Pitch Wars 2019 Wishlist

About Me

I am an Adult Mentor for Pitch Wars 2019. This is my first year as a mentor, but I have provided feedback and critiques in other settings.

My debut novel,  The Conductors, is set to arrive in July 2020. It’s an historical fantasy set in 1870s Philadelphia following a pair of former underground railroad conductors solving murder and mayhem with magic.

 

Why Me?

Think of me less of a mentor and more of a guide that will  show you the path to unlock the story you set out to write.  I will point places of concerns,  prompt to expand in certain places,  and overall get you to think deeper about your book. 

While I particular tastes in story, I’m not a book snob and I have read widely not just in fantasy and science fiction, but in other genres as well. 

I’ll communicate mostly through email but I promise to respond promptly whenever you have questions or concerns.

 

For all categories…

I’m looking for Adult stories and I will also consider any that fall into New Adult territory.

 I would love to see a story with one (or a combination) of the following :

  • Established & committed romantic relationships (no break ups! no cheating!) 
  • Friendships as the core relationship story (doesn’t ended romantically but with a stronger friendship!)
  • Strong family (or found family) dynamics. 

 

 

What I’m Looking For…

 

Overall I’m primarily interested in fantasy stories.  It’s the genre I’m most familiar with and can best guide towards.   I am most interested in the following categories:

 

Historical Fantasy, Steampunk (or any of the “punks”), and Alternative History

I am particularly keen on history that highlights people whose accomplishments seldom make mainstream history.   I’d love to see STEM topics, particularly astrology, botany, zoology, physics, either on its own or with a fantastical twist it.  I would especially enjoying seeing  obscure bits of history that isn’t mainstream,  or even niche.

 I definitely want to see the fantastical element woven into the DNA of the story. 

 

 Epic or High Fantasy 

Give me your witches, your scholars of ancient history, your knights, and your humble tailors.  Show me your dragons, griffins, or talking carnivorous plants.   Tell me about larger than life characters,  quests to save the world,  and juicy political drama..

 

I’m also interested in…

 

  Paranormal, Contemporary (aka Urban), or Lighthearted Fantasy 

 I’m looking for something fun, that doesn’t take itself too seriously.    Give me your quiet stories with stakes that aren’t about the world ending but saving the local bodega from getting set afire by dragons.   Superhero novels also fall into this area.

 

Space Opera, “Soft” Science Fiction, and Science Fiction with a touch of romance

I want to explore the universe with a motley crew, see alien planets, and maybe not necessarily get involved in a galactic war.   I don’t mind romance thrown into the mix, but it shouldn’t be overwhelming.

 

Retellings

Give me your best spin on a well-known classic from myth and fairy tales, to Shakespeare, to Jane Austen and more.  Doesn’t matter how you do it, all I care about is celebrating the best parts and breathing new life into familiar tales!

 

Also interested, but not my top priority…

 

General Mystery or Cozy Mystery

Contemporary Romance

My top interests are seeing diverse characters taking on the tropes of the genre.   I’d love to see something about food (eating or cooking), STEM topics (computers to botany to genetics and more), theater  and other performing arts,  and  various Geek topics ( DnD,  video games, comic books, etc). 

 

A few things that don’t excite me:

  • Time Travel
  • Portal Fantasy
  • Faeries / Unseelie Court
  • Stories told between alternative time periods (character A in present time and character B in the past time that referenced by character A)

 

Questions? Email me at: nicole.g.pitchwars@gmail.com

Happy writing!

 

 

 



Pitch Wars 2019 Adult Mentors’ Wish Lists

  1. Paris Wynters
  2. Kathleen Barber (Accepts NA)
  3. Ian Barnes
  4. Mary Ann Marlowe (Accepts NA)
  5. Elizabeth Little
  6. Hayley Stone and Erin A. Tidwell
  7. Gwynne Jackson (Accepts NA)
  8. Maxym M. Martineau (Accepts NA)
  9. Katie Golding (Accepts NA)
  10. Ava Reid and Rachel Morris (Accepts NA)
  11. Carolyne Topdjian
  12. Natalka Burian
  13. Tim Akers
  14. Alex Segura
  15. Michelle Hauck and Carrie Callaghan (Accepts NA)
  16. Laura Brown (Accepts NA)
  17. Mia P. Manansala and Kellye Garrett (Accepts NA)
  18. Kerbie Addis and Ren Hutchings (Accepts NA)
  19. Susan Bishop Crispell (Accepts NA)
  20. Kelly Siskind and Heather Van Fleet (Accepts NA)
  21. Janet Walden-West and Anne Raven (Accepts NA)
  22. Kate Lansing (Accepts NA)
  23. Kristen Lepionka and Ernie Chiara
  24. Alexa Martin and Suzanne Park (Accepts NA)
  25. Gia de Cadenet (Accepts NA)
  26. Rob Hart
  27. Layne Fargo and Halley Sutton
  28. Michael Chorost (Accepts NA)
  29. Sarah Remy (Accepts NA)
  30. Nicole Glover (Accepts NA)
  31. Farah Heron (Accepts NA)
  32. Samantha Rajaram
  33. Keena Roberts (Accepts NA)
  34. Rebecca Enzor (Accepts NA)
  35. Matthew Quinn Martin (Accepts NA)
  36. Denny S. Bryce (Accepts NA)
  37. Meryl Wilsner and Rosie Danan (Accepts NA)
  38. P.J. Vernon and Kelly J. Ford (Accepts NA)
  39. Gladys Quinn (Accepts NA)
  40. Diana A. Hicks (Accepts NA)
  41. Damyanti Biswas
  42. Stephen Morgan (Accepts NA)

