Why I Love Writers

The world will never quite understand me. Even those who love me, will never get what it is that drives me to write. They won't know the years I've spent working on my craft, the amount of energy and hope and life I've put into an imaginary world filled with imaginary people, the hours I've spent researching and seeking the best avenues to publish.

But you do.

You are my people-- the only people who UNDERSTAND! The only ones who really can.  It’s okay for other people not to get it, not to see all the work that goes on behind the scenes. The panic and the tears we shed. The passion we share. The many many many many hours we put into this “little” “hobby” of ours.

Publishing is NOT easy. It doesn’t matter which stage you are in, writing/editing/querying your first book, your 18th, or publishing your 5th. This process is GRUELING.

And yet, we keep going. We spend months, if not years working on the same story that may never actually see the light of day. We dust ourselves off after every rejection and we keep working. We keep dreaming.

We work to get better. We SEEK criticism because it might help us be better, help us find that magic formula for best-seller-dom.

We dream the same dream and though our set backs are often individual to each of us, they aren’t so different that we can’t all relate.

No matter who you are, what you write or how long you’ve been doing it—You are my tribe. And I love you!

If you're a writer-- of any kind, shape, or experience-- you are incredible.

Always, Always, Always A Bridesmaid-- Why I'm Entering Pitch Wars

Hey guys! I write YA and MG— contemporary, fantasy and anything in between. I have two books published with Entangled Teen but I’ve never, ever had an agent.

I’ve also been a Mentor in Pitch Wars for the last four years.

It’s strange to help authors get agents when you’ve never had one, though I know there are several mentors in that same boat and it’s not a bad thing! I’ve been very successful at doing such. Every one of my full mentees have signed agents with their PW book, two of them went on to sell their books to big publishers-- very quickly! That’s a pretty good track record!

I’ve also queried four books, and have never received an offer of representation.

Writing is so full of ups and downs, and sometimes we could use some help. Everyone has their faults—things they’re good at and things they’re not. It’s my belief that any writer could benefit from a mentor. In fact, a lot of writers have them—they call them agents.

Not all agents are super editorial, but even if they’re not they can help guide you in what is in your best interest to write and how to manage a career. An agent is a cheerleader, a teacher, a guide and an open door to places you wouldn’t otherwise have access. A mentor is different, but similar, at least when looking at it from this angle. They’re a friend, a teacher, an advocate, a loving and guiding hand-- someone who unequivocally believes in you.

 Those are things I don’t have, nor have I ever. Those are things I’d kill to have (okay, not literally.)

Which is why I’m entering Pitch Wars this year as a hopeful mentee, instead of mentor.

I don’t know if I’ll be picked. I assume some people will suspect it’ll be easier for me to be chosen because of my background—I think it’ll be the opposite. I’ll be specifically choosing mentors who I have never interacted with, which greatly limits my choices. There are several reasons a mentor wouldn’t want to choose someone who’s mentored in the past, or published already etc.  We’ll see. It’s worth a shot anyway.

The book I’m entering has also already been queried. Not insanely widely… but it’s been out there. Still no offers. I still believe in this book, and think it could benefit in having a mentor. I believe it can be made much stronger than it is now.  If I don’t get a mentor… I’ll be looking into other options beside agents.

But I still want the chance. So I’m going for it.

A Pitch Wars Mentor's Real Reward

Someone once asked me about being a Pitch Wars Mentor, "But what do you get out of it?"

Pitch Wars is a contest for authors seeking representation (a massive step towards becoming traditionally published.)

Brenda Drake, selected some qualified members of the publishing industry (mostly agented/published authors) who were willing to spend months of their own time mentoring one promising author, hopefully giving them a leg up towards meeting their goal of publishing success!

I am one of those mentors
 (or at least I have been since PW year #2)

I give a few weeks of my time, reading through the 70-100 submissions sent to me in order to find a book I personally want to see published. We then spend two months working with that author to make their full manuscript SHINE! Sometimes this means big revisions, other times it means just some sprucing or somewhere in between. Then we send their lovelies into the world, hoping agents,(followed by editors) will love them and sign them, and eventually turn their words into a real live book.

Pitch Wars mentors don't get paid for any of this. Not even if/when one of those authors is published because of PW. All I expect, as I've said many times before, is a signed copy once it's published.

So what do I get out of it?

Well, I first volunteered because I wanted to continue to be a part of this amazing community of writers. I entered as an aspiring author the first year PW existed, and even once I became published, I didn't want to give it up!

I've met some amazing friends through Pitch Wars. Some great, amazing and successful authors, who are all willing to help each other out whenever possible. That means they've helped promote my books, and they've also helped me revise some of the WIPs (work in progress).

That's reason enough, to be honest.

But there is one thing that is bigger than all the rest. One REAL reason I do this. One reason this is all worth it.


I picked Amanda Searcy's book, then titled TRUTH IS, out of my "slush pile" during Pitch Wars 2015. I spent months working with her on this book. She then went on to snag an agent AND a book deal in a matter of weeks after Pitch Wars.

I realize that I can only take so much credit, because this book was amazing (seriously guys, that ending? Believe me I had nothing to do with that. Read it to find out ;)) but the fact that I had a hand in helping this book get published is an amazing feeling.  Seeing my name in the acknowledgements? Holding a personally signed copy? Is a feeling only second to holding my own book, with my own name on the cover ;)

I am SO PROUD of Amanda and her accomplishments. She did this, I was just there to help her along the way a little.

