes Overdone: Bullying stories, "damsel who saves herself," "kid who discovers he's magical," zombies

  • Overall, I'm not a huge fan of anthropomorphism
  • I would be a little concerned about the political ramifications here. It’s a hot button issue [Palestinian-American relations]... it’s important for these issues to be written about for kids, but I personally might step aside for an agent who’s more knowledgeable about the politics here.
  • Feels familiar (strong echoes of A Wrinkle in Time) this isn't a dealbreaker, but the writing would have to be truly spectacular to set this story apart
  • This feels a little too “Mean Girls” to me ... I'm seeing a lot of bullying stories these days--give us an additional plot element that will make this stand out from the pack a bit more.
  • I love the idea behind this (grrrl power, all the way!) .... [but] this feels really familiar to me--the "damsel who saves herself" trope is wearing a bit thin.
  • The "kid who discovers he/she is magical" plot has been done a lot--the writing would have to be really, really strong to work.
  • It's a crowded market for zombie/witch stories at the moment ... 
  • this plotline feels a little familiar (makes me think of Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher, and Eragon)
  • A little too high fantasy for my list.
  • I'm personally uncomfortable with suicide as the major theme of a book

Amy Tipton - Signature Literary

  • Thumbs Up: Geeks, thrillers, mystery/sleuthing, overweight heroine, quirky sidekick

  • I like the idea of "geeks" running the school ... that having the latest smartphone, liking role playing games, wearing unfashionable clothes is cool. I think this is fun. 
  • I like me a good thriller/crime/mystery. 
  • I like a quirky sidekick too.
  • I do like a good mystery and I do like the idea of ... sleuthing like Sherlock Holmes
  • Like the idea of an overweight heroine [but] I want the MO for losing weight to be hers and hers alone.
  • I love the idea of reinventing oneself

  • Thumbs Down: Sci-Fi

  • I don't normally like Sci Fi

Hopefully some of this was helpful for those of you querying!

Did you participate in WriteOnCon? What were your favorite parts?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Who Are You Reading for Aussie Author Month?

Did you know that April is Aussie Author month?

In celebration of the month-long party, I've been cozying up with a few great reads by Australian authors. I'm always an enormous fan of anything by Garth Nix or Markus Zusak.

Two of my new favorites this month?
           ** Reviews coming soon!**

What about you? Who are your favorite Aussie Authors? 
Who are you reading for Aussie Author Month?
Who should I read next?

Monday, April 15, 2013

PitMad Agents & Editors

#PitMad Agents & their stars

source: krossel
Who were the agents and editors requesting at March's #PitMad Twitter Pitch Contest? Take a peek below to see who joined in the fun and what they were requesting.

Click on the links to be taken to their Twitter Favorites lists - many of them still have the pitches they picked listed.Even though the contest is over it can be pretty useful to see exactly what sorts of things each agent is craving right now.

Maybe your story is just what they've been looking for!


Note: This list isn't quite complete. I'm certain I missed a few agents here and there - particularly agents that didn't favorite, but asked to be @replied instead. If you know of one I forgot to include, let me know!

Annie Bomke - Bomke Literary
    • YA Contemporary, Fantasy, Historical, Historical Romance, Suspense, Thriller
    • NA Fantasy
    • Adult Fantasy, Historical, Literary, Suspense

Brooks Sherman - Fine Print Literary
    • YA Contemporary, Horror, Retelling, Fantasy
    • PB - Pets
    • YA Contemporary, Fantasy, LGBTQ, Southern Gothic, Suspense
    • NA Contemporary, Suspense
    • Adult Contemporary/Suspense
    • YA Contemporary
    • NA Historical
    • Adult Historical Fiction, Horror, Literary, Southern, Time Travel

Emily S. Keyes - L. Perkins
    • YA Contemporary, Edgy, Historical Fiction, Religion, Retelling, Thriller
    • MG Contemporary, Fantasy, Multicultural
    • Adult Historical Fiction

Eric Ruben - Ruben Agency
*Used @replies, not favorites
    • YA Fantasy
    • NA Fantasy

Evan Gregory - Ethan Ellenberg
    • YA Contemporary, Retelling, Sci-Fi, Fantasy
    • MG Superhero
    • Adult Historical Fiction, Romance

Jen Rofe - Andrea Brown
    • YA Contemporary, Fantasy, Ghost, Retelling, Southern Gothic, Superhero, Thriller
    • MG Circus, Monsters, Superhero

Jessica Sinsheimer - Sarah Jane Freymann
    • YA Contemporary, Edgy, Fantasy, Demons, Ghosts, Horror, LGTBQ, Retelling, Sci-Fi, Superhero, Suspense, Time Travel, Thriller, Urban Fantasy
    • PB Monsters
    • MG Contemporary, Fantasy, Ghosts, Monsters, Historical Themed Mystery, Superhero
    • NA Sci-Fi, Time Travel
    • Adult Contemporary Romance, Erotica, Fantasy, Historical, Reincarntion, Sci-Fi, Suspense

Jordy Albert - Booker Albert
    • YA Contemporary, Fantasy, Ghost stories, Historical Fantasy, Thriller, Time Travel, Superhero, Sci-Fi
    • MG Fantasy, Superhero
    • NA Fantasy, Suspense, Time Travel
    • Adult Contemporary

Julia A. Weber - J.A. Weber Literaraturagentur GmbH
    • YA Contemporary
    • NA Contemporary
    • Adult Contemporary, Historical Fiction, Romance, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Katie Grimm - Don Congdon
    • YA Contemporary, Fantasy, Horror

Louise Caiola - AKA Literary
    • YA Fantasy, Romance

Margaret Bail - Andrea Hurst & Associates
    • Adult Romance, Fantasy, Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction, Cozies

Mandy Hubbard - D4EO
*Note: She was also @replying
    • YA Contemporary, LGBTQ, Thriller
    • Adult Romance

Melissa Jeglinksi - The Knight Agency
    • YA Contemporary, Fantasy, Thriller
    • MG Fantasy, Multicultural, Superhero
    • Adult Contemporary, Historical Romance, Romance, Suspense, Women's Fiction

Sarah LaPolla - Curtis Brown, Ltd
    • YA Historical Romance
    • NA Time Travel
    • Adult Retelling

Victoria Marini - Gelfman Schneider
    • YA Suspense
    • NA Historical


    • YA Dystopian, Paranormal Romance, Reincarnation, Retelling
    • Adult Paranormal Romance, Reincarnation

