YA Dark Contemporary
WHEN WE COME HOME (Bloomsbury)
Brooke Davis is the author of WHEN WE COME HOME (Spring 2021, Bloomsbury), and she was an AMM mentee in round 2. She majored in English and Creative Writing at Franklin College. She loves stories of all kinds, from plays, to ballets, to TV shows, to memories rehashed over the dinner table. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found annoying her cats, haunting bookstores, or shouting Jeopardy! answers at the TV.
I started writing a novel when I was sixteen, and revised it over and over again for almost ten years. No one else had ever read it, and I realized that I’d gotten as far as I could with the story on my own, so I decided to submit to AMM to get advice from someone who had been there. I got in, revised with my mentor’s notes (Lauren Karcz), and started querying. A year later, I landed my wonderful agent, Victoria Doherty-Munro of Writers House, and a year after that, my dreams came true and I got a two-book deal from Bloomsbury! I’m currently revising book one with my editor, Allison Moore, and drafting book two. Not to mention trying to figure out how the heck an introvert is supposed to promote her own book!
I was an English and Creative Writing major at Franklin College, where I worked in the writing center. I was also on Franklin’s undergraduate literary journal, The Apogee, where I read submissions and worked with authors to polish their short stories and poetry for publication. After college, I started a writing group in my hometown that is still going today, where we commiserate together about the woes of writing, celebrate each other’s wins, and regularly veer off topic.
I wrote for a long, long time in a vacuum. It wasn’t until after I did AMM that I started to open myself up to the idea that writing doesn’t have to be a solitary endeavor. I like the idea of this industry being about making friends and lifting each other up instead of pretending to be friends and competing with each other. I’m just starting out on this publishing journey myself, but I’ve already learned so much that I think could be useful to a mentee.
The stories that stick with me usually have three things in common: a vivid setting, characters with chemistry (romantic or not), and more questions than answers. I’m usually put off by things that end like a Full House episode, where Danny, Jesse, and Joey swoop in at the end with a tidy lesson for the girls. Moral ambiguity is always more interesting to me than a list of Truths or Rules.
I like stuff that’s dark, but not bleak, which I understand isn’t always an easy balance to strike. I want the characters to get knocked on their butts and deal with difficult things, but I want to see the light, too. That doesn’t mean I need a happy ending. It means I want to see what’s worth fighting for in whatever world you’re writing in.
But also, I’ve been totally surprised by the things I enjoy sometimes. And I think that usually happens when the author isn’t writing what they think will sell, or what they think we want to read. Sometimes, I can just feel how much the author loves the story they’re telling, even if it’s a sad one.
If your book is like what I’ve described above, I’d love to hear from you. And if your book is nothing like what I’ve described above, I’d still love to hear from you.
- Magical Realism/Fabulism
Found families, enemies to lovers, bromances, and forbidden romances are my jam. Protagonists with an *I’m not like other girls* mentality get really old to me, really fast.
I WILL PROVIDE:
- Edit Letter (Big Picture developmental feedback)
- Skype or phone call
- Freestyle in chat
My plan is to be there for the long haul, if that’s what my mentee is looking for. I’ll give you an edit letter to begin with, and if you have any questions about the letter, I’d be more than happy to jump on the phone to talk about the notes in-depth. After that, I’d love to take a look at your first revision. Due to my schedule, I probably won’t have enough time for a third full pass, BUT I am always available for questions.
Whenever you’re ready for the query trenches, I’m here to help. I’ll help you make your query letter sing, answer any of your questions about the querying process, send you cat pics when you’re feeling discouraged, and celebrate your wins with you!
It’s my hope that even after you sell your book, I can always be an ally in the industry that you can turn to.
My ideal mentee is anyone who’s hungry to make their dreams happen. And that means that they’ll be open to taking a hard look at their writing, and ready to do the work that’ll make them stand out in an industry full of very talented people.
Anything with a vivid setting is likely to catch my attention. It doesn’t have to be exotic or unusual. The strong sense of place is one of my favorite things about THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater, and it’s just a small town in Virginia, but she captures it so brilliantly.
Stories from the entertainment industry fascinate me. I’d be interested to take a look at a story that follows someone struggling to “make it” in their field, i.e. a band on a cross-country tour, a ballet dancer surviving in a cutthroat environment, an artist who would kill for fame, etc. Think BLACK SWAN or WHIPLASH.
Family sagas have been a longtime favorite of mine, from THE THORN BIRDS to A MILLION JUNES. The connections between family members are always layered and complex, and I’d love to see a manuscript that explores that.
I also have a soft spot for a protagonist with a chip on their shoulder. Give me your anti-heroes!
DO NOT SEND ME:
I adore high fantasy books, but the idea of writing one (or being a mentor for one) overwhelms me. And as much as I loved TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE, romantic comedies and light contemporaries aren’t my area of expertise.
AUTHORS: Mindy McGinnis, Courtney Summers, Emily Henry, Jason Reynolds, Matthew Quick, Ellen Hopkins, Maggie Stiefvater, Diana Gabaldon, Madeline Miller
TV SHOWS: American Horror Story, Supernatural, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Criminal Minds, Outlander, The 100
MOVIES: Black Swan, Silver Linings Playbook, Joy, Me Before You (totally out of line with the others, but wow, I sobbed too much not to mention it)
OTHER: I really like Billie Eilish, Les Misérables, and cats. Just mix those together, and that’s me.