I’m hoping to start querying a YA horror with speculative elements in March. I’m pitching it is SAWKILL GIRLS meets STRANGER THINGS in the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia. If you want to swap queries or a short synopsis and a few pages to see if we’re a fit, let me know.
I already have some wonderful betas and CPs, but I’m looking for maybe one other person’s perspective who’s hopefully really into character-driven horror and/or contemporary YA. If you love Stephen King and/or Claire Legrand or Bowman’s Contagion, let’s chat.
I have almost 10 years’ experience reading and writing YA under my belt, I’m in two live critique groups, and I was a 2018 Pitch Wars mentee on a prior project.
Some of my favorites: Nova Ren Suma, Stephen King, Christopher Pike, RL Stine/Fear Street, Claire Legrand!!! And many more. That’s what I primarily like to read, but I read and love all YA—especially contemporary, really different/fresh feeling fantasy, and psychological and/or character driven horror over gore. The common denominator for me is character-driven. I’m also big into Southern and diverse voices.
More about my voice: I sometimes describe my writing as Stephen King meets Christopher Pike on Fear Street with #blackgirlmagic. I’m more Nicola Yoon than Angie Thomas or Tiffany Jackson (although I read and love both—they’re great, they’re just not me!). I really like weird. I have a complicated love of the South (racism and bigotry but biscuits and a slower pace of life that just agrees with me. If I never saw another Confederate flag in my life, I’d be a happy girl but Southern twangs and hospitality and sweet tea! Get your unsweetened tea outta here! Sorry not sorry. We can still be friends, though.)
I’ve written many now trunked YA novels and have taken at least 5 previous ones to the query stage. The one I’m hoping to query soon feels like a step up as I’m truly in love with it in a way that hasn’t happened for me with prior projects. I’m hoping that’s not all in my head. That’s where you come in, future CP!
I love character driven novels that make me think. Oh, and books that contain a little of the magical or fantastical but are very much grounded in our world. I like scary, suspenseful things, but I also love love stories. Yeah, that’s broad, but so are my reading interests. Definitely character-driven above all else.
A few (more) of my favorites (and some worth repeating): Stephen King, Junot Diaz, Edwidge Danticat, James Baldwin, Maya Angelou, Angie Thomas, Nicola Yoon, Claire Legrand, Maggie Stiefvater, EL Lockhart, Sarah Dessen, Courtney Summers, Erin Bowman, Julie Murphy, Justina Ireland
I can’t think of any truly hard no’s, but I do find it harder to engage with fantasy that doesn’t have a really fresh twist and/or that’s not diverse and hard science fiction that lacks diversity. Character-driven is the most important thing for me. So if you have something that’s heavy on plot and light on character, that’s probably not for me, either. Along those lines, if it would appeal to fans of James Dashner or Tom Clancy or something along the lines of that whole feel, that’s probably the closest I get to a hard no.
SAWKILL GIRLS meets STRANGER THINGS in the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia.
Happy to swap a few pages to see if we’re a match.
Stephen King meets Christopher Pike on Fear Street with diverse characters/black girl magic.
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!