Heather Howland - Entangled
    • Adult Contemporary Romance

    • YA Contemporary, Coming-of-Age, Fantasy, Graphic Novel, Historical, Horror, LGBTQ, 
    • MG Superhero

Mandy Schoen - Month9Books
    • YA Contemporary, Fantasy, Romance, Romantic Thriller
    • NA Gothic, Paranormal Romance, Retelling, Time Travel
    • Adult Erotica, Historical Romance, Reincarnation, Romance, Women's Fiction

    • YA Sci-Fi
    • MG Ghost, Sci-Fi
    • Adult Contemporary, Fantasy, Suspense, Thriller

    • Removed favorites and comments

Theresa Cole - Entangled
*Used @Replies only
    • YA Contemporary, Fantasy
    • NA Contemporary, Gothic Fantasy

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Feeling Rejected? Join the {Prestigious} Crowd

It's contest season in novel-writing land. And that means a lot of ups and downs for us writers. It's easy to forget about any of our own successes (completed rough draft, finished revision round, query polish, manuscript requests etc) and instead focus on how much more successful everyone else around us is.

She got more contest requests than I did. His premise is higher concept. They got agents...

But here's the thing: everyone goes through uncertain times; everyone has to deal with rejection.

We are not alone. 

Inspired by a post by Rachel Pudelek, I've collected some blog quotes from authors in their pre-published days. Now they are agented/published and generally wildly successful authors, but in these blog excerpts, they sound a lot like us!

The first one is particularly hilarious to me.

On Uncertainty ...

...on Sunday, I ran across this contest. I don't know why I spent more than a second's time on it. The theme is lycanthrope (am I even spelling that right?) which is the term for were-animals (duh, says everyone else), and I don't do werewolves. I've never felt the least bit inspired by them...Me. Writing a werewolf novel. What next?
         - Maggie Stiefvater, Author of SHIVER  (massively successful werewolf novel)

... it's different and funny, but it may be too different...not quite the thing for a break-out novel. I get lots of agent and editor nibbles from this one--lots of requests for partials and fulls, but I think it's ultimately turned down because it is a bit random (I was going for a Douglas Adams kind of humor) and it's certainly not a safe bet.
        - Beth Revis, Author of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE

On Writer's Block ...

Right now I'm still perusing agent sites and dreaming.  If only this damn manuscript would just write itself!!!
         -Gennifer Albin, Author of CREWEL

...I'm at that point in my current WIP where I kinda have figured out where the story is going, but I'm just using the Internet as an excuse not to actually write because right now, it's hard and I'm lazy.
        - Beth Revis, Author of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE

Grrr. After a really productive week of writing last week, I've ground to a halt. Writer's block, some might call it, but I know it for what it is: a wrong turn. That stumped feeling of staring at a blinking cursor, knowing where the plot is supposed to go but unable to get it there . . . that means I've done something stupid.
          Maggie Stiefvater, Author of SHIVER

On Crappy Writing ...

I spent almost an hour yesterday just reworking my first page! ARGH. But I know it's the most important page in the whole book blah blah blah so I'm trying to make it as great as I can, but I'm still not sure if I like how I started.
          - Marissa Meyer, Author of CINDER

It. Was. A. Mess.  The dialogue was good but everything else sucked.  There was no world building or character development and the plot was fuzzy at best.  Thankfully I have awesome critique partners...
           -Gennifer Albin, Author of CREWEL

So, after a large amount of cookie dough and some hours off, I returned to the desk and reread the last 2K words I'd typed. Sure enough, they're crap. No wonder my subconscious was making me drive with the brake on. "Stop, you moron! Stop before you hurt yourself and others!"
          Maggie Stiefvater, Author of SHIVER

Also: I didn't figure out what the book was really about until the last twenty pages. Which is a problem. Now that I'm revising and condensing, I'm weaving that information I crammed into the last twenty pages into the rest of the draft.
          - Veronica Roth, Author of DIVERGENT

On Contests & Querying ...

I didn't even get in the top 35 winners of the last contest I entered. Criminy, the judge must not have been my target audience at all.
         - Marissa Meyer, Author of CINDER

I started querying this week and, suffice it to say, I've come down with refreshbuttonitis.
        Gennifer Albin, Author of CREWEL

I will not take it personally if I am rejected by an agent. Or several agents. Perhaps when I reach the "dozens of agents" stage, I may begin to feel a little blue. But at that point, I will buy some Half Baked ice cream and watch a stupid chick flick until I feel better, and then I will get up and keep. writing.
        - Veronica Roth, Author of DIVERGENT

I’ve gotten incredibly mixed scores in contests. People have hated my work, work which, in other contests, have earned me finalist placement. ... I think I caught this chick on a bad day. She didn’t get it. Not just “didn’t get it” the way we talk about people who aren’t into our style of story… but really. Didn’t. Get. It.
        - Diana Peterfreund, Author of RAMPANT

I recently wrote about 100 queries...most of them sucked, one did not.
        - Gennifer Albin, Author of CREWEL

I had to write all those icky queries  first.  I learned through failure.  I would write up a query and come home and read it to my husband, mail it my critique partners, and post it on forums.  My CP's would give it a passing grade, but more like a C than an A+.
        Gennifer Albin, Author of CREWEL

This morning I got a form reject in my inbox.  It was the typical "Not what we're looking for, but best of luck" deal.  On a forum I post on another member pointed out it was hard to imagine one agent form rejecting what another flew out to meet me after reading.  The answer is that this business is subjective.
      - Gennifer Albin, Author of CREWEL

On Doubt ...

It's like a midlife crisis, only it happens far more often. Here's what it is: you came up with this idea. You teased it out. You wrote it out. You re-wrote it. You refined it. You lovingly crafted this book, or this story, or whatever, and suddenly...

You HATE it.

You begin to wonder if anyone will ever like or even mildly appreciate what you've written, because it's flawed, or unoriginal, or just generally oozing suckiness from every orafice. You doubt everything you have done in the past day, week, or hell, year. You consider giving up writing and becoming a potato farmer in Idaho instead.

Happens to me like...once a day.  

Sound familiar?

The fact of the matter is that EVERYONE goes through uncertain times. EVERYONE goes through rejection. Even the stars, folks.

