Friday, 1 August 2014

Pitch Wars Mentor Bio & Wish List

It's Pitch Wars 2014!!!!  And I am blessed to be a mentor, which means I get to work with one of you fantabulous people!  So...how are you?  What are you writing?  And I want to know why you write it!


Oooh, nothing like a picture of the beach for a winter Pitch Wars!  Lol.  Actually, it's perfect for a writer who lives in sunny Cyprus in the Mediterranean, which is yours truly!  (yeah, and I would totally bribe summer holidays if I can get your rocking pitch!).

Since you've stopped here (thank you!), it's time for me to tell you a little about me and you can consider whether I'm the right mentor for you.  If you're still here after that, then you can have a look at my wish list and see if we're a good match.  I encourage you to ask questions and you can leave comments on the site and I'll do my best to answer.  I am a big fan of communication, transparency and honesty.

Right, time to sell myself...

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P.S. Here's an extra "why you should pick me" - Both my previous mentees raked in lots of requests over the months, and my first mentee published her book "Awakenings".

There is a HELP ME button when it comes to me being your mentor...see...



Nifty, eh?

Okay, for me, the competition is not a popularity contest.  If I'm not the right mentor for you, then that's fine - what I want is for EVERY writer to get the best opportunity, whether it's with me or another mentor.  Our goal is to achieve goals - as many as we can for as many people as we can.

That said, it's time for me to tell you what genres I am looking for.







* YA only (sorry adult and MG folks - I love you, but I can only have one genre!
* Folklore (preferably little known, ethnic, or a very original slant on known folklore)
* Mythology (same as above)
* Historical or alternate historical (nor romance only based; I prefer more action)
* Anything with an archaeological, religious, historical bent (preferably in thriller form)
* Very original mysteries
* Literary
* Epistolary novels, novels in verse, or something unusual and unique (think outside the box)
* Gothic

Those are the best genres that fit with me.  I will look at contemporary and straight thrillers, but they are not high on my list so would have to be spectacular to catch my eye.  I am not really the girl for trope romance (but I will look at original romance), science fiction (I love it but it's not for me this year), epic fantasy (I've had an overload lately), or anything supernatural (unless it has witches, mythology or is folklore based - no common tropes please).

Okay, now you know what genres I like, here's some tips on what catches my eye (still with me?):



*  I am a sucker for unique structure (novels in verse, epistolary, something unique)
* Scene reversals and unexpected twists capture me
* Characters doing unexpected things that still fall within their realm of logic
* Gorgeous writing - show me all the beautiful, sun-soaked, rain-splashed words you have
* Characters with multiple dimensions
* Tension, tension, tension
* Raw talent


P.S.  If anyone has worked through Donald Maas's book "Writing The Breakout Novel" I'd love to know.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments.  If you have a question you want to ask in private, ask me on DM on twitter.

Good luck and I can't wait to work with you!


P.S.  If you need any more convincing, here are some thoughts from my previous mentees:


"...During Pitch Wars the fabulous Fiona picked me, and my book Awakenings, to mentor. I was shocked, I was awed, I may have fainted...just a little though. After I recovered from the shock, Fiona and I got to work. Let me tell you, she was an absolute dream to work with! She was so supportive and the critiques she gave were right on the mark. My book came away cleaner and much stronger, so much so that on the day of the contest I got three full requests!


Just two months later I received a contract that I accepted. Awakenings hit the market and within three weeks broke into the 100 Best Selling YA Paranormals, making it all the way to number eighteen. I could not be more pleased with the results and I could not have picked a better mentor.

So what are you waiting for! Pick her and just bask in her awesomeness. You will not regret it. :)

J.E.Shannon author of Awakenings (Entranced Publishing)"


And from my other wonderful mentee:

"Hi all! I was lucky enough to be Fiona's pick during the last round of Pitch Wars. First, let me say this: Fiona picked me without requesting any additional material, so to everyone thinking "If I don't get a request, I didn't get picked", that may not be true.
Fiona was wonderful to work with. When she says "in-depth critique", she means it. She helped me with some of the more advanced writing mechanics, story structure and character development, and I know my novel is stronger for it. As a bonus, she is one of the most positive people I know. The only reasons I can think of to not consider Fiona is if: (1) you need a mentor to keep after you to get things done; (2) you don't like really great Scottish accents."

