WHAT I AM LOOKING FOR:
Fantasy, Historical, Romance, Thriller, Dystopian, Paranormal, Time-Travel
In general: Upper YA/NA/crossover preferred, LQBTQIA+ and marginalized voices VERY welcome :), beautiful showing backdrops, and character forward novels.
Genre-bending speculative fiction.
Histfic with grounded magical elements.
All the romance in all the genres, I need someone to fight for subplot or main element.
If you can make me feel 17 again with angst and yearning like the song "Driver's License," I'm yours!
Vamps with a new spin (sexy or scary kind).
Bridgerton but feminist AF or Queer.
Outlander but YA or Queer (hello kilt-clad hero falling for the son of a laird from a rival clan, too specific? Lol).
Dark and twisty and goes there (but with purpose and the MC still has agency).
Unreliable narrators in Thrillers that keeps me guessing (YA Gone Girl would be swoon).
Books set in France or Scotland.
Fave tropes: one bed, forced proximity, bad boy with heart of gold (à la Rhys/Spike/Cardan).
Not a good fit for:
Mg/PB and Non-listed genres—these aren't ones I'm comfortable advising, I read more than my MSWL, but I don't know enough about the genre or market to mentor someone in them.
Fantasy that is more sci-fi than fantasy
Super epic fantasy like Tolkien
Misogynistic boys/MCs (unless they're being taken down ;) )
More than two POVs (Sorry 2 is around my limit unless a 3rd pops up once or twice for the story, but the reality is, even in my favorite authors, more than two makes me want to skip scenes and etc., there is always a weaker voice.)
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM ME:
I'm a grammar/word nerd. I specialize in line edits. I will most likely have something to say on every paragraph, if not line, of your MS. I love to talk craft, and I'll link resources in my comments, etc. I don't expect perfect. I am here to help elevate your writing and make it as shiny as possible. I'll slide into your Twitter DMs (probably at odd hours because I have young kids who don't sleep) and can be quite chatty. I'll communicate often and reply fairly fast. I'll offer transparency and will be honest. My feedback will be a lot, and critical. I don't tend to sugarcoat feedback. I try to mention what I love about my authors' books, but I feel I don't say it enough. Rest assured, if I choose you, it is because I loved it and feel I can champion it, even if I give tough edits.
If you need heavy developmental, I'll have you do a beat sheet, and we will work on plot. I'll offer ideas and suggestions in the edit letter as well. But if your plot needs heavy re-working versus tweaking, even if I love the concept, we won't be a fit, we just don't have the time.
I'll hope our partnership will extend past the contest as well.
WHAT I EXPECT FROM MY MENTEE:
I want a mentee who has open mindedness, is willing to reciprocate transparency and honesty, has the ability to meet deadlines, is willing to make tough cuts if needed, but will stand their ground if it really doesn't feel right for them. Willing to look at their MS with a critical eye and trust the process—feedback can be hard, you may hate me for a few days, but if you're willing to digest the information, work through it, and find solutions—your work will end up stronger.
Sarah J Maas
Karen Marie Moning