What do you think? Do any of these quotes resonate with you?
What are your favorite quotes from pre-published/now published authors?
How do you encourage yourself along the publishing journey?

Sunday, March 31, 2013

March 2013 #PitMad Requested Pitches

Update! Latest Winning Pitch List Here:

As many of you know, this past Friday was #PitMad -- the second of the year and just as fun as the first! A huge thank you to Brenda Drake & Co. for hosting and providing everyone with tips and guidance throughout the whole Pitch Party, and making it such a good experience for all of us. You rock! 

Also a huge thank you to all our fellow authors. It was so great to see everyone out there cheering each other on. Love you guys!

Before we get to the list of pitches, I wanted to mention some other resources you might be interested in:
While you're up and about, also check out David Oarr's PitMad Analysis, and S.M. Johnston's Pitch Madness Observations-- note that this latter discusses the full contest pitches not the tweet party

Ok, now then. Here we go!

March 2013 #PitMad 
Requested Pitches
  • Young Adult (113 novels requested) 
  • Young Adult Graphic Novel (1 novel)
  • Picture Books (5 books)
  • Chapter Books (1 book)
  • Middle Grade (26 novels)
  • New Adult (22 novels)
  • Adult (68 novels)
  • Total = 236 manuscripts got requests!!
    **That's more than double we saw at last PitMad,
         for those of you counting!
    **Also, this number doesn't include all the requests made off-hashtag
        (some agents/editors asked to be @'d tweets on specific genres)

Note: I know I'm probably missing a few here. If you know of any entries that should be added, let me know!

Congrats everyone on the Requests!!

YA- A cranky dead guy wants Sydney's help. But once she reneges on her no-talking-to-ghosts policy, others want her too. Not awesome.#PitMad

A teenage girl's romance eerily mirrors that of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII, down to the impending swing of an axe. #PitMad #yathriller

YA If Bree can't keep calm, keep secrets &carry on she’s going 2 end up losing her BFF, her new boyfriend & the trust of a dead girl.#PitMad

#PitMad YA When the local bully is murdered, all eyes focus on new girl and black belt Nica who's desperate to hide her dark past.


#PitMad YA The local bully is dead and new girl and black belt Nica must prove she didn't do it although all evidence points to her.


#PitMad YA The local bully is dead and everyone thinks new girl & black belt Nica did it. Now she hunts the killer to prove she's innocent.

Daisy's friends are dying. To catch the killer, she must team up with London's most brilliant--and most annoying--detective. #pitmad #ya

When fanatical magicians attack the gvt, the police want 17yo magic-seer Rachel to catch them. The alternative is... non-existent. #pitmad

YA Contmp Take 1 shy albino guy named Ansel & 1 runaway girl. Shake thoroughly & stand back, things are going to get interesting #pitmad
1 shy albino guy + 1 runaway heiress with a hidden past = danger, mayhem & unexpected love in the Alaskan wilderness YA contemp #pitmad

A girl should never kiss sarcastic ghosts, dig up bodies with a witch who loves CCR, or mouth off to an angel in a cardigan. #Pitmad YA Co F

#pitmad WWI dbl amputee and a 16 y/o seamstress in remote Alaska must make it until June. Flu, bears, and morphine, oh my!

Tristan and Isolde in high school—less feudalism, more football, all the drama. A legendary love but a story all their own. #PitMad YA


Tristan and Isolde, in high school and in love. The legend, loyalty, and lies come to life--with the help of some green M&Ms. #PitMad YA

Bloodredruby @bloodredruby
#PitMad YA When Joni starts 10th grade she gets the feeling her old enemy Kim isn't just a bully and drug addict, she might also be a ghost.

17 yo Denali should listen to the American Psi Council. She shouldn't try to stop the bomb. But she will. #YA #scifi #pitmad

Estranged family. Murdered sister. Buried secrets. Julia’s search for the truth could destroy everything she knows. Contemp NA #PitMad
No one knows 16yo Minna can understand the trees. But she’ll need all her powers when people start getting erased #PitMad YA Sci-Fantasy

When 17 yo Isla learns her mom isn’t dead and is actually a high fae, she must adapt to save her dad. If she can forgive him. #PitMad YA

A reckless 17yo must choose btwn avenging his father's murder or saving Victorian San Fran & a deceptive beauty from a killer YA H/F #pitmad

1 razor. 1K secrets. Can Lily handle her bff's gay beating or will she take matters into her own hands? #PitMad YA

Fifteen-year-old Natasha's decision to take her dead brother's role in a production of Hamlet raises ghosts--in more ways than one #PitMad
Jane must reclaim the missing pieces of her soul to protect her world from the evil spirit struggling to escape her locket. YA-F #pitmad

YA Isobel has a choice: Safety in a “flawless” city, ignoring the experiments, or digging up the secrets behind genetic perfection. #Pitmad

For haunting the living in previous life, Cora will hunt ghosts in this one, her best friend included, or doom her soul to Hell YA #PitMad
What do a crazy gypsy, a cryptic prophecy, a 150yo journal & an unconscious man have in common? 18yo Clara's about to find out. #YA #PitMad

A hidden time machine, roguish duke, secret society and meeting Queen Victoria. Not exactly the vacation Harper had in mind. #PitMad #adult

Calum is a fallen constellation. Kate is sworn against him. Cursed, they are destined to fall in love. This time love means war. #YA #PitMad

Falling for a hostage is never a good idea. Especially for Jess who's being paid to deliver him. YA #pitmad Think Buffy meets The Sopranos

YA-Genie needs a master to keep the new body she got at 17 ½--but finding Master Right isn’t easy, and she wishes most for love. #PitMad

YA HisMys: When Helen finally gets to be a detective's assistant,a letter arrives inviting them to a mysterious and dangerous game. #PitMad

Realistic YA. Rebellious hot skier. Rogue cop. Collision course. You'd better FLINCH. DRIVE for teens #PitMad

18yo Anne Marie time travels & becomes French revolutionary Charlotte Corday. Will she kill journalist Marat or change history? #YA #pitmad

YA SF Arrogant 17 yo prep schooler’s abducted and replaced by aliens to avert a future where he’s the president who starts WWIII. #PitMad

(YA) Yasmeen deciding to wear the headscarf leads to obstacles inc. atheist giving mis-info. Finds a Christian interested in Islam. #PitMad

As a Gateway 17y.o Aiden let's the dead walk through his body to reach the other side until the Gateway begins bringing things back. #PitMad

