2018 pitch wars wishlist

Hello! You're here because you're looking for an ADULT Pitch Wars mentor. I'd like to be that mentor for you. Give me your black girls doing bad things! A Pasifika dame controlling the room and running her crew! Give me an LGBTQ version of Laura by Vera Caspary and I may weep. Gimme Gimme Gimme!

Step right up and tell me all about your character's crimes. That burglary gone wrong. The dead body they need help burying. The revenge they're after. Is it a mystery you're writing? Is it suspense? A thriller? All the above? Or is it a straightforward crime novel? I'd like to help it along. And yes, I wanna see your New Adult (NA) crime/mystery/suspense novel too.

Come on over and let's talk guns, knives, and assorted blunt objects. Let's dig into plot points, big and small. Character arcs, major and minor. Tell me about the casino heist they're running from, your male character's cheating boyfriend, and the found family built up around this life--how they help and hamper it. Is your book sad? Are your characters funny and lethal? Do you want them to be? Let's figure that out together. Mostly by email but let’s set up times to call each other too. Maybe get in a little FaceTime if that works for you. Chapter by chapter we will run through it. I'll make suggestions. I'll give you excellent marginalia. 

I am so excited to be a part of Pitch Wars. I want to be a part of your writing community. Before I published my book, I had people to chat with about what I was afraid of in my writing and what my dreams were for my characters. I want to do that for you.

What do I like? Tequila, good hands, and a classic story turned on its head. I like Ken Bruen but the Jack Taylor series (The Guard, etc.) and not The White Trilogy. I love all Megan Abbott has ever written (Queenpin Queenpin Queenpin!). Walter Mosley's P.I. series, both Rawlins and McGill. All of Elmore Leonard's writing. His novels and short stories, be they westerns or otherwise. Also PATRICIA HIGHSMITH. 

Below are some books that grabbed me and haven't let go. They are stories I return to again and again. Sometimes to figure out how they did that thing and sometimes because they just entertain me. Lie to me, break my heart, make me laugh, and I'll keep turning pages even when I don't want to. 

Kiss Her Goodbye by Allan Guthrie

Miami Purity by Vicki Hendricks (forever and always)

Caught Stealing by Charlie Huston

The Longshot by Katie Kitamura

The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain

Laura by Vera Caspary

The Ice Harvest by Scott Phillips

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

Yellow Medicine by Anthony Neil Smith

The Clare DeWitt series by Sara Gran

Sea of Rust by C. Robert Cargill

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

Go With Me by Castle Freeman

The Friends of Eddie Coyle by George V Higgins

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill

Dope by Sara Gran

GBH by Ted Lewis

The Last Place You Look by Kristin Lepionka

The Wheelman by Duane Swiercyznski

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger


I'm partial to criminals over law enforcement; unreliable narrators over inebriated PIs. Let's talk cozy mysteries. I'm not your girl for a cozy mysteries. That goes for children tortured or raped or manhandled in any terrible/tragic way. I can handle dead bodies I don't want read how they got that way in excruciating detail. That said, I'm willing to be convinced.

Why me? I am new at this mentor thing but not at writing or publishing. I've had stories in Amazon's Day One journal, Shotgun Honey, Bartleby Snopes, Betty Fedora and Thuglit. That Thuglit story, Our Man Julian, made the 2016 Best American Mystery Stories Distinguished Story list. I published my novel, All Things Violent, with those badasses over at Fahrenheit Press (Y'all, get you a publisher who gives a damn and you'll never be disappointed). 

Let's do this. I can't wait to read your work. 


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