I had writer’s remorse when I read the amazing interviews with fellow Pitchwars mentees and their mentors on Brenda Drake‘s blog. When asked about what they are looking forward to the most, many of them gushed about their mentors.
Me? I answered that one like I was doing a job interview. I still stand by my answer, but feel sad that people may not know how amazing my mentor, Kelly Siskind, is. But then I thought, Ha! I can tell the world! (or at least my blog followers).
So here it is, my Top 5 Reasons Kelly Siskind is the Right Mentor for Me (and amazeballs):
5. I got a Peen Tiara just for being her mentee. It keeps you warmer at night than diamonds.
4. She loves my main male character (MC) as much as I do. She makes comments like, “he tears my heart out. Shreds it.” She’s even virtually licked his face (and he liked it).
3. We speak the same language, and I’m not talking about French. We use and understand words and terms like, “lurve”, “that’s what she said”, “amazeballs”, and when we hear the word “open”, our first thought is not about a door.
2. She gets my manuscript. Like really gets it. She shares the same vision I have for my story, but my glasses are blurry and hers are so clean, you could light a fire with them. Her recommendations all make sense and I already can see how much better Unspeakable will be.
1.When I told her a critique partner thought my MC was too hot, her response was, “FUCK THAT NOISE UP THE ASS.” Sigh. She gets me. She really gets me.
This was in a recent email I opened. And it was the best, most exciting email I have received in a very long time.
Now, now, friends and blog followers. Before you go asking, “Did you get a book deal, JR?!” I want you to remember what I said about how these things don’t happen overnight. Before you can get the elusive book deal, several things need to happen:
(1) Write your novel (√)
(2) Revise and rewrite large parts of your novel (√)
(3) Edit (√)
(4) Repeat step 3 several times (√√√ etc.)
(5) Get feedback from beta readers and/or critique partners √
(5) Repeat steps 2 and 3.√
(6) Hire an editor. √ This is a step that is specific to me. I hired an editor because, despite the positive feedback I was receiving, I still felt that the manuscript could be better. I had concerns about pacing, character and story arc, etc. I needed someone in the writing and editing field to help me with it.
(7) Several rounds of edits later, the manuscript is deemed ready to query.
(8) Write query and repeat steps, 1 through 4. √
(9) Query agents. √
(10) Offer of representation. X
(11) Agent requests edits. X
(12) Repeat step 2.
(13) Agent submits proposal to publishers.X
(14) Book deal?
Are you picking up what I’m throwing down? I won’t be announcing a book deal anytime soon. Now that we have our expectations in line, I’m hoping that you’ll be excited to hear my news!
In a recent post I talked about how I went into step 9, and after some feedback from some lovely agents, I’m back to step 2: Revise and rewrite.
I need help with this manuscript to make it better. And I’ve been searching for someone in the industry who knows the genre and understands what I’m trying to accomplish with Unspeakable.
It’s an online contest where published or agented authors (or editors) pick one lucky writer to mentor. (The writer’s who enter can submit to five of the potential mentors). If selected, Mentors help the writer (Mentee) edit and polish their manuscript until it shines like Justin Beiber’s hair under the California sun. At the end of two months (yup, two months!) of mentoring and editing etc. there’s an agent round where several amazeballs agents can see the writer’s pitch and first chapter and possibly request further material – basically, this is an opportunity to get beyond the slush pile.
This contest is brilliant and amazing for so many reasons! If selected, you can end up working with a writer you respect and admire. A person who knows the industry and truly understands what editors, agents and readers want. It’s a swoon worthy opportunity.
Sadly, there were only 100 125 spots and about 1600 entries. So, basically 96% of the entries won’t get the opportunity to be mentored. But on the plus side, many of the mentors gave detailed feedback to several of the writers who submitted to them. And guess what?!?!
I got some great, detailed feedback.
Like really, really detailed. Like, go over my manuscript with the most insightful fine tooth comb feedback.
Because I was selected as a MENTEE!!!
The AMAZING fellow Canuck, super hilarious and talented, Kelly Siskind is my PITCHWARS MENTOR (and yes, I am shouting).
Because this is a HUGE, GINORMOUS opportunity. I NEED this. I finally found the right person to steer my manuscript in the right direction, and better than that, I know I will learn so much about the craft of writing as a whole. I am beyond elated. It’s going to be a lot of work, but I’m ready!
SO, huge shout out and thanks to Brenda Drake who created Pitchwars, and to Kelly Siskind for selecting me. I hope I won’t disappoint.