Saturday, August 2, 2014

I and Love and You #PitchWars


If you are here checking out potential #PitchWars mentors, then - CONGRATS! - you are in the right place. 

If you are here because the title of this post is an Avett Brothers song and you're looking for info about them - SORRY!- you are out of luck. I just love the song and thought it made for a great intro title.

If you are here and have no idea what I'm talking about at all, but have not yet clicked away because you find this whole #Pitchwars thing intriguing - well then read on my friends!

So here's the deal with #Pitchwars. The brilliant amazing possibly super-powered Brenda Drake organizes this awesome contest that connects aspiring writers with mentors (like me!) and then we work together scrubbing and shining the aspiring author's manuscript until it is so stinking sparkly that agents will fight for the right to call it their own. For more info and to be part of the contest YOU MUST go to Brenda Drake's blog. Sound good?

Okay, so now is the part where I tell you category I'm coaching, which is... 

DRUMROLL PLEASE...


.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.





Yeah, I read YA. I also write YA. 

Things I look for in YA novels I read: Strong often unlikeable protagonists, complicated antagonists, kick-ass girls, romance, depth and darkness, fun, having my heart ripped out, laugh-out-loud moments, mystery, thrills, paranormal elements, realistic elements, cute puppies, and weirdness.

Your book does not need to have all of those elements. Actually, it definitely shouldn't because my head would explode and I don't think that's something any of us want to see happen.

So basically I am open to everything and I never really know what exactly will grab me. I am definitely NOT turned off by language, sex, or violence - in fact, when its a necessary part of the story, I believe its important to include these elements. But your character does not have to drop f-bombs for me to love them.

If you want a good idea of what I like to read check out my Goodreads. I try to keep this updated every few months with what I've recently read. Just glancing over the list some standouts from the past year in YA reading include: COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN, NOT A DROP TO DRINK, WINGER, and THE 5TH WAVE, and I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN.

So that's what I'm looking for. But this is about more than me falling in love, you need to find a mentor that fits into what you need as well. To that end, let me tell you a bit about myself and my critique style.

You could say I have a strong arts backgrounds. Or you could say I have two college degrees of questionable worth. I prefer the former. Anyway, from undergrad I have a BFA in theatre and then, after several years of graduate school, I gained an MFA in film and television production.

I am represented by Alexandra Machinist of ICM. My young adult novel, ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE debuted in 2013 with HarperTeen. This past June my second novel, (DON'T YOU) FORGET ABOUT ME, was released also from HarperTeen. I am currently at work on my third novel, again with HarperTeen. DOWN WITH THE SHINE (that's the title for now, at least) is due to be released in early 2016.

 
And here are a few places you can find me online:

Twitter: @katekaryusquinn (I'll be tweeting with the #PitchWars hashtag, so make sure you're following me!)

So what kind of feedback can you expect from me? 

...Actually let me start with what you won't get from me. 

I am not big on correcting grammar, spelling, punctuation, and other things of that nature. That's not to say that these things are not important - they are. I am just not the person to make those elements shine.

I don't expect you to write like me. Or to write your story the way that I'd write it. Instead, I want to help you write the story in your voice and style, and tell it the way you need it to be told. I will, however, occasionally throw different ideas out. In my screenwriting class ages and ages ago (see that MFA does come in handy!) my one teacher used to call the process of throwing different ideas out spitballing. Sometimes you use the spitballed idea, but mostly it just helps get your own ideas flowing.

I will never tell you that your story sucks. Or you suck. That doesn't mean I'll only have positive things to say, ooohhhh trust me I will point out what is not working for me. But I also always make a point of talking about the things that are working oh so very well. Personally, I find the odd "YAY!!" "HEE HEE HEE!" or "LOVE LOVE LOVE!" comments can make an otherwise tough critique go down a lot easier.

Finally, do not expect only a line or two of notes for feedback. As you may have guessed from this blog post, I can be a little long winded at times. And yes, sometimes I do go on and on and on and... Okay, I'll stop now. The point is, I tend it give pretty long critiques with lots and lots and lots of thoughts.  

You can also check out the critiques I did on Brenda Drake's blog in July for an idea of how I work. 

Okay, that's almost it from me except for one more thing... I am currently running a giveaway on Goodreads for a hardcover copy of my book (DON'T YOU) FORGET ABOUT ME. If you're interested, you can enter below:





Goodreads Book Giveaway


(Don't You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn

(Don't You) Forget About Me

by Kate Karyus Quinn


Giveaway ends August 19, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.


Enter to win



Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Easy-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.

28 comments:

  1. Hi Kate!

    I'm super excited you're mentoring this year. I love your novels and I definitely plan on submitted my YA Paranormal Mystery to you love strong often unlikeable protagonists, kick-ass girls, and romance.

    Best,
    Patrice

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Patrice! I am super excited to be mentoring this year! And oooohh your paranormal mystery sounds wonderful!

      Delete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Kate! I can't wait to submit my YA fantasy to you. My MC is definitely an unlikeable protag with a kick-ass girl best friend that keeps him in line. Above all, I promise there's weirdness all through my MS. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooh that sounds so in my wheelhouse! Yay!

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. For historicals I mostly read adult historical romance. Mostly I think that's because there isn't a ton of historical YA. But yes, I definitely enjoy it. Three books that I can think of off the top of my head that I really loved are: CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein, MAID OF SECRETS by Jennifer McGowan and BELLE EPOQUE by Elizabeth Ross.

      Delete
  5. Hi Kate

    Not sure if I commented earlier, my computer was being wonky, sorry if I'm asking this again.

