PARADOX HOTEL pseudo-tour

We’re getting closer to release day, so here’s some info on the tour for The Paradox Hotel!

Thanks to COVID, we’re keeping things tight this year. I’m doing one in-person event, at the Staten Island Barnes & Noble.

I’m also doing two virtual events—one with the fine folks at The Poisoned Pen bookstore, and one with my good pal Delilah Dawson at Murder by the Book.

I’m particularly excited to jam with Delilah because she’s promoting her new book, The Violence, and it is incredible. She asked me to blurb it and it was one of the few times in my life where I didn’t know if I could write a blurb good enough to do the book justice.

And… that’s pretty much it. My publisher has everything rounded up here.

The week of release (probably the day of, on the 22nd), I’ll be traveling around New York City signing stock at as many bookstores as I can, and will report on social media where you can find signed copies.

Plus, I’ll have bookplates available (which is a sticker I sign and then you stick inside the book). If you want one of those, hit my contact form and let me know. I’m sending them out free-of-charge to anyone who asks.

Then, come March, I’ve got another virtual event with Alex Segura at Mysterious Galaxy. Alex is a good friend, a frequent collaborator, and his new book Secret Identity is a complete and utter knockout.

That’s what I got. Not the most exciting news ever, sadly, ’cause I really do love touring (which I say now, not having gotten on a plane in nearly two years, and I’m sure if I were on tour, by the end I’d be on the verge of a nervous breakdown, which is usually the case).

But I do miss seeing folks and hanging out in bookstores and drinking too much coffee in the morning and too much whiskey at night.

I might be adding more events as we go. And for the record—I’m pretty happy to appear at any bookstore or library within driving distance of New York City if there are safety protocols in place, and will gladly appear virtually for bookstores, libraries, book clubs, etc.

So if you want to hang in a Zoom-like setting, also hit up that contact form!

Pre-order PARADOX and get a Paradox Hotel key card

How cool are these?

I was in a marketing meeting with my team at Ballantine and threw this out as an off-hand suggestion, thinking, “There is no way they are going to make up goddamn hotel room keycards.”

And then a few weeks later they sent me the design for these bad boys. Next time I’m going to tell them we need branded jet skis or something.

Anyway. Want one? All you have to do is pre-order The Paradox Hotel (available ONE MONTH from today; you can do that here) and submit some sort of proof of purchase at this link.

Why pre-order? Why not just wait until the day it comes out to get it? Well, if you pre-order it, you won’t have to go out in the cold to get it (a big deal if you live in the Northeast where it is currently brick cold).

But also: pre-orders make editors and publishers happy, which in turn means that authors get to write more books, and I would very much like to write more books, so, consider it a nice karma boost!

That goes for all authors, by the way. If there’s an author you want to support, the best way you can do that is through pre-orders, or leaving reviews on Goodreads or retail sites, or throwing copies of the book at your family and friends.

On the passing of Thich Nhat Hanh

Years ago I found this band Chroma Key—weird, ambient, electronic music that was fantastic to write to, or just slap in a pair of earbuds while wandering around Manhattan. One song in particular always stuck out to me. When You Drive.

It’s this very chill electronic melody and it samples what sounds like a tape you would play to calm yourself while sitting in traffic. A monk encouraging you to be mindful of the present moment.

I was fascinated by it, and always found something so incredibly comforting in the song. In the cadence of the man’s voice, the simplicity of the message. Sometimes I would put it on and just listen, if I needed a moment to collect myself or just feel some stillness.

Here’s a transcript of the sample from the song:

“When you drive, you practice mindfulness of driving. It is possible. When you stop at a red light, you look at the red light and smile. You look at the red light, you smile, and you breathe in and out, and sit back, relaxingly. Breathing in, I calm myself. Breathing out, I smile.”

“And the red light becomes a friend, becomes a bell of mindfulness. Something unpleasant becomes something pleasant. We have the habit energy of wanting to arrive. That is why we want to go as quickly as possible. But according to this practice, we arrive at every moment. Life can be found only in the present moment. Everything that we look for must be found in the present moment. Peace. Joy. Happiness. Buddha. The kingdom of God.”

