A Little About Me
This'll be my third year mentoring, and I'm so excited to get this party started. I'm a mama of two and a book mama of one, with three on the way. I'm published with Macmillan, under their Tor/Forge imprint. My novel, Becoming Bonnie, is the coming-of-age origin story of how wholesome Bonnelyn Parker becomes half of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde duo during the 1920s. Next year, the companion novel Bonnie will be hitting shelves, telling the duo's crime spree story. I'll also be beginning a narrative nonfiction series, called Brave Like Me, with Scholastic for middle graders. As a mentor, I believe I can bring some experience to the table as far as working with editors and publishers, along with agents. I am repped by Stacey Glick of Dystel, Goderich & Bourret.
Also, if you want to get an idea of how I became agented and received my offer of publication, I wrote about it over on Writer's Digest (as you'll see, I'm a real believer in Pitch Wars). I'd also love for you to get an idea of my writing style. If you hop on over to Amazon and click "Look Inside" on the cover, you can preview the first chapter or so.
What I'm Looking For
This year for PItch Wars, I'm narrowing my wish list considerably. I'm looking for... adult historical fiction. That's it. If you've got it, I want to see it.
For me, any era will do. I'm down with various subgenres: women's fiction, mystery, thriller, fantasy, literary. Male or female protagonists. Past or present. First or third POV. What will push your submission to the top of my consideration are these two factors:
1. An intriguing concept
Books that I get grabby hands over have a high-level concept (i.e. premises that are easily explained) that I simply have no choice but to see how the author brought it to life. Here's a few examples of books that recently had me itching to read.
2. Great technical writing
I don't need your manuscript to be perfect, but I'd like to know you put in the time to prepare for Pitch Wars. That shows me you're ready to work. Your solid writing skills will also give me confidence that you'll be able to expertly implement feedback. My friend Google has tons of checklists/tips for ways to tighten and improve technical writing, so I'd recommend giving those a gander before the submission window opens.
Basically, dangle your killer concept and your awesome writing skills in my face, and, if chosen as my mentee, together we can work through any plot-related and character-related improvements.
What questions do ya have for me? Don't be shy, just give me a shout @jennilwalsh or leave me a comment!
Disclaimer: I know this is vague, but my interests in historical fiction are vast. I literally choose books by covers (which you obviously don't have yet) and a great premise. What keeps me turning the page is great writing (hence my two points above).
Also, please consider donating while applying. I won't see a penny of it (nor should I; I'm contributing my time/energy to an awesome cause: your career). Likewise, Brenda and her admins won't profit from your donation. Your hard-earned money will go toward offsetting the high financial and time-related costs of running this amazing contest.
To check out the other Adult/NA mentors--because you get to submit to four of us (plus two additional mentors if you donate)--keep hopping:
Thank you to AudioFile Magazine for giving Becoming Bonnie and narrator Susan Bennett the Earphones Award!
See the full review here.
Thank you to Shelf Awareness for the kind words and review of Becoming Bonnie!
Jenni L. Walsh imagines the story of the quintessential good girl turned gangster's moll in her debut novel, Becoming Bonnie. Bonnelyn Parker has always been a straight-A student and a straight-arrow girl. Since her daddy died, she's toiled extra hard to help her mama around the house while working nights and weekends at a local diner. But times are tight in Prohibition-era Dallas, and when Bonnelyn loses her diner job, she's not sure how her family will make ends meet. Her rebellious best friend Blanche drags her along to Doc's, a local speakeasy that might have jobs for them both, and Bonnelyn starts down a different path--one that will change both her life and name.
See the review on Shelf Awareness here.