Day Twenty-One of July’s First Page Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentors… Lynnette Labelle
Jul28

Day Twenty-One of July’s First Page Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentors… Lynnette Labelle

Welcome to July’s First Page Workshop with some of our past and present PitchWars mentors. From a Rafflecopter lottery drawing, we selected many wonderful writers to participate in the workshop. Each mentor has graciously critiqued a first page for one lucky writer. The writers are anonymous. Follow along all month to view the first page critiques. We welcome comments and further suggestions, but please keep them kind and respectful. Here are the next two mentors and their critiques … Lynnette Labelle Website | Twitter | Facebook  Lynnette Labelle is a freelance editor, developmental/content editor, and copy editor with over thirteen years of experience. She’s the owner of Labelle’s Writing on the Wall, an editing and coaching service for writers. Lynnette’s clients range from new writers to New York Times and USA Today best-selling authors like Roni Loren, Rebecca Hamilton, and Cristin Harber. Lynnette works with writers seeking traditional publishing and indie authors. Lynnette specializes in substantive/developmental editing for romance (romantic suspense, paranormal romance, romantic thriller, contemporary romance, and romantic comedy), mystery, psychological thriller, suspense, horror, crime, paranormal/supernatural, fantasy, urban fantasy, dystopian, women’s fiction, NA, YA, and SOME science fiction (no aliens or futuristic stories). She also helps writers create hooky query letters and strong synopses, and she teaches several writing classes. Lynnette has a bachelor of education degree from the University of Manitoba, where she specialized in English and French. She excelled in Advanced Creative Writing in university and studied writing for children and teens through the Institute of Children’s Literature. She’s a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association, Romance Writers of America, and Savvy Authors. Lynette’s first page critique … When submitting to agents, editors, or contests, please use industry standard formatting. Times New Roman (or Courier, but I prefer TNR), size 12, 1” margins all around, ½” paragraph indents, and double-spaced text. No extra spaces between paragraphs and only one space between sentences. When editing for clients, I use Track Changes so that the majority of the comments are in the comment bubbles on the side and the changes are in the text. Much easier to follow. Unfortunately, the comment bubbles won’t post here, so I did what the other mentors did and placed the comments in the text. The dragon lay stretched out across a rock, Did the main character come across the dragon by accident? Is he startled to have found it here? Is he relieved to have found it? Had he been tracking it? Or did he look over and the dragon was there? its body brilliantly Avoid using adverbs. green in the sunlight that splashed Word choice? Can sunlight splash? through the leaves overhead....

Read More
Day Twenty of July’s First Page Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentors… Brooks Benjamin & Kara Seal
Jul27

Day Twenty of July’s First Page Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentors… Brooks Benjamin & Kara Seal

Welcome to July’s First Page Workshop with some of our past and present PitchWars mentors. From a Rafflecopter lottery drawing, we selected many wonderful writers to participate in the workshop. Each mentor has graciously critiqued a first page for one lucky writer. The writers are anonymous. Follow along all month to view the first page critiques. We welcome comments and further suggestions, but please keep them kind and respectful. Here are the next two mentors and their critiques … Brooks Benjamin Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads   In sixth grade, Brooks Benjamin formed a New Kids on the Block tribute dance crew called the New Kidz. He wasn’t that good at dancing back then. But now he’s got a new crew—his wife and their dog. They live in Tennessee, where he teaches reading and writing and occasionally busts out a few dance moves. He’s still not that good at it. His first novel, MY SEVENTH-GRADE LIFE IN TIGHTS will be released by Delacorte/Random House on 4/12/16.   Brooks’ first page critique … The glare of the late November sun threatened to ruin his hot streak. As Michael spun the bumpy surface of the basketball in (his) sixteen-year-old hands, (I totally understand the need to plug the age as soon as possible, but this seems a little forced.) he adjusted his body, forcing the backboard to become a buffer for the intense light. (This is good. It shows he’s been there before, sun in his eyes, straining to stay focused.) Sweat dripped down his face, but he ignored it. He had to stick to his rhythm. He spun the ball one more time, dribbled twice and then let it fly. SWISH! Nailed it! (This is a little nit-picky, but I think it’d be stronger without this line. Just the SWISH! and then he goes right back to being focused, no distractions, no thinking, just his ritual and uber basketball instincts.) Number twenty-eight. One more to go and it would be a new personal record. A breeze blew, cooling his face, and carrying the smell of wood smoke from the chimneys around him. He could practically taste the traditional Saturday night chili his dad was concocting in the kitchen. This last shot–then he’d head in for a huge bowl topped with cheese and saltine crackers. (This is nice, but I wonder if it’d be stronger to add in how he’s not letting distractions, even tasty chili with cheese (which now I’m craving, thanks), throw him off his game.) Toes on the line, his ritual came without thought—spin the ball four times, dribble twice, shoot. (I really like this line. Almost...