“What is our final destination? If we abandon the present moment, our final destination may be our death. We don’t want to arrive there, we want to go in the direction of life.”

“This concludes Tape 1, A Retreat on the Practice of Mindfulness. Our program continues with Tape 2.”

One day I decided to look it up, to find out who it is. After a good bit of Google-fu I found it was Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and renowned peace activist.

Pulling back a bit, I was raised Catholic, and now consider myself to be in some weird atheist/agnostic liminal space, but I’ve always appreciated Eastern philosophies. I like that it’s about looking inward, instead of looking for someone else to tell you what to do.

So while I wouldn’t call myself a Buddhist, I’ve done some reading in that area. I meditate. I have some of Thich Nhat Hanh’s books, and will occasionally revisit them, even just to read a few passages here and there, though I haven’t in a while.

I would often read him before going to bed. Not because his work put me to sleep, but because generally around bedtime, my brain feels like a blender with a fork in it, and Thich Nhat Hanh’s writing always served to center me and help me relax.

He died today. I won’t claim to be an expert on him, or on Buddhism, but I felt moved to say something about it. He’s very much in the DNA of The Paradox Hotel. Another thing I love learning about is quantum physics, and the way Eastern philosophies and quantum physics can dovetail from one another (see: The Quantum and the Lotus).

Paradox is very much about looking inward, and facing yourself, and as much as I like to joke that the book is about robots and dinosaurs too, there’s a lot of me sorting out some ideas related to mindfulness and nirvana and the concept of the bodhisattva.

There’s a lot of me looking to find peace and love and joy in the present moment. There’s a lot of me chasing his words, or at least, trying to figure out a way to let them in a little deeper.

That transcript above, it’s funny the way it came into my life—as a sample in a song—but it’s really meant a lot to me. I’ve been listening to it for so long, read it so many times, that I could probably recite it from memory at this point. At very least, this stretch:

“Life can be found only in the present moment. Everything that we look for must be found in the present moment. Peace. Joy. Happiness. Buddha. The kingdom of God.”

I almost made that the epigraph of Paradox. I ultimately went with a quote from Through The Looking-Glass, which felt a little more appropriate, and looking back, there’s a small part of me that regrets it, because every now and again, we come across stories or passages that become imprinted on our hearts, that resonate inside us from the moment we hear them.

That little bit up there is one of those passages for me. I don’t know why. I’m not sure I could sit here and explain it. There’s just something about his voice, and the cadence, and the way it makes me feel, that I just find stunningly beautiful, and I see it as something worth reaching for.

So, you’d do well to pick up one of his books. And, in moments of stress, or even calm, remember that life can be found only in the present moment.

Classes, reviews, other stuff

Time for some updates!!

  • Starting November 23rd, I’m teaching The Source Code of Storytelling at LitReactor again! There are only a few seats left so if you want to get in there you better get moving. It’s a four-week online class in which I teach you to build good writing practices and recognize how stories are put together. Sign up here.
  • We’re gearing up the marketing machine for The Paradox Hotel and last night I was thrilled to get a starred review in Publishers Weekly. This book is different enough from The Warehouse that I was legit nervous about how it would shake out, and if people would respond to it the same way. I’m pretty happy to see people are responding to it.
  • I’m also happy to say I’ll be working with Ren Weston this year in Pitch Wars—she applied to me last year and she was my runner-up pick. The book was almost there, but not close enough for the timeframe we had to work on it, and another book just grabbed me more. But I gave her some feedback, she took the last year to put in the work, and here we are.
  • I updated my website! You might not be able to tell the difference because I don’t put up a lot of content here. That might change. Who knows. We’ll see.

Support a good cause; win a WAREHOUSE/PARADOX prize pack

Authors for Voices of Color is an online silent auction to raise money for racial-justice non-profits in the publishing, education, and literacy arenas. Authors, editors, and other publishing professionals are donating items and services to raise funds for organizations that amplify voices of color.

And this month they’re holding an online silent auction with some very, very cool prizes.

Up to and including some stuff from me!

