Mentor De Elizabeth

deelizabeth.com
@deelizabeth_

AGENT
Samantha Fabien, Root Literary

WRITES
Supernatural Thriller, Horror, Dark Fantasy

ON SUBMISSION

BIO
De Elizabeth is an author, journalist, and over-zealous coffee drinker. She is the Weekend Editor at Teen Vogue, and her writing has been featured in HuffPost, MTV News, Glamour, InStyle, EpicReads, Bustle, and more. De writes spooky, witchy fiction with a dark academia slant, and adores ghost stories that are also love stories. Prior to writing full-time, De worked as a Theater and English teacher in the New England area. De uses she/her pronouns.

PUBLISHING BACKGROUND
I’m a journalist so I write every day for work, but fiction was always my first writing love, dating all the way back to the “publishing company” my childhood best friend and I “founded” in the second grade. I wrote original fiction and fanfiction for years when I was younger, usually dark fantasy or horror-leaning stories, but fell away from it when I started my journalism career. Then, a couple of years ago, I got an idea for a novel that wouldn’t leave me alone. I thought about it all the time, and I knew I had to write it. It sunk its claws into my soul, and eventually became the book of my heart. I drafted the bulk of this book during NaNoWriMo 2020, edited it, sent it to beta readers, edited again, and started querying agents in February 2021. I received an offer from Samantha Fabien at Root Literary in June, and she’s the very definition of a dream agent. It was a whirlwind process and I’m forever grateful for how it turned out. I’m currently working on my second manuscript while my first is out on submission, and I can’t wait until the day these stories are out in the world and in the hands of those who need them most.

EXPERIENCE
With a background in education, I have a lot of experience crafting critiques of others’ writing and putting together thoughtful, cohesive feedback. I currently work as an editor in the media sphere, and am constantly collaborating with writers to polish and shape their work. Additionally, I do freelance consulting for journalism students to help them hone pitches and emails to editors, and I also have worked with unagented authors on their query letters, #PitMad pitches, and opening pages. I’ve also served as a critique parter and beta reader for other authors!

OVERVIEW
I’m so endlessly excited to mentor with AMM this year! I truly believe in paying it forward and giving back to the writing community, as I, too, have found such an incredible support system in other authors online. I’ve learned so much about the publishing industry from my time in the query trenches, and I am excited to work with another writer as they navigate this process. I also genuinely believe in the magic that comes with hyping up and rooting for fellow authors, and I truly can’t wait to fall in love with your book!

I gravitate toward books that are equal parts spooky and swoony. I love haunting, atmospheric stories that spark a cathartic cry or leave you with an ache. I want books that sink their teeth in, with characters you you think about long after they’ve left. I’m hoping to connect with a mentee who has an open mind and an open heart, and who is excited to dig into their work together.

MENTORING GENRES
Adult

  • Fantasy
  • Mystery/Thriller
  • Magical Realism/Fabulism
  • Urban/Contemporary Fantasy
  • Horror

Sub-genres & themes I am always here for:

– Supernatural thriller
– Psychological thriller
– Dark fantasy
– Speculative fiction
– Anything horror-adjacent
– Anything witchy, ghostly, haunting, or atmospheric

I especially love books that exist in the YA-adult crossover space.

Romantic subplots! I love romance in everything and adore romantic tropes (enemies-to-lovers, lovers-to-enemies, forced proximity, THERE’S ONLY ONE BED!!!, friends-to-lovers, academic rivals-to-lovers). All the kisses!

I adore ghost stories that are also love stories, because to paraphrase the wonderful Jamie from Bly Manor, they’re basically the same thing.

 

I WILL PROVIDE:

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

WORKING STYLE
My timeline is very flexible and I’ll be able to work around your writing schedule and querying goals. For revisions, I am a very close reader and will provide a lot of in-line comments as well as an edit letter. I’m a rabid plotter & outliner, but my mentee doesn’t have to be! I’ll have lots of questions for you to help guide your story, and will also provide suggestions for structure, character arcs, pacing, and anything else that you specifically want to work on as well. In addition to working together on your manuscript, we’ll partner on query strategy, and collaborate on a solid package for when you’re ready to start contacting agents. As for modes of contact, I am flexible, though my preference usually leans toward texting & email for quick questions, and phone calls for longer discussions. Oh, and I will hype you up with gifs, memes, and general fangirling about your book, guaranteed!

