Jen DeLuca was born and raised near Richmond, Virginia, but now lives in Arizona with her husband and a houseful of rescue pets. She loves latte-flavored lattes, Hokies football, and the Oxford comma.
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, but started taking it seriously around 2002 or so. After querying and trunking one really bad novel, I tried a romance novel for NaNo one year and I was hooked! I started querying it in 2014, and after a few R&Rs and PitchWars (i.e. MANY rewrites), I signed with Taylor Haggerty in late 2016. That book didn’t sell on submission, but while I was on sub I wrote WELL MET, and it sold in a two-book deal after less than a month on submission. I’ve signed a subsequent deal for two more Ren Faire books to come in 2021 and 2022.
In PitchWars I was a co-mentee with Helen Hoang, working with Brighton Walsh. I’ve worked with a lot of my other 2016 Pitch Wars mentees on their queries, and have CPed and beta read for them as well. I have a degree in theatre and worked as a paralegal for about 15 years.
I wouldn’t be published without the help and mentorship of other writers, and I would love the opportunity to help some other writers up the ladder.
I write romance so that’s what I gravitate toward, but all in all I love a well-told story with characters I can care about. I’d love to find a romantic comedy that makes me laugh and fall in love, but I wouldn’t be opposed to something historical or speculative, that takes me to a world different from the one I’m living in right now. (Please take me away, I don’t like the world I’m living in right now.)
- Urban/Contemporary Fantasy
I love contemporary romance, but I’m open to historical romance or an urban/contemporary fantasy with some great world building. I’m not good with sci-fi or fantasy or horror.
I WILL PROVIDE:
- Edit Letter (Big Picture developmental feedback)
- Line edit (dropping notes into a Word Document)
- Skype or phone call
- Freestyle in chat
You’ll get your manuscript back with all kinds of notes … usually of the squeeing variety of all the things I love, as well as some things I think we can make better. You’ll also get an edit letter from me, where I lay out my thoughts on your manuscript as a whole–the things you do very successfully, and the things that we can work on together to make stronger. I will always be available for brainstorming, whether it’s via chat (WhatsApp is great for that) or a Skype/Zoom call if you do better speaking out loud.
Once you’ve revised, I’m happy to help you develop a querying strategy, and I’ll be with you every step of the way.
I’m going to be your biggest cheerleader and your toughest critic, but keep in mind that the goal is to make your writing stronger, and your manuscript the best it can possibly be!
My ideal mentee will LOVE the revision process—finding those little moments that make their characters come even more to life. I’d love to work with someone who has put in the work on making their story the best they know how, and are eager for a fresh set of eyes to put it over the top. Be open to criticism, and understand that it comes from a place of love and a desire to help you improve.
I’d love a witty romantic comedy–I love to laugh and I love to fall in love. I’m down for almost all of the tropes: enemies to lovers, friends to lovers, fake dating, there’s only one bed! Show me real people with real problems. I don’t go much for slapstick-style humor, but I love all the banter I can get. Recent favorite books are THE HATING GAME, LOVE LETTERING, and THE ROOMMATE.
I also have a paranormal streak, so if you’ve got something with some magic or supernatural creatures, I’d love to see it. I’d want a well-crafted world, or something that dovetails with ours … like the worlds of Neil Gaiman’s NEVERWHERE or Leigh Bardugo’s NINTH HOUSE. I’m intrigued by worlds of magic that lie parallel to our own. I love Tarot and everyday witchcraft.
Have you written an adult version of JULIE AND THE PHANTOMS? GIVE IT TO ME.
If you’ve got a historical romance set in an atypical time (no WWII or Regency England), I’d love to see it. Have you written about a lesser-known moment in history? Gimme!
DO NOT SEND ME:
Tropes I do NOT like include cheating or anything with babies as a plot device. An epilogue with a baby or a pregnancy isn’t a dealbreaker, but it’s not my fave.
Mild spookiness is good, but I’m too much of a wuss for true horror.
If you don’t have a happy, optimistic ending, it’s probably not the story for me.
- THE NIGHT CIRCUS
- STATION ELEVEN
- ANYONE BUT YOU
- SILENT IN THE GRAVE
- THE WEST WING
- GILMORE GIRLS (Team Jess!)
- JULIE AND THE PHANTOMS
- CRASH LANDING ON YOU
- SCHITT’S CREEK
- PARKS AND REC
- THE MANDALORIAN
- I’m a Star Wars nerd (mild Reylo), as well as Lord of the Rings.
Other favorites include:
- THE MUMMY/THE MUMMY RETURNS
- A KNIGHT’S TALE
- THAT THING YOU DO
- THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.
I love any and every Sondheim musical.
I collect fountain pens, have a cat tarot card deck, and like riding my bike and am a beginning hiker.