Monday, August 3, 2015

Pitch Wars 2015 Mentor Post!

Hey there, Pitch Wars people!
I am so, so excited to be able to mentor again for Pitch Wars! I mentored last year, and got to meet some really rockin' people, and read some incredible stories. Pitch Wars is pretty near and dear to my heart, as contests go, because it wound up getting me a contract for my debut novel, NEVER NEVER, which comes out in *gulp* less than two months! I'm stoked to get to be a part of it again. ^_^
SO. Without further ado, let me try to convince you, stranger, why you want ME as your mentor.
SECTION 1: Hello, yes, let us discuss me.
Ok party people. A little about me.
((I am not Iron Man. But like, if I was, I wouldn't tell you, unless your were my Pitch Wars mentee, in which case probably I would. So, you know, do with that what you will. *slow, meaningful wink*))
The Bio: I live in Colorado (good to have a Colorado connection in case of zombie apocalypse. Zombies can't hack it out here) with my two boys and high-school-sweetheart-turned-husband. I am represented by Josh Adams of Adams Literary, and my debut YA, NEVER NEVER, releases from Spencer Hill Press on September 22nd of this year. My next YA, HOW TO MAKE OUT, releases from Sky Pony press in Fall 2016.
I will give you in-depth critique, honesty, (but not brutal honesty; if you have to be brutal to be honest, I think you need to get it together. I'll tell you exactly what I think needs to be done, but also I'll gush over everything I love) and ideas on the big and little things in your book. My specialty is character and relationships, but I'll help you work out things like atmosphere and plot too, if that's what you need!
I've found some success entering contests in the past, so I'll bring that experience to the table. PLUS, if you sub to me, you will get feedback. I will be responding to anyone who subs me during the contest--some feedback might be a line, and some might be more in-depth, but you'll get it.
Section 2: WISHLIST!!!
I'm mentoring YA this year, and I'll be looking for 2 thangs: fantasy and contemporary.
There are some things I love overall, no matter the genre. I LOVE:
GREAT relationships.
PASSIONATE characters.
In Fantasy:
They say you never forget your first love. Mine was FANTASY. And man, am I in super love with fantasy right now. I'm looking for fantasy of the epic sort. Character-driven stuff is my preference. Wit, magic, epic adventure, I wants it all. (The only things that are not gonna be for me here are Urban Fantasy and fantasy that is really, secretly in its heart, Paranormal. I have super loved books in both these genres, but they're just not my area of expertise.) My tastes in fantasy run a tad darker, but I don't necessarily mean that I need a swamp of blood and bodies or anything to love it (though that's just fine with me). I just really want danger.
Things I Love in Fantasy (with Examples of Faves):
***Villains*** Oh man, I can't even TELL you how much I love villains. Antiheroes? Bread and buttah. And straight up, 100% villains--either as the protagonist or the antagonist I love to hate (OR ESPECIALLY A DARK AND SEXY VILLAIN I LOVE TO SHIP, even though  know it's doomed)...give this to me and I am YOURS.
Villains I Love: The Darkling (Shadow and Bone), The Jackal (Red Rising), Irial (Wicked Lovely), Loki (Avengers/Thor)
***Romance*** I don't necessarily NEED romance, but I'll tell you, I'd really, really, really like it. It doesn't need to be the A plot or anything, but if you can make me swoon, I AM HERE FOR THAT.
Ships I Will Ship Until The Day I Die: The Darkling/Alina (Shadow and Bone), Jon Snow/Ygritte (Game of Thrones), Alistair/ME (Dragon Age: Origins), Sharzhad/Khalid (Wrath and the Dawn)
***World-Building*** Ok so, world-building is not my greatest strength. I'm super easy on it for this reason. But an awesome world, especially with a COOOOL plot, will really make me sit up straighter.
Favorite Fantasy Worlds: The Wrath and the Dawn (Renee Ahdieh), Fire (Kristin Cashore), The Grisha Series (Leigh Bardugo)
I love atmosphere, and complicated relationships (See: The Raven Boys or Red Rising), and impossible situations, and unwinnable decisions, and tested loyality, and magic, and mystery, and love, and...*sigh* Fantasy Forever.
In Contemporary:
In contemporary *sigh of adoration for contemporary*, my tastes run the gamut. I love very light and funny all the way to dark and gritty. For me, the key here is that while the number one thing is your character, I really am looking, this year, for plot-driven stuff. Heavy on plot and/or higher concept is gonna be a massive plus for me! Genre-wise, give me rom-coms, thrillers, psychological horror, survival stories, geek fic...I love all of it.
--On the Lighter Side--
*Funny, awkward, cringe-worthy, embarrassing stories. YES, PLEASE.
*Romance! Not a MUST in all YA subs, but if your book is light/funny, I, like, 99% need romance.
*Fave stuff like this: Anna and the French Kiss, Easy A, Mean Girls, Simon vs. the Homosapiens' Agenda
--Middle of the Road--
*Gray, between dark and light, with HEART.
*Characters I fall in head-over-heels love with
*Fave stuff like this: Eleanor and Park, The Breakfast Club, Friday Night Lights
--The DARK Side--
*Very dark comedies, a la Fargo, Burn After Reading, Grosse Pointe Blank, Heathers, The Big Lebowski. 
*Dark and twisted antiheroes or flat-out villains. Oh my gosh. I LOVE VILLAINS. Send me ALL the villains. Like Breaking Bad.
*Psychological Thrillers, like Dangerous Girls.
*Less abuse/bullying/sad dark, more crazy WHAT JUST HAPPENED freaky dark.
*ATMOSPHERE: Something in a cool setting, like Lousiana in True Detective, or Alaska or something. LOVE.
I love contemp that makes me laugh, contemp that makes me EXPERIENCE, that freaks me out, that gets under my skin. I love geeks, and gamers, and killers, and the arts, and...I love it all. (And a little note: your book is very likely not going to be too gritty for me. As long as it's realistic, I DO NOT MIND language, sex, violence, whatever. But absolutely don't need it to love a book. Whatever is right for your story, basically, it's not gonna bother me.)
So I guess that's it!  Any questions at all, please let me know! Find me on Twitter and @ me @briannashrum and I'd love to answer your questions or just hang out and chat. :)
Let me be your:
(Yes. You inferred that correctly. Should we pair up as mentor/mentee, not only will we be polishing your book, but we will also be manufacturing and dealing large quantities of methamphetamine. Plan accordingly.)

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