IDEAL MENTEE
My ideal mentee is someone who is open to feedback, communicative, and excited to dig into the soul of their story together. Someone who is able to pose thoughtful questions and is willing to be vulnerable on the page. Mostly, I’m looking to work with someone with a lot of passion and heart.

SEND ME:
In no particular order, here are some things I love:

  • Existential, emotional horror in the vein of Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House/Bly Manor; Midnight Mass; The Witch; Midsommar, etc. If your book can scare me AND make me cry, I want it.
  • My horror tastes lean more gothic and toward the supernatural (ghosts, spirits, demons, witchcraft) rather than gritty serial killers.
  • LGBTQ+ representation is huge for me, especially sapphic stories and bisexual rep!! Please bring me all your chaotic bi MCs.
  • In fantasy, I enjoy both contemporary and high fantasy with beautiful, thoughtful world-building. Worlds that are almost just like ours, worlds that are completely different from our own — both are appealing. In high fantasy, I especially am drawn to fae stories with unique magic systems or clever spins on common tropes.
  • With regard to dark fantasy, I love genre-bending stories that are horror or paranormal romance-adjacent. I adore a good vampire romance (Casteel Da’Neer anyone?).
  • Dark academia!! Bring me your dusty libraries, your campuses with buried secrets. Ninth House is one of my all-time favorite books, and I write dark academia as well.
  • Romantic subplots across every genre. Here for all the romance tropes, but generally drawn to enemies-to-lovers, forced proximity, lovers-to-enemies, or anything with crackling banter and raging tension.
  • Similarly, spice! I love spice in all genres, especially when coupled with eerie, suspenseful books. I’m very much okay with high heat levels, but no erotica please.
  • Atmospheric, beautiful prose. Does your writing feel like being wrapped up in a Taylor Swift song? Does it feel like curling underneath a blanket in a woodsy, possibly haunted cottage? Those are my favorite types of reading experiences.
  • VILLAINS. Please send me your morally grey, heartbreakingly beautiful villains. Corruption arcs, redemption arcs, I love ’em all.
  • Girl gangs, tight-knit friendships, I love them!
  • YA-Adult crossover stories. Think college settings, early 20s struggles, second-coming-of-age.

DO NOT SEND ME:
I am open to many things but please do not send me the following:

  • Animal abuse or pet death.
  • Heavy sci-fi. Light sci-fi elements are totally okay, but I’m not the best mentor for space operas or scientifically complex stories.
  • Anything that perpetuates harmful stereotypes.

FAVES

In no particular order, some of my favorite books, mixed in with reads I’ve recently loved: Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo; A Court of Thorns & Roses series by Sarah J. Maas; From Blood and Ash series by Jennifer L. Armentrout; Lakesedge by Lyndall Clipstone; Beasts of Prey by Ayana Grey; These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong; Normal People by Sally Rooney; The Witch Haven by Sasha Peyton Smith; Within These Wicked Walls by Lauren Blackwood; Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn; Gearbreakers by Zoe Hana Mikuta; My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix; Echo After Echo by AR Capetta; One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston.

Favorite TV shows: The Haunting of Hill House/Bly Manor, American Horror Story, Euphoria, Midnight Mass, Pretty Little Liars, The O.C., Gilmore Girls, YOU, Gossip Girl, Stranger Things, Bridgerton, Normal People, The Bold Type, Broad City

Favorite movies: Lord of the Rings, The Witch, Midsommar, Black Swan, The Conjuring, Vanilla Sky, 10 Things I Hate About You, Romeo + Juliet, Jennifer’s Body, Clueless, The Holiday, Arrival, Interstellar, Twilight.

Favorite music: Taylor Swift (I am a HUGE Swiftie), Phoebe Bridgers, Harry Styles, Lucy Daucus, Billie Eilish, Lizzy McAlpine, Orla Gartland, Maisie Peters, Motion City Soundtrack, Julia Michaels, Dodie, Delacey, Halsey, Hozier, Fleurie.

Musical theater: Next to Normal, Spring Awakening, Bare, Mean Girls, Rent, A New Brain, The Last 5 Years, Tick Tick Boom, West Side Story, Zombie Prom, In The Heights.