Here’s the deal: Go to my page and bid (see instructions at the bottom) and you could win a signed paperback copy of The Warehouse, in which I will reveal for you a secret about each of the main characters (probably stuck into the book on Post-It notes). It’ll be stuff most people don’t know about them, that I hope further enriches the story.

Oh and also you can’t tell anyone this stuff. So it’ll be nice and exclusive to you.

If that’s not enough, I’ll also include a galley of The Paradox Hotel, which doesn’t come out until February.

Prizes aside, this is a hell of a cause, and I’m thankful to take part. So get in there and give until it hurts.

Pitch Wars 2021: Wish List

Another year, another Pitch Wars! This is my third year doing it, and I’m excited to be back.

Don’t know what Pitch Wars is? Click this link.

The last year two years were a lot of fun, and I’m very proud to say that both my mentees, Victor Manibo and Jennifer Mandula, landed with really solid agents. And one of them might have some very exciting news to share soon but I’ll let them tell it…

Anyway. This is a cool process and at this point you’re probably wondering who I am and what I’m looking for, so here goes:

About me

I’m the former publisher of MysteriousPress.com, at which I published and edited more than a dozen books in the crime/mystery genre (A Swollen Red Sun by Matthew McBride, several Nero Wolfe books by Robert Goldsborough). I wrote a five-book amateur PI series and a collection of food-noir short stories, all for a small press, Polis Books. I co-wrote Scott Free with James Patterson, and my last novel, The Warehouse, is out from Crown—it’s been sold in more than 20 countries and been optioned for film by Ron Howard. My next book will be The Paradox Hotel, with Ballantine, and will come out in February. My non-fiction articles have been published widely—Daily Beast, Salon, LitHub, Electric Literature. I also take on freelance editorial clients through 22Literary.

This is all to say… I’ve seen the industry from a couple of unique angles, I know a little bit about a little bit, and I think I can offer some useful advice.

My style

I want you to write the best book you can. I want you to do it. I want to give you the insight to recognize where your story can be stronger, and the tools to make it happen—then get the hell out of your way. I want you to come out of this process with a shiny new toolkit. I’m going to push you because the story has to win in the end. I love big picture stuff—I’m okay with copyediting, but a few misspelled words are not going to hurt you as much as a plot that doesn’t hold up to scrutiny, so I’ll be focusing slightly less on the former.

What I want:

  • Mixed genres: I like books that straddle genres. A murder mystery with time travel? A heist story set on a Mars base? Please and thank you. I won’t say no to a classic PI novel if it really lights my fire, but this is where my head is at: big, sprawling, challenging ideas.
  • Strong social themes: I’m a big fan of books that get to the root of crime. I care less about the street crime created by the heroin crisis and more about the pharmaceutical companies that started it. Blue-collar crime? Yawn. White-collar crime? All day long. I like politics in my fiction. The Warehouse is an indictment of capitalism and consumerism wrapped in the language of a thriller. The Paradox Hotel is a time travel story about how billionaires will let the world burn as long as they get paid. That’s my sweet spot.
  • Diverse stories: I’m a white guy. I have read a lot about white guys in my lifetime. I’m not saying I won’t accept something with a white male protagonist—making a visceral connection to the narrative is the ultimate goal here. But as of late, I’m more interested in stories different from my own upbringing and experience. Think American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson (black Cold War-era FBI agent), the Roxane Weary mysteries by Kristen Lepionka (LGBT private investigator), Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Mexican fantasy), and Three-Fifths by John Vercher (noir featuring a bi-racial protagonist).
  • Deeply, deeply human stories: Let’s use American Spy as an example because that book legit made me cry. It’s a spy novel, about a black woman in the FBI during the Cold War, so there are themes of racism and sexism. And the book could have just been that and it would have been really good. But it’s also a romance, and it’s a story about a mom and her kids. And those are the things that make it great. So… plot is great. Ideas are fun. Character is the most important thing. And I want deep emotional honesty more than anything else.