 

Pitch Wars 2019 Young Adult Mentors’ Wish Lists

  1. Aiden Thomas (Accepts NA)
  2. Kelsey Rodkey and Rachel Lynn Solomon
  3. Nancy Werlin
  4. Olivia Hinebaugh
  5. Abigail Johnson
  6. Rebecca Schaeffer
  7. Rebecca Coffindaffer (Accepts NA)
  8. Laurie Dennison
  9. Sam Taylor
  10. ST Sterlings (Accepts NA)
  11. Brenda Drake and Kyle T. Cowan (Accepts NA)
  12. Carrie Allen and Sabrina Lotfi
  13. J. Elle
  14. Andrea Contos (Accepts NA)
  15. Raquel Vasquez Gilliland and Sandra Proudman (Accepts NA)
  16. Ayana Gray (Accepts NA)
  17. Susan Lee and Auriane Desombre
  18. Julia Ember (Accepts NA)
  19. SA Patel
  20. Kat Dunn (Accepts NA)
  21. Sonia Hartl and Annette Christie
  22. Jesse Q. Sutanto
  23. Ray Stoeve
  24. Aty S. Behsam and Kylie Schachte
  25. Cole Nagamatsu
  26. Rachel Griffin
  27. Adalyn Grace
  28. Adrienne Tooley and Kelly Quindlen (Accepts NA)
  29. Ciannon Smart and Deborah Falaye
  30. Kristin Lambert, Sasha Peyton Smith
  31. Kimberly Gabriel and Dawn Ius
  32. Lyndsay Ely
  33. Jamie Howard
  34. Jenna Lincoln (Accepts NA)
  35. Jen Marie Hawkins and Anna Birch (Accepts NA)
  36. Judy I. Lin
  37. Leila Siddiqui
  38. Zach Hines (Accepts NA)
  39. Hoda Agharazi
  40. Michaela Greer (Accepts NA)
  41. Liz Lawson and Jeff Bishop (Accepts NA)
  42. Lindsey Frydman (Accepts NA)
  43. Chelsea Hensley (Accepts NA)
  44. Isabel Ibañez

 

Pitch Wars 2019 Middle Grade Mentors’ Wish Lists

  1. K.C. Held
  2. Kit Rosewater and Ash Van Otterloo
  3. Amanda Panitch
  4. Graci Kim and Karah Sutton
  5. Sarah Suk and Julie Abe
  6. Erin Entrada Kelly
  7. Rebecca Petruck
  8. Adrianna Cuevas and Sarah Kapit
  9. Kim Long and Jennifer L. Brown
  10. TJ Ohler
  11. Eric Bell
  12. Lacee Little and Bronwyn Clark
  13. Jessica Bayliss
  14. Shakirah Bourne
  15. Sean Easley
  16. Nicole Melleby and A.J. Sass
  17. Julie Artz and Jessica Vitalis
  18. Maria Frazer and Meera Trehan
  19. Rajani LaRocca and Remy Lai
  20. Nicole Panteleakos

Charmingly Cursed

While this is related a bit to this, it is a rather different project together. Drawn heavily by fairy tales, I modeled each character after the tale and then put my own twist on them. For example the main character in Charmingly Cursed, is a princess with a keen interest in the stars and affinity for magic. She spent the last few years locked up in a tower, and her mage mother’s fear of trouble left her protection spells that had turned her hair unusual shade of gold. When she finds the means to escape she tags along with a would be thief who turns out to be a princess seeking to regain her own kingdom. Along the way the pair rescue other princesses from peril, and learn that the enchantments placed on them were done by chance.

This was originally a series that followed a different princess, and explored a vast world with conflicts both on the small and large scale. I tabled it mostly because I realized the characters would be better served in another tale. altogether.