Read More
Day Nineteen of July’s First Page Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentors… Kate Brauning
Jul25

Day Nineteen of July’s First Page Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentors… Kate Brauning

Welcome to July’s First Page Workshop with some of our past and present PitchWars mentors. From a Rafflecopter lottery drawing, we selected many wonderful writers to participate in the workshop. Each mentor has graciously critiqued a first page for one lucky writer. The writers are anonymous. Follow along all month to view the first page critiques. We welcome comments and further suggestions, but please keep them kind and respectful. Here are the next two mentors and their critiques … Kate Brauning Website | Twitter | Buy Her Book Kate is the author of How We Fall (YA contemporary) and a senior editor at Entangled Publishing. She earned her B.A. in English literature, then went on to teach high school English, and intern with a publishing house and a literary agency. She first edited with Month9Books before moving on to edit adult and YA fiction for Entangled Publishing. She’s represented by Carlie Webber of CK Webber Associates. She loves unusual people, good whiskey, dark chocolate, everything about autumn, bright colors, red maple trees, superstitions, ghost stories, anything Harry Potter, night skies, pie, and talking about books. She’s working hard on her next few novels, and if you see her, say hello, because she’d love to take you out for coffee and ask you what you’re reading. Follow her on Twitter or her blog, or check out How We Fall! Kate’s first page critique … Shayde Slaughter stood in the fog-drenched alley, a sour grimace hidden by his ski-mask. The black nylon sheath squeezed everything but his eyes, just wearing it made him feel crazy like it pressed on all the wrong parts of his brain. Like he needed any help in that department. Tucking a plastic water pistol in his waistband, Shayde crept along until he reached the end of the building and peered through the murk. Intriguing first paragraph—you’ve got some really great word choice here. I don’t feel grounded, though. I can’t tell from this if he’s a kid playing a game with his friends, or a man doing something dangerous. Really wonderful first paragraphs have a first line that encapsulates one of the main themes of the book, or a line of action that tells us something significant about the characters (see Gone Girl’s first line!). And then almost immediately we need to be grounded in what that character is doing and why. We can tell he’s in a ski mask sneaking around, but not much else so far, and that makes it a bit confusing. Frowsy streetlights dotted the darkened streetscape. Char-winged bats swooped and flitted through the swirling damp. A lean Ford hugged the opposite curb. Mist tumbled...

Read More
Day Eighteen of July’s First Page Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentors… Dee Romito & Monica Bustamante Wagner
Jul24

Day Eighteen of July’s First Page Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentors… Dee Romito & Monica Bustamante Wagner