What I don’t want

  • Game of Thrones– or Wheel of Time-style fantasy: Not my wheelhouse. A book with elements of fantasy (see genre-straddling above), I’m cool with. Got a PI who also uses magic? Great. But full-on fantasy, I don’t think I can offer effective guidance.
  • A first draft: I want something you’ve worked over a few times and you think you’re done, or close to it. Spoiler alert: you’re not even close! But one of the best pieces of advice I ever got is: your book is ready for the next step when you don’t know what else to do with it. That’s the point when you need to bring in another perspective (like me!).
  • Transgressive fiction: It is really, very rare for transgressive fiction to be done well. I cut my teeth on Chuck Palahniuk but I want emotional honesty a lot more than I want subversive, explosive violence for the sake of itself.
  • A violent act against a woman as the inciting incident: Most any trope can be reinvented and done well but this one really needs to just… go away. If your story opens with a naked dead woman wrapped in plastic, I don’t think think it’ll be for me.

Contact style

I like e-mail, and occasional Skype/Zoon/FaceTime session is cool. If you’re local to NYC or you’re visiting, I’d be open to getting a socially-distanced drink/coffee/cupcake. I know a really good cupcake place.

Find more wishlists below!

Pitch Wars 2021 Adult Mentors’ Wish Lists

  1. Anna Kaling (Accepts NA)
  2. Ian Barnes (Accepts NA)
  3. Jackson Ford
  4. Jake Nicholls (Accepts NA)
  5. Jesse Q. Sutanto and Grace Shim
  6. Charish Reid and Denise Williams
  7. Saara El-Arifi (Accepts NA)
  8. Rosie Danan and Ruby Barrett (Accepts NA)
  9. Carolyne Topdjian
  10. Falon Ballard and Brooke Abrams
  11. Mary Keliikoa (Accepts NA)
  12. E.A. Aymar
  13. Amanda Elliot (Accepts NA)
  14. Kelly Siskind
  15. Vaishnavi Patel and Sarah Mughal (Accepts NA)
  16. Mary Ann Marlowe and Laura Elizabeth (Accepts NA)
  17. Mia P. Manansala (Accepts NA)
  18. Peggy Rothschild (Accepts NA)
  19. Natalka Burian
  20. Courtney Kae and Jenny L. Howe (Accepts NA)
  21. Rochelle Karina (Accepts NA)
  22. Swati Hegde (Accepts NA)
  23. Nanci Schwartz and LL Montez
  24. Paris Wynters
  25. Hudson Lin
  26. Sarah Remy (Accepts NA)
  27. AM Kvita (Accepts NA)
  28. Heather Van Fleet and Jessica Calla (Accepts NA)
  29. Melissa Colasanti (Accepts NA)
  30. J.A. Crawford (Accepts NA)
  31. Michella S. Domenici
  32. Yvette Yun and Marith Zoli (Accepts NA)
  33. Sari Coritz and Rosalie M Lin (Accepts NA)
  34. Stephenie Magister and Noreen (Accepts NA)
  35. Regina Black and Nikki Payne (Accepts NA)
  36. Farah Heron and Namrata Patel
  37. Alicia Thompson and Amy Lea (Accepts NA)
  38. Lyn Liao Butler
  39. Preslaysa Williams (Accepts NA)
  40. Keena Roberts and Molly Steen (Accepts NA)
  41. Alexandria Bellefleur (Accepts NA)
  42. Samantha Rajaram
  43. Ashley Winstead
  44. Clay Harmon (Accepts NA)
  45. Rob Hart
  46. Cole Nagamatsu and Sequoia Nagamatsu
  47. N.E. Davenport (Accepts NA)
  48. Katherine Lim
  49. Alexia Gordon
  50. Cynthia Pelayo (Accepts NA)

Click here to view all Pitch Wars 2021 Mentors’ Wish Lists. To view the wish lists by genre, visit this link.

Want to support arts education for kids and maybe win an early copy of THE PARADOX HOTEL?

Ok here’s the deal. I’m helping Broadway for Arts Education raise funds in anticipation of their Silent Disco on Saturday. I’ve been assigned a team (Team Tangerine!!!) and I want that team to kick ass.