Jordan Teos, author of Melin's Flight

P.P.S  If you still need convincing...here's me teaching my horse how to pull a boat through a flooded forest.  HOW can you say no to that?  (Oh his name is Roger - the horse, not the boat!).

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Okay, so time for the mentor blog hop!  Please go and check them all out, as each and every one of them is amazing!


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24 comments:

  1. I was Fiona's Alernate for a YA Scifi in 2013 so I could rant and rave all day long, but I'll keep it short and sweet: PICK HER!!

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    1. Rachel is all kinds of awesome!!!!!!!

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  2. Is there a certain kind of mythology you're looking for?

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    1. Hi Nicole. I am looking for under represented mythologies. I am wide open as to which type. The more unusual, the better. If it combines ethnic qualities, ever more so! But as I said, I am very open to mythology. What did you have in mind?

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  3. It's involves known Greek mythology characters but takes their story and twists it all around and has a modern setting. Consists of a revenge plot and romance sub-plot.

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  4. I love Greece (I happen to live on one of the islands), so I know a lot of the mythology...if you can surprise me with it...then send it to me 100%. Remember, it's gotta surprise me!!!!

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  5. Hi Fiona,
    Would a nonlinear apocalyptic m/s be a good sub for (chapters alternate to before and after apocalypse)? Thanks!
    Chrystal

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    1. Hmm, this sounds interesting, Chrystal. Apocalyptic novels are a very tough sell just now, so I would say that it would have to be really unique and unusual to catch my eye. I like the nonlinear aspect (I can't resist an unusual structure!). If you think your book has something that other apocalyptic books don't have, then send it my way!

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  6. I'm a sucker for under explored mythology as well. My MS incorporates elements of Hawaiian mythology. I'm really hoping I can surprise you :)

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    1. OOH! Hawaiian sounds very interesting. I'd love to see it! Really. I adore unusual mythology!

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  7. Hi Fiona, I LOVE everything about your bio. Keep an eye out for my Persian historical fantasy (with elements of Zoroastrian mythology!) in Pitch Wars.

    Since we can't personalize, I'll just say 1. I have worked through WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL. 2. I live in Switzerland and send great gift packages (I figure bribery is fair since it's Pitch WARS). 3. PICK ME!!!!

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    1. Zoroastrian - I had to go Google - and this is a very good thing as it gets my interest levels ZOOMING! And you've used Donald Maas books? Music to my ears!

      Oooh....bribes...now there's a thought ;-)

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  8. Hi Fiona.
    Out of all the mentors I've read, I think you're the best fit for my book. Great accent too :) It's a book about young people training to be mystics during a budding cosmic war which threatens to destroy all the old ways of their lineage. It's an alternate world fantasy with mythology based on ancient Vedic and aboriginal world views, mixed in a home made sauce. Does that sound up your alley?
    Venu

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    1. Yes, yes, and yes. I love the mythology slant so it's definitely something I would want to read.And I can't resist homemade sauce, you know... ;-) Looking forward to seeing it!

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    2. great! oh, are you open to a book with a 100K word count? I've heard that in YA the max is usually about 80K, but there are exceptions. I'm open to cutting it down, but that's where it stands now. Thanks

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    3. Yes, I'm okay with that. It is too long, so I would insist that we trim it down though. I used to write too long as well, so I know it's a skill that needs to be cultivated for some writers. As long as you're happy to take cutting advice, then it's okay with me.

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  9. Would you consider Slavic myth and folklore underrepresented? I place the story in modern-day Detroit, so there's a mix of things, but I focus on the Slavic ones.

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    1. Definitely. I would LOVE to see this!!!!

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    2. Excellent, thank you for your time! :)

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  10. Would you be interested in Djinnn from the Middle Eastern mythology. They grant silly wishes, mess up people's destinies, look for human brides and whisper bad advice. My main character is a 16 year-old psychic emotional succubus.
    Thank you for your answer :)

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