Laura Rennert & Paige Terlip at Andrea Brown
AM Kvita is a biracial/Black queer speculative fiction writer, artist, and houseplant collector. After graduating college with a degree in architecture, Kvita immediately pivoted into publishing, but their writing remains interested in the way the built environment shapes us. They write both Adult and YA books about power, inherited conflict, and restless gods. When they’re not writing, they’re usually keeping their three wretched cats out of trouble. Kvita was/is an Avengers of Color 2019 Mentee, Pitch Wars 2021 Mentor, Author Mentor Match R9 Mentor, and Write Team Mentorship Program 2022 Mentor in Residence.
What does mentorship mean to you, and why do you want to be a mentor?
Mentorship to me is really just community. When querying and even now, agented and on submission, so many people gave to me and made me their community. I aim now to do the same, to provide support to others through querying, revisions, and the industry at large.
What is your mentorship style? What do you consider your strengths and weaknesses?
I'm very flexible! I've mentored quick writers and I've mentored slow writers. My strength is this flexibility/ability to meet people on whatever level they're at. I am also good at clarifying and condensing worldbuilding. My weakness...I expect clear communication. That means I have high interpersonal standards when it comes to professionalism. I like to chat and have fun, but we have to remain respectful and maintain a dedication to getting the work done.
What makes a great mentee? Describe your ideal mentee/mentor relationship.
A great mentee is a great communicator. That's really it, for me. So many things can happen both personal and professional that can change your needs. So long as a mentee communicates with me in an open, friendly, and respectful manner, I will do whatever I can to accommodate those needs. Mentors are meant to support, and sometimes support means making my mentees take a break from writing if they need it, or pushing them when they need a push. In my ideal mentee/mentor relationship, we will engage in quick and transparent communication to set goals, boundaries, and guidelines.
How would you describe your normal working speed?
What kind of communication can your mentee(s) expect from you?
I am quick to respond to emails (within 24 hours) and even quicker to respond to DMs (within hours), even if it's just to say I need more time to consider. I prefer written communication but usually try to get on at least 2 calls with my mentee, 1 to get to know each other, and 1 when we're pivoting to querying.
I am very flexible about this though and will do whatever my mentee prefers so long as there's open communication. Please do communicate! That's the #1 thing I ask for.
What kinds of communication are you able to accommodate?
Email, Zoom/Skype/Video, Text/Whatsapp, Social Media DMs
Are you able to make accommodations for mentees that request them?
Indefinite/As long as the mentee needs to complete our work together
Check all that apply: What do you plan to offer as a mentor?
Submission package critique (Query, Synopsis, 50 page sample), Full manuscript critique, Multiple manuscript passes and query support, Line notes/edits
How polished should your submissions be?
Magic Mirror, Funhouse Mirror, Antique Mirror
I intend to do 3 rounds with my mentee: 1 big picture (edit letter), 1 medium picture (comments on the doc), and 1 small picture (line-level comments on the doc). Your manuscript should be complete and you should have made at least 1 attempt at revision/cleaning it up. How quickly these rounds go will depend on how much work needs to be done! I am definitely not afraid to work.
Fantasy, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy
Above all I am looking for pretty, lyrical writing. I'm fond of huge worlds and one of my editorial strengths is honing said worlds! I will consider YA crossover if you're willing to age it up, but am mainly looking for Adult submissions. I’d love to see the following in my subs:
-Fantasy, mainly, of all subcategories. Science fantasy will also be considered.
-LGBT romance subplots
-a new spin on exorcists
-people who are absolutely feral
-inherited magic and inherited conflict
-books set in intricate cities/ones based on architecture
-intense worldbuilding in non-western worlds
-in slight contrast to the point above, anything with Greco Roman mythology
-mythology/loose retellings in general are welcome!
-books set in matriarchal or genderqueer societies
-monarchies/court intrigue (so long as they are not blindly pro-monarchy)
Please do not send me:
While these are not hard NOs, I’m very unlikely to choose:
-books about fertility
-I'm partial to hearty genre fiction and less likely to choose anything with magic-lite
-issue books, especially if they’re contemporary. I’m likely not a good fit for racism/sexism/homophobia
-books that end with “it was all a dream”
-anything where animals are killed/harmed
-fae unless they are set in non-western worlds
What are some of your favorite books?
THE MAGICIANS, STRANGE THE DREAMER, GIDEON THE NINTH, HARROW THE NINTH, THE SPACE BETWEEN WORLDS, CIRCE, AN UNKINDNESS OF MAGICIANS, THIS IS HOW YOU LOSE THE TIME WAR, LORE, IRON WIDOW
What are some books, movies, shows, games, etc. that you've recently enjoyed?
TV/Anime: THE MAGICIANS (again), MY HERO ACADEMIA, ARCANE, BLUE EXORCIST, and honestly RUPAUL'S DRAG RACE (I'm probably not the best fit for a book that comps to drag race....but I hope this gives a sense of my personality lol)
Comics: COVENANT, LORE OLYMPUS, FENCE, SAGA, CHECK PLEASE!
Video Games: HADES, NIER, WITCHER 3, BREATH OF THE WILD
Is there anything else you want potential mentees to know?
My ideal mentee is ready for the long haul. All of my truly creative work happens in revision, and my ideal mentee understands revision as a place where the magic happens, where threads are unbraided and rewoven, where darlings are killed, and where we dive deeper into characters, the world, and the plot. They need to be a good communicator, because while they don’t need to have a long writing history, they do need to be ready to learn!