Earlier today, on the social medias, I offered to send someone a signed copy of The Warehouse, plus some Warehouse swag if you donated to the campaign. Any amount and you were in the running.

But now I’m going to sweeten the pot. If you donate $25 or more, I will put you in the running for an advance copy of The Paradox Hotel!

It’s not coming out until February. I have no idea when I’m even getting the galleys. If I have to print it out and bind it myself, I will—either way, you’ll get it soon.

So, park your little cursor here so I can see your name on my page and give until it hurts.

What does this mean to people who already donated? Well, you’re still in the running for that copy of The Warehouse (or copies, who knows, maybe I’ll send out more than one). If you want to donate again to hit the $25 threshold, you’ll be in for Paradox, too.

And if $25 is too rich for your blood (I get it, pandemic), any amount still puts you in Warehouse running.

Why is this important? Because arts education is one of the first things to get cut when school budgets make it to the chopping block, and that’s an incredible disservice to… everything? Kids. Teachers. Our literal future. Take your pick. Art is an empathy machine. We piece ourselves together through other people’s stories. I will never not go to bat so that kids can learn stuff other than math and science (which, let’s all admit, is kinda useless—I have never once used calculus for anything—it’s all a scam perpetuated by the graphing calculator industry!).

There are a whole lot of kids out there who would benefit from targeted artistic education, and BAE is a great mechanism for that. So it’s a good way to help.

But winning free stuff is fun, too.

And hey, if you just want to boost the signal and spread the word, that’s cool, too. Let’s do something nice today.

THE SOURCE CODE OF STORYTELLING starts June 15

Writing is hard to teach. How to craft a languid, luminous sentence that lodges itself in a reader’s heart? Whew. That comes from a place that’s hard to quantify.

Storytelling, though, is different. That’s a little more science than art. It’s about mechanics: pacing, character, dialogue, worldbuilding.

Sure, there’s plenty of art in the machine, and everyone’s process is different.

But there’s a source code to telling a good story. Basic tenets that, once you see them, you can never un-see them. And they’ll inform your work going forward, helping you to craft the kinds of stories that demand to be read.

That’s the focus of the four-week online workshop I’m teaching at LitReactor, starting on June 15!

Haven’t taken a class with LitReactor? Here’s the deal: The whole thing is online. The lectures and assignments are all written, and there’s no specific timing to it—there are deadlines, but there’s no hard-and-fast time you have to be in your seat. It’s meant to be flexible in terms of timing. You’ll get critiques from me, and from the other students.

Some of the material here will be a rehash of what I taught in my previous online class, The Big Idea. And this is all about laying groundwork for what I hope would be a craft writing book at some point (I love, love craft and teaching and shop-talk).

So, yeah, if you want to get in there, I would suggest signing up soon, because there are only a few seats left, and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. Let’s get some good work done and recharge those creative batteries!

THE PARADOX HOTEL has a cover, a description, and a release date

Hi everyone! I have not updated this website since (checks notes) September, good god.

Part of that, honestly, is because WordPress updated their backend and I don’t really know how to use it and I haven’t cared to learn. Which, maybe I should have taken the time, because it just took me ten minutes to figure out how to wrap text around an image.

Dear WordPress: what the fuck?

Anyway, back to the radio silence: I guess it’s not a big deal, because not much has happened since September. We’ve been in the midst of a global pandemic, I’ve mostly been working on projects that I can’t even tell you about… except now there’s one that I can!

The Paradox Hotel officially has a cover, a description, and a release date. It’s coming out February 22, 2022 (2.22.22!!!), and is now available for pre-order. I know that’s a long way off to consider pre-ordering the thing but remember, pre-orders are a big deal.

Here’s the cover. How gorgeous is this thing? And here’s the description.

For someone with January Cole’s background, running security at a fancy hotel shouldn’t be much of a challenge.

Except the Paradox is no ordinary hotel. Here, the ultra-wealthy guests are costumed for a dozen different time periods, all anxiously waiting to catch their ‘flights’ to the past. And proximity to the timeport makes for an interesting stay. The clocks run backwards on occasion—and, rumor has it, ghosts stroll the halls.

