S. Gonzales writes Young Adult contemporary books with twisty plots and a generous dose of romance, featuring witty but vulnerable characters. She is the author of The Law of Inertia, which releases 16th October 2018 with Amberjack Publishing, and her sophomore novel, Only Mostly Devastated, is slated for S/S 2019 through Wednesday Books / Macmillan. S. loves punk music, frilly pink skirts, and juxtapositions. She currently lives in Melbourne, Australia where she works within the field of mental health.
I’ve been writing since I was about five years old. When I was 11 I started writing fanfiction, transitioning to original fiction on Fictionpress.com when I was about 13 or so. I started querying when I was 21. Book one didn’t go anywhere, but book two saw me signing with Moe Ferrara at Bookends. It took about five months from querying to agent, however I’d only been querying book two for a few weeks by the time I was offered rep. With Moe, we took one book out on sub that didn’t sell. My second book on sub, THE LAW OF INERTIA, sold to Amberjack Publishing in 2017 (releasing this October!), and this year we took ONLY MOSTLY DEVASTATED out on submission. This sub journey was significantly shorter, and we sold to Wednesday Books / Macmillan shortly after going out. And now I’m here, juggling edits and marketing and it’s kind of everything I thought / hoped it would be! I’d love the opportunity to support others through their own wild journey to publication, now, because support is the number one thing you NEED in this journey.
This is my second time mentoring in AMM, and I’ve had multiple long-term CP relationships since 2014. I have also been a finalist in multiple Twitter writing / pitch competitions including Pitchslam, The Writer’s Voice and Query Kombat. I work in the field of mental health, with 7 years and counting of study under my belt here, so you could say I know a thing or two about human psychology.
For a start, I’ve loved every second of chatting with my first mentee and helping her brainstorm ideas to take her story where she wanted it to be. There’s something so special about being able to help someone who’s newer to the writing world, who maybe has questions they don’t know who to ask, and to be able to a) help orientate them and support them to figure out their path and b) work with them on their story (which is already pretty amazing!) to take it to that next level. I love being a cheerleader, and watching my mentees improve, take on advice and make it their own, and really come into their own as a writer and an author. As mentors, we invest in a person as much as we invest in their story, and we want to see both reach their full potential.
Plus, I needed a ton of help when I started out! I didn’t know anything about which contests to enter, how to effectively query, which agents to be querying, what happens if you get an offer, etc. Some of that stuff you can find on the internet, but a lot of it comes from having a strong network. I want to be able to form a part of someone else’s network and pass on the same help that was given to me.
I’m hoping to find something that can make me laugh out loud and / or forget that the rest of the world exists. Strong personal preference for romantic subplots, and I also love stories with high stakes and drama.
If you’ve written a magical unicorn story where a girl saves a guy then I might scream from excitement.
Give me your sensitive guys who aren’t afraid to cry, and girls who are *just* like other girls, and they love it, because girls rock. Give me your diverse characters that reflect our world. If you’ve got a good plot twist that I don’t see coming, you’ll have me hooked!
If you’re enthusiastic, hard working and hoping to find someone who can provide honest feedback when needed, as well as a cheerleader, we will work great together!
- Own Voices
Honestly, I’m open to almost any tropes, because it’s less about the trope and more about how it’s written. I love being surprised! I am a bit of a sucker for hate-to-love though (isn’t everyone?) and opposites attract. I do love a strong romantic arc in general, too.
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 like to hold a Skype call initially so we can have a proper chat about my mentees book, goals, publishing journey so far, favourite type of animals, whether they ship Hermione with Ron, Harry or other, etc. I’ll also usually bring up some of the bigger edit ideas I had (I tend to approach from the angle of ‘here’s the issue, do you have any thoughts on how you’d change it? Let’s discuss how that might work’, as I can make suggestions but ultimately the best solutions will come from the writer, and they should have total control over their story!).
Following this, I’ll provide an edit letter, and my mentee can choose to either tackle it in one hit or send to me in small chunks for feedback. I’m really flexible here. I’m also available if my mentee has any questions as we go, and I love having a casual chat as well as talking about the book–I prefer to get to know my mentee as a person! Then I can do in-text edits as necessary, until my mentee is ready to query. Then I’ll assist my mentee with their query / agent list, and celebrate wins with them as they come.
Someone who is open to feedback, and loves a good chat and brainstorm session. The best chances you’ll ever have of reaching your dreams is a willingness to accept that you’ll always have room for growth and improvement (as do I!), and a drive to try out different ways of achieving that goal. I’m also hoping to work with someone who’s enthusiastic and positive (and if you have a dark sense of humour like me, like, I wouldn’t be mad about it???).
Voicey stories that can make me laugh out loud.
Banter! All the banter.
Romance that can give me butterflies just from the characters accidentally brushing arms. Love some tension.
High stakes always go down well with me as well.
I’d squeal over any of the below (but I’m definitely not limited to only wanting to see these!) :
- Musical-theatre stories!
- Survival stories!
- Also I’m Australian and grew up by the sea so any stories that involve the sea / swimming / water are also lots of fun.
DO NOT SEND ME:
Please, no stories where mental illness is demonized and / or treatment of mental illness is demonized. No Split-the-movie type plot twists where the murderer murders because they’re mentally ill.
I’m not against stories that explore suicide and self-harm, but if they’re going to be a plot point they should be given the proper time and sensitivity.
Finally, I’m not the mentor if you have a female character who is saved by a male character (caveat: if a male and female character save each other equally, this is fine. If a female character is constantly being kidnapped / hurt and a male character always runs in to save her and the favour isn’t returned, this is not really for me!). If a female saves a male** (this one in particular will make me cheer!), or a male saves a male, or a female saves a female, it is both fine and encouraged.
I love shows with smart humour and well set up plot twists. Anything with Jane the Virgin, or The Good Place vibes is right up my alley! I love Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl for the drama and mystery. My favourite movie ever is Titanic, because it had amazing romance, high stakes, AND WATER (see the MSWL is coming through). I also loved Muriel’s Wedding for the girl-friendship plotline, and would love something that had a similar girl-saves-girl plot. I really love The Infernal Devices books for all the pretty dresses and amazing romance (I’m team Will). I also love punk and metalcore, and also, if you’ve heard of Sonata Arctica, they’re my favourite band of all time. If your book is nothing like any of the above, there’s still a good chance I’ll love it if it’s a great story. My tastes are, ah, eclectic.