Welcome to #TeamThisKiss!
We are Laura Brown and Tif Marcelo, and we’re so excited to team up as Adult mentors for #PitchWars 2018.
We “met” three years ago, becoming fast friends and confidants, bonding over the query/submission process. We occasionally DM’d at first, then more regularly as part of a writer group, providing support and peer mentoring. Tif loved Laura’s empathy and drive and Laura loved Tif’s dedication and compassion. Together, we hope to provide this same support to you, our future mentee, as you take on these great steps toward publication.
Read on to find out about more about us, what we’re looking for, and what to expect from us:
Laura is a NA/A Contemporary Romance writer. She has two NA romances out with Avon books, SIGNS OF ATTRACTION and FRIEND (WITH BENEFITS) ZONE, and an upcoming Adult romance, A PERFECT MISTAKE, coming summer of 2019 with Lakewater Press. She’s proud to be Hard of Hearing and write about hearing loss. Laura has a degree in Deaf Studies from Boston University, which she used in her former career as a social worker, before burning out and turning to the family business (need window treatments? She’s your gal!). She’s a bit of a hopeless romantic: she married her high school sweetheart and they live with their son and two cats.
For more about Laura, you can check out her website: www.LauraBrownAuthor.com
Tif believes in and writes about heart-eyes romance, the strength of families, and the endurance of friendship. A veteran Army Nurse with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Public Administration, she is a craft enthusiast, food-lover and the occasional half-marathon runner. As a military spouse, she has moved nine times, and this adventure shows in some of her free-spirited characters. Tif currently lives in the DC area with her own real life military hero and four children. The Journey to the Heart series (Pocket Star/S&S) is her debut series, with a forthcoming women's fiction novel THE KEY TO HAPPILY EVER AFTER (Gallery Books) to be released in April 2019.
What we want:
All the romance!
Okay, not all, since we can’t have them all. Specifically we’re mentoring NA/A and what we’re looking for is pretty universal under the genres of Romance and Women’s Fiction with strong romantic elements. Here are a few things high on our wish list:
Things we’re not a good match for:
So, why choose us?
Laura is pretty open about being a contest junkie. She’s participated in quite a few as a hopeful, and always walked away with new knowledge, new friends, or both! She’s entered and not gotten picked, she’s been picked, and she’s been on the other side helping out. Since you’re reading this you probably already know, but she’s going mention it anyways: all sides have been super valuable! So pat yourself on the back for looking into Pitch Wars, you’ll find a lot more than a potential mentor with this contest.
Laura is a plot hunter. She loves nothing more than to find plot issues and point them out. And will go back and forth happily over issues until they shine! She loves seeing how things can be made better and stronger. She’s a revision nut. Some of her best work has come from revisions and she’s not afraid to rip things apart and put them back together. Laura also has a soft spot for kick-ass romance black moments and has developed a fondness for torturing characters.
Ultimately, Laura wants a book that grabs her heart. Make her laugh, make her cry, and win her over with swoon worthy kisses!
While this is Tif’s first year as a mentor, she’s had her share of experience. She spent 4 + years in the query trenches before she found her agent (and catching her attention via #PitMad), and sold her first series within six months. She came out with three books in 2017; her fourth in 2019 is a women’s fiction novel. But before then, she was a blogger for about a decade. She has judged manuscripts in RWA contests and has been an RWA member for six years. She is a Tall Poppy Writer. She is a “senior” military spouse and has experience being mentored and has mentored others in this capacity. As a registered nurse, people have always been forefront in her heart--she values relationships.
Tif is an early bird and a “butt in chair” kind of writer. She has been converted to love the synopsis, and revisions scare and excite her all at once. She loves deadlines because she is a goal-setter, and will be a cheerleader as you undertake the deadlines this contest will place upon you! Finally, she believes in your talent to achieve.
Tif also loves to watch romantic comedies and character-driven dramas (though she prefers kissing in them!). She has several books going on at once, and an audiobook at the ready. If you can make Tif cry, you have her heart.
Romance books that have turned their heads recently:
Alisha Rai’s Forbidden Hearts series
Alyssa Cole’s A Hope Divided
Christina Lauren Love and Other Words
Mia Hopkins’s Thirsty
Mia Sousa’s Acting on Impulse
Helen Hoang’s The Kiss Quotient
(As we were drafting our wish list it came to light we were both reading, and loving, Alyssa Cole’s A Princess Theory!)
A few of their all time favorite romance/WF reads/authors:
Jill Shalvis’ Lucky Harbor Series
Louise Bay’s Empire State Series
How we work:
We will be accessible during the entirety of the Pitchwars journey, and beyond. Laura is still in contact with past mentees, having reviewed two novels in the past few months! We will communicate mostly via email or messaging due to Laura’s hearing loss and work schedule, and Tif’s work schedule. However, we are happy to work with what form is best for you!
Feedback on your work will come from the both of us. As with all feedback--it is subjective! As the writer of your story, it will be up to you to decide what to keep and what to discard. But it’s our hope that you consider our suggestions as a means of improvement, as difficult as they may be to accept.
During the course of the revision process, your work may seem insurmountable, but that is why we are here. We have been there, are still there in fact, and we understand. You aren’t alone. In fact, not only will you have one, but *two* mentors to help bolster you. Because you already have the words--it just needs to come out and onto the page.
We can’t wait to work with you!
Any questions? Tweet us! @AuthorLBrown and @TifMarcelo or comment below! And be sure to check out the other mentors posts!