Oh hey. ‘Sup. I see you checkin’ me out. How you doin’?

I’m Lisa, a hopeful mentee for the 2016 #pitchwars. I write contemporary adult romance set in Scotland, peppered with some lolz.

*wipes drool*

Still reading? Sweet. Let me tell you a bit more about myself, what I write, what I’m looking for, and what you can expect from me as a mentee.

About me (stuff fit for public consumption…)

Personality: Humor is the key to my heart. I like to laugh. I like to make others laugh. I’m loyal and dedicated.

Day job: I work as the PR person for a mid-sized university (social media and media relations). I do a lot of non-fiction writing through that. I’m also working on a master’s degree in archaeology. I’m sure that’ll become part of my fiction repertoire at some point.

Likes: I adore unicorns, rainbows, Justin Trudeau, and traveling. The Olympic Peninsula in Washington is my favorite place to go when I can’t get to Scotland. C’mon, when is someone going to invent teleportation?! I’m a sucker for crime dramas like Law & Order SVU and any UK ones.

^ Yup.

I was recently sorted into Slytherin via Pottermore. I’m now in therapy – questioning my entire life.

I’m a cancer survivor and that seems to keep cropping up in my books. But in the inspirational “kick cancer’s ass” sort of way – not the “oh my god this is too sad, why am I reading something so sad when real life is awful enough” sort of way. Coming up on my three year remission anniversary assuming my tests come back clear next month *crosses fingers, toes, eyes and legs* *falls over* Don’t try that while standing.

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Oh hey, that’s me as a chemo baldie. Obligatory photo of my soft coated wheaten terrier, Rufus.

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^ Before I lost my hair I had my long hair cut into a mullet. This may help you understand my sense of humor. Not pictured: pack of cigs rolled up in my Bob Seger t-shirt sleeve.

 

What I write

Novel-length contemporary romance of about 90,000 words with an HEA. I’m also testing the waters of writing romance short stories. Hoping that will help me learn to write tighter. I’ve completed the first book in a series set in Scotland and am nearly done with the second. Book one is what I’m submitting to this amazing contest.

BEST LAID PLANS IN SCOTLAND: An American woman leaves her cheating boyfriend behind to serve as maid of honor for her oldest friend. Destination wedding in Scotland, holla! Guests of the intimate wedding spend a week on a private tour of Western Scotland before the festivities. Cue: sexy Scottish tour guide hero. One week. Small bus. Beautiful landscapes. Meow.

Basically, I’m writing the books I want to live, err, read. The ones that let me explore fantasies of traveling to Scotland and meeting a hunky, wonderful man. With a panty dropping accent, of course. I want my books to pack an emotional punch while being humorous. I want ya to laugh, cry, laugh again then go out and book airfare to Scotland because you *absolutely* have to see it for yourself. I mean, c’mon, look at this place:

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*No filter. Photo I snapped in Ullapool last September. The header of my website is also a pic I took. THIS IS A REAL PLACE PEOPLE. NOT PHOTOSHOPPED.

 

What I’m looking for in a mentor

Someone who will be straight with me. I want to make this romance publishing career dream a reality. I’m comfortable with direct feedback, in fact, I embrace it. I know I have a lot to learn and I’m desperate for a fresh perspective and guidance. I want someone to be friends with as much as to be mentored by. This seems like an incredible community and I’m in it for the long-haul. I’d love to make some lasting relationships and build a support network.

I’m currently working with a mentor over the summer on a variety of things related to my fiction writing (through Savvy Author’s mentor program). See? I’m serious about this stuff, yo. The mentor-mentee relationship works well for me. I’m ready to take this book to the next level with the Pitch Wars mentor of my dreams to get this MS ready for prime time. Halp pweeeeez!

Specific areas I’d love extra support in: pacing, characterization, deep POV, sexual tension, realistic dialogue (especially of male characters), better incorporation of diversity (of any form).

 

What you can expect from me as a mentee

I’ll work hard. I’ll put in the time and effort. I’ll listen to what you have to say and take your ideas and feedback seriously. I’ll bust my ass. I’ll be a good friend and support for you too! I’ll send you gifs and try to make you laugh.

Let’s do this.

* * *

Pssst, hey mentors I submit to (or submitted if you’re reading this after Aug. 3), I have a special message for you.

BEST LAID PLANS IN SCOTLAND is the first book I finished. And by finished I mean took it beyond a dialogue heavy draft, pushed through the sagging middle, really dove head first in to revisions. I’ve been writing off and on for a while, but life experience has led me to this point. I have the drive and desire to do this. I’m there. I understand it’s going to be brutal. It won’t be easy. I will likely cry regularly throughout my career.

I’m still game.

My polish of this MS is no where near perfect. I’ve gone through and color coded the whole thing for dialogue, narrative, internal dialogue, action, and visceral action/emotion. This helped me trim down areas that were overwhelming and beef up parts that were scarce. I did a find-replace to change all kinds of weak words (felt, seemed, was, just), -ing words, and -ly words to caps so I could spot them (and cry over how much I rely on them). I have gone line-by-line through it to try and tighten, show more than tell, clean up those lazy words, and more. I say this to tell you that while revision is hard and scares me, I put the sweat in.

With that said, I still need help. In many ways I know where I need help and I am desperate for someone with more experience to help me see how things can be fixed. I’ve been so far in the weeds that I can’t see the forest (did I use that metaphor right?). I’m a fast learner and when someone points things out I am good about remembering and improving. For example, the mentor I mentioned above taught me about deep POV. She showed me a few places where I could use it – I learned it – then incorporated it in the rest of the book (still could be better though).

I would love your opinions and suggestions to help me improve areas like:
-picking up the pace
-upping the stakes
-improving GMC to boost tension
-torturing my characters more
-increasing sexual tension
-identifying my crutches (my characters nod, grin and smile too much and I start too many sentences with “he” or “she”)

The list continues. What I’m getting at is – I know I need help. I want your help. I have the attitude, dedication and heart to take this seriously. I have the time to dedicate to revisions during the contest period. I’ve made timelines, done character worksheets, created beat sheets – but it’s so in my head I’m not sure what’s coming across the page well. That’s where you come in with your smexy brain and good ideas.

I want this. I’m ready.

^ My game face.