    Are you offended by anti-religious overtones in novels? Not preachy, just stuff like His Dark Materials or the DaVinci Code where certain religions/religious figures are made out to be evil.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is the first time I've gotten this question, but you should give that wonky computer a slap anyway - it sounds like it deserves it. ;)

      And no I would not be offended by anti-religious overtones, as long, like you said - they are non-preachy. One caveat is that in the case of the DaVinci Code, I found the whole concept of elaborate religious conspiracies to be not quite my cup of tea. So for something like that, I am probably not the right person. But for something more like His Dark Materials, I would absolutely be interested.

      Delete
    2. It's got a bit of both. I definitely call it an Urban Fantasy, but it's fast paced like a thriller. The first half is less religion and the characters going up against a corrupt corporation trying to "breed God" and it just gets crazier from there.

      A friend who is also in Pitchwars just told me it's definitely more fantasy. --lot of bombastic fights where cities get leveled leading to the protagonist fighting God (errr, Judgment) in a newly ruined Jerusalem. But there's family members who knew what's going on, people who you ask "Wait, whose side is he on?!" a government consisting of the JEwish, Catholic and Islam sects that is revealed to have been in control of the world (and influencing the whole plot), a cloning project regarding a huge religious figure. Stuff like that.

      So there's conspiracy for sure. The protagonist is up your alley, the whole idea with him in the series was to take Charlie Brown and turn him into Freeza (or Darth Vader if you don't know who that is), he doesn't get close to that in the first book, but he certainly shows he's walking a thin thread between good and evil. Sounds like I'll have to add you to the "Strongly consider pile."

      I'll slap my computer for you.

      Delete
  6. My book, Aswang, is borderline YA/NA.(there's coming of age and learning to be an Aswang) Would it still be okay to submit to you?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Well coming of age definitely does sound like YA would be a better fit, but ultimately I think you need to decide if your book is NA or YA and then decide who to submit to from there. But if you do go with YA, I would love to see it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. Since it's about teenagers I'll stick with the YA. Thank you!

      Delete
  8. Hi! I love your list of things you want in YA. I think my MS fits about four--kick-ass girls, romance, thrills, complicated antagonists--plus I love cute puppies (though none are in my MS). I also love how you say you won't be critiquing grammar, which I've got covered. It's more the big picture that I'd like feedback on, so your style sounds perfect for me. Have you seen Breaking Bad? I was watching an episode last night in which one of the characters was spitballing ideas and actually called it that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow yes, your MS definitely hits several sweet spots for me!

      And that's funny about Breaking Bad. I've only seen a few episodes from early on in that show, so I don't think I got to them talking about spitballing! :)

      Delete
  9. Thanks for the bio, it was great. How would you feel about a YA manuscript with equal parts sci-fi and fantasy. It would appeal to fans of X-Men and The Giver. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG I LOVE LOVE LOVE the X-Men. I used to watch the 90s era cartoon as a kid and that was where the obsession began. So yes, I would love to see that!

      Delete
  10. Hi Kate

    I have a YA sci-fi romance I'm submitting to Pitchwars. You don't list sci-fi as one of the genres you like, but you do mention The 5th Wave. That is the book I comp my ms to. Would you be interested in something like that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG I LOVED The 5th Wave like you would not believe. I also love romance paired with sci-fi. That combo is better than peanut butter and jelly for me. So, YES, I would definitely be interested in seeing your book!

      Delete
  11. Awesome. Can't wait to send it to you. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hello, Kate.

    I just submitted my novel, The Beast, to pitchwars and I added you to my mentors list. Genre wise, The Beast is a chimera of a novel. It's horrifying (in parts) but not quite a horror novel, and fantastic (if I might say so myself) but not exactly your average urban fantasy. Since it includes kick-ass girls, complicated antagonists, paranormal elements, and a nice seasoning of mystery, I think you might like it. (:

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for including me in your mentor list - I'm looking forward to reading your pages!

      Delete
  13. I submitted to you. I felt a little sick doing it and now I think I shall be permanently residing on the toilet...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should be sick, because every submission that does not measure up to my exacting standards... well, I am going to hunt down every such author and scream in their faces just the most terrible awful things anyone has ever heard. The kind of screaming where lots of spit comes flying out at you too. It will be terrifying. Or disgusting. Either way, you will not like it.

      Oooooh wait. No, I won't be doing that. Also, I am not at all scary and you should definitely NOT be anxious about submitting to me. Or anyone. Unless, of course, said person has a policy of personally delivering rejections so they can scream in your face. But I would suggest that you avoid sending your work to people like that.

      Okay, hope this made you feel a bit better. :) And props to you on being brave and sending your work out! It does, I think, get easier over time.

      Delete
    2. I just came back out from hiding after reading your first paragraph, thank goodness it got better.

      Thank you ever so much for your words of encouragement. However anxious submitting is, I truly believe in my writing. I'm the 'write 'til the day I die' type - thankfully not in one book though.

      Now I am just going to wander off to ensure I haven't submitted to any growly types. All the best to you.

      Delete
  14. Hi Kate, I wanted to tell you that I've already subbed to you, as you were a def. pick for a mentor. Your bio rocks and you seem to have a really wonderful personality as well as work ethic and how you will take on a project. I loved your bio through and through. Wanted to say that I do hope you enjoy my first chapter. But if you happen to pass, I thank you for reading all the same. It was just cool to even do this! I wish you all the best on choosing a mentee! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG thank you so much! I am nowhere close to knowing who I will choose yet, but I can tell you that at this point reading all these entries has been a pleasure. Thank you so much for trusting me with your work and best of luck in Pitch Wars and all your writerly endeavors!

      Delete
    2. You are most welcome! And thank you for your well-wishes! :)

      Delete