www.jordankellyauthor.com
@JordanMarisa11

AGENT
Jordan Hamessley

WRITES
YA Contemporary

DEBUT
On Submission

BIO
Gryffindor. INFP. Feminist. Coffee drinker.

By day, I plan parties and manage social media. By night, I write young adult novels. (Okay, and binge-watch Netflix.)

I live in Melbourne, Florida (where the rockets launch from!), with my boyfriend of four years. We’re a great team, especially when we’re playing Overcooked on the PlayStation or making music (Him: guitar, Me: singing. Our favorite song to play right now is Cigarette Daydreams by Cage the Elephant.) We visit the beach approximately once a year, but when we do leave the house on the weekends, we like to go to theme parks (Hagrids Motorbike Adventure is my favorite roller coaster of all time!) and the movie theater. I saw over 20 movies in theater this year. My favorites were Booksmart, Hustlers, Honey Boy, Little Women and Frozen 2.

My non-writing talents include singing and graphic design. I also have an affinity for classic literature (I was an English major once upon a time) and musical theater (Publishing a YA theater book is totally on my bucket list!)

PUBLISHING BACKGROUND
I was a mentee in Round 3 of Author Mentor Match. I went through a few heavy (and very educational) revisions with my mentor before querying. I received many full requests and three offers of representation before signing with my wonderful agent Jordan Hammessley at New Leaf Literary. We are currently on submission!

EXPERIENCE
I have worked extensively on books and queries for critique partners who are now signed with agents, and I mentored in Round 6 of AMM. My first mentee did a big rewrite of her book and a few rounds of revision. Over our time working together, her writing abilities have developed tremendously and she is currently querying.

OVERVIEW
I know there are a lot of budding writers who need someone who believes in them and their story to bounce ideas off of, point them to the right resources, and reach out to when they feel out of their depth in the scary world of publishing. I want to be that person for you!

Before beginning the book I signed with my agent, I had so many false starts on other books that never made it past 20K words. So when I finally had THE idea—you know, the one that kept me up at night, that I couldn’t stop developing, that really felt like it might be good enough—I didn’t want to send it out a moment too early.

The world of publishing seemed so out of reach to me. I did A LOT of research and discovered the book community on Twitter. As a terribly shy person, I was too afraid to reach out to potential critique partners or established writers and ask for help. That’s when I heard about AMM and thought I’d give it my best shot. It is mind-boggling to think in less than a year I made the journey from crossing my fingers I would get into a mentorship program to multiple agent offers and becoming agent-siblings with my mentor!

One of the best things my experience with Author Mentor Match has given me is a community! Since I got into the program in 2017, I have met writers going through the same experiences, striving for the same things, and others who are a few steps ahead and have been graciously willing to offer advice and encouragement. I look forward to ushering someone into the writing community who maybe feels like they are on the outskirts of it now and waiting for someone to pull them out onto the figurative dance floor.

I’m drawn to YA because adolescence was the time in my life when I was a shy, earnest, insecure, passionate, hopeless romantic MESS of a theater kid and a total nerd, but someone who didn’t excel in school. I felt constantly out of place and misunderstood. I love to write about complicated teenagers who are rough-around-the-edges and yearning to be seen, but don’t always know how to go about getting what they want or need, and make a lot of mistakes along the way.

YA Contemporary is what I write, it’s (for the most part) what I read, it’s where I’ll be most helpful as a mentor. That being said, contemporary is a big genre and my taste within that genre is very broad. I’m open to stories that are heart-wrenching, absurd, funny, haunting, swoony or a combination of these qualities.

  • Contemporary
  • Romance
  • Mystery/Thriller
  • Magical Realism/Fabulism
  • #ownvoices
  • LGBTQIA

Send me stories about families, found families, and loving friend groups. I would also love to work on a romance or a book with a romantic subplot. (Of course, that includes LGBTQIA love stories as well!)

