Pick Me!!! To Be Your #PitchWars Mentor!!


I'm really excited (Also, insane. Also, late to the party, but here and ready!) to be a ninja mentor in Brenda Drake’s PITCH WARS. I'm on the search for a fantastic MS and writer--and hey, maybe it will be you! Check out my info and see if I'm a fit!! 

--Also, if you haven’t heard about #PitchWars, it’s a great opportunity to work with an agented and/or published author and other industry insiders (EDITOR! Me!) on polishing your MS and presenting it to an awesome collection of agents. Check out the link above if you’re interested in more information! (Also, thanks to my friend Lindsay--from whom I stole all these details.) 

About Me

I’m Danielle, a YA author and Senior Editor at Spencer Hill Press. So, I read and edit MSs a lot--I swear I know what I'm doing. My debut novel Follow Me Through Darkness comes out in 2014, so that's exciting. When I'm not writing or editing or taking care of interns and admin stuff (yes, I'm crazy!) I am a nanny and housekeeper! I live in NoVa, just outside of DC, but I move around a lot. I generally love good stories, fantastic characters and Supernatural, Doctor Who & Shameless are my top three favorite shows (currently). I'm fun, random and easy going--and one day I may overcome my desire to be British. Maybe. 

 What I’m Looking For 

Okay, so in this contest, I am representing NA or YA. I'm most drawn to contemporary at the moment, but I'm not going to pass on something amazing if it's not contemporary. I love AMAZING CHARACTERS. I need books with voice and character and am drawn to those things immediately. I'm saying that up front because I'm about to tell you all the things I like, and you will be all "but those are completely opposite." I know. Be warned.

Beyond character and voice, I don't care if a book is funny or serious. There's room on my shelf for the light contemporary romances, the dark and twisty romance, the unexpected, the horror books, the gritty ghost stories and the books in space! I like it all (look at my About Me and below where I talk about TV. That should tell you.) I'm really driven by character -- probably even moreso than plot.

I like things that are creepy. I like things that make me laugh. I like things that make me cry.  I love a good romance, a good mystery, a good love triangle. I like snarky characters or unpredictable characters. I like ambigious hot boys (or girls) and a really fantastic villian or just an effed up story because "where did that come from?" I'd love to find something about vacation/travel, LOVE ACTUALLY type story with a lot of characters.

Do something bold and unique or make your story really stand out--if I can predict it then I'm bored. I love knights and King Arthur retellings, so if you have those I want! I'm not a huge fan of music stories (you know, the ones where so-and-so wants to do a and b in music but how can so-and-so find the way) just because there's never been anything unique. (surprise me!) I love family dynamics -- good or bad -- and hot boys. (Oh, I said that. It's still true.) I'd love to find a story where the couple are already together and stay together. I'm not a huge fantasy person (as in high fantasy) because it has to be done really, really well for me. But again, characters!

In summary: I like characters and voices that draw me in -- whatever their story.

Things I Love: 

So, I know I presented you with a wide variety of likes...so let me try to help you pair it down.  Here's the list of current editing projects releasing with SHP: The Dollhouse Asylum, Fireblood, Extracted, Sing Sweet Nightingale, Reclaimed

My DVR records these shows regularly. Or used to. Or they are in my Netflix que. So, this will maybe narrow it down a bit. Maybe...

Shameless (US) - Doctor Who - Supernatural - The Vampire Diaries - Nikita - Friends - New Girl - Nashville - Happy Endings - True Blood - Friday Night Lights (if you have a book like this, I want it.) - American Horror Story - Firefly - LOST - Once Upon a Time - One Tree Hill (if you have a book like this, I want it too) - Modern Family - Merlin - Camelot - Game of Thrones - Boy Meets World

Submission details.

Submissions have started and the cut of time for applications (query and first five pages of manuscript) is 8AM EST on December 5. Send your applications to brendadrakecontests@gmail.com. 

