We are Jenna Lehne and Tara Creel.
This is Jenna’s third year as a mentor (she mentored Tara last year!) and Tara’s first year joining in on the fun.
Tara works as an editor for Month9Books and WriteOnEditing. She also reviews books for The Deseret News. She is mom to four boys and writes MG … she alternates between mysteries and making you cry. She is an HGTV junkie and loves hiking and playing at the beach with her babies. She is rep’d by Samantha Bagood at Samantha B. Literary.
Here is what we ARE and ARE NOT looking for from PitchWars this year:
We love magical realism a la THE SECRET HORSES OF BRIAR HILL, ECHO, or SOME KIND OF HAPPINESS. The first two have historical elements that we also love in our magical realism.
Any magical realism will steal our hearts. Not sure if you’re a match, check out this post.
You can’t go wrong if you have something like THE KEY TO EXTRAORDINARY or A SNICKER OF MAGIC, we’re obsessed with Natalie Lloyd books.
We love mysteries, especially with codes and clues like The Book Scavenger and Escape from Mr. Lemincello’s Library.
If you have a mystery with magical realism, we will fight to the death for you.
If you have an MG Six of Crows (WE NEED THIS) we’re dying to see it.
We love alternate formats like diary entries, texts, notebooks, letters, etc, but we’re not the best for a fully written verse novel.
We want to see books with tons of twists and turns. Where the MC’s path is so gnarled it seems there’s no possible way for you to untangle all of the threads by the ending of the book. Then, in those last couple of chapters, everything is sorted out in ways we never imagined possible. In YA, Sarah J Maas’ THRONE OF GLASS series does this amazingly well.
Although we are not the best for high fantasy, we love folktale/fairytale feeling fantasy like THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON. Or if you happen to have world-building or light fantasy like KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES by Shannon Messenger, we will love you forever.
We love Lauren Oliver middle grade and would take anything reminiscent of her books.
We love horror. One of the books we can’t wait to hit shelves is A PECULIAR INCIDENT ON SHADY STREET. It’s atmospheric, creepy, and there’s even a super spooky ventriloquist dummy!
We love antiques and the stories behind them, so if you have a story involving these, creepy or not, we want to see it.
For us, the harder the horror pushes, the better. We loved being terrified as a kid, so the scarier the better! We’d rather have to scale things back than ramp them up.
We’re a sucker for unreliable narrators.
We would love something creepy with a few illustrations like IN THESE SHADOWS by Kiersten White or SCARY TALES TO TELL IN THE DARK.
Though we admire the heck out of these writers, we are not the best fit for Science Fiction.
Give us the sad but inspiring like WONDER, COUNTING BY 7’S, THE REMARKABLE JOURNEY OF CHARLIE PRICE, and COUNTING THYME!)
At the end of the day – regardless of the genre – we just want to feel something for the characters you create. Whether they’re dealing with a supremely haunted school theater while simultaneously navigating their parents’ divorce *hey, book idea!* Or flunking the spelling bee because they have such a massive crush on their biggest competition even though he’s a snob, just tug the heartstrings. Tug them until they snap and we spiral into a book hangover.
What We Have To Offer YOU!
We fall in love with stories and root for them to the end.
We work hard!
We are easy to communicate with and readily available.
We will do big picture edits as well as line edits … your ms will be all sorts of shiny.
We read, read, read so we know what we like and we know how your book will fit into the market.
We’ve been at this for a long time and have the resources to help you get where you want to be.
We will be your best friend for life ❤
If you’re looking for more fabulous mentors, head on over to Brenda Drake’s website for more bios and info!