Congrats on finishing your book and being ready to share it with the world! I was a mentee last year so I know you’re probably frantically visiting mentor websites, hoping to find your Pitch Wars soulmate. It’s the writer’s equivalent of speed dating: so many amazing people, not enough time to get to know them all.
With that in mind, I’ll get to the point with what I like to call…
Manuscript Wishlist: Marry, Shag, Kill
When it comes to my ideal Pitch Wars novel:
I’d marry a Mystery/Thriller/Suspense novel.
Mysteries are my first love and I’m pretty equal opportunity: traditional, cozy, humorous, amateur sleuth, P.I., police. Think Stephanie Plum. Think Spenser. Think Kinsey Millhone. Think Elvis Cole. Think Junior Bender. Think Benji Golden.
(I do, however, have a few turn offs: extremely dark subject matter involving rapists, pedophiles, child abusers and the like. They just don’t mesh well with my overactive imagination. I will make an exception if the concept is ridiculously clever, like Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter novels, though.)
With thrillers and suspense, the cooler the hook or twist, the better—especially if it involves spies, con artists, hitmen, assassins, heists, or just an everyday person thrust into extraordinary circumstances. Think John Grisham. Think Gillian Flynn. Think Paula Hawkins. Think Ian Hamilton. Think Owen Laukkanen.
I’d shag a Commercial Fiction novel.
Of course, if you don’t write mysteries, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to read your book. I love commercial fiction with lots of humor, interesting concepts (think Emily Giffin’s Something Borrowed) and/or kick-ass main characters (who can be either gay or straight).
(Extra credit if said character is a woman or of color.)
(Extra-extra credit if said character is a woman of color.)
Coming from an entertainment background, I’m also super into any novel involving pop culture. Think Kim Gruenenfelder’s A Total Waste of Makeup.
And I’d kill…
Trust me when I say that “It’s not you. It’s me.” — but I’m not interested in romance, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, historical, or anything involving those pesky aforementioned rapists, pedophiles, child abusers or any other character that will make me want to not even go to the bathroom by myself.
Here’s why you should choose to marry (and definitely not kill) me:
- I was Sarah Henning’s mentee last year! In fact, Pitch Wars is how I met my agent. (She offered me rep in a bar. I’ll tell you the whole story before we get to work on editing your manuscript.) Even though it’s been almost a year, I’m still all-too-familiar with being in the query trenches. I’d love to help make sure you don’t make the same mistakes I did.
- I’m a professional writer! Not only do I have two (very expensive) degrees in writing, it’s also the only thing I’ve ever done to keep myself well-fed and non-homeless. Having been both a magazine editor and a TV writer, I’m great at collaborating with other writers to figure out how to make their writing better while still keeping their unique voice.
- I used to teach writing! I spent a year teaching TV writing for Gotham Writers Workshop, so I have a lot of experience giving new writers gentle-but-necessary feedback to help them craft their story. Being a mystery writer and a former TV procedural writer, I’m especially good with plot and dialogue.
- I’m a fast reader! I’ll read your book and give you lots of detailed notes ranging from overall story points to nitpicky line edits that you’ll probably come to hate. I also have an annoying habit of putting smiley faces next to lines I love.
- In terms of communication, I will practically stalk you via email, text and G-chat. I’d rather give you a kidney than a phone call, though.
If my artful use of bullet points isn’t enough to entice you, here’s a short bio:
Kellye Garrett spent 8 years working in Hollywood, including a stint writing for the CBS drama “Cold Case.” People were always surprised to learn what she did for a living—probably because she seemed way too happy to be brainstorming ways to murder people. A former magazine editor, Kellye holds a B.S. in magazine writing from Florida A&M University and an MFA in screenwriting from USC’s famed film school. Having moved back to her native New Jersey, she spends her mornings commuting to Manhattan for her job at a leading media company—while still happily brainstorming ways to commit murder.
Her all-time favorite TV series are “Veronica Mars,” “The Closer,” “The Wire,” “The West Wing,” and the first two seasons of “Alias.” She also may be the only black woman in America who does not watch “Scandal” or “Empire.”
Pitch Wars is amazing and, honestly, you’ll be in good hands no matter which Mentors you submit to. Of course, I’d love for you to pick me!
If you have any questions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter or leave a comment below. Otherwise, I can’t wait to read your query and first chapter.
Now back to the Mentor Blog Hop…