Heather Senter @HeatherSenter
#pitmad Rhi's color synaesthesia is actually a great power-one problem-King Arthur's coming back & he’s not as nice as the storybooks say-YA
#pitmad blue valentine meets shopgirl: in Portland, two young people fall out of love and into adulthood. #novella
16yo Livia can't remember killing her dog or sleeping w/ Smith. But she can't convince anyone it wasn't her when she doubts herself. #pitmad

YA When agents from a dream lab pursue her, Brier pushes limits of her dreamspeaking abilities to fight her living nightmares #pitmad
Sarah Dessen meets Sylvia Plath in a poetry-riddled #YA coming-of-age story about broken rules, families and friendships. #pitmad
YA - Bria knows exactly who she is – the militant vegan, purple-haired Queen of the Art Room - until she kisses the HS quarterback. #pitmad
Teenage bank robbers. Anti-government fugitives. Impending death. Add in some stuffy FBI agents and you're got a party. YA #pitmad
To prevent turning into the Beast of fairytale lore, 17yo Holland must fall in love. Too bad she's the school's outcast pyro. #PitMad YA


17yo Holland learns that looks are deceiving--especially her own. They're also fleeting--when she becomes the Beast of fairytales #PitMad YA

Behind the crimson door a once caged demon has possessed Emilie's boyfriend. Can she save him before it's too late? #YA #Horror #PitMad

The girl of Nathan's dream exists—in a coma. If he can't piece together who she is, she'll die at the hands of a witch's curse #pitmad YA

Doc Hollywood+Practical Magic--Cate never imagined what moving home would bring: a secret baby, a bizarre family legacy & Dylan #Pitmad #WF
Jackie knows a taboo romance with her cousin can't last- especially when he falls for a girl with a deadly secret. YA contemp #PitMad
YA-17yo Genna is chosen to become the Immortal Season, Winter. But love, war & sacrifice prove power doesn't come without a price. #pitmad
YAcontemp: Lost in the mountains, 16yo Hallelujah must battle hunger, cold, injuries, and her own issues if she wants to get home. #pitmad
YA: 17yo prodigy uses science, chemistry and wits to find her mentor’s killer, track a ticking time bomb and discover love. #PitMad
YA- An 18 y/o girl gets death threats when she reports in her conspiracy theory column that a teacher is pregnant by a senior #PitMad


#pitmad YA An 18 y/o girl must decide if the truth is more important than her life when she’s threatened to stop exposing school secrets.

Emma Wylde pop star extraordinaire gets shipped to Texas. While there she learns about how to care for herself and others. #PitMad

A secret organization decides Starr is not only a model student, but the ideal assassin. One Starr falls, and a killer rises #pitmad #ya

Want a Cloud Atlas for teens? The Blue Dress is the story of one dress that connects three girls across three eras. YA hist #pitmad
Ad SF/F: Forced into Japan’s spirit-world, Satoru hunts the birdman who imprisons his lover and is stealing dead men’s new souls. #pitmad

Hogtied, kidnapped and stuffed in a trunk, 17yo Abby learns her boy problems mean nothing compared to killers taking RPG too far. #PitMad YA


Talking books with secrets are about as much as 17yo Abby can handle--until that book shoves her through a door to another life. #PitMad YA

At 17, Sugar is 300 lbs and knows it, prompting her to fight everything she knows to be true and live sweet without sweets. #PitMad YA-Cont.

Carly’s mother was a gifted killer, but it earned her a lot of powerful enemies. Enemies that 16yo Carly is about to inherit. YA uf #PitMad

Two street kids from enemy gangs fall in love while struggling to save their dance club from being turned into a recycling depot. YA #pitmad


In 79 AD, while Mt Vesuvius buried Pompeii, he accidentally burned his wife to cinders. Can her 10th incarnation forgive him? YA PNR #pitmad
TwinPeaks meets TheCraft In a town full of secrets and lies Liv discovers the truth might be worse than murder-it might be magic YA #PitMad
In a society where looks = power & the govt controls diet & exercise, an overweight girl discovers a hidden black market world. YA #PitMad
In a dark retelling of Peter Pan, Wendy and the school burnouts - named the Lost Boys by their peers - pull pranks on their bullies. #PitMad

16yo Grit aids frail woman, breaks Rule #1(Never approach stranger w/o ready weapon). Banished, she finds all rules prove untrue.#PitMad YA

Every few generations, the humans raised inside 3 vast biomes are wiped out. Now it's Terra's generation's turn. SF YA #PitMad


In Terra's world, humans are raised in biomes--and wiped out ever few generations. Sadly, it's Terra's generation's turn. #PitMad YA SF


#pitmad Born a mage,Isla swore to ruin the court who outlawed her kind. But the way to the king she hates is through the prince she loves YA

One summer. One broken condom. Ava kept the baby. One night. One attack. Survival means working with the boy who broke her heart. #pitmad YA

Do not mistake addiction for love. Love you can walk away from. To to escape her father’s demons, Grace falls in love with one. YA #PitMad

After a horrific car accident, high school senior, Sarah, obtains guardianship of her comatose little sister #PitMad #YA #Contemporary

A firebird escapes from the Tzar's menagerie: a princess and a baker venture to recapture the darn thing. #PitMad YA/Fantasy/SlavicFolklore

YA: a story of life, love, pain, and one badass jacket. #PitMad


YA: 17yo Julius Monroe hates the world, but if he wants a chance for love, he must stand up to his father's rage or lose it all. #PitMad

The last person Donna expects to fall for is the first suspect in a line of killings at a school for superhuman teens. #PitMad #YA #thriller

#PitMad Convinced the universe is pitted against her, 15yo Maura is shoplifting her way back to fairness, until Paul catches her red-handed.

