NOTE: N quite SFW, but if you angle your screen away from the boss before the last GIF, you should be good.
What I’m listening to: We Will Rock You – Queen
Welcome to the dark side––I have brownies, and that is a recipe I will only share with my subs. Muahahahahaha! Because guess what, Bishes??? I’m a Pitch Wars Mentor. Aaaagggghhhh! Keep reading for my 2020 Adult wishlist.
I’m a late addition to the 2020 Pitch Wars Adult lineup (pinch-hitting for the amazing Kelly Siskind who is well…amazing, AND has better ink than I do which makes her my girl crush). But rest assured, I know what I like and I’ve been through the Pitch Wars, first as a hopeful, then a mentee, on to not getting an agent right away, then finding the perfect agent, and finally…selling my Pitch Wars book.
What’s Pitch Wars, you ask?
It’s a mentoring program where unagented writers submit manuscripts to agented/published authors (mentors) to help them make the manuscript its very best ahead of an agent showcase. Not gonna lie, that few months working on your manuscript is intense, but in the end, the mentee has a beautiful little book baby that stands its best possible chance of grabbing an agent’s attention.
For more info on the ins and outs, start here.
If you haven’t yet, visit #PitchWars on Twitter. The community is invaluable. Go forth and make writer-buddies. Check out the Pitch Wars forums and get involved in the hashtag fun times. Because one of the best possible things hopefuls can take away from Pitch Wars is the community that surrounds it.
But first, read on to understand why you might-should-maybe submit your words to me.
I’m a midwestern girl, but I’ve lived in Dallas for the last decade with my husband, a Clumber Spaniel puppy named Smithwick’s (Smitty, or Smithole when he’s an a**hole), and a rescued Cane Corso named Brennan who is my princess. I cuss a lot. I like both my beer and my whiskey tall, dark, and (mostly) Irish. I have an extensive collection of Vans, and a polka-dot bow tattooed on my middle finger for those special occasions when someone deserves the bird.
via GIPHY Lucifer Morningstar premature wing unfurling
I started writing seriously while I was having a series of knee surgeries (seven actually) that kept me from working. My first manuscript was about a chubby female engineer with a filthy mouth and the frontman who wanted to rock her bod. After scouring mentor wishlists like you are, that story became my 2016 Pitch Wars manuscript and subsequently, my 2019 debut.
It got some props––a starred review here, a Best Book of the Month there. The 2019 Bookseller’s Best Erotic Romance (I like the steam). Currently, I’m working on The Unlovabulls series with Carina Press, the first of which is slated for release in December.
Along the way, I co-founded a thing with my writing squad called AllTheKissing.com. We spawned the #FridayKiss prompts on Twitter, and I’m (mostly) the one to blame for #KissPitch. I also contribute to The Curvy Fashionista.
If you want to know more about me, feel free to snoop around my Twitter or Instagram, and Facebook page, because I can’t say I haven’t done some light stalkery things to Pitch Wars mentors, my damn self (check out this blast from the past).
Now, my strengths. Characterizations. Settings. Descriptions. I’m good at writing about settings as a secondary character. Plot holes. Pacing issues. And cultivating a STRONG UNIQUE VOICE. My weakness–-because I’m honest like that––I will never catch all your typos. I make waaay too many of my own to do that.
And finally, here it is…my Pitch Wars wishlist.
My Pitch Wars Mentor Wishlist
First and foremost, I––and my Pitch Wars wishlist––am diversity-friendly. I write #ownvoices and encourage underrepresented writers and those writing own voices to submit to me if you have something that fits my wishlist.
I am only accepting manuscripts in the Adult category in Romance and Women’s Fiction.
BUT I am open to a lot in those genres so let’s get to it, shall we? If you have something that isn’t listed but you think I might like it or have questions about whether it’s right for me, hit me up on Twitter or the Pitch Wars forums (links at the end). I don’t bite. Often.
I want to laugh and feel the depth of your characters as they grow. Do they have a strong character arc? Are they flawed and real? Please, please, please, send them to me. I am also all about strong women, and female friendships with a hardy plot as well.
Do you have a Pitch Perfect reboot?
What about Insecure, or a Sex and the City reboot with diverse characters?
Orange Is the New Black or Grace and Frankie?
