Kristina Pérez at Zeno Agency Ltd
MG Fantasy, Historical Fantasy
After travelling the world while working for a non-profit, Cristin now lives in Europe with her husband and four daughters. When she’s not writing adventure-filled MG fantasy or dark and lyrical adult fantasy, you’ll find her studying history, photographing castles, or exploring the misty forests of the Belgian Ardennes.
I started off writing adult historical fiction. My first novel won the Paul Gillette Award in 2010, but I didn’t have any luck finding an agent for that story. My next manuscript was a YA historical fantasy, and I signed with my first literary agency in 2015. After a year of intense revisions, that manuscript went out on submission, but unfortunately, it didn’t sell. I parted ways with my first agent at the end of 2018 and wrote an Indiana Jones-esque MG fantasy that was chosen for AMM Round 6. I had such an incredible experience in AMM, both in working with my mentor and in the supportive community that my fellow mentees formed. In early 2020, I signed with Kristina Pérez at Zeno Literary Agency in London, and my AMM book is currently out on submission.
I’ve worked with a wide-range of CP’s through the years, many of whom have signed with agents or become published authors. Working with editorial agents and being mentored in AMM has also honed my skills and improved my ability to offer feedback to others. I beta read around 20 manuscripts a year.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that Author Mentor Match changed my life. I was at such a low point when I submitted my manuscript on a whim. Having a mentor pick me out of the submission pile and believe in me gave me the confidence to dig into my revisions and make that manuscript shine. I’m so grateful for the friendships I made with the other mentees, and I truly feel like I’ve found my community. I signed up to be a mentor so I could pay it forward and offer another writer the opportunity I was given!
The best thing you can do for your writing career is find a supportive community and people who will both cheerlead you and challenge you to grow. I’m looking forward to welcoming my mentee into the AMM community and helping them take their writing to the next level.
I’m looking for voice-driven middle grade in a variety of genres. I prefer books that have a commercial hook, but deep themes and plenty of heart. Fantasy is my sweet spot, but I also love mysteries, horror, historicals, and heartfelt contemporaries.
- Magical Realism/Fabulism
- Urban/Contemporary Fantasy
I’m looking for upper middle grade in a variety of genres. I love fantasy, historical, mystery, and contemporary with heart. Though I enjoy some sci-fi, I’m not the best mentor for space opera. I’m also not in the headspace for books that are very sad (terminal illness, abuse, animal deaths, etc.).
I WILL PROVIDE:
- Edit Letter (Big Picture developmental feedback)
- Line edit (dropping notes into a Word document)
- Skype or phone call
- Freestyle in chat
To me, edits are all about drawing out potential. I’ll ask tons of questions to help you clarify plot, theme, and character arc, and also point out what I think is already wonderful about your book. If you are my mentee, you can expect an edit letter explaining what is working well and what I think could be improved through revisions with a follow-up call to talk things through and brainstorm solutions. I’ll expect you to work to a deadline that we both agree upon. When the developmental edits are done, I’ll read the manuscript again and provide scene-level feedback. I’m happy to answer questions at any stage and give input on submission materials and query lists.
Added bonus: My 11-year-old loves to read my CP’s books and offer feedback from a kid’s perspective. She’d be happy to read my mentee’s final draft, if they want her to.
Someone committed to taking their craft to the next level and working hard to make their manuscript excellent. I’d love to work with someone who will take my notes and run with them, finding creative solutions and new ways to elevate their manuscript. Ideally, I’d love to develop an ongoing relationship with my mentee and to support them through the querying trenches to the submission trenches and beyond.
Most of all, I want to fall in love with your main character. Give me someone I can root for, someone flawed but trying their best. I’d love to find a distinctive voice, whether it be quirky, witty, lyrical, or full of whimsy.
For SFF, I’d love to see:
- Fantasy (of any stripe) with imaginative worlds and settings that feel like characters in their own right, like the Nevermoor Series or THE SPINNER OF DREAMS.
- Creative plot structures where the characters search for clues and solve puzzles, like the York series or THE BLACKTHORN KEY. Or creative storytelling structures: epistolary novels, novels in verse, combining media as a means for storytelling.
- Paranormal with a humorous twist: is your vampire trying to live a vegan lifestyle or does your young witch’s dyslexia lead to hilarious consequences when she mixes up spells?
- Epic Adventures. I’d especially love to see an all-girl cast out on a quest together.
- A specialty boarding school like Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls series. Are your characters training to be spies, detectives, wizards, elite athletes, evil geniuses, thieves? Anything highly specific and competitive? I’d love to read a book like this.
- Myth, folklore, and legends – either retellings or original to the world you’ve created. I’d also be interested in reading about a campy urban legend come to life, like Stranger Things in book form.
- For science fiction, my tastes tend to run more contemporary with a speculative twist.
For Contemporary or historical:
- Books about family – multi-generational, non-traditional, big families, divorced families, immigrant families, found families. I love stories about kids discovering their place in their community, like SONG FOR A WHALE or COUNTING THYME.
- Navigating firsts – crushes, friendship breakups, periods, etc.
- I’d love to receive a book set during a holiday (any holiday!) and filled with family traditions.
- Historical novels that shine a light on lesser-known events or offer a unique perspective on common settings. I’m a huge history nerd, and I love to learn new things. I’d especially love to read a historical novel in a non-western setting.
- Mystery and horror. I grew up reading Goosebumps and Fear Street, and I love the thrill of books that chill my bones and keep me guessing until the very end. If you would describe your book as spooky, Gothic, or dark, I’d love to see it.
DO NOT SEND ME:
- Books about terminal illness or sexual abuse – I’m just not in the right headspace for these themes at the moment.
- Space opera or books about aliens – I don’t know why, but books set in space make me super anxious. I’m not the right mentor for these.
- Books where the crush is the inciting incident. It’s a personal pet peeve when the main character only enters the plot because of a cute boy/girl. I don’t mind characters having a crush, but I want the main action to be driven by the protagonist’s goals and for the crush to be a secondary factor at most.
- Animal deaths.
Books I’ve loved in 2020:
- The Liveship Traders trilogy by Robin Hobb
- The Stormlight Archives series by Brandon Sanderson
- The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands
- Tweetcute by Emma Lord
- The Magesterium series by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
- Ghost by Jason Reynolds
- The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett
- Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly
I love any kind of period drama, or shows like Project Runway where the entire creative process plays out in an episode.
Stardust, Ever After, LOTR, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Titanic.