For magical realism, I’m looking for heavy on the real, easy on the magic. In mysteries/thrillers, I’m looking for something a la E Lockhart or something that will remind me of the Charlotte Holmes series.

I WILL PROVIDE:

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

WORKING STYLE
Initially, I will send an edit letter and give you some time to look it over. A lot of my feedback will come in the form of, “X should have a bigger emotional shift by the end”, “Y needs to be fleshed out”, “I want to know more about what makes X fall for Y”, etc. and I will ask questions about your characters to get you thinking. I will offer up potential answers to these questions and ideas on how to solve problems, but more importantly, we’ll schedule a time to talk when we can brainstorm together and I can elaborate on my notes.

Once we’ve gone over your revision plan, you can message me whenever you get stuck or need input while you’re working. When you have a new draft, I will do another read of the book and decide if we need one more big picture edit (sometimes necessary!) or just a line edit.

Ultimately, I plan on working with my mentee through the querying stage. We’ll work together on crafting a great query, putting together a list of agents, and discuss querying strategy. Querying can be a very stressful process, but I will be there to talk through everything and offer encouragement/advice.

Beyond Author Mentor Match, I would love to be your cheerleader and go-to reader for future work.

IDEAL MENTEE
I’m looking for a mentee who is seeking feedback, ready for lots of revision, and who understands this whole process–from writing to revision to querying is not a race. You should be prepared to work hard and kill your darlings if necessary.

At the same time, it shouldn’t be a one way street! I think one of the most important parts of the mentor-mentee relationship is talking organically about problems and coming up with solutions together. Ultimately, this is your book and I want us to work on making it the book you want to put out in the world.

SEND ME:

  • Diverse cast of characters
  • Characters struggling with mental illness
  • Artistic or musical characters
  • Stories involving competitions
  • Stories that take place on a television or movie set or stories with celebrity characters
  • Dual-POV stories
  • Sex positivity
  • Characters with part-time jobs
  • Characters with wild empathy that gets them in trouble
  • Liberal characters, feminist characters, characters who want to fight for what’s right
  • Girls who aren’t afraid to be loud, inconvenient, or bold OR girls who have been afraid in the past but are ready to speak up for what they want/be true to themselves.
  • Boys who aren’t afraid to be sensitive and express feelings OR boys who are ready to open themselves up in this way.
  • Teens in conflict with their parents/authority figures
  • Characters who need forgiveness or have some forgiving to do
  • Quiet books with beautiful sentences that will punch me in the gut. I love when a MC lets me into the lesser-traveled corners of their heart, shows me the places they are broken, tells me their darkest thoughts, or owns up to their faults and weaknesses.
  • Ambitious books! I am here for your unique structures, morally-complicated characters, and unreliable narrators!
  • Books that could be comped too…
    A STUDY IN CHARLOTTE, DRESS CODES FOR SMALL TOWNS, HOT DOG GIRL, IF I’M BEING HONEST, I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN, LOOKING FOR ALASKA, PANIC, PLEASE FORGIVE VERA DIETZ, RAMONA BLUE, STRANGE FASCINATIONS OF NOAH HYPNOTIK, THE SUMMER OF JORDI PEREZ, TELL ME EVERYTHING, WE ARE OKAY, WE WERE LIARS, WHY WE BROKE UP, YOU’LL MISS ME WHEN I’M GONE

DO NOT SEND ME:

  • Graphic Violence/Gore
  • Retellings
  • Teenagers who never make mistakes
  • Sad/depressing/heavy stories that don’t have at least a glimmer of hope

FAVES
TV Shows: Atypical, Derry Girls, Gilmore Girls, Gossip Girl, Fleabag, New Girl, Stranger Things, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Fosters, The Politician

Movies: Booksmart, Dead Poet’s Society, Eighth Grade, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Juno, Lady Bird, Little Women (2019), Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Miseducation of Cameron Post, The Parent Trap (1998), Time Traveler’s Wife, Titanic, The Hunger Games, The Truman Show