Diverse Golden Girls with Millenials, Gen Z, or Gen X?
How about Good Girls?
I also hope to see women in STEM or other careers where women are underrepresented.
Perhaps your heroine likes to sleep with lots of men, but doesn’t need another person to get her HEA? (grabby hands). I want to be able to root for your characters to kick some ass whether it’s climbing the corporate ladder, finding her inner strength, or shaking off the societal norms.
I am less likely to go for a family saga manuscript as I am a story that’s focused on one or two characters’ growth and relationships. I don’t require a romantic arc, but I do appreciate it. Also, magical realism is my catnip.
Does your manuscript fit in there somewhere? SEND IT TO ME!
First and foremost, follow the romance rules. Your manuscript must have a central love story and follow the romance arc. If it doesn’t end in a HEA (happily ever after) or HFN (happy for now), it’s not a romance manuscript. But if it does meet the criteria…
What are my favorite tropes, you ask? Whoa boy. Here’s a list.
Strong Heroines/Unlikeable Heroines
I’m open to all heat levels including erotic romance, but for reference, I write and prefer open door boinking. Bring on the magical realism as well. I love a little bit of the fantastic (ask me about my talking rum).
I’m accepting these romance sub-genres:
- Contemporary Romance
- UNLIKABLE HEROINES – If she would shock the pearl-clutchers please send her to me.
- Doggos and puppers of any kind.
- Football, baseball, basketball, hockey, but also outside the box sports. I.e. MMA, cycling, extreme sports like BMX, skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing, boxing, auto racing, etc. Give me your adrenaline seekers. AND I AM HERE FOR YOUR FEMALE ATHLETES.
- Rock stars — especially the ones that aren’t quite stars yet, and definitely your female rock stars.
- Stories heavy with music of all kinds (except country – sorry).
- Alpha males, but with a healthy dose of Alpha female to counter.
- Bad boys with a good heart – Tattoos are a plus.
- Blue-collar anybody/white-collar person – think mechanics, construction workers, etc.
- Confident Beta and cinnamon rolls––I’ve got a sweet tooth.
- Freaks in the sheets and gentlepersons in the streets.
- Tattoos peeking out from suit cuffs (caaaat niiiiip).
- Sexy firefighters.
- Tortured heroes.
- Foul-mouthed, snarky heroines – Tattoos are a plus.
- Someone, please give me a Gen X love story…Pretty please?
- Character-driven storylines.
- Contemporary Romance
- FAT HEROINES—YAAASSSS GIVE ME ALL YOUR CHUBBY GIRLS, YOUR CURVY LADIES, AND YOUR PLUS-SIZE BAD ASSES.
- BONUS POINTS IF THE CHARACTER DOESN’T HAVE A FOOD-RELATED CAREER.
- I’m happy to get heroines making their journey from insecure to secure.
- I’m ecstatic to get heroines who are already secure in their bodies.
- I am completely here for your BOPO (body positivity) warriors.
- Travel Romance — take me away, please. Some of my favorites are:
- The Mediterranean
- The Pacific Northwest
- Anywhere tropical with sand
- New Orleans
- Basically anywhere but where I live, because Covid sucks
- Travel Romance — take me away, please. Some of my favorites are:
- Particularly with gender-swaps.
- Light Romantic Suspense
- If it includes elements from above and has a suspense plotline, please send it to me.
- Fantasy Romance
- Paint me all the pictures. I love being immersed in other worlds. Take me to far off places and show me all the magic.
- Paranormal Romance
- Give me your werepire-shifter-faries who are falling madly in love with your merpeople-demon-sprites while hiding out in New Orleans (or the like).
- Erotic Romance
- Throuples of any combination.
- Reverse menage.
- Light BDSM and kink – Do you have a heroine that’s a Dom? Please tell me you do. We all need to have someone like this in our lives, granted that we make sure to be aware of an abusive BDSM relationship. Whilst this is rare, it can happen, so if you’re interested in this type of thing (no judgements here), make sure that you pick the right person to interact with. When you have, do you imagine them using a latex vacuum bed in order to enhance their sexual experience? Who am I kidding? You probably never heard of this kind of bed!
- New Adult
- I prefer a solid plot with character growth. I may ask that you age the characters up to adult if it’s beneficial to your plot.