Welcome to July’s First Page Workshop with some of our past and present PitchWars mentors. From a Rafflecopter lottery drawing, we selected many wonderful writers to participate in the workshop. Each mentor has graciously critiqued a first page for one lucky writer. The writers are anonymous. Follow along all month to view the first page critiques. We welcome comments and further suggestions, but please keep them kind and respectful. Here are the next two mentors and their critiques … Dee Romito Website | Twitter | Tumblr | Pinterest | Facebook | Goodreads Dee Romito is an author, elementary teacher, and educational freelance writer. Her middle grade debut, THE BFF BUCKET LIST, will publish with Simon & Schuster/Aladdin in 2016. She blogs about writing at I Write for Apples, where she and her team share tips to help fellow writers. Popular features include the Query.Sign.Submit. interview series with publishing professionals and easy-to-follow Scrivener tutorials. Dee is a member of SCBWI and Co-Advisor of Buffalo-Niagara Children’s Writers and Illustrators. You can visit her website at DeeRomito.com. Dee’s first page critique … I don’t like dead chickens. Or dead anything, really. It’s a long story. The issue here is that we don’t know the connection between the first few sentences and what happens next. You might want to consider starting with the line about the deer staring at her instead. A little mystery is great, but you don’t want your reader confused. Anyway, that’s probably why I found myself perched on top of a rickety ladder at 5:42 a.m. in front of a billboard along Highway 191 just north of Moab, Utah, on what promised to be another cloudless, sweltering day in July. Careful starting out describing the weather- although if you rearrange things, it’s fine in the second paragraph. The deer on the billboard was staring at me. His eyeball was the size of my head, so no matter where I moved, it followed. This creeped me out almost as much as it did whenever I ventured into our garage and all of Dad’s glassy-eyed elk and bison heads tracked my every move. Nice job giving us information in an interesting way. 🙂 “Hurry, Lizza!” Brooklyn called up to me. She was holding the ladder, and I have to say, she wasn’t doing a very good job. The soles of my Toms were worn, so they slid around on the metal rungs every time I even breathed. I was sure I’d fall any minute and end up as 191’s latest road kill. Good details with the Toms and the setting. Without answering, I sprayed a final coat of white over the massive letter “O” that spelled...

Read More
Day Seventeen of July’s First Page Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentors…Stefanie Wass & Holly Faur
Jul23

Day Seventeen of July’s First Page Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentors…Stefanie Wass & Holly Faur

Welcome to July’s First Page Workshop with some of our past and present PitchWars mentors. From a Rafflecopter lottery drawing, we selected many wonderful writers to participate in the workshop. Each mentor has graciously critiqued a first page for one lucky writer. The writers are anonymous. Follow along all month to view the first page critiques. We welcome comments and further suggestions, but please keep them kind and respectful. Here are the next two mentors and their critiques … Stefanie Wass Website | Twitter | Blog | Pinterest Stefanie Wass writes middle grade novels from her home in historic Hudson, Ohio. A member of SCBWI and finalist in the 2012 National Association of Elementary School Principals Book of the Year Contest, her nonfiction credits include the LA Times, Christian Science Monitor, Seattle Times, The Writer, Cleveland Magazine, Akron Beacon Journal, This I Believe, Cup of Comfort, and 15 Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies. This will be Stefanie’s second year serving as a Pitch Wars mentor. Stefanie’s first page critique … T-Day Chapter 1 May 2, 2017 Callie, recorded playback If you’re asking me to go back to the beginning, it all started with his digging. After my Mom died, there was so much to do that we just watched Daddy and waited. We were still reeling from her cancer. No remission. No hopeful, cloud-parting skies. Daddy spent a month at home on bereavement leave and then he walked out to the back of our ten acres with a shovel and stayed there. My older brother, Davey, and I were worried, of course, but we were too busy with the laundry and cooking and bills and everything else we’d been doing since Mom got sick. When Daddy didn’t come inside the next morning, I took him a sandwich and a pitcher of sweet tea. I was just fourteen then, but I think now I should have said something. We should have asked him to stop. We should have asked for help. I think your readers will be more drawn into the story if you skip this backstory and start with Daddy digging in the backyard. The reader will wonder what he’s up to and will want to read on. Show Callie’s worry instead of telling us about it. Maybe she’s wearing Mom’s wedding rings…some sign that Mom isn’t around anymore. Instead of telling the reader that Mom died and Dad is acting strange, SHOW this. Get right into the action and open the novel with Dad digging holes in the yard. Daddy was sitting near the edge of a six by six pit and staring at a mound of dirt. White salt lines...

