I'm so excited to be back for my second year of mentoring as part of the WriteMentor summer programme!
Last year I had two talented mentees, each working on their own impressive YA novels (scroll down to see what they said about working with me).
Who am I?
I'm a writer of YA novels, as well as short stories and flash fiction. I'm represented by Felicity Blunt at Curtis Brown and my debut is scheduled for publication in 2022. My novels are set in near future dystopias, fast-paced and riddled with villains.
When I'm not writing I'm with my four children (and two guinea pigs) at our home in rural Lincolnshire.
What am I looking for?
I'm looking for YA novels set in strange worlds, whether it's the future, the past, alternate timeline, post-apocalyptic, or a world inhabited by the supernatural. Send me your sci-fi, thriller, horror and fantasy. Dystopia, horror, and a new take on witches or vampires would be top of my list. Ooh and parasites.
I like fast-paced novels, great cliff hangers, irresistible hooks, tight prose and snappy dialogue. A good villain will always get me reading on.
What to avoid
I'm not a good fit for high fantasy (I'd be of no use to the next Tolkien) and hard sci-fi (a little sci-fi is good). Bizarro, surrealism, absurdism are all hard sells.
Please no books that condone homophobia, transphobia, racism, misogyny or ableism, and please no very graphic depictions of violence and abuse (especially towards children and animals). A little sexy time is fine, but I'm not looking for erotica. A little violence is fine as long as it serves the narrative.
Who I'm looking for
I am looking for a mentee who's ready to dive into the world of submissions, and who wants to go through their manuscript with a fine tooth comb. My mentee will be open to bouncing new ideas around, to being brutal if something isn't working, and someone who will take critique for what it's meant to be; a way to take their work up a notch.
What to expect
I always give feedback as tracked changes/comments as well as longer more general feedback. You can expect me to be extremely picky. I will never read a typo without flagging it (because what if we forget it next read through?), and I'll correct formatting errors even if I've picked the same one up a hundred times already. So, expect A LOT of red pen.
I'm a fan of very hard editing, cutting chapters, scenes, characters that don't work and paring dialogue down to its snappy essentials.
I will provide an initial detailed response to the whole manuscript. Once you've had chance to digest the feedback we can have a face-to-face to discuss (or by email if you'd prefer). Then I'm happy to give further feedback as you work chapter by chapter, or to do a second read through later in the summer. I'm also here for guidance on submission packages, synopses, cover letters etc.
If you have any other questions or just want to have a chat to see if we'd be a good fit you can reach me by email at , on Instagram (preferably) or on Twitter. I'll be available for the Twitter live chat 7-8pm GMT on 13th April.