Hello! If you've found your way here, you're either scoping out the mentors to see who you might like to work with for PitchWars, or you accidentally fell through the Internet rabbit-hole and are really lost. Either way, welcome!
Now that you're here, please secure those tray tables, return your seats to their upright positions, and buckle up for a fun ride!
I'm Katrina, and this year I'll be co-mentoring in the young adult and new adult categories with the fabulous Diana Gallagher. Diana and I go waaaay back to 2014, when I was a PitchWars hopeful. She selected me as her alternate mentee for a NA contemporary rom-com, and has been a friend, critique partner, and all-around supporter ever since.
You can find a bit more about me here and below, but as far as writing goes, I spend my time in the contemporary and historical YA and Adult romance arena. I tend to veer more towards sweet romances (think Hallmark-movies), and my main characters are often smart and spunky. I would love to write a murder mystery someday. Occasionally, I scribble poems and short stories.
As for my PitchWars history:
2012: What is Twitter? 2013: I joined Twitter and entered PitchWars with a NA time travel romance. Spoiler alert: I did not get selected! 2014: I tried again with a NA rom-com manuscript, and was chosen as an alternate (see above). 2015-2016: I cheered on from the sidelines, jealous of other mentor-mentee teams. 2017: I'm a co-mentor!!!! Woo hoo!
So, the cool thing about a co-mentor team is that we each have different skill sets, so we can bring you the ultimate mentee experience. Sure, our wish lists are a bit different (you can check out Diana's here), but ultimately, Diana and I will work together find the best fit for all.
What I'm looking for:
- Smart protagonists
- HEAs or HFNs (A must, especially if you're writing romance)
- Humor - dark, light, punny, witty, wry. Make me laugh!
- Voice/quirk- I love characters that jump off the page
- Totally cool with multiple POVs/time periods
- Contemporary and/or historical YA or contemporary NA
- Epistolary is fun, if it's done right
- Heists/cons/good-to-be-bad stories a la WHITE COLLAR or HEIST SOCIETY
- Female MacGuyver/Sherlock Holmes/James Bond-types
- Fantasy along the lines of CARAVAL or AN EMBER IN THE ASHES
- A mentee who is positive, energized, and open to revisions/suggestions
I'm NOT the mentor for:
- Anything requiring an entire Kleenex box (I don't mind crying, but not tears for years).
- Fantasy featuring honey badgers (Is that even a thing?)
- Characters who are "cured" by falling in love
- "Preachy" or "message" stories
- Manuscripts with graphic sex, rape, explicit violence, or drug use.
- A mentee who's looking for a proofreader or a ghostwriter, or who isn't serious about their MS.
Diana, you, and I will make a great team if you are:
- Humorous (we take silly seriously)
- Serious about your writing journey
- Able to take feedback and run with it
Why you want to work with us:
- We have first-hand insight into all aspects of the publishing industry, from the very first query to having a book on the shelf. We've been through the amazing ups and the crushing downs, and we'll be here to support and guide you after the agent round concludes.
- We've worked as a team before, and we rocked at it!
- Two sets of eyes are better than one.
- We both write professionally; along with our author lives, I'm a technical/scientific report writer, and Diana teaches writing and works for PS Literary as a Literary Editorial Assistant.
- Diana and I will provide you with track changes comments/light edits in your manuscript, as well as a combined edit letter with our in-depth thoughts and suggestions.
- We'll help you with your query letter, synopsis, and pitch!
- We love to brainstorm.
- We'll support you during and after the contest!
Wow, that's a lot of information! Are you still with me? Good. To give you an idea of what I like to read, some of my recent favorites have included:
- CARAVAL by Stephanie Garber
- LESSONS IN FALLING by Diana Gallagher
- THE HEARTBREAKERS by Ali Novak
- THE HATE YOU GIVE by Angie Thomas
- KILL THE BOY BAND by Goldy Moldavsky
- SOME KIND OF MAGIC by Mary Ann Marlowe
- AMERICA'S NEXT REALITY STAR by Laura Heffernan
- THE UNFORTUNATE DECISIONS OF DAHLIA MOSS by Max Wirestone
When I'm not writing, I enjoy:
- My family & kids --I have a baby girl and a 5-year-old boy starting Kindergarten in August, plus I live with my hubby and father-in-law.
- Chemistry/science--I work as a technical expert/consultant and have a Ph.D. Most of the time, I review data and then write/compile technical reports for food/ingredient regulation.
- Cooking/baking--someday I will make a pie crust that isn't a failure!
- Gardening--I'm still trying to figure out how to do this in a SoCal dessert environment, having lived in the North East/Mid West most of my life.
- Crafts--sewing, knitting, crocheting, etc. If it involves a trip to Jo-Ann's, I'm game.
- Traveling--I'm more of a "let's go see ALL the museums, historical places, etc." kind of traveler, but a white, sandy beach and some palm trees work, too.
- Murder mystery TV shows--Murdoch (swoony sigh), Murder She Wrote (that Angela Lansbury!), Miss Fisher (she's so fab!), NCIS, Elementary, etc.
If you still aren't sure if we'd be a good fit, check out our #PitchWars Query Workshop or if you have any questions about #PitchWars, or just want to connect, you can find me on Twitter @KatrinaEmmel. [Please keep it in the feed and don't flood my DMs].