Read More
Day Sixteen of July’s First Page Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentors… Marty Mayberry and Catherine Scully
Jul22

Day Sixteen of July’s First Page Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentors… Marty Mayberry and Catherine Scully

Welcome to July’s First Page Workshop with some of our past and present PitchWars mentors. From a Rafflecopter lottery drawing, we selected many wonderful writers to participate in the workshop. Each mentor has graciously critiqued a first page for one lucky writer. The writers are anonymous. Follow along all month to view the first page critiques. We welcome comments and further suggestions, but please keep them kind and respectful. Here are the next two mentors and their critiques … Marty Mayberry Website | Twitter  Marty Mayberry writes anything from young adult sci-fi to adult historical fantasy. When she’s not dreaming up ways to mess with her character’s minds, she works as an RN/Clinical Documentation Specialist. She has a BA in International Affairs in German and an Associate’s Degree in Nursing. She lives in New England with her husband and grown children, as well as three neurotic cats and a geriatric chocolate lab. Give her a long walk on a powdery beach, an ancient ruin to explore, or a good book, and her life’s complete. Her young adult sci-fi thriller, PHOENIX RISING, was recently named a Finalist for the YARWA Rosemary Award. She’s represented by Jessica Watterson of the Sandra Dijkstra Agency.   Marty’s first page critique … Always keep a suitcase packed. That’s rule number one for being a foster kid. <<If you really wanted to get the reader’s attention with the first sentence, then combine these into one strong sentence. Rule number one for surviving foster care is always keep a suitcase packed. It’s especially the case for me. <<You can voice this up a bit more because this line is a little flat.  In the past fifteen years, I’ve been in twenty-three homes, fourteen schools and four jail cells. Just got out of cell number four last month. <<elaborate a bit here…you’ve got my attention, but you’re almost overloading me with facts instead of showing me who your character is. My current foster mama insisted on nabbing me out prior to the arraignment despite the fact that I told her I wouldn’t mind spending the night—saving her the trip. Wouldn’t be the first time. <There’s a lot of information in this paragraph. While world building is great, it’s often better to ground the reader in a character first, especially if you can do it with voice. So three weeks and about a dozen stern lectures later, including two from my oh-so-pleasant case manager, Foster Mama and I sit side by side in the highly esteemed Carmen County Courthouse located in the prime of bustling Archibold, Kansas, ready for the hearing. <<Break this up. It’s really long and you’re...

Read More
THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE release day … Why Coconut Cake? by Amy Reichert
Jul21

THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE release day … Why Coconut Cake? by Amy Reichert

Amy Reichert Why Coconut Cake? Writers make a lot of decisions when creating their worlds. Where to set the story, when to set the story, eye color, hair color, car color. We invent facial tics and favorite curse words. We create elaborate back stories for secondary characters that may never make it into the book. Point is, it’s all there for a reason, even if it’s because the actor we based the character off of has a lopsided grin. So, dear reader, how did coconut cake make it into the book? Let’s look at my rambling thought process. I needed a reason for Lou to surprise her fiancé and catch him with another woman. Baking him a birthday cake and delivering it at an unexpected time helped set up that moment.Baking a cake is a systematic and precise process. Baking, in general, is more science than anything else, but because it’s food it sparks scent and taste memories—a perfect touchstone to Lou’s past. I could have chosen any kind of cake, but I love coconut. I love it the way some people love chocolate. As a child, I used to sneak bowls of shredded coconut into my closet and eat it. It would get dry and crunchy after a few days, but I ate it anyway (don’t judge me). This affinity came from my grandma who used to make a wonderful coconut cream pie. So when I needed to chose a cake, coconut seemed the right fit. I’m a nerd for alliteration. When we settled on The Coincidence of Coconut Cake for the title, I was down-right giddy because I could call it C3 (sometimes it’s the little things). One of my favorite techniques in books is when the author takes a common object and weaves it into the heart of the story, like Harry Potter’s scar or the green light in Gatsby. While I’m not delusional enough that my cake is as important or as meaningful as Harry’s scar, it does play an important role in bringing the story together. There you have it – a peek into my squirrely brain. Next time you’re reading, pay attention to all those details. They’re there for reason.   THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE released today! Here’s all the information about it … YOU’VE GOT MAIL meets HOW TO EAT A CUPCAKE in this delightful novel about a talented chef and the food critic who brings down her restaurant—whose chance meeting turns into a delectable romance of mistaken identities. In downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Lou works tirelessly to build her beloved yet struggling French restaurant, Luella’s, into a success. She cheerfully balances...