The Desert Windup Spider

I started The Desert Windup Spider happened back when steampunk was popular. Set in a secondary world where the Black Death decimated the European side of the Eurasian continent so much the conquest and colonization of the world never happened.

The story follows Mijiza, an inventor whose created a dozen inventions to save lives of soldiers and civilians during a civil war, but the last one she is most famous for is the one that had wiped entire villages off the face of the earth. The story is set in the aftermath where the past exploits and new scandals make her life difficult.

I did a lot of interesting research for this story. From inventions circa late 19th century, to the London Blitz, to World Fairs, to East African countries and their respective histories, and to the infamous Beale Ciphers. While I liked the characters ( supporting characters were a code breaking linguistic, a mail courier who did everything not to lose a package, and a doctor who dabble in poisons) , and certain subplots, I didn’t have an arching story to keep it all together. Which explains why I rewrote this story at least 20 times, with the latest cut thrust it into the future with spaceships and blasters, before admitting defeat. I have banished this story, but still mine it for characters, motifs, and the atmosphere of a world recently recovered from war.


Lesson Learn From Rubato

Keisha Adams has two great loves, her cello and food. With dreams of opening her own restaurant one day, Keisha’s plans to learn all she can from her aunt who had worked in some of the best kitchens around the country. However when her aunt is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s, their lessons become overshadowed with desperation and painful loss that becomes real more and more each day.

Hoping to escape the pressure to live up to her family’s expectations, Keisha lands a lottery spot in a summer music program, where things are no less simpler but if she can handle tedious practice schedules, intense rivalries, and learn just how fast she can run with a cello strapped to her back, she might just be able to figure out how to bring all elements in her life into perfect harmony.

Heroes Indeed

A mock cover for novel starring Maggie Wu, the youngest daughter in a family of superheroes.

Maggie biggest mistake was choosing a college not far from home. Not only is she expected to help out her with family’s event planning company, her attempts to go solo on crime fighting keeps getting crashed by her older siblings who still see her as the kid that doesn’t know to control her own powers. However when given a mission to unmask a vigilante that had been appearing in the city, she finds instead of criminal a friend she didn’t know as well as she thought she did…..

Charmless

I have a deep love for video games, mostly RPG and related variants. When I was working on a fairy tale story I wanted it to be like a video game. The characters were made a party with specific yet convenient skill sets, there was a main goal that kept being forgotten due to more interesting side quests, boss battles they meet at different stages of the journey, and a sprawling open ended world. I ended up putting this aside, but there are lots of things I liked about the story, including the video game concepts I came up for it.

The gist of the idea was pretty simple, a party of characters that representative Rapunzel, Snow White, Frog Prince, etc go adventures, look for treasure, save the world, and break the curses cast on them. simple stuff, plus I did research into more obscure European fairy tales and looked to included fairy tales and folklore from around the world.

Simple Mathematics

Way back when I stumble across a post that took a poetic term to few mathematical terms. It caught my interest and became inspiration for as I learned the nuts and bolts of Photoshop.

The idea for the following images were whimsical love stories that may or may not work out in the end, but for long as they lasted made all the sense in the world.

Side Trips or My Visit to the NY Transit Museum

I took a trip to NYC the other day,  as a treat for myself in a year of exciting changes.    I didn’t have much of a plan —  I never do when I go on vacation for some reason.   I plan everything else from arrival to hotels, and even where I’ll grab food.   But everything else, happens without much planning.

It makes it fun a way.  I get to explore parts of city I hadn’t seen before and do things I haven’t planned.  While I had a short list of things I wanted to do or see,  the Transit Museum only happened because it was nearby.

I’m glad it did., for it one of the highlights of my trip.

One of the stories I’ve been working on takes place in the earliest days of the subway system (1922 to be exact).  While I found a bounty of web resources, maps I had to squint to read, and a single book in my local library,  it was just enough to cobble together a scene move on.  After visiting  this museum, I wanted to rewrite it to add in all this i discovered.

Built inside an old subway station (naturally)  you get a crash course in  the history from the first station to modern subway system.  There lots of artifacts from days long past and several earlier turnstiles (btw fare evasion was problem back then too, there was a whole case of slug used to put in machine instead of fare token).   There are tons of subway maps,  tour guide from the old days, and lots of posters and signs.   The best part for me was the actual subway cars housed in the lowest part of the station.

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There are several cars dating from 1912 always the up to 1960s,  and it was fascinating to walk through them, comparing them to their modern siblings.   I could even tell the age of the cars by a glance, as they were reflective of their eras.

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It’s a small museum, but if you like history or have interest in transportation I recommend a visit.  There’s plenty to see and explore!

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