Nic Stone was born and raised in a suburb of Atlanta, GA, and the only thing she loves more than an adventure is a good story about one. After graduating from Spelman College, she worked extensively in teen mentoring and lived in Israel for a few years before returning to the US to write full-time. Growing up with a wide range of cultures, religions, and backgrounds, Stone strives to bring these diverse voices and stories to her work.
Her debut novel, DEAR MARTIN, was a #1 New York Times bestseller (which is nuts), and she will never not be gobsmacked by the fact that people genuinely want to read the stuff that comes out of her head. You can find her goofing off and/or fangirling over her adorable little family on most social media platforms, though she “can’t deal” with Facebook, kind of hates Twitter, and thinks it best to just follow her on Instagram @nicstone.
First completed MS – Landed me an agent through a mentor, but no book deal. You can find said MS on Wattpad.
Second completed MS – Landed me a NEW agent through the traditional query process (first one let me go when she realized she couldn’t sell my work, and I got annoying), but again no book deal. I had around 2 dozen rejections that I will eventually post on the internet, but the process of securing new rep didn’t take super long, relatively speaking. I started 10/3/2014 and got an offer of rep on 12/8/2014. [EXCITING thing though: I finally sold it to my current editor–who initially rejected it as you will see below–and it will officially be published in Spring 2022.]
Third completed MS – didn’t get written until after I sold the book on proposal. Long story as short as I can make it: went with the agent who offered rep on 12/8/14, did some minor editing, and the book went out on submission the first Monday in 2015. Rejections poured in, but one editor asked if I was working on anything else (I wasn’t actively). I took 12 hours and pulled together a synopsis and two sample chapters for an idea that had been kicking around in my head, turned it in, and a couple weeks later, received a two-book offer. That proposal was for DEAR MARTIN. Which I then drafted in 6 weeks and wound up having to completely rewrite. It was excruciating, but wound up being worthwhile obviously.
That book released in October 2017, five others have released since, and I’m currently under contract for seven others and have six more on submission as of 12/1/2020. And I’m on my third agent.
Morals of the story:
- Don’t be a quitter
- Go hard or go home
- Don’t sell a debut on proposal.
I have a number of published-and-still-publishing critique partners, have helped a high double-digit number of people secure agents and/or major book deals, and have also interned with a major literary agent, handling her query intake and slush pile. Also pretty solidly versed in the nitty gritty of this shark tank of an industry (that I love… most of the time).
Writing books is hard, and being an author is harder. I have a solid group of mentors that I wouldn’t be here without, and paying it forward is always a good look.
I also know how grueling and scary a process this whole thing is, and how difficult it can be to even get the attention of the people who can makes your dreams come true, so lending my hand (and my name) in that process makes ME feel good. 😉
I just really love good books, and I love writers who:
- Genuinely care about the audiences they write for (especially when it comes to kids)
- BELIEVE that what they’ve written will be valuable to someone else.
My personal trifecta of factors that make a *good* book are voice, heart, and humor. I want to know and love the characters and feel more connected to my own humanity and the humanity of others as a result of having entered the story. I also love stories that show me an old thing in a new way or make me examine something I think I know from a different angle. And my story kryptonites are flipped/expanded tropes and fun with form, aka how the story is written. Straightforward prose is cool as long as the plot and pacing keep the pages turning, but elements like dual/multi POV, letters, footnotes, nonlinear formatting, text messages, fictional newspaper clippings, etc… when they’re well-executed, I am smitten.
Give me something innovative!
- MG Fantasy (just not YA Fantasy)
I love tropes. Just make them interesting. And with marginalized voice stories–#OV and LGBTQIAP+–give me some hope and light.
I WILL PROVIDE:
- Edit Letter (Big Picture developmental feedback)
- Line edit (dropping notes into a Word Document)
- Skype or phone call
- Freestyle in chat. We’re going to be pals.
Once my mentee, always my mentee. My goal with AMM is to build a relationship with an aspiring professional storyteller, and to be available through every stage of their career progression. He/she/they will have full access to me and my network.
I’d love to gchat with my mentee, to discuss ideas, the industry, brainstorming, etc. I’ll point you towards my favorite resources, share knowledge I have that may be useful, suggest agents I think would love your book… and of course I’ll help with your query. I LOVE writing query letters/querying. Think of me as your guide and sounding board… and hopefully friend!
I’m a big fan of open-eyed ambition: people who keep their heads in the clouds and dream big, but have their feet planted solidly on the ground and are strategic in their pursuit of said dreams. There needs to be a balance of confidence in the work, and openness to making it better, and an understanding that while writing is solitary, making something readable is collaborative.
My ideal mentee’s top priority is creating works that are authentic and humanizing, and they aren’t driven by ego or primarily in pursuit of accolades (which are arbitrary) or bestsellerdom.
I want to mentor a person who wants to tell stories for a living because that’s who they are, and writing is something they can’t NOT do.
Give me something fresh ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
DO NOT SEND ME:
No YA fantasy (MG fantasy is fine), though fantasy elements in a contemporary setting are cool (the whole *genre* thing is blah to me… not everything can be/needs to be categorized while it’s being created). And nothing centered on racism as the driving force of the character’s journey. Everything else is fair game.
TV: Watchmen, Lovecraft Country, Black Mirror, Scandal/How To Get Away With Murder, Mr. Robot
Films: too many to list, but huge Marvel fan, and I love mysteries. Knives Out was a big favorite last year. Also love artsy independent stuff like Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk.
Books: Allegedly by Tiffany D Jackson, A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan, The Mothers by Brit Bennett, Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds, 100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith, Please Ignore Vera Dietz by AS King, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks by E Lockhart, Beneath a Meth Moon and Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson, Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson, The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides.