Suzie Townsend

MG/YA/Adult Fantasy, Science Fiction and Horror

Not Even Bones (Sept 4 2018)
Only Ashes Remain (September 3, 2019)

Rebecca Schaeffer was born and raised in the Canadian prairies. Her itchy feet took her far from home when she turned eighteen, and she hasn’t returned for more than a few months here or there since. You can find her sitting in a cafe on the other side of the world, writing about villains, antiheroes and morally ambiguous characters.

My debut, Not Even Bones, came out in 2018, about a girl who dissects monsters and sells their body parts on the internet. The sequel comes out this year. Before Not Even Bones was picked up, I wrote half a dozen other novels and queried them over many years.

I was a mentee in Pitchwars several years ago and I’ve mentored in both AMM and Pitchwars, so I’ve been on both sides of mentorship programs. I’ve also got a degree in creative writing, and a number of CPs who are published.

I was a mentee in pitchwars years ago, and the experience was incredible for my writing and career. I know how valuable a good mentor is, and I want to help others the way my mentors helped me.

I’m a chameleon, and I read and write in a lot of genres. I love all sub genres of fantasy, science fiction, horror, and historical that mixes any kind of speculative element in it. I’m a sucker for interesting world building that feels different and unique, and have a weakness for stories featuring diverse mythology. I also love all things monstrous or not quite human, be they demons or AIs, and I love multidimensional characters who might be a little (or a lot) evil.

  • Fantasy
  • Sci-Fi
  • Historical
  • #ownvoices
  • Urban/Contemporary Fantasy
  • Horror

I’m looking for upper middle grade in a wide variety of genres. I love all kinds of science fiction (space opera, cyberpunk, alternate realities, whatever), fantasy (high, contemporary, steampunk, dark, gothic, ALLLLLLL OF THEM), and horror! For historical, I do tend to prefer historical fantasy over regular historical.


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

I’ll provide a big picture edit letter first, and if the mentee wants we can Skype and talk it over and brainstorm solutions together. After those edits, I’ll read over again looking for scene level things. I’ll help with query writing and editing, as well as support through the query trenches.

Someone who is eager to improve, listens, and then takes my suggestions and expands on them in their own ways to improve the book further. I want someone who knows they can make their book better and is willing to take the time to make it happen.

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of things I love to see!

  • M O N S T E R S. I love monster books, especially where the monsters are interesting three dimensional characters
  • I’d love something set in space, where the hero has grown up in a spaceship or on another planet
  • cyberpunk!
  • Books with a sentient AI
  • diverse books that utilize mythology in interesting ways! I’d love a book that appeals to the Rick Riordan presents imprint
  • Vampires
  • Interesting and unusual world building. I love well thought out, unique world building
  • Demons! I absolutely adored the Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding and I’d love a book like that
  • Evil genius main characters
  • main characters who are deeply flawed, not necessarily good, and not necessarily doing the right thing for the right reasons. I like broken people with depth and humanity
  • something haunting and creepy and spooky. I really love viscerally written atmospheric books that will chill me
  • stories set outside the US! Bonus points if the story is set in any of the places I’ve lived (Tokyo, Hong Kong, Lima, Taipei, Buenos Aires, Edinburgh, Canada)
  • books that straddle the line between upper MG and younger YA
  • stories from the villain’s point of view
  • heists!
  • historical fantasy! I really like well done historical, with a really strong sense of place and a dash of fantasy
  • multiverse stories! Alternate realities! World hopping!
  • Anything that can be compared to Diana Wynne Jones. I love her stories and her humour”


  • contemporary. I don’t read contemporary mg at all, and I’d have no idea what to do with it
  • stories set in secondary fantasy worlds where the whole plot is how sexist the society is and how the girl mc must overcome it. This is just a really random specific subgenre I’m not a fan of. I don’t mind if you character has to battle sexism in contemporary fantasy, and I don’t mind discussions about sexism, but I don’t like really over the top patriarchal fantasy worlds.
  • crude humour—I’m not into fart jokes etc
  • younger mg, just not really my thing.
  • slavery stories
  • elves/orcs/trolls etc type of common old high fantasy creatures are not my thing. If you’re doing a really unique twist on it, I’d definitely consider it, but in general not really my thing. Other monsters though I’m all for!!!!!

I read a LOT and I read in a lot of different genres and you guys have no idea how hard it was to whittle my loves down into something manageable. Some of my favourite non-mg books are:

This Savage Song, Victoria Schwab
Jade City, Fonda Lee
Defy the Stars, Claudia Gray
Illuminae, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
The Scar, Serhiy and Maryna Dyachenko
Sorcery of Thorns, Margaret Rogerson
Dread Nation, Justina Ireland
Coldest Girl in Coldtown, Holly Black
Mistborn, Brandon Sanderson
Lost Boy, Christina Henry

Some MG books and tv shows to give you a sense of the kind of things I enjoy:

Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding, Alexandra Bracken
The Stone Girl’s Story, Sarah Beth Durst
Spirited Away
Magisterum series, Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
Skeleton Man, Jospeh Bruchac
City of Ghosts, Victoria Schwab
The Emperor’s New Groove
Robe of Skulls, Vivian French
Miraculous Ladybug and Cat Noir
Coraline, Neil Gaiman
Charlie Bone series, by Jenny Nimmo
School of Good and Evil, Soman Chainani
Tin, Padraig Kenny
Everything by Rick Riordan presents imprint
Everything by Diana Wynne Jones