Pitch Wars 2018 Wish List

Hi Pitch Warriors! Thanks for checking out my wish list. You can find the full 2018 Pitch Wars Mentor Blog Hop here.

First things first: I am only taking Adult manuscripts.
(New Adult isn’t really a thing in the genres I’m seeking, but college-aged protagonists are totally fine; just no YA or MG.)

In terms of genre, I’m mainly interested in suspense, thriller, and horror. If your book doesn’t fit neatly into one of these genres, but has elements of them, that’s cool too – I love genre-bendy things! I’ll also consider women’s fiction and literary fiction, as long as they’re on the darker side.

Here’s a list of my favorite authors, to give you a sense of the types of books I tend to enjoy:

Megan Abbott / Tara Isabella Burton / Chelsea Cain /
JP Delaney / Gillian Flynn / Amy Gentry / Araminta Hall /
Sophie Jaff / Jessica Knoll / Kristen Lepionka / Anna North /
Alissa Nutting / Riley Sager / Zoje Stage / Ruth Ware

Some more specifics about what I’m hoping to find in my inbox (with GIFs!):

I’m drawn to stories about awful people being awful to each other. If anyone has ever told you your female characters are “unlikable” or “heinous irredeemable bitches,” I’ll probably adore them.

I would love to find a manuscript with a not-so-secret feminist agenda and/or authentic LGBTQ rep. I’m bisexual so especially passionate about books with bi characters (and no, they don’t have to “prove” their bisexuality by sleeping with both men and women on the page).

I’m a sucker for Gothic settings and Brontë-style broody men, but no fainting damsels in distress please. Give me your love stories where everyone involved is so fucked up, they deserve each other. Love triangles welcome (or love rhombi, pentagons, hexagons…if there’s angst, I’m here for it).

Some speculative elements are fine (for example, I love tense and disturbing very-near-future stuff like Ex Machina and Black Mirror) but I’m not the best mentor for pure sci-fi or fantasy books.

While I am open to literary fiction, some semblance of plot is a must! I love beautiful writing as much as the next bibliophile, but I’ll choose a page-turning story over pretty words every time.

There’s not much that would scare me off in terms of sex, violence, or other graphic content, though serial killers tend to be a hard sell for me, especially if they’re preying only on women.

I’m not opposed to manuscripts involving sexual assault as a story element, either, but when rape is used just to give a female character a more “sympathetic” backstory…

In general, the darker and twistier the better! Light, sweet, and happily-ever-after are not my thing.

And finally, in case you’re interested, here’s a little bit about me beyond what’s on my bio page:

I was a mentee last year, after trying to get into Pitch Wars twice before. My mentor was the lovely Nina Laurin, author of Girl Last Seen and What My Sister Knew. I’d added a second POV to my manuscript in the month leading up to Pitch Wars, and Nina helped me flesh out the voice and psychology of both POV characters, as well as fix a lot of structural issues in the middle of the book.

Shortly after the agent round, I signed with Sharon Pelletier of Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. I did get agent interest from Pitch Wars, but Sharon and I connected through good-old-fashioned querying. And now my debut novel Temper (formerly known as Victim Control) is coming out in the summer of 2019 from Gallery Books.

By day I’m a Knowledge Manager for a data company, and I have a background in library science. So unsurprisingly I’m a plotter through-and-through, partial to the Save the Cat beat sheet, Scrivener, and way-too-elaborate spreadsheets. That said, my place as a mentor isn’t to tell you how to do your work. I’m here to help, but you know best what works for you and what doesn’t in terms of process.

As far as feedback style, I can be pretty blunt, but it comes from a place of love. I see the mentor / mentee relationship as a partnership between equals, and I’m hoping to find a mentee whose publishing career I can cheer on for many years to come!

If you have questions about my wish list, feel free to hit me up on Twitter @LayneFargo or get in touch via my contact form.
Pitch Wars 2018 Adult/NA Mentors

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Copyright © 2018 by Layne Fargo
All Photos by Katharine Hannah