Eric Smith

Contemporary YA

FAKING PERFECT (June 30, 2015)

ANY OTHER GIRL (January 26, 2016)

THESE THINGS I’VE DONE (August 1, 2017)


Rebecca Phillips has been writing YA since she was a YA herself. She’s the author of:

The JUST YOU series
ANY OTHER GIRL (Kensington)
THE GIRL YOU THOUGHT I WAS (HarperTeen, July 31, 2018)

Rebecca lives in beautiful Nova Scotia, Canada with her husband, two children, and one spoiled rotten cat. Visit Rebecca on her website www.rebeccawritesya.com and on Twitter @RebeccaWritesYA

I’ve been writing pretty much forever, but didn’t start taking it seriously until about 2010. By 2011, I had started to query my very first book, JUST YOU. It didn’t go very well. That was also about the time I discovered the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest. I entered JUST YOU twice, and made it as far as the second round. In 2011, I wrote a book called OUT OF NOWHERE with the ABNA contest in mind. In 2012, that book ended up making it all the way to the Top 3. I got to go to Seattle for an awards gala filled with Penguin publishing folks and people from Amazon. It was wild. My success in that contest caught the eye of Carly Watters, my first agent. I signed with her in 2012, but it was two years before we sold a book. Kensington Publishing bought my books FAKING PERFECT and ANY OTHER GIRL, published in 2015 and 2016 respectively. Shortly after, Carly stopped repping YA and my books and I were passed along to a new agent at the agency, who was none other than the amazing Eric Smith. Within two months of signing with him, he scored me a two-book deal with HarperTeen. I’m currently working on another book that will hopefully go on sub in a few months.

I’ve been beta reading/proofreading/critiquing in some capacity for over six years. Most authors find copy editing annoying and tedious, but I truly enjoy it. Making sentences shine is one of my favorite things. I’ve had several critique partners, mostly new authors and some Big 5 published authors as well, and working with them was an extremely rewarding experience. My speciality is copy editing (I love the attention-to-detail stuff), but I also like the big picture editing–pace, characterization, plotting, etc. Basically, I’m just madly in love with words.

I remember being a new author, confused and overwhelmed by the scary world of publishing. It’s a tough business that requires superhuman amounts of patience and drive, and it helps to have as much support as possible, especially from someone who’s been there and understands. I didn’t really have that at first, and I know it would have made all the difference if I’d had someone to talk to, vent to, celebrate with, etc. I’d love to be that person for someone now.

My dream manuscript would be a realistic, contemporary coming of age YA with at least a hint of romance. I prefer first person, but I’m not opposed to third person. Multiple POVs are cool too. Basically, I’d like something I can get invested in, with characters I want to root for, even if they’re messy and flawed and not exactly likeable.

  • Contemporary
  • Mystery/Thriller
  • Romance

I love realistic, coming of age stories with a strong element of romance.

Tropes I love: friends to lovers (especially if they’re childhood friends), love triangles (I really don’t mind them if they’re done well), from hate to love (oooh, the tension), opposites attract, forbidden romance, unlikable narrator.

Tropes I do not like: absentee parents (family is a big part of a teen’s life and I want to see that), evil blond cheerleader (please no), love at first sight (I want to see the relationship build and evolve), teens who talk/act like 40 year old adults.


  • Edit Letter (Big Picture developmental feedback)
  • Line edit (dropping notes into a Word Document)
  • Freestyle in chat

My working style typically goes like this: you email me your manuscript in a Word .doc. I proofread and comment using track changes. I send the marked up manuscript back to you, along with big picture feedback (plot, characters, pacing, what I think works, what I think doesn’t work, suggestions for improvement, etc) in the body of the email. But of course I’m flexible and willing to go with whatever works for you. I’m also open to chatting and brainstorming over email or Messenger.

My ideal mentee is someone who is open to feedback and has the motivation to improve. Preferably with a writing style and voice that clicks with me.

Anything that includes: fun and light romance, dark and serious romance, gritty topics, high stakes, witty banter, introverts, suspense, unreliable narrators, survival stories, different cultures, diverse characters, sibling relationships, mental illness, tight-knit friend groups, bullies, toxic friendships, family issues, unique settings.

Books in verse, fantasy, sci fi, horror, love at first sight, alpha males, sports romance.

I’m a total Netflix binge-watcher. Supernatural, Friday Night Lights, Gilmore Girls, Grey’s Anatomy, and The Office are just a few of my faves. I’m also a reality TV fan, but only the originals, like Survivor, The Amazing Race, and Big Brother (I’d call them guilty pleasures, but I don’t feel guilty).

I will devour any book written by Sarah Dessen, Morgan Matson, Nicola Yoon, Jenny Han, Becky Albertalli, Angie Thomas, Kasie West, Julie Murphy, Brandy Colbert, and Stephen King. Judy Blume is my earliest and biggest inspiration.

I’m obsessed with the Outlander series and Harry Potter. I’m a true crime buff. I love cats, The Sims, and chocolate. Oh, and wine…I also like wine.