Organic drugs,secret clubs,bad boys, a fortune teller, tattooed hands, hypnotic eyes. A place called The Orphanage! Will Mel escape? #pitmad

#pitmad 17 year old Thomas Hamilton tries to balance his life at boarding school, with the domestic abuse that transpires while he is away

YA SF: Money can buy virtues. But the world is in a recession. Now, Bevin must decide what virtues she can afford to live without. #PitMad

His magic made her. His magic keeps her. But 17yo Little Bit is about to risk the raging sun to prove that no one defines her. #PitMad

#PitMad 17 y/o Angel battles for humankind as the first female executioner. Demon possessions, eradicating the wicked & exorcisms #YAFantasy

Labyrinth meets Night Circus. To save a cursed circus,Leanna must kill its ringmaster. Might be easier if she didn't love him #PitMad YA/HR


Night Circus meets Labyrinth. To save a cursed circus,Leanna must kill its ringmaster. Might be easier if she didn't love him #PitMad YA/HR

YA 1910 London Roguish, charming 16yo creature catcher accidently discovers love, and a monster killing/stealing magic from victims. #pitmad


YAF Despite what the fairytale says, not all dragons are evil, not all maidens are helpless, and not all knights are brave and true. #pitmad

Teen superhero Skye shot his Author. He had his reasons. But now he's on the run w/ his own heart-pains & bullet-wounds to nurse. #pitmad


Jace is the nerdy black kid everyone teases--til he meets Skye. Now Jace is the crazy kid trying to heal a superhero with PTSD. #pitmad

#GHNom Inspy HR -A Negro boxer in 1930's GA risks his sight to fight. His purse? To win back the lost love he left at the altar #pitmad

#Pitmad YA-Fantasy - A small town girl finds out fate has bigger plans for her. She has 2 choices: Accept it OR be Forced to accept it


#Pitmad A normal girl. A normal life. Not so normal destiny. Ren was born to end the war, but what will it cost her?

#YA Heathers meets Before I Fall non-linear timeline when 17 yr old Jenna falls for Cass & everything starts to unravel #Pitmad


#YA Contemp. Heathers meets BEFORE I FALL non linear timeline. #PitMad


Go to London for contest. Check. Compete to marry an heir. Check. Fall for rival & uncover an Empire secret? Not in Marigny's plan. #PitMad

YA: My medicinal tea needed a better warning label: Side Effects may include falling in love with a guy who might not exist. #PitMad

To save the boy she loves, Catalina must make a deal with a criminal faery and stop a serial killer who harvests body parts. #PitMad YA

#Pitmad #YA A sarcastic teen, a lethal family of Protectors, a home planet she's never seen. For 17 YO Kiri, learning to kill is a necessity

YA Cont: Lily has to choose. Preserve her future career or save her family’s ranch and enter a cheesy Hollywood vocal competition. #PitMAD

When superhero Evie finds out she shares a body w/ supervillain Ace, it's Psychoville, population of, well, still just one. #pitmad YA

A ring of safety? As if. The Ouroboros is a circle of death, pumping out one ashy corpse at a time. Now Liesa must destroy it. YA #pitmad

YA fantasy: To save her country, a sheltered, disfigured princess must marry a ruthless enemy prince. She'll have to find him first. #PitMad


YA fantasy: To save her country, a sheltered, disfigured princess must find and court an enemy prince who's anything but charming. #PitMad

YA Southern Gothic: Dare doesn't believe in ghosts. Ignoring the one that's followed her home could be fatal. #PitMad


YA Southern Gothic: A crumbling house, a romance rekindled, and a murderous ghost. Dare's summer just got interesting. #PitMad

Anna has been a prostitute for 3 years, until she's busted and sent back to the suburbs where everyone knows her secrets #pitmad YA contemp

YA Horror: Mary’s boyfriend may be a monster, but he’s not a murderer. She would know. She built him. #PitMad


Yuki doesn't want to be a Princess; the new Empress, her mother's murderer, is happy to oblige. Snow White in Japan. YA Historical #PitMad

Claire's best friend is sitting in a pool of blood and her crush is under 300-pounds of security guard. Best. Day. Ever. #pitmad YA

#pitmad 15yo is just getting over being dumped by her first love when their sex tape goes viral. YA contemporary

#PitMad 18yo Chloe obsesses over her brother’s suicide, pushing away those important to her. But finding the truth may not be worth the cost

Ya contemp #pitmad Adelaide is an expert liar, covering up for her popular older brother who uses her as a personal punching bag.

#PitMad YA thriller Nikki's hiding from a crazed bounty hunter. April's running from a killer. Trading places was a bad idea.

Gone Girl meets Harry Potter. Fisher King is the foretold savior of Elysium, but she's under an amnesia curse in a human psych ward #PitMad

YA fantasy: Neiva moves to Spirit, Alaska discovering Eskimo legends exist, the town isn't human and the guy of her dreams is real #pitmad


YA Neiva dreams of a hunky guy wearing a mask teaching her to use her powers and work with her totem raven to fight evil in Alaska.#pitmad

Quentin spends the 1st half of prom setting up his BFF Debbie w/her 4-year crush. He spends the 2nd half getting her back. #PitMad #YARomCom

The worst part about being dumped into another world? Astrid's iPod dies. Also, her mother has been kidnapped, so there's that. YAF #pitmad


If witches were fishes, Astrid would have a whole lot of smelly on her hands. YA Fan #pitmad

YA: She’s a gamer and he may just be playing games. When he becomes her secret boyfriend she’ll find out which is the bigger PLAYER. #PitMad


YA-She’s used to hiding behind a role-playing char but can’t after kissing her crush. Winning him will require all her gamer skills. #PitMad

YA Graphic Novel - Superbad meets Daria. Violet is figuring out her sexuality, falls for a chick who claims "being bi aint a thing" #pitmad

Drew Dyer @drewdyerauthor
Drew is having the best day of his life at the beach, but it's missing one thing he just has to have...ICE CREAM!#pitmad #pb

 #PitMad When a thunderstorm has Sofia shaking under the sheets her stuffed monster springs to life & shows her how to boogey to the booms PB

Margaret Greanias @MargaretGreania
Lucy longs to be the perfect big sister but each big sister flop makes her less big sister, and more big monster. #pitmad #PB

#pitmad PB A competition reality show for monsters. Is nerdy contestant Shnert scary or disgusting enough? Sesame Street meets Survivor.


PB Cuddly characters are at the mercy of an author who gratuitously interrupts their idyllic garden to make the book more exciting. #pitmad

Can Milo convince his father of his dream pet's usefulness before Dad discovers there's already a narwhal in the house? PB #pitmad

CB #pitmad mystery solving, fame loving 8 YO "tv reporter" determined to figure out who put the worm in Javier's hamburger.

#pitmad 11yr old Gabriel is wrongly sent to Hell. He uses his wits and childlike wisdom to make his way thru the realms of the Underworld.

