Victoria Wells-Arms
YA (and older MG!) sci-fi and fantasy
Simon Pulse
October 10, 2017
Caitlin Sangster grew up in the back woods of California and would rather go hiking, running, swimming, or general outdoorsing than just about anything else. If there aren’t any mountains, it doesn’t count as a real place. At eighteen, she moved to XinJiang, and at twenty-one it was Taiwan. She did eventually buckle down and graduate from Brigham Young University with a BA in Asian Studies and is now that person you avoid at parties because she’ll probably start talking about Shang dynasty oracle bones.
Caitlin has been writing since middle school. She always thought of it as a silly sort of compulsive habit until she realized that people like reading stories and she liked writing them and there wasn’t much silly about that.
She currently lives in Utah with her husband and four children.
I’m teaching a class on Elevator pitches in a few months, and have gone through Brandon Sanderson’s writing group class (which was such an eye-opening and helpful experience! Go check out his videos!).
I’d love to find a project with deep world building and characters who have fun, unique voices that drive the story. My ideal mentee will be super geeky about books, know what’s out there already, and will not be attempting to redo it exactly.
Sci-fi more on the space opera end like CINDER or FIREFLY. On the fantasy end I love both light-hearted HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE type of fantasy all the way to CROOKED KINGDOM, though if it turns into GAME OF THRONES, usually I’m out. I love retellings, though I’d probably shy away from the ones that have been done to death.
I’m against prescriptive help. I tend to give global comments, ie: this is my reader response chapter by chaper, these are the questions I have, these are the things I like. At the end I’ll give a general picture of plot points and voice things that did or did not work in my opinion as well as the things I thought were awesome. Telling people how to fix things isn’t a great way to help in my opinion.
Ready to work and revise and get into the details.
Favorite book of all time: most definitely Ella Enchanted. Wait, no it’s Name of the Wind. Or The Lacuna. NIMONA! Okay, I don’t have a favorite book. Firefly is my favorite. Also Stranger Things. Anything that has to do with running or ballroom dancing or Chinese history is ALSO my favorite.