Hello there budding Pitch Wars aficionados. I am so excited you decided to swing by to check out which category I am mentoring, and which genres I am hoping to see in my inbox.
But first … a little about me.
I’m Scarlett Cole, and I write contemporary romance and contemporary romantic suspense. I'm repped by Beth Phelan (who I adore) at The Bent Agency. St. Martin’s Press released my debut, The Strongest Steel, book one of The Second Circle Tattoos Series, on July 7th. It has already become an amazon best seller in the romantic suspense genre. My editor is the lovely Lizzie Poteet.
I’m technically a full time writer, although there are days when I truthfully acknowledge that I'm a part-time internet surfer. This is my first year as a Pitch Wars Mentor, but I'm an A-type personality and a Scorpio star sign. Competing comes naturally and I am dying to be blown away by your submissions.
Feel free to find me on twitter @itsscarlettcole if you have anything specific to ask.
So what am I looking for?
I’ve been warned that narrowing my genres might limit my submissions, but I know you lovely people have some stunning manuscripts for me.
I’m looking for women’s fiction and romance. If I could get the perfect mash up of both, even better. Either way, I’m on a quest for the happy ever after, but not before generous helpings of tension and conflict. I want to be so gripped by your story, whatever it is, that I can’t go to sleep at 2am because I have to know how it ends. Keep me on the edge of my seat.
In romance, I have a strong preference for contemporary, romantic suspense, and historical. I’ll take everything from sweet to super-hot. I’m all for instant chemistry, but give me something more than flash and burn. If yours is inspirational, I am probably not the right mentor for you. At the RWA conference in New York, the panel on trends said paranormal is on a downswing, so any new books need to be absolutely stand out. If yours fits that bill, send it along.
I am really hoping to see some strong heroines/protagonists with great character arcs. Send me your broken and bruised, but wow me with their stories as they head toward their happy ever after. Give them flaws, make them human, but no dramarama conflict for the sake of it.
Bring me your bad … An evil antagonist, a monopolistic business, a corrupt administration – anything that will make me wonder how our h/H will survive. Think big stakes, people.
Send me your small towns, submit your big cities, bring me your boats, tropical islands, and the Highlands … wherever it takes place, I want to feel your location as if it were a character in the story. Immerse me in the surroundings.
In romance, alphas all the way, baby … not a huge fan of jerks, so give me redeeming characteristics that temper bad boys. Betas don’t really float my boat, but I won’t automatically dismiss them if they wrapped up in a hugely distinctive women’s fiction premise where the protagonist’s journey is the spotlight.
I’d love to see sensitively handled and well-researched social issues.
Random notes: I prefer third person, but I won't reject a first person manuscript as long as the voice is authentically adult. If you are unsure if I'm interested in your genre, ask me on twitter.
What kind of CP/Mentor am I?
· I’m very straightforward. I spent years as a senior vice president of a $34 billion company. So I am a straight shooter. I want you to be successful, and I want to help get you there. I’ll tell you what works (the fun stuff) and will offer feedback on what doesn’t (the not-so-fun-but-oh-so-good stuff).
· I don’t expect you to make all the changes I suggest. My job is to challenge your thinking. I’m fortunate to have a great group of CPs who do that for me. I get how difficult it can be to have someone suggest you remove your favorite scene because it doesn’t develop the plot (true story), but this should be a partnership and you should totally feel comfortable to push back. My only request is that you think through the suggestion objectively before doing that.
· I am a character/plot/structure/pacing person – if you are looking for someone to fix commas or line edit, I am not the mentor you are looking for. (Tell me you didn’t say that like Obi-Wan).
I can't wait to see what you have to show me, I'm ready to be dazzled.
I'll leave you with this. Here is what my own CP, and fellow Pitch Wars mentor Laura Salters has to say:
Whopping great rounds of applause go out to Brenda Drake for her organization of this event. You can follow her here: http://www.brenda-drake.com/
And here are my amazing fellow mentors. Check out their blogs to see what they are looking for.