Thursday, December 12, 2013

Mystery Editor Reveal + Winners!

Thank you so much to all who participated in the December Mystery Editor contest! And our Mystery Editor is...

Mandy Schoen from Swoon Romance!
Mandy Schoen is the managing editor of Swoon Romance. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri, with her husband, dog and books. When she's not reading or editing, she can usually be found hovering over her coffee pot, muttering nonsense until it gives her what she wants.

And the winners are:

THE WHITE LEHUA: full manuscript request, and a 10-page critique of this or any other work

LOOKING FOR ORION: full manuscript request

Congratulations to both of our winners! Please e-mail operationawesome6(at)gmail(dot)com for submission instructions, and include "December Mystery Editor winner" in the subject line.

And if you'd like to learn more about Mandy, check out our interview with her below:

1. Any tips for writers struggling with their pitches? Common mistakes you see in them?
The most common mistake I see in pitches is writers trying to cram the entire plot into the pitch, instead of focusing on the hook. A pitch, by design, is a few sentences designed to hook someone’s attention while conveying the basic concept, tone, voice, and genre. That’s a lot of work for a few sentences to do. Leave the details for the query.

2. What books have you read lately that you've fallen in love with (manuscripts you’re currently working with or others')?
I’m currently editing THE ACCIDENTAL SOCIALITE, which is a new adult novel about a girl who moves from small-town Canada to London on a whim to redefine herself, and accidentally becomes famous. It’s seriously the funniest thing I’ve ever read. Which makes sense, since the author, Stephanie Wahlstrom, is hysterical.
3. What are you seeing a lot of in your slush pile lately? What would you like to see more of?
I’m seeing a lot of paranormal lately, and we’re sort of full up on that. On a smaller, semi-interesting side-note, I tend to see a lot of submissions with the same main character name come in at the same time. The last common MC name was Shelley.
I’m not looking for anything specific right now. I just want a love story that grabs me and won’t let go. How’s that for non-specific?
4. As a romance editor, what are some tropes you’re particularly drawn to? How about tropes that turn you off?
I love to see unique twists on familiar situations. I love “falling for the friend’s old brother” and “falling for the older brother’s friend.” I also love contemporary retellings of classic tales. One example is Stephanie Wardrop’s SNARK AND CIRCUMSTANCE series, which is a retelling of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. We also just acquired a YA contemporary retelling of Rapunzel.
5. Any exciting news you can share?
Yes! We’re working on sequels to a few of our titles. One I can tell you about right now is the sequel to EFFORTLESS WITH YOU by Lizzy Charles, which has been one of our most popular young adult books. I’m so excited about this one!
6. And a few just for fun:

Coffee or Tea?
Coffee, definitely.

Sea or mountains?
Sea. I’m terrified of it, which I think is why I’m drawn to it. I’m not the most normal person ever.

Chocolate or bacon?
Um, there better never be a situation where I’d have to choose.
Ebook or print book?
Print. I buy a lot of ebooks, but there’s just something satisfying about holding a printed book.

Favorite tv show?
Right now? Probably The Big Bang Theory. Or The Mindy Project. Or Supernatural. Or…

Thank you so much to Mandy, and thank you all for participating in our final contest of 2013. Here's to many more success stories in 2014!


Angelica R. Jackson said...

Congratulations to the winners, and a big thank you to Mandy! :)

Stephsco said...

Congrats to the winner! And pitches are so tough. It really is a skill that is learned over time.

J Lenni Dorner said...


Great answers to the interview, also.

Anonymous said...

Yay! Thanks for hosting the contest. I was out of town and just checked the blog to find that my book was chosen as one of the winners. I'm very excited!