Read More
Day Fifteen of July’s First Page Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentors … Lori Goldstein & Traci Chee/Renee Ahdieh
Jul21

Day Fifteen of July’s First Page Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentors … Lori Goldstein & Traci Chee/Renee Ahdieh

Welcome to July’s First Page Workshop with some of our past and present PitchWars mentors. From a Rafflecopter lottery drawing, we selected many wonderful writers to participate in the workshop. Each mentor has graciously critiqued a first page for one lucky writer. The writers are anonymous. Follow along all month to view the first page critiques. We welcome comments and further suggestions, but please keep them kind and respectful. Here are the next two mentors and their critiques … Lori Goldstein Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr   Lori Goldstein, author of BECOMING JINN, was raised in a small town on the New Jersey shore and now makes her home outside of Boston. She has a BA in journalism and worked as a writer, editor, and graphic designer before becoming a full-time author. She currently lives and writes outside of Boston. Lori is the author of the young adult contemporary fantasy series Becoming Jinn (Feiwel and Friends/Macmillan, April 21, 2015, Spring 2016). You can visit her online at www.lorigoldsteinbooks.com. Buy Her Book: IndieBound Barnes and Noble Amazon     Lori’s first page critique … “It’s a lie Jackson, everything is a lie. Find the eyes Jackson…They watch us Jackson, the eyes are always watching….” [Hello! Thanks for being brave enough to submit your first page for critique! I’m a copyeditor by trade so I’m going to start off with some CE tips! You need to add commas before “Jackson.” Also, I think you should cut the ellipses. You are quoting what Gramps said and unless you are leaving bits out, you don’t need the ellipses. They are potentially distracting.] These were the last words that Gramps spoke, as his lips [,which had been?] dried by the winds of a thousand sand storms fell silent for the last time. [I’m confused by the “as” phrase. It took me a few tries to get it. Take a look at this and see how you can adjust it so it’s clear. You never want a reader to stumble on the first line. I added something to help, but it’s a voice that falls silent not lips…I wonder if you can start a bit stronger here.] I didn’t expect the words or the death, although the illness had been putrid inside of him for months. [Again, this is a bit awkward. I have to read these sentences more than once to see what you mean. That’s never a great thing and especially on page one. Clarity goes a long way. Be careful with your prose and make sure every word and sentence is as clear as you can make it.] A sickening smell of sourness...

Read More
Day Fourteen of July’s First Page Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentors … Sharon Johnston
Jul20

Day Fourteen of July’s First Page Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentors … Sharon Johnston

