I write young adult and adult science fiction and fantasy novels. I’m currently writing a YA SF, revising an adult SF, and querying an adult SF. I have a few really strong critique partners, but I’m always looking for 1-2 more as different partners filter through various writing and life seasons.
I like to bounce ideas off critique partners and check in with them for accountability, but I’m mostly looking for people who can critique a full manuscript once or twice a year whenever it’s ready. I usually let a MS rest for 2 months before revising, so that’s the kind of turnaround I’m hoping for. I expect to return the favor whenever my critique partners have their full manuscripts ready as well – even if it’s not the same time as me, or if it’s more often than me – and typically I can return them in a 4-8 week time frame.
I also run a beta reading group for writers of young adult and adult science fiction and fantasy. We have about 20 members so far and our goal is to maintain high numbers so everyone can have 3-5 beta readers at any given time they have their full manuscript ready to post for a final read before querying and/or self-publishing. If you’re interested in either connecting with me or just getting information about the beta reading group I’d love to hear from you!
Outside of writing I’m a wife, mother of four kids (10, 8, 3, 18 months), former labor and delivery nurse, and photographer. I don’t really have hobbies because I keep turning my hobbies into jobs…
I mostly read science fiction and fantasy, but occasionally I go for a good contemporary romance, like Kasie West or Abigail Johnson’s. I prefer soft science fiction (dystopian, near future) and lighter fantasy (super powers, urban fantasy). I read some space SF, but think Beth Revis or Erin Bowman, not Star Wars. I also read some epic fantasy, but it needs to be character driven because I’m not big on loads of description. I’m not really into angels/demons or vampires/werewolves either.
Some of my favorite authors are Mary E. Pearson, Leigh Bardugo, Marissa Meyer, and of course Suzanne Collins and JK Rowling.
The only hard no I have is probably rape and/or sex scenes, and even then, if you tell me a book has one or two and you’re okay with me skimming over them, I will still read the rest of the book.
Very rough first draft query:
Sixteen-year-old Deak beat cancer the first time around, but when his leukemia comes back, he avoids his minuscule odds of survival by regularly escaping to the world he’s created on the virtual web—until he discovers he’s a clone.
When he learns his original died from the same leukemia, and his “mom” thought scientists would have a cure before he met the same fate, Deak signs up for a virtual support group for clones, where dozens of other kids have similar stories and harbor similar bitterness for their confusing existence. While undergoing chemo, Deak turns to the brother he’s always known as his uncle and the father he’d been told was a deadbeat to figure out if his loving mother even sees him as his own person.
Before Deak can work through his own identity, his mom admits she plans to clone him again if he dies, potentially putting a third “Deak” through the same existence with cancer. Desperate to be seen as an individual and to prevent a future kid from suffering, Deak and his dad hire a lawyer in the virtual world to fight for Deak’s rights to his DNA while Deak fights for his life in the real world. Except Deak’s no longer sure if he’s fighting for the right thing when beating his mom in court will mean alienating the person who’s loved him most as he lays dying.
Mom never likes me using the virtual web. Something about it melting my brain or maybe scrambling my neurons. She gave up on that battle when I was diagnosed with leukemia. Countless hours of chemo and forced isolation meant I needed a place to escape.
I want to escape there now, but I’m still sitting in the exam room at Dr. Jacobs’ office. He expects a response. I glance at Mom. She usually does the talking. She always had an opinion or question every time they started a new treatment or showed up with new lab results.
Mom’s red lipstick stands out painfully against her pale face. Her eyes travel over me as if seeing a ghost. She shakes her head, mute after hearing the doctor’s words.
The cancer is back.
Her shock breaks me out of my own.
“Now what?” My voice cracks as the words leave my mouth. I’d be embarrassed if Maddie[ Maddie is the girl he had a crush on a dated temporarily while undergoing chemo the first time around. They were 14 and immature and he broke up with her because of his issues and ever since then he’s still had a thing for her but never felt like he could do anything about it because of how he screwed up.] was in the room, but Dr. Jacobs and Mom have seen me pee my pants while throwing up. I’m past caring what they think.
“First we’ll need to do a bone marrow aspiration to confirm, but the amount of lymphoblasts in your differential make it unlikely to be anything else.” He sighs and scratches the bald spot on his head. When I lost my hair after the first round of chemo, he asked how I was doing with it. I told him at least my hair would grow back, and asked how he was doing with his hair loss.
My adult projects tend to dance around topics about pregnancy and infertility – as a labor and delivery nurse I enjoy those topics, and I feel like infertility and pregnancy loss are real issues that are rarely addressed in fiction. But I add in crazy diseases and artificial wombs and things to spice it up and keep it from feeling too real.
I have a MG fantasy idea I’m going to experiment with for NaNo and I have other YA/A fantasy ideas that I keep meaning to work on but the SF stuff tends to draw me in first. So they will remain on the back burner until I have SF writer’s block.
Here are some best practices for reaching out to a potential CP:
- Include the link to your own CP Match profile! You can find it on your Dashboard. Don't have one yet? What are you waiting for? Anyone with a WriteOnCon.org account can make one!
- Introduce yourself a little, and say what appealed to you about their listing.
- Respect what's listed here in their profile. They took the time to fill it out, and they've included this information for a reason. Don't send a message about a book they specifically say is a Hard No, for example.
- Offer to swap a small sample of your works, so you can see if you're really compatible. First chapters are a good starting place.
- If one party no longer wants to continue the interaction, it's nobody's fault. Sometimes finding the right CP takes time.
Happy writing and CPing!