Now, January’s job is about to get a whole lot harder. Because the US government is getting ready to privatize time-travel technology–and a handful of trillionaires have just arrived to put down their bids.

Meanwhile there’s a blizzard rolling in, and the timestream’s acting strange. Which means nobody’s leaving until further notice.

And there’s a murderer on the loose.

Or at least, that’s what January suspects. Except the corpse in question is one that somehow, only she can see. And the accidents stalking their prestigious guests…well, the only way a killer could engineer those is by operating invisibly and in plain sight, all at once. Which is surely impossible.

There’s a reason January can glimpse what others can’t. But her ability is also destroying her grip on reality—and forcing her to confront secrets of her own.

Because here at The Paradox Hotel, the past is waiting around every corner.

This is a weird book and I am quite fond of it and I really hope you put a pin in this one and check it out. FYI if you’re curious to know a little more about it, you can read an excerpt at io9. I’ll be updating the actual sales page soon (I’ve reached my limit for how much WordPress I can handle this evening) but you can pre-order pretty much anywhere you would normally pre-order a book! 

Pitch Wars 2020 Mentor Wish List

It’s Pitch Wars season! And for the second year in a row, I’m mentoring! Don’t know what Pitch Wars is? Click this link.

Last year was pretty rad. I got over a hundred requests and it was really hard to narrow them down, but I ended up picking Victor Manibo, whose novel Sleepless was about a world where a percentage of the population suddenly lost the ability to sleep, with no (apparent) side effects. It was a great speculative mystery with elements of classism, biohacking, corporate greed… basically it hit all of my sweet spots. We did a couple of passes on it and I’m happy to say that Victor landed with a fantastic agent.

It was a fun process, and I’m excited to do it again! So, here’s what you need to know:

About me

I’m the former publisher of MysteriousPress.com, at which I published and edited more than a dozen books in the crime/mystery genre (A Swollen Red Sun by Matthew McBride, several Nero Wolfe books by Robert Goldsborough). I wrote a five-book amateur PI series and a collection of food-noir short stories, all for a small press, Polis Books. I co-wrote Scott Free with James Patterson, and my latest novel, The Warehouse, is out from Crown—it’s been sold in more than 20 countries and been optioned for film by Ron Howard. My next book will be Paradox Hotel, with Ballantine, and will come out at some point in the future! My non-fiction articles have been published widely—Daily Beast, Salon, LitHub, Electric Literature. This is all to say… I’ve seen the industry from a couple of unique angles and I think I can offer some useful advice.

My style

I want you to write the best book you can. I want you to do it. I want to give you the insight to recognize where your story can be stronger, and the tools to make it happen—then get the hell out of your way. I want you to come out of this process with a shiny new toolkit. I’m going to push you because the story has to win in the end. I love big picture stuff—I’m okay with copyediting but a few misspelled words are not going to hurt you as much as a plot that doesn’t hold up to scrutiny, so I’ll be focusing slightly less on the former.

What I want:

  • Mixed genres: I like books that straddle genres. A murder mystery with time travel? A heist story set on a Mars base? Please and thank you. I won’t say no to a classic PI novel if it really lights my fire, but this is where my head is at: big, sprawling, challenging ideas.
  • Strong social themes: I’m a big fan of books that get to the root of crime. I care less about the street crime created by the heroin crisis and more about the pharmaceutical companies that started it. Blue-collar crime? Yawn. White-collar crime? All day long. I like politics in my fiction. The Warehouse is an indictment of capitalism and consumerism wrapped in the language of a thriller. Paradox Hotel is a time travel story about how billionaires will let the world burn as long as they get paid. That’s my sweet spot.
  • Diverse stories: I’m a straight white guy. I have read a lot about straight white guys in my lifetime. I’m not saying I won’t accept something with a straight white male protagonist—making a visceral connection to the narrative is the ultimate goal here. But as of late, I’m more interested in stories different from my own upbringing and experience. Think American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson (black Cold War-era FBI agent), the Roxane Weary mysteries by Kristen Lepionka (LGBT private investigator), Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Mexican fantasy), and Three-Fifths by John Vercher (noir featuring a bi-racial protagonist).
  • Deeply, deeply human stories: Let’s use American Spy as an example because that book legit made me cry. It’s a spy novel, about a black woman in the FBI during the Cold War, so there are themes of racism and sexism. And the book could have just been that and it would have been really good. But it’s also a romance, and it’s a story about a mom and her kids. And those are the things that make it great. So… plot is great. Ideas are fun. Character is the most important thing. And I want deep emotional honesty more than anything else.