Welcome to July’s First Page Workshop with some of our past and present PitchWars mentors. From a Rafflecopter lottery drawing, we selected many wonderful writers to participate in the workshop. Each mentor has graciously critiqued a first page for one lucky writer. The writers are anonymous. Follow along all month to view the first page critiques. We welcome comments and further suggestions, but please keep them kind and respectful. Here are the next two mentors and their critiques … Sharon Johnston Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Buy Her Book Sharon is an author of weird fiction and soulful contemporaries from a sunny part of Australia, and recently started as an editor for Elderflower Press and Lakewater Press. She loves shoes, cats, guinea pigs and unicorns. Sharon’s first page critique … Rhea saw red as a fist careened into her jaw. I’m not overly a fan of using ‘as’ in an opening sentence as I feel like it lessens the impact. I love openings to really pop. This one is close, but not quite there for me. “I don’t care if you’re a daughter of the gods,” Erro said, pushing his other hand harder against her throat. “I’ll kill you right now for talking to me that way.” Nice way to introduce some background information. I don’t feel like you need “other” in there. The jeers of the crowd that had amassed in the alleyway behind the tavern grew louder by the minute, but all Rhea could hear was her heartbeat in her skull. I’m someone who is picky with descriptions. Her heart doesn’t pound in her skull, it pounds in her chest. I’d prefer the blood pounding through her skull, in time with her heartbeat, or something like that. As his clutch grew tighter, her airway became smaller and smaller—until she wheezed. Can you find a better way to describe this? For a life or death situation it doesn’t reflect it in the last two-thirds. She could either act now, or die here behind the biggest tavern in the Southlands. She would never see the rest of Remelaun, and her tenure as the Krimsal—a bringer of change the likes of which is only seen once every hundred years—would come to an untimely end. Here you introduced two concepts that are obviously closely linked to the world building, and I have no idea what you’re talking about. I’d get through the action first and then get into the more complex world building. All over a spilled mead. This is one of my favourite lines. I though it injected a really nice bit of humour and helped establish voice. To be fair, the fight...

Read More
Pitch Wars 2015 is coming! Are you ready?
Jul19

Pitch Wars 2015 is coming! Are you ready?

We’re so excited for Pitch Wars 2015! For those unfamiliar with Pitch Wars, it’s a contest where published/agented authors, editors, or interns choose one writer each, read their entire manuscript, and offer critiques on how to make the manuscript shine. The mentor also critiques his/her writer’s pitch to get it ready for the agent round. Those entering Pitch Wars submit applications (query plus first chapter of manuscript) to our mentors. The mentors then read all their applications and choose the writer they want to mentor for two months to get them ready for the agent round. Writers can pick up to four mentors to submit to. How will you decide what mentors to submit to? Come back August 3 for our Mentor Wishlist Blog Hop. The mentors’ bios and wishlists will be posted to their blogs and linked from a post on my blog, and you can hop around and find the right matches for you. And visit the Twitter hashtag #PitchWars to get to know the mentors personally (virtually). The hop will go on until 8/17, which is submission day!! This year, we won’t have alternates. Instead, I’ve added more mentors and there will be 92 mentee spots up for grabs. Applications will be sent through an easy submission form. The form will go live just after midnight (EDT – New York time) August 17 and remain open for 24 hours. What will you need to enter in the form? Your top four (max – you don’t have to pick 4, but you are limited to 4) mentors, your email address, title of the manuscript, category and genre, your query letter (sorry no personalized queries this year), and the first chapter of your completed manuscript (Word .doc or .docx format).  The sample chapter should be manuscript formatted pages (12pt, double-spaced). All of this will be fill-in-the-blank on the form. Submission Guidelines: Only Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult, or Adult manuscripts will be accepted. This is open to completed, full-length, fiction manuscripts only. You may only enter one manuscript. Only the genres requested by each mentor will be considered for the contest. Writers may only apply to 4 mentors max. Mentors will only consider the categories they’ve signed up for. (The mentors’ categories – MG, YA, NA, or Adult – are set.) Writers cannot apply for a mentor that is not in their category or the application will be deleted. No nonfiction, picture books, chapter books, or previously published works. (If you’re an unagented author and have self-published before, you may enter the contest with a never-before-published manuscript.) WARNING: Just like an agent, mentors may request more pages...

Read More
A Pitch Wars Success Interview with Summer Spence and Evelyn Skye
Jul18