#MG/F 13yo Asher's plan--Step 1: cross over into Eden Worn. Step 2: save dad from monsters. Step 3: get home before math test. #PitMad


#MG History test at 9. Detention at 4. Save the world behind his school's boiler room after. 13yo Asher's day is really filling up. #PitMad


#MG 13yo Asher gets chased into a world filled with Grimhounds, dragons, and the one thing he thought he'd never see again: his dad. #PitMad

When Wesley illegally imagines a flower into reality, he knows he can end the Charge’s oppression, if they don’t take him first. MG #pitmad

MG:A mysterious train ride leads Molly to a midnight carnival & a firefly jar, where nothing is as it seems including Molly's heart. #pitmad

#MG 12-yo Charlie works with the ghost of his middle-school crush to prove his grave-robbing dad didn't actually kill her. #Pitmad

MG Missing magical contraptions & a kidnapped Trinket Guardian grandfather. 12yo Oliver must portal-hop to Mim to recover them all. #PITMAD

@the1stdaughter 11yo Linh has always dreamed of traveling to storybook lands, but she never imagined she'd be one of the bad guys MG Fantasy


Linh has always dreamed of traveling 2 storybook lands,but she never imagined she'd be one of bad guys #PitMad MG Fantasy

MG 13yo Gary is about to learn everything has a price, including superpowers from alien abductions. Sky High meets Ender's Game #pitmad

#PitMad MG SciFi Two bickering brothers and the Governor's daughter have to stop an intergalatic war in a beat-up, "borrowed" salvage ship.

MG: Max can handle the ups and downs of his mother's bipolar disorder, until his own swings get real and he ends up in a tree. #pitmad

Will 13yo Abegale & friends save her town from environmental disaster before it’s too late to save her brother w/ a mysterious plant #pitmad


13yo Abegale must decide:save her town, or focus on Grandma's secret medicine book before it’s too late to save her brother #PitMAd #Fantasy

#MG #PitMad A twisted twin rivalry, misfit super power, a failing grade in Wicked Presence 101. Worse, Rob can't seem to stop saving people.

The assignment is Toenail not Tooth; but for Moth, rappel hook beats pink tutu all day! Think Tinkerbell meets Artemis Fowl. MG #pitmad

MG: Laser Torch? Check. Laptop? Check. Flamethrower? Check. When you kidnap my evil genius father, this happens. I’m coming, dad. #PitMad

#pitmad Stuck with a ghastly role in the class play, 11 year old Callie not only conquers her fear of spiders, but the class bully as well

12 y/o Lilly Washington finds a diary circa 1860 & embarks on an adventure to uncover Civil War secrets. If she isn’t expelled first #PitMad


12 y/o Lilly Washington finds a 150 y/o diary & embarks on an adventure to uncover Civil War secrets. If she isn’t expelled first. #PitMad


12 y/o Lilly Washington is an Abe Lincoln fangirl who risks expulsion to uncover lost Civil War secrets found in a dusty old diary #PitMad

A teenage superhero, who secretly lives at an amusement park, falls in love with a girl robot as they investigate a conspiracy. (MG) #Pitmad

MGUF Bounty Hunter/Oliver Twist/Percy Jackson. 14yo creature catcher in 1910 London. Goblins, Trolls, Goddesses + attack on London #pitmad


13yo Jamie finds his IPhone SIRI can grant wishes, but with autocorrect + the last days of school, it could be a very long week. MG #pitmad

It's a murder mystery! 12-yr-old Elliott races back through time to help a ghost solve and save his family's island #pitmad #MG

One-eyed boy hides from life. Charismatic girl admires his special skills. Trees, bullies, revenge, heroics, epiphany. MG contemp. #pitmad

MG-Living characters from Lark's ancestors' folktales have been stealing children for 300 years- can she steal one missing boy back? #pitmad

Safiyyah Kathimiy @SafiyyahKathimiy
MG Avatar meets Princess Bride: Dragons come to town and an Arabesque girl gets ensnared in inter-kingdom intrigue. #pitmad

A young girl travels a dangerous road to regain her father's throne. By disguising herself, she discovers who she is. MG #PItMad

#PitMad "Clementine" meets "How To Train Your Dragon" - young #MG

MG-Ben knew The Hunt would be hard, but he didn't prepare for castles,dinosaurs and, most shockingly, sanity to return to his mother.#pitmad

After 17yo Lily murders the man who'd locked her in his basement for years, she goes on a quest to find what remains of humanity #PitMad

NA- 1935. Suz lives on The Keys. But before the big hurricane hits she'll have to choose between her first love and Hemingway. #pitmad


NA- Stella(cupcake baker,ex-kidnapee)likes control. When a steamy affair brings out a stalker,she might lose that control & her life.#PitMad

#PitMad How to Date Dead Guys-NA After a student drowns, Emma works a witchcraft spell to save him-but raises a stranger instead.

NA: Lost in the bloodbath that horrified Scotland in 1746, meeting the handsome fugitive himself was the last thing Flora expected. #PitMad

Ashleyn Poston @ashposton
NA: 21yo Suze abducts her ex-best friend-turned-rockstar in hopes to un-jerk-ify him. #Pitmad

21yr old Aria learns she's a time bender that might hold the key to saving her sister's soul. If she can figure out how. NA #PitMad

A hidden diary reveals her mother used her as a pawn in a dangerous game. Now 22, she must play to get back what is rightfully hers #pitmad

Girl pledges sorority looking for herself, finds finds booze, boys, and freaky chapter secrets hidden in the basement instead #pitmad

Katya & her great-granddaughter are separated by three generations, but their memories of Ukraine’s Famine are the same. NA/HF #PitMad

NA: What's a NY socialite/closet comic book geek to do when both worlds collide? #PitMad

You don't fall in love during the zombie apocalypse, but that's just what Emma did. Too bad she was bit before she could tell him. #PitMad


Emma's twin sister started the zombie apocalypse. Emma is the cure, but she is bit before finding out, now everyone is in danger. #PitMad

Vincent’s course catalogue didn’t offer Possession 101 and Spiritual warfare 202, but he can’t afford to fail them. #PitMad NA Fantasy


Vincent, a shy college junior, is possessed by a warrior's spirit, to stop a monstrous horde from swarming our world. #pitmad NA Fantasy

Pregnant & homeless, 19yo Mere learns that there is no happily ever after. Prince Charming is a dick. #NA #PitMad