Please Don’t Send Me…
- Stories with abuse, rape, incest, sexism, nonconsensual or violent sexual acts, even if those things happen off-page.
- Racist, anti-LGBTQ+, anti-Semitic, or body-shaming agendas disguised as manuscripts.
- Hate speech of any kind.
- Pandemic or politically-based stories rooted in real world-politics.
- Anything dystopian.
- Historical Romance (of any kind).
- Sci-fi romance.
- Inspirational or religious-based works.
- Eating disorders.
Some of my one-click authors and a picture of my dogs
- Helen Hoang
- Kresley Cole
- Roni Loren
- Talia Hibbert
- Gena Showalter
- JR Ward
- Rebecca Yarros
- Jen Deluca
- Elia Winters
- Christina Lauren
- Helena Hunting
- Sarina Bown
- Alexa Martin
- Maxym M. Martineau
- Penny Reid
- Erin Morgenstern
- Kennedy Ryan
My Ideal Mentee
I still have a wonderful relationship with my Pitch Wars mentor. If I have questions about writing or publishing, I can call her any time, and she’s still teaching me and cheering me on four years later. I’d like to have that kind of relationship with my mentee as well.
If your manuscript is shiny and polished, meets my wishlist, you’re open to suggestions for improvement, and don’t mind my f-bombs, then Buttercup, I am your Westley.
What I’ll expect is that you’re open to feedback and understand that communication is crucial between teammates. Because that’s what we are––a team. I’ll be there every step of the process. Pitch Wars isn’t just about one manuscript, it’s about filling up your writing toolbox for future manuscripts as well. My mentee should understand that this is an intense process of brainstorming, editing, rewriting, and hopefully, learning things that you’ll carry forward. I will be your cheerleader whether you want me or not. I can be your shoulder if you need one. All I ask in return is that you come to me with an open mind and willing to do the work.
If you’re ready to do those things, are open to feedback, like to laugh through the hard parts, are okay with a potty-mouthed mentor, and want to be part of a team, then you are my Ideal Mentee (let’s do this, bish!).
My Mentoring Style
I like to gush about what I love. I’ll be your biggest cheerleader, nurture your ideas, and watch you run with them and I’m going to wholly fangirl about your writing because I already love it. I think that’s super-important to your sense of accomplishment, mindset, and success moving forward. Should I request more material from you, we can talk about how you like to receive critique.
If selected as my mentee, we’ll assess strengths and weaknesses, and how to improve the latter while making the former work for you to create the best possible story. Should characterization be an issue, we’d discuss character sheets. When we have a plot issue, I’ll help you brainstorm plot holes. If your voice is outstanding, we’ll discuss how to parlay that into character development, etc. Expect some homework.
We can have as many conversations as we need to get a game plan together and work through developmental edits, (but please be mindful I have responsibilities and deadlines, too). I prefer Zoom, but phone or email works, too. I fully believe it’s my responsibility to explain why the changes would improve the story, too. I don’t expect you to follow, blindly. If we disagree about something, we’d work to find a solution that serves the story. On the off chance we couldn’t find that sweet spot…this is your work. Not mine.
After you’ve finished developmental edits, I’ll read it again and come back to you with any tweaks as well as copy edits. Next, as time allows, we’ll work on your query and showcase pitch because you kicked the shiznit out of your developmental edits, didn’t you? Hell yes, you did, you rock star!
Do I sound like someone you want to work with? I hope so because I want to see all your beautiful words in my inbox when the submission window opens.
My, oh my, this is going to be so much fun. I know you have lots of Pitch Wars wishlists to go through, but I hope you’ll consider subbing to me. As far as team names, I’m thinking #TeamPizzaSloth? Well…I’m open to suggestions.
If you’re uncertain about whether your story is what I’m looking for, just ask. Hit me on Twitter (my DMs are open there until the submission window ends) or at my AMA on the Pitch Wars forum: https://pitchwars.proboards.com/thread/3048/ama-2020-tricia-lynne-adult. Please don’t email me directly with Pitch Wars questions unless you can’t use either of the other contact methods.
Whew, I could use a drink now. Here comes that last GIF I warned you about…
Good luck, hopefuls!