What I don’t want

  • Game of Thrones– or Wheel of Time-style fantasy: Not my wheelhouse. A book with elements of fantasy (see genre-straddling above), I’m cool with. Got a PI who also uses magic? Great. But full-on fantasy, I don’t think I can offer effective guidance.
  • A first draft: I want something you’ve worked over a few times and you think you’re done, or close to it. Spoiler alert: you’re not even close! But one of the best pieces of advice I ever got is: your book is ready for the next step when you don’t know what else to do with it. That’s the point when you need to bring in another perspective (like me!).
  • Transgressive fiction: It is really, very rare for transgressive fiction to be done well. I cut my teeth on Chuck Palahniuk but I want emotional honesty a lot more than I want subversive, explosive violence for the sake of itself.
  • A violent act against a woman as the inciting incident: Most any trope can be reinvented and done well but this one really needs to just… go away. If your story opens with a naked dead woman wrapped in plastic, I don’t think think it’ll be for me.

Contact style

I like e-mail, and occasional Skype session is cool. If you’re local to NYC or you’re visiting, I’d be open to getting a socially-distanced drink/coffee/cupcake. I know a really good cupcake place.

Find more wishlists below!

Pitch Wars 2020 Adult Mentors’ Wish Lists

  1. Mia P. Manansala and Kellye Garrett (Accepts NA)
  2. Rochelle Karina (Accepts NA)
  3. Ren Hutchings (Accepts NA)
  4. Mary Ann Marlowe
  5. Rachel Lynn Solomon
  6. Anna Kaling
  7. Gwynne Jackson (Accepts NA)
  8. Kristen Lepionka and Ernie Chiara
  9. Rachel Howzell Hall
  10. Lyn Liao Butler
  11. Michael Mammay and AR Lucas
  12. Paris Wynters (Accepts NA)
  13. K A Black (Accepts NA)
  14. Heather Van Fleet and Jessica Calla (Accepts NA)
  15. Hudson Lin (Accepts NA)
  16. Sonia Hartl and Annette Christie (Accepts NA)
  17. Taj McCoy (Accepts NA)
  18. Ian Barnes (Accepts NA)
  19. Keena Roberts (Accepts NA)
  20. N.E. Davenport (Accepts NA)
  21. Elizabeth Little
  22. Anne Raven and Janet Walden-West (Accepts NA)
  23. Charish Reid and Denise Williams
  24. Kalyn Josephson and Kat Enright (Accepts NA)
  25. Gladys Qin (Accepts NA)
  26. Tanen Jones (Accepts NA)
  27. Clay Harmon (Accepts NA)
  28. Jake Nicholls (Accepts NA)
  29. Layne Fargo and Halley Sutton
  30. Denny S. Bryce and L. Penelope
  31. Roselle Lim and Farah Heron (Accepts NA)
  32. Morgan Rogers (Accepts NA)
  33. Samantha Rajaram
  34. Rob Hart
  35. Damyanti Biswas (Accepts NA)
  36. Maria Heater
  37. Cynthia Pelayo (Accepts NA)
  38. Gia de Cadenet
  39. Nicole Glover (Accepts NA)
  40. Rosie Danan and Ruby Barrett (Accepts NA)
  41. Cole Nagamatsu and Sequoia Nagamatsu
  42. Carly Bloom and Sam Tschida
  43. P.J. Vernon and Kelly J. Ford (Accepts NA)
  44. Matthew Quinn Martin (Accepts NA)
  45. Stephen Morgan (Accepts NA)
  46. Alex Segura and M. J. Soni
  47. Roma Panganiban (Accepts NA)
  48. Tricia Lynne (Accepts NA)


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