After a transplant gives Zoe a dragon shifter’s heart, she learns that the guy she's in love with online is a girl...& her donor #PitMad NA

NA Cadence chooses to relive her life from 14 to save her family from death, but a bad boy from the past threatens to change it all #PitMad

Gabe is cute. His stalking? Not so hot. His prophecy? Fairy tales. Lorelei is starting life at college & doesn’t care. #PitMad NA dual-POV

#NA 25yo Melody is a healthy fitness pro and a confident sz 16. 27yo tycoon can't get her out of his head and wants her in his bed #PITMAD


#NA 25yo Melody is a zaftig fitness pro & a confident size 16. 27yo tycoon can't get her out of his head and wants her in his bed #pitmad

NA/SF: Cailynn has a face that she doesn't recognize and a memory that is fading fast. With only 28 days to live, who can she trust? #PitMAD

#NA Fantasy Broke waitress Anya Vaughn inherits a Gothic Victorian Manor. The catch? Run the family business-a bordello for the Gods #pitmad


#Pitmad #NA Fantasy How hard can running a bordello for the Gods be? Broke waitress Anya Vaughn is about to find out.
Rule #1: Stay away from the sea, it will drown you. Rule #2: Stay away from him, he controls the sea. Rule #3: Break rule #2. NA #pitmad

#PitMad NA paranormal romance: Nobody knows better than Gabriel that his human should die. For the first time since Creation, he just can't.

#PitMad WF One French escape, tables of French food, and a French kiss; the perfect remedy for a mid-life crisis.
To keep the peace at her BFF's wedding, she is determined to play nice w/ the best man. What happens when he wants to play dirty? #pitmad CR

Once upon a time, a girl looked up from a Tube train floor & saw a wolf in a pinstripe suit sitting across from her. #PitMad Adult


Once upon a time, a girl looked up from a Tube train floor & saw a wolf in a suit and shining Oxfords sitting across from her. #PitMad Adult

If Harry met Sally, when they were twelve. #PitMad #ContempRom

A hermit,a waitress,a grammarian,& a conservationist walk into a spooky forest.See the punch line unfold in #TheHumbleAbode #PitMad #Fantasy

#pitmad Someone's after her unborn child. April trusts no one, not even her sexy ranching neighbor. He'll stop at nothing to save her. RomFi


#pitmad RomSusp Someone is after her unborn child. April doesn't trust anyone. Not even the sexy rancher who insists on keeping her safe.

An insecure Milwaukee chef receives a nasty review, then finds friendship & love w/ the flippant critic who wrote it. #pitmad #AdultContRom

Amy Shultz @ashultz_writer
#pitmad Cont Rom- young, new football coach meets p/t bar tender. Relationship is going great until an Ex shows up in town. Can they make it
The Bachelor Meets How to Lose a Guy in 10. She pulls antics to be voted off the show. He can't let her go. The world is watching. #pitmad
Anna M.C. Aydelott @AnnaMCAydelott
Anna finds a rust bucket on wheels never imagining it would be a diamond in the rough or that it would bring luck in love. A/R #pitmad
#pitmad LF. This Southern family and friends grapple with poverty, betrayal, addiction, & non-traditional love while seeking redemption.


#pitmad Literary Fiction. A booze and guilt-ridden tale driven by characters at the fringes of the New South longing to be more.

Everyone loved Will, while she tried to forget him. Seven years later her brother's wedding pulls her home & back to HIM. #PitMad Romance


Overwhelmed & stuck in a toxic relationship Grace learns the grandmother she always thought was dead is alive, & wants to meet. #PitMad WF

A broken down car in IA, a confident, brash heroine, a reclusive mechanic with a well of secrets, 7 days to change their lives. A-CR #PitMad


1 confident, brash heroine + 1 broken down car on deserted road + 1 reclusive, sexy mechanic = 7 days to change their lives. A-CErR #pitmad
'Downton Abbey meets Time Traveler's Wife.' Time shift story where Lou, a very modern woman, falls for a WW1 hero & alters history #pitmad
Ad.UF-A serial killer is targeting the witches of Charleston. A shop owner is asked to help track him, thus making herself a target. #PitMad
Just because Ashling owns a fairytale park doesn't mean she's got a fairytale life. Especially now that she has a ghost. SN AD cozy #pitmad
Stricken with vertigo & caught between warring mythic spirits, mountaineer Julie fights for equilibrium, physically & magically. UF #pitmad
Jessie gets more than she bargained for when she reads the journals of a friend who committed suicide. Contemp YA #pitmad
An introverted history teacher with a need for control finds it when she stumbles into the world of New Orleans kink #PitMad Ero-Rom


A history teacher with a past, a best friend with a secret, & New Orleans’ top Dom has a plan for them both. #PitMad Ero-Rom/BDSM


Domme-in-training in the New Orleans French Quarter is challenged to a BDSM-off for a coveted sub - her best friend. #PitMad

27yo Ali snagged the California rocker she idolized as a teen. What sends her seeking her own muse on a trip across the UK? #PitMad Adult

Ciahnan Quinn @CiahnanQuinn
Stephen's a married Baptist minister. He is also gay. When he meets Gabriel, he's not sure if he's found heaven or hell. Lit fic #PitMad

Peggy’s father abducts her, takes her to forest and says rest of the world has disappeared. She isn’t seen again for 8 years #pitmad litfict

Ariana's feisty behavior in a hostage situation gets the unwanted attention of a criminal, making her his next objective. #pitmad

Losing everyone he ever loved damaged him almost beyond hope, but Jude knows how to set it right: kill the man who started it all. #pitmad A
One night in her inherited ghost town could turn into forever with an outlaw turned sheriff from the past. Adult/time travel novella #PitMad
Ambrose just wants to get laid. Trouble is, he can't touch anyone without absorbing their emotions and passing out. #pitmad adult

A: Robin found true love once and has no plans to look for it again until her matchmaking dead husband gets involved.. #PitMad
Every teacher has a fish story about a psychotic principal. None are as outrageous as Annie's. #pitmad #adult
Honorably discharged Sergeant Major meets a widow and young son. The ad says room for rent; can they offer more? #PitMad #SpecFic #A
#PitMad Fantasy: A retelling of Snow White - but the queen is the protagonist.


#PitMad Adult Fantasy: The "evil queen" has been sorely misunderstood - Snow White is actually a power-hungry brat with an ax to grind.