A Pitch Wars Success Interview with Summer Spence and Evelyn Skye

The best part of the contests for us around here is when we hear about successes. Today we celebrate Summer Spence and her Pitch Wars mentor Evelyn Skye! Nina recently signed with Heather Flaherty of The Bent Agency, and we couldn’t be more thrilled for her. So without further ado, please meet Summer and Evelyn as they recap their epically awesome Pitch Wars success story. Summer, what made you decide to send a Pitch Wars application to Evelyn? Oh, man, I STALKED all of the mentors—er, I mean I researched them thoroughly—before submitting. I wanted to be sure not only that they were looking for my type of book, but that we would mesh in other ways, too. When I chatted with Evelyn and asked a (moronic) question, and she responded with a high dose of sarcasm, I knew we’d be just fine. All of the mentors I submitted to were so gracious and helpful, but with Evelyn, there was a little spark of mischief… which suits me perfectly. Evelyn, what about Summer’s application made you choose her? Haha, I don’t even remember your question, Summer, or my sarcastic answer. But I’m so glad it worked! I fell in love with Summer’s manuscript from the very first lines. And the concept of the story itself! Wow. Two lost princes from long ago, a castle in modern day England, magic… *swoon* Summer, tell us about the revision period for Pitch Wars? The revision period for me was INSANE. Evelyn warned me before we started that she’d be asking a lot of me. And she wasn’t kidding. She wouldn’t accept anything less than what she knew was my best. She called me on a lot of bad habits I didn’t even know I had. AND, she didn’t hesitate to tell me that I needed to re-write almost a quarter of my book. But even with such a massive task, I didn’t worry — her critiques were right on, and she was there for me 150% of the way. I think my revision was fueled on her faith in me and in my story. She was always there — whenever I had a question, or hit a road block, or just to chat and remind myself that I’m HUMAN. That was the best part about having Evelyn as my mentor — she is just about the best human on this planet. She’s become so much more than a mentor. She’s my friend. And I’m so lucky for it. The book stuff was just icing on the cake. Evelyn, tell us about your experience with mentoring Summer. How was mentoring your other team members?...

Read More
Day Thirteen of July’s First Page Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentors …  Kara Leigh Miller & Max Wirestone
Jul17

Day Thirteen of July’s First Page Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentors … Kara Leigh Miller & Max Wirestone

Welcome to July’s First Page Workshop with some of our past and present PitchWars mentors. From a Rafflecopter lottery drawing, we selected many wonderful writers to participate in the workshop. Each mentor has graciously critiqued a first page for one lucky writer. The writers are anonymous. Follow along all month to view the first page critiques. We welcome comments and further suggestions, but please keep them kind and respectful. Here are the next two mentors and their critiques … Kara Leigh Miller Website | Twitter | Facebook Kara lives in Upstate New York with her husband, three kids, three dogs, and three cats. When she’s not busy writing romance novels that leave readers swooning, she’s spending time with her family or attending one of her many writers groups. An active member of The Romance Writers of America and the CNY Writers Haven, Kara is also Managing Editor for Anaiah Press’ Surge and Romance Imprints. She absolutely loves to hear from her fans and fellow authors, so feel free to drop her a line anytime! About Kara’s Book… He’s fighting to forget his past while she struggles to remember hers… Doctor Josh Parker lives with guilt about his wife’s death every day. He believes himself incapable of ever loving again, but when a mysterious woman arrives in the Emergency Room, brutally beaten and left for dead, he starts to feel something he hasn’t felt in far too long: hope. Alessandra Matthews has no memory of the events that led to her being hospitalized. Worse, she has no idea who hurt her or why. Although she’s uncertain of who she is, she is fully aware of one thing—she’s falling for her doctor. Sometimes, what you don’t know can kill you… As Josh and Alessa work to solve the mystery surrounding her past, she soon realizes just how much danger she’s really in, but Josh refuses to let her face the darkness of her memories alone. With each of them struggling to put their pasts behind them, theirs is a DANGEROUS LOVE. ADD TO GOODREADS AMAZON B&N ANAIAH PRESS Kara’s first page critique … Smoke and sulfur billow up my nose from the frothy mess and stink of demon death. (Dig deeper here. HOW does it smell? Let your readers experience it, too.) The torrential downpour I’d created, by blowing up my spaceship in the atmosphere, (Aw, why don’t we get to see this?) dissolves the army of demons sent by Hell to kill me. This is a fantastically dark opening! 🙂 It certainly makes me want to keep reading, which is good. I spread my arms, and tilt my face to Jupiter, the gas giant forever looming...

Read More