A lifelong writer and reader, Katie Bohn has a B.A. in journalism from Penn State and an honorary degree in mysterious fiction. Her writing tends to revolve around themes of loss, mystery, and belonging, but anything dark or creepy is fair game. When she’s not writing, Katie enjoys adding books to her TBR (and sometimes reading them), spending time with her husband and young son, and cooking new recipes that no one but her seems to like.
A writer all my life, I wrote and scrapped several novels before submitting (and getting into!) Pitch Wars in 2019. After revising and polishing my manuscript, I was lucky enough to sign with my agent shortly after the Agent Showcase and went out on submission with editors earlier this spring.
As a public relations writer specializing in promoting scientific research, I have strong attention to detail, including factual accuracy and line editing. I also regularly mentor other writers at my institution who are new to science writing. On the fiction side, I’ve beta read and been a critique partner for several writers who went on to sign with agents on the same manuscript. And of course, I picked up great editing and mentorship tips from my own mentor in Pitch Wars as well as from editors I’ve worked with.
Finding my writing family has been a huge boon to my writing life—not only do I have people to share ideas, advice, and critiques with, but also true friends to sympathize with when the writing life gets hard. I would love to help someone find their own writing community! And of course, there’s nothing like digging deep into a story and helping it—and its author—become the best version of itself.
This year, I’ll be mentoring adult mystery, thrillers, women’s fiction, or horror. I want twisty plots, complicated characters, and settings that function as a character of their own. But more than anything, I want a story with a strong emotional core—I love stories that break my heart, make me fall in love, terrify me, or all three!
Editorially, I will help identify opportunities for both big picture edits and fine-tuned details. (Don’t worry, I will also squee about everything I already love about your manuscript!) I’m a plotting problem solver and love digging deep into characters’ pasts and motivations to up tension and stakes. I’m big on structure, outlines, and beat sheets—if you are, too, great! But if you’re not—I’d be happy to work with you to incorporate plotting techniques without messing with your natural process.
I’m open to almost any and all flavors of mysteries! I love everything from traditional to cozy to Gothic. Tropes-wise, I love locked room mysteries, country manor houses, and campus/academic settings, to name a few.
I would also love to find women’s fiction in the vein of Kate Morton — dual-timelines that go back and forth between the past and present are one of my favorite formats. I love sweeping narratives that dig deep into the lives and relationships of complicated women.
I also love a good romantic subplot! While I’m not mentoring the romance genre specifically, I love a swoony b-plot. Hit me with enemies to lovers, fake dating, or an “only one bed” scene, and I’m yours.
Of course, none of these are necessary or must haves! More than anything, I want a story that makes me feel something.
I WILL PROVIDE:
- Edit Letter (Big Picture developmental feedback)
- Line edit (dropping notes into a Word Document)
- Skype or phone call
- Freestyle in chat
I’ll start with an edit letter to go over any big picture revisions, as well as a marked-up Word doc with in-line comments, questions, and suggestions. I’m flexible when it comes to communication—as an introvert, I prefer chatting via email or chat. But I’m just a Zoom call away if my mentee needs to talk something through! Once the manuscript is ready, I’d also be happy to help my mentee through the query trenches—it can be a stressful process and I’d love to lend support!
I’m hoping to find a mentee who is willing to work hard to whip their manuscript into shape, but who is also willing to be vulnerable if they’re feeling down and need a pep talk! Writing and publishing is hard, and I’d love to help someone hone their craft while also helping them navigate the ups and downs on the road to publication.
Mysteries! I want to read anything and everything surrounding a central mystery, with a few exceptions noted below. A true crime nut, I love anything that feels like digging into a true crime documentary.
The Gothic! I love crumbling houses, dark and buried secrets, and brooding heroes and heroines. A feminist take on the familiar tropes is my catnip.
Women’s fiction! I love stories about complicated women and their relationships and friendships, especially if there’s a mystery, horror, or other speculative element to the plot.
Ghost stories! If you can comp Sarah Waters’ The Little Stranger or Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black, I need it in my inbox.
DO NOT SEND ME:
Stories with children in peril or parents grieving the loss of a child. With a little guy of my own, it’s just a place I can’t mentally put myself.
Police procedurals. I enjoy reading them, but I don’t have the skill set to help revise and make one shine!
I’m also not the best mentor for fantasy, sci-fi, or acting or military thrillers or mystery.
- Shirley Jackson
- the Brontë sisters
- Susan Hill
- Sarah Waters
- Kate Morton
- Carlos Ruiz Zafón
- Tananarive Due
- Simone St. James
- Tana French