S. Gonzales is a twenty-five year old Australian author currently living in Melbourne. When she’s not at work or writing she can be found figure skating, shortening her lifespan with way too much Pepsi max, or systematically marrying and divorcing every eligible NPC in Stardew Valley. S. Gonzales’s debut YA novel, The Law of Inertia, will be released by Amberjack Publishing in October ’18. Her second YA novel, Only Mostly Devastated, will be released through Wednesday Books in Spring/Summer 2019.
I started writing at approximately five years old. I couldn’t use the computer yet, so Mum typed the story up for me. Unfortunately, she refused to agree on the ending. I wanted all the characters to die in the end, you see. Mum was less sure about this. Luckily, I learned to type for myself before long, and my morbid creativity was stifled no longer. I began writing Harry Potter fanfiction at 11 years old (I lied about my age to get onto the website. One of my lowest points, that). At about 13, I started writing original fiction on fictionpress.com. In late 2014, at 22 years old, I decided I would get an agent, and queried a book that was nowhere near as good as I thought. In 2015, I wrote something way less awful, and made it into the finals of several twitter competitions, including The Writer’s Voice and Query Kombat. Around this time, I signed with my agent, Moe Ferrara. We sold my second book on submission to Amberjack Publishing mid-2017. Recently (as in really, really recently) we took my next book on submission, and pretty promptly got a pre-empt offer from Wednesday Books (on Valentines day!), which we accepted!
While this is my first time officially mentoring, I have been an active CP since 2014. I have also been a finalist in multiple Twitter writing / pitch competitions including Pitchslam, The Writer’s Voice and Query Kombat. I have a tonne of experience in the area of mental health, was an enormous English studies and grammar nerd throughout high school, and I read a lot. A lot a lot. I read the first four HP books over 60 times each before I stopped the tally (I mentioned the nerd bit, right?), and recorded 117 full-length books in my year seven reading challenge.
I didn’t magically get an agent and a book deal. Coming into the writing world on social media, I had a tonne of people who knew what they were doing take me under their wings and tell me everything. Which contests to enter and how, how to write a query, what all the terms meant. I couldn’t have done it without them, and I’m hoping that, by being an AMM mentor, I can help someone else the way I was helped, and be an extra step on the ladder that brings an amazing new voice into our industry.
I’m hoping to find something that can make me laugh out loud and / or forget that the rest of the world exists. Strong personal preference for romance-heavy subplots, and preferably stories with high stakes, danger, risks, soap-opera level drama. If you’ve written a magical unicorn story where a girl saves a guy (and no guys save any girls) then I might scream from excitement. Give me your guys with troubled pasts and girls who aren’t ashamed to be feminine. Give me your diverse characters that reflect our world. If you’re enthusiastic, hard working and hoping to find someone who can be a picky critic as well as a cheerleader, we will work great together! I look forward to reading the fantastic stories I know you all have ready to go.
- Urban/Contemporary Fantasy
I’m a sucker for romance books, particularly ones with some quality banter. I, admittedly, fall for a “bad-boy” (Not necessarily a boy, though 😉 ) type love interest, and think the enemies-to-friends trope can never be overdone. I love myself a good tragic backstory in male characters. I have a personal vendetta against the ‘not-like-other-girls’ trope, and am ALL ABOUT female characters who wear makeup and / or dresses and skirts and remain badass! Love a good plot twist, but only if the twist is well set-up and doesn’t feel like a cop-out.
I WILL PROVIDE:
- Edit Letter (Big Picture developmental feedback)
- Line edit (dropping notes into a Word Document)
- Freestyle in chat
Before starting, I prefer to have a chat about the manuscript history, what you’re hoping to get out of this experience, and if you have any concerns about the manuscript you’d like me to keep an eye out for. My style is then to go through and use track changes for grammar issues and comments for story issues (and compliments, of course!).
I’m picky, but fair. I will never, ever trash your manuscript (and, hey, I picked it, why would I???) but if I think something in particular isn’t working, I will let you know. And if you’d like to have a brainstorm session to figure out ways to work through it, I’d be there to help! I would tend to do most of the edits by word documents attached to email, with any extra chatting via Twitter dms generally.
I’m also hoping to find someone I can support and cheer on long-term, more than a brief “Here’s your letter, good luck, bye now”. 😀
Someone who is open to feedback. The best chances you’ll ever have of reaching your dreams is a willingness to accept that you’ll always have room for growth and improvement (as do I!), and a drive to try out different ways of achieving that goal. I’m also hoping to work with someone who’s enthusiastic and positive (and if you have a dark sense of humour like me, like, I wouldn’t be mad about it???).
Voicey stories that can make me laugh out loud.
Banter! All the banter.
I would love to see more contemporary stories that are *big*. Big stakes, twisty plot, life and death situations, danger, drama, forbidden kisses. . . Us contemporary writers tend to let speculative have all the fun with these kind of plots! It’s our turn now too!
Romance that can give me butterflies just from the characters accidentally brushing arms. Love me some tension.
DO NOT SEND ME:
I am definitely not the person for a story that contains sexual assault and / or rape, *unless* it’s the entire point of the story. Rape and assault (including attempted) as either plot occurrences or backstories are really not my jam. I’m not saying it’s inherently wrong, but it’s something that I personally don’t enjoy reading, so another mentor would certainly be better suited!
In a similar vein, I’m not the mentor for a female character with a tragic backstory. For me, I never really liked it. Just personal preference again!
Finally, I’m not the mentor if you have a female character who is saved by a male character. If a female saves a male** (this one in particular will make me cheer!), or a male saves a male, or a female saves a female, we’re cooking with gas. But no damsels needing to be rescued by a guy for me, please and thank you!
Obsessed with Harry Potter still, love Cassandra Clare, addicted to Unreal the TV show, have watched the series Please Like Me 3x full times from beginning to end. If you want to know my sense of humour, it’s basically that show. Also a big anime fan!!