Heather @stateofego
Rei's job was to kill the President before he became Emperor, but her handler aborted the mission. Now she's fighting for her life. #PitMad

As if Tamar doesn't have enough problems with her past, she's falling for a man society says she can't have. Damn it! #pitmad #historical


As if Tamar doesn't have enough problems w/her past&the Roman army,she's falling for a guy society says she can't have. #pitmad


Ranger Toby's mission-get a photo of a real-live moon alien. Nevermind his ubercool ship is an old fridge box. #pitmad #pb

When Scott and Jessie's daughter is kidnapped, they fear the worst as all that's left behind is a pool of her blood. #pitmad #mystery

HF WW II Secret agent, posing as a deaf fisherman, falls in love w/ German-American widow. When betrayed he must prove i wasn't her. #PitMad
I've known her through 5 different lives, covering a span of 500 yrs. I don't know what's worse: Her lack of memory, or her husband.#pitmad


Does it count as cheating if the man you are having an affair with was your husband in a past life? #FridayFrenzy #PitMad

Elinor Rosewood is as British as tea, spanking, and eccentricity. The American Church is trying to take over -- and she has a plan. #PitMad

One man. One woman. War, a giant snake, shifters, a treaty, old enemies & secrets galore. How could they not fall in love? FantRom #pitmad

PR: Being an Egyptologist and chased by the dead is not fun, neither is living with a grim reaper you're falling madly in love with. #PitMad

England, 1347. The Black Death, medieval surgery, a physician monk & the mortecarni. Good v evil isn't always black & white. Adult #pitmad


There are no words newer than C14 in The Mortecarni, thoroughly researched medieval horror story. Plague included free of charge. #pitmad


Queen Elizabeth I's life after she ascended the throne is well known, but what about her first 25 years? Betrayal, death, fear. #pitmad

1900, a minister's daughter becomes muse & confidant to married painter & discovers only way to save man she luvs is to destroy him. #Pitmad
Contemp romance - Reality dating show - bad boy chef pursues off-limits, reluctant show producer; things get hot in the kitchen. #pitmad


ContemRom - Reality dating show - bad boy chef pursues off-limits, reluctant show producer; things get hot in and out of kitchen. #pitmad


ContempRom - NYC blogger Piper meets & falls in love w/Logan, the rock star whose posters were on her teenage bedroom walls. #pitmad

#pitmad RS When a detective's wicked stepmom is murdered, her life & family fall apart & the only one she can trust is the det. on the case.

#PitMad ConRomSusp Diverse lives don’t always converge in harmony. Can they beat the odds to save Melissa’s ranch and restore Jimmy’s dream?

#pitmad Women'sFic: An anonymous love note destroyed her life in high school and now her search for its author threatens to do it again.

He’s everything she should avoid, but can’t resist. Lia knew her Scottish vacation would be fun, but didn’t expect a challenge. #PitMad #Rom
Ava Elliot is 27, jobless, homeless, and stuck watching her ex-fiance date her too-sweet sis-in-law in a modern day Persuasion Redux.#PitMad


Gage has chocolate kisses & perfect words but Ava can't forget her 1st love even if he's forgotten her. Adult Persuasion redux. #PitMad
Sparks fly with sexy widower Dr. Calaway.Too bad he's the father of Hope's student. She never breaks the rules…or does she? #pitmad ComtRom


ContempRom - Klutzy principal. Sexy widower doctor. Breaking the rules has never been this much fun. #pitmad


Sexy Dr.Calaway is fun & lonely.Dating a father of a student could cost Hope her job& her heart. Is it worth breaking the rules? #pitmad
AdultThrill: Schizophrenic Charlotte's pretty good at faking normal, but now the cops think she's a killer. The body count's rising. #pitmad
#PitMad Viagra dick killed Charity's Chambers best trick. She has 2 prove 2 his cop son she didn't off daddy or she's going 2 jail. #romance


#PitMad You too can own a living doll. With the right price women are sold & used on the island of dolls to the highest bidder #AdultHorror

HistRom: A debutant with a secret identity has to choose between her art & the man who is determined to marry her for revenge. #Pitmad

1 lady, 3 gentlemen: 1 traitor, 1 spy, 1 liar, 1 double agent. Who will be hung for treason? The best friend, brother, or lover? #PitMad


England 1812: She is there to spy on him. He's working to discover a traitor. For duty or for love, someone must be hung for treason #PitMad

At 42, Twilah thought she knew herself but choosing between city and country life is not as simple as she'd hoped. Rom #PitMad

Jewish stigmata, the only female scholar mentioned in the Talmud, time travel and a dark and dangerous gypsy. Lit/Hist adult 71K #pitmad
#PitMad When washed up scientist/mother of two joins an interstellar order of knights, she must stop a star slayer before he kills the sun
Adult UF: Mattie is a witch for hire blamed for the kidnapping of a royal. She must rescue him & bring him home, or face execution #PitMad


AUF: Mattie is a struggling witch for hire. When a royal is kidnapped, she is blamed and her ex is held hostage for his safe return #PitMad

Adult - Hannah finds a book and realizes it is about her own life. The story reaches the present moment. There are 236 pages left. #pitmad

A PTA mom embroiled in an Internet scandal & framed for murder finally learns to stop living her life like a suburban lemming. Adult #pitmad

A quirky small town girl moves to London and accidentally becomes famous. Life is awkward when your lady bits trend on twitter. #PitMad WF

An enemy old, invisible evil Ever stalks the Watchman's people. If Arnot cannot break its hold, Loved ones end up dead and cold. #pitmad A/F

Baseball. A convict. A stalker. A school bully. With all that in his life, Cal must trust an enemy to save a friend.#PITMAD
When Nora buries her child, self-destruction is her drug until her dead son contacts her, imploring her to fight for a happy ending. #pitmad

#PitMad AUF The gods want Kylie’s time traveling ability. To keep it, she will have to choose: slavery or insanity.

A-Ro #pitmad Never fall for a man in uniform, esp. one that involves a black flak jacket & a badge. Too bad Kristi’s heart has other plans.

Dead bodies + a hot cop w/ handcuffs & not the pink fuzzy kind + nosy PI Kim Murphy = DEATH BY HIGH HEELS 4 fans of Evanovich #Pitmad

Notice any interesting patterns to the pitches?
What about these do you think caught the agents' eyes?

Did I miss a pitch? Feel free to let me know in the comments!


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