Hannah Reynolds was raised and lives in Boston, though she has detoured over the years to New York, San Francisco, and Paris. She consumes large quantities of tea; believes the food pyramid is made up of pizza, veggies, and chocolate; and owns an alarming amount of dresses. Under the penname Allison Parr she’s written three romance novels about bookish girls in New York City who fall in love with pro-football players. They are not based on real life, which is a disclaimer she didn’t realize would be necessary.
As a kid, I wrote about magical puppies and girls with wings. As a teen, I wrote about high school drama, time-travel, the ancient world, and epic fantasies (though tbh everything I wrote was really a love story). I wrote five or six manuscripts through high school, college, and the first few years after — including a superhero YA that I queried and trunked — before signing with Harlequin for three romances: RUSH ME, RUNNING BACK, and IMAGINARY LINES. I worked directly with my editor there, and when I decided to branch out into YA (my first love) I decided I wanted to work with an agent. I’m insanely lucky that I signed with my absolute dream agent, Tamar Rydzinski, who is incredibly intelligent and supportive. We’re on sub for my young adult retelling of the story of Queen Esther now.
At Ithaca College, I received my BA in Creative Writing (and Archaeology) which gave me a rich workshop experience and solid foundation in craft. This education proved pivotal for my future career, because while I might not always want to follow all the rules (ew, rules), I like to know what other people believe they are.
After college, I interned at Locus, a SFF trade review magazine, as well as at a literary agency where I read submissions and wrote reader reports. In 2013, I joined BookBub’s editorial team. Our company specializes in book discovery, which keeps me current on micro and macro publishing trends, marketing strategies, and writing copy for pitching books. I think as a writer it’s important to understand the market – but also to stay true to your art. I’ve also worked with many critique partners over the years, both in school and afterwards, and I’m a huge fan of getting together with my writer friends and workshopping everything from huge character arcs to nitty-gritty details that can really ground the story.
It seems a little silly to say I just love mentoring but I REALLY LOVE MENTORING. Mostly because I love talking about books so, so much (we will talk about all the books, I promise, but especially your book) and I like polishing things until they’re absolutely beautiful, re: a dragon with its hoard or me with that one paragraph I have been working on for literally two hours. I want to spread the wealth of all the knowledge I’ve accumulated over the years to people who haven’t necessarily had all the lucky chances I have; I want to help you make your book into something that makes you insanely proud.
Since I work in publishing, I’ve had a front seat to many of the issues our industry faces, and I want to help my mentee navigate these sometimes opaque waters. When I landed my book contract, I was tentative and young; I knew about writing, but I didn’t understand the publishing industry. Now my head’s filled with information – my day job’s in book discovery, I’ve worked in traditional publishing, and I have three romance novels out. Over the years, I’ve been very lucky and had supportive people in my corner. I’d love to help someone else the way I’ve often been helped.
I’m more drawn to character than plot-driven narratives, though I believe pacing is important in YA. I think revisions are crucial – much of my own best writing has been done during rewrites, and I love brainstorming new ideas and fixing plot holes. I’d love to work on a manuscript handling strong themes of identity (cultural, religious, sexuality, etc – #ownvoices preferred) or with a strong romantic element. A clear voice is also key for me – if you’re very funny or very lyrical, I’d love to see it!
My own stories tend to be about female friendships, combatting injustice, Jewish identity, and epic romance, so I’m always thrilled to see more of those stories. I always cry at intergenerational moments and sometimes I check the end of the book first to make sure the couple gets a happily-ever-after (sorry, I know I’m a monster).
- Magical Realism/Fabulism
- Own Voices
I adore enemies-to-lovers and love/hate romances. I’m a sucker for anything with royalty – send me your hidden princesses and your Meghan Markle inspired romcoms. I’ll read anything set in France, anything about Judaism, anything with a very deep research job beneath it (esp in histfic).
I WILL PROVIDE:
- Edit Letter (Big Picture developmental feedback)
- Line edit (dropping notes into a Word Document)
- Skype or phone call
I’m more of an email girl than a phone call girl. I like to leave in-line notes on manuscripts with longer comments in an accompanying email. I prefer to read the full manuscript at one time (rather than chapter-by-chapter–though I will read single chapters or scenes if they need another look).
Someone willing to work hard but also have fun! We’re writing because we love it; this might sometimes be a painful experience (I understand query-hell so much) but in the end, we’re writing because we want this more than anything else in the world. I want a mentee who’s passionate about their work, and about making it better – I might put you through the ringer, but if I’m working with you it’s because I believe in your story 100%, and I want it to be the best possible piece it can be (and also to sell and get a movie deal and you can take me to all the award ceremonies). I really do believe in lots of revision – I’ve cut more words than I’ve written in some manuscripts – so my ideal mentee hopefully won’t be too scared off by that.
I’d love to read manuscripts with:
– Strong female friendships
– Gorgeous romances
– Sweeping settings (my editor once told me I’d spent way too much of one of my books describing sunsets so HIT ME UP with your sunset descriptions)
– Historicals, especially Regencies ❤️ or non-western civilizations
DO NOT SEND ME:
– Crime fiction
– Action and adventure.
– Books that don’t pass the Bechdel test in SPADES
– No girl-on-girl hate please
I cut my teeth on Meg Cabot and Tamora Pierce. I’ve also read everything by Kate Elliott and Sharon Shinn and love them both lots and lots. Recent favorites have included SPINNING SILVER by Naomi Novik and CIRCE by Madeleine Miller; I’m a big fan of lyrical voices and well-developed heroines. I’ve also recently read and loved THE GOLEM AND THE JINNI, DEAR MARTIN, and TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE.
For movies, I watched Ever After at just about every sleepover of my high school career. I’m currently watching The Bold Type which is excellent, and I’ve watched just about every Stargate episode in existence. I adore the newish TV show Timeless, which might be campy as hell, but it is a TIME TRAVEL show with an EPIC ROMANCE and I basically want to live inside it.
Also The Americans. Also Man in the High Castle. Also I potentially watch too much TV.