As an only child, Lora Beth grew up telling herself stories and reading past her bedtime. She’s spent her adulthood collecting degrees, careers, and stamps in her passport. Currently, she lives in North Carolina where she teaches writing to college freshmen—using fan fiction and animated GIFs—and piano to children—using luck and a great deal of patience. In addition to writing, she has a passion for linguistics, fandom subcultures, and the multiverse theory.
I started writing in earnest about six years ago. I queried my first novel way too soon, but through that experience I learned that I loved writing so much I was willing to fail until I succeeded. After a few false starts and a novel I decided not to query, I found an agent with my third completed manuscript. I revised based on her notes, and we went on submission. My book sold in May, and now I’m getting ready to revise again, this time with notes from my editor. Eek!
I earned my Master’s in Creative Writing. I received an MA, instead of an MFA, so I also did research… on fandom! I focused specifically on fanfiction and the power exchange between fans and creators. I now work as a college English instructor, where I teach first-year composition and creative writing. I also have experience as a CP. My critique partner, Emily Suvada wrote THIS MORTAL COIL, an intense YA scifi thriller that came out last fall. (It’s FANTASTIC. Have you read it yet? YOU SHOULD. RIGHT NOW. THE SEQUEL IS OUT OCT 30!)
Writing is hard. And publishing is even harder. I’m lucky enough to have the support of my critique partner, writing friends, and faculty mentors. Without them, I would have given up a long time ago. In turn, I want to support other writers who are beginning their journey into publishing.
I’m looking to mentor a YA SFF manuscript by a writer who is passionate about growing in their craft and telling unique, engaging stories. I gravitate toward strong voices and rich characterization. I love when authors have a firm grasp of how language can be used efficiently and creatively, but I shy away from flowery prose. I’m fascinated by the intersection between sci-fi and fantasy.
As a mentor, I like seeking out potential and looking for possibilities. I’m character-driven, but I also love a good plot twist. I strive to give honest, helpful feedback that not only helps you make your manuscript stronger, but will strengthen you as a writer. I’ll be a resource, and a cheerleader.
In scifi, I’m a big fan of space operas, superpowers, tech/science gone wrong, and parallel universes. For fantasy, I love unique world-building and systems of magic with strict rules and consequences.
I’m probably not the best mentor for urban fantasy or fantasies involving fae. And I’d rather not deal with time travel, because I love it SO MUCH and it’s so hard to write. I can’t be objective about time travel stories.
I WILL PROVIDE:
- Edit Letter (Big Picture developmental feedback)
- Line edit (dropping notes into a Word Document)
- Freestyle in chat
I primarily like to look at the big picture first—structure, plot points, character arcs and relationships. I spend a lot of time thinking about characterization and emotional beats. On a sentence level, the linguist in me focuses on rhythm, word choice, and rhetorical strategies.
I like to think I’m a good balance of honest and helpful. The way I go about critique will depend on the manuscript and what I think would most benefit for you. Through teaching, I’ve developed a sense of how to personalize critique to best serve the author and their story.
I’d love to mentor someone who is excited about growing as a writer. You need to be open to critique and ready to challenge yourself. My ideal mentee would have a strong sense of their genre’s market and be aware of the reader. You also need to be willing to kill your darlings and allow yourself to explore new possibilities.
Ace/demi rep, awkward declarations of love, secret space princesses, romance-driven space operas with plenty of action, girl gangs, found families, (acurate) depictions of anxiety/social anxiety, humor, twists upon twists upon twists, Scottish highland cows.
DO NOT SEND ME:
I’m not looking for manuscripts that feature sexual assault, romanticized toxic masculinity, or excessive violence. Nothing too bleak, please. (I need light at the end of the tunnel.) I’m not the best mentor for contemporary romance, angsty romance, or really any romance that’s not balanced with a fair number of explosions and spaceships.
Movies: Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Marvel movies, The Mummy (1999)
TV shows: Doctor Who, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Brooklyn Nine Nine
Books: Six of Crows (really, any Leigh Bardugo), Fangirl, Pride & Prejudice (though as I get older, I’m starting to prefer Persuasion), This Mortal Coil (#cplove), Daughter of Smoke and Bone, The Lunar Chronicles, anything by VE Schwab
Graphic Novels: Saga, Ms. Marvel, Runaways
Brontë: Not Branwell
Linguistic concept: paralinguistic restitution