Being that little part of her author-story is the best reward any mentor can ever have ever. 

Check out her book here!

Pitch Wars: getting to know #TeamGingersnaps!

Pitch Wars is coming! Pitch Wars is coming!

I love this time of year, when we start imagining all about our potential mentees. Getting to know some awesome up and coming writers (that's you, btw :) 

Last year I teamed up with the awesome Rebecca Sky and we're going at it again in 2017! Together, we're #TeamGingersnaps.

This year, our wishlist is going up over one Rebecca Sky's blog (go see it here!) so I decided to do something a little extra fun on mine as an extension of our wishlist. This post isn't about what we want to see in our inbox it's a more personal and fun post. A fun interview to get to know.  us both!

Rebecca Sky is a WattPad Star (literally) and the author of forthcoming YA ARROWHEART, from Hodder Children a division of Hachette Book Group (2018)

Stacey Trombley is a YA contemporary author with Entangled Teen. Her first book NAKED debuted in 2015 and her second PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES released January 2017

Now to the fun part!

#1. Describe your writing process in GIFs

Rebecca Sky

 Stacey Trombley
(Please note, my use of Sheldon Cooper does not mean I think I'm a genius ;) )

#2 What's your Myers Briggs personality?

Rebecca Sky

Bohemian, lover of all, dreamer, prefers snuggling with my dogs and reading a book over just about anything. 

Stacey Trombley

Well, I'm also INFP... sort of. I never fit Myers Briggs personalities totally because I'm pretty split on 2 of the 4 categories, but Intro/Extroversion especially (I consider myself an Ambivert, but that's another discussion!) INFP is the closest to right, but I still have a lot of Extroverted and Thinking tendencies. 

Tell me about the role music plays in your writing

Rebecca Sky

I love writing to music, but I get distracted when it has lyrics. So when i discovered pandora's playlist on youtube I was hooked. They have 2 and 4 hour videos that are accompanied by stunning art. I do sprints to 2 hours ones often! Check them out: 

Stacey Trombley

I love creating playlists for my books and I sometimes write to them, but I honestly zone out so thoroughly when I’m writing that I hardly hear any of it.  Some of my favorites to write to: Finger Eleven and ZZ Ward. Also one of my favorite songs for well, anything, including writing: Shatter Me by Lzzy Hale featuring Lindsey Stirling.

Pick ONE image from Pinterest to share

Rebecca Sky

Stacey Trombley

 (My husband thought this looked super evil and creepy. I don't see evil at all. I see lots of emotions in those eyes. What do you see?)

Pick ONE book to share and tells us why you love it 
(we all have a million favorites, it doesn’t have to be your #1, just pick one)

Rebecca Sky

Oh man, this book is so brilliant. I've both read it and listen to the audio book (which is also amazing). I love my antihero's and this has, not only the best antihero I've ever read, but some of the best characters. Want a character masterclass? Read this book. *fun fact: the author is also a Pitch Wars mentor. ​

Stacey Trombley

I thought about doing Dangerous Girls (one of my ultimate favorites) but then thought I'd be clever and post one of my previous mentee books :) This was my 2015 mentee, Amanda Searcy. Her book was then titled Truth Is. It's in the same vein as Dangerous Girls, anyway ;)

What's your favorite movie and why?

Rebecca Sky

Labyrinth, it's magical and it has lines like this; "I move the stars for no one," and, "fear me, love me, do as I say, and I will be your slave," and "it's only forever, it's not that long at all." And also David Bowie...

Stacey Trombley

Penelope! This this a cute and quirky modern fairy-tale. It's super sweet and fun to watch and also... James McCavoy! Love him (I also refuse to watch Split because I like him too much) And though she plays a small role, I also LOOOOOVE me some Reese Witherspoon :)

Favorite 90's Jam

Rebecca Sky

Lauryn Hill's Unplugged album was my 90's go to. I listened to it so much i had to buy the CD 3 times. 

Stacey Trombley

I have lots of favorite 90's songs, I fully considered Love Fool but went with Natalie Imbruglia's Torn because the lyrics are awesome. 

That's team GingerSnaps! Feel free to ask us questions in the comments! About ourselves or about what we're looking for in PW! (Though I won't answer until the blog hop is live. Not long though, folks!)

After graduating high-school, Rebecca Sky set out on a five-year, 24 Country exploration to find herself. She slept in a hammock in the Amazon Jungle, skinny-dipped off the West African Coast, ate Balut while holding a monkey in the Philippines, and fell in love in Cuba (then again in Brazil, and a final time to a Rocker from Canada). Rebecca returned home to the West Coast captivated by the world and ready for another adventure.

So she did what every wanderer does when standing still—began writing.
 Her work has since garnered over 20 million reads on Wattpad, and she’s had the opportunity to partner with some really great brands. She was featured in The New York Times and The Boston Globe. Her debut ARROWHEART will be published by Hodder Children a division of Hachette Book Group. Look for that in stores June 2018!

Stacey Trombley is a YA contemporary author who lives in Ohio with her husband, baby boy and the sweetest Rottweiler you’ll ever meet. She thinks people are fascinating and any chance she has, she’s off doing or learning something new. She went on her first mission trip to Haiti at age twelve and is still dying to go back. Her “places to travel” list is almost as long as her “books to read” list. 

Her debut novel NAKED released from Entangled teen in 2015 and her second book PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES released January 2017.
Find her on twitter and instagram @trombolii and on facebook.com/StaceyPTrombley

Scavenger hunt word: Know.