Writers can apply for up to 3 coaches. The coaches' categories are set. Coaches can only consider the categories they've signed up for. Writers cannot apply for a coach that is not in their categoryFor additional information about this contest go HERE

  •  This is open to finished manuscripts only. 
  • You may only enter one manuscript. 
  • Only the genres requested by each coach will be considered for the contest. 


Subject line: Pitch Wars 
Application: Coach Name you want to apply for: Title (Example: Pitch Wars Application: Brenda Drake: GONE WITH THE WIND)
Name: Your Name 
Genre: The genre of your manuscript 
Word Count: The word count of your manuscript 
Query letter here (embedded in email). Single spaced. No indentions. A space between each paragraph.First five pages of the manuscript here (embedded in email). Single spaced. No indentions. A space between each paragraph. 

REMINDER: You can send an application for up to 3 coaches. Check back soon for a complete list of the amazing agents participating in the contest. There's over a dozen!Today all the coaches are posting bios/wish lists on their blogs. So before choosing your top 3 picks, check all the coaches' posts in your category before deciding which coach to submit. To jump from blog to blog, just go to the main link here and check out the other coaches!! 

PICK ME PICK ME! And have fun..... (Also, forgive typos. I am out of it and had to write this REALLY fast.)



Since today is Thanksgiving -- HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! -- I thought I should write a list of what I'm thankful for. See, November has been really draining on me, so getting to look at the good things that happened aside from this month, well that's something I'm already thankful for. Maybe it can be a new start today that drives me past all the crap. Here's some of the things I'm thankful for!

  1. That my book is being published!! (In two years, but hey, yay! I can be thankful for it for another Thanksgiving.) 
  2. My amazing real life friends.
  3. My insanely awesome twitter friends.
  4. Twitter. 
  5. My sister 
  6. Patricia and family - for letting me spend my summer in the basement
  7. this new adventure in DC-area
  8. My new nanny family
  9. Spencer Hill Press
  10. Kate Kaynak - who let me start this journey as an editor that I love. (and be published!)
  11. My  #TeamDani SHP authors, who trust me and teach me so much every single day. They seriously are why I love my job. They have contagious passion, fear, hope, challenge and love of writing, of publishing, of characters that's inspiring. I love them! 
  12. Boston (because while you sucked some, you taught me a lot)
  13. my family
  14. That I get to create worlds and stories and meet characters
  15. Coffee
  16. MY JOB. All three of them. (writer, SHP editor, nanny/housekeeper.) Seriously. 
  17. The SHP interns. :) 
  18. A car that is not mine but that I drive - whew!
  19. Hope.
  20. 2013 and all the new adventures that I don't even know about yet. 
That's my shortlist! What are some things that YOU are thankful for?!?!?!

Enjoy your day! 



I was trying to work on my WIP today, because I have much to write and not much time to do it. And it's been going really badly. It's frustrating, when you want to write and can't seem to figure out the story or focus or anything. And it's especially sad when that time is during NaNo, a month devoted to writing.  I went into this with high hopes and determination.

Then all the things started happening.

And guys, they are potentially good things - nay, great things - but I can't keep up. I start a new job tomorrow, move on Saturday to a new place, am adjusting to living with a whole new set of people, edits come back for my editing projects, and there's a whole bunch of additional stuff that I can't even talk about.

I'm feeling a little like I'm not going to win at NaNo. I was beating myself up about it today, when Patricia reminded me that I'm in transition - and I suck in transitions.

Usually, I find myself a) procrastinating b) unable to write c) reading a lot of books since I can't do 'b' d) watching too much TV to help with 'a' e) over-thinking everything.

This is where I am right now. While the transitions are exciting they are very distracting.

At only four days into NaNo, I'm trying to believe I can do it. I'm going to write when and what I can, and let go of the words I don't get. Either way, words are words. And participating in NaNo while all my friends and my community is part of it, that's a whole lot of fun. :)

Hope everyone's off to a great start!

Me, I'm off to transition. (Again!)