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Mentor Type:

Traditional, Other

Melody Robinette

Mentor

May

she/her

Pete Knapp, Park & Fine

Melody Robinette is a Gothic Fantasy author who grew up living in a daydream. She is a lover of all things macabre and fantastical from books to film and everything in between. Aching love, longing glances, and enemies who fall for each other are her bread and butter. She also has an unhealthy obsession with the grim reaper and traipsing through cemeteries.

She now lives in Austin, Texas with her bartender husband and their three ridiculous felines. When she isn’t writing, she can be found teaching teenagers about grammar and shit, but more importantly, encouraging them to be unapologetically themselves.

Melody is represented by Pete Knapp at Park & Fine.

Working Style

What does mentorship mean to you, and why do you want to be a mentor?

I have loved flexing my mentor-skills in Rogue Mentor with SJ during the first round, and I would like to do a round on my own, focusing on my specific skills and interests. I have seen a lot of people post in the past about wishing they had a completed manuscript to apply to a mentorship program, but I would really like to focus on the beginning stages of a book with a mentee rather than a completed draft. I'm not a fast reader, and when I do go through an outline or plot, I usually have a TON of feedback and suggested changes that would force them to rewrite the book anyway. I figure that I could offer writers something different from revising a fully written manuscript and maybe introduce a pantster to the dark side of plotting or help a struggling plotter figure out a new way of going about things.

What is your mentorship style? What do you consider your strengths and weaknesses?

I'm very blunt and open about my thoughts/opinions on most things, but I am also mindful of feelings and social anxieties. That said, I am still not going to sugar coat anything or lie about how I feel about something regarding publishing or story ideas to make my mentee feel better or avoid hurt feelings as well, so they will need to know that if they plan to apply to me. I want to help them write a story that hits all the right beats and is more likely to catch the eye of an agent/editor in the trad pub world. If they are wanting to branch out and do something super unique and quirky story structure-wise, then I'm probably not the mentor for them. My strengths definitely lie in plot and general VIBES. My greatest weakness is my reading speed and procrastination. If I have a long story to read, I will put it off until the last moment because I'm overwhelmed--which is why I thought this would be a good option for me. Outlines and beat sheets are much more digestible for me--and I could spend all day on Pinterest and Spotify

What makes a great mentee? Describe your ideal mentee/mentor relationship. 

Openness and honesty! In short, be real with me because I'm definitely going to be real with you. Let's talk out any frustrations you're having, any miscommunication or disagreements, and set healthy boundaries. We are both human and will have busy schedules and bad days--so communication is truly key here.

I mean, also please share memes and tiktoks and whatever else you find funny/entertaining because dark humor and sarcasm is my second language.

Also, open-mindedness and work ethic. I know it's hard--trust me I know--but perseverance will get you further than you think.

How would you describe your normal working speed?

BICYCLE

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Communication

What kind of communication can your mentee(s) expect from you?

I'm a high school teacher with ADHD and a very needy cat child, so my communication can sometimes be erratic.

That said, I always make a point to touch base and check my messages at least every other day if not daily. I do best with instant messaging via Twitter, Slack, or text, but I'm also open to phone calls and zooms if my mentee feels that will be helpful.

Brainstorming and plotting can take longer than anticipated and sometimes inspiration comes at random hours of the day. I can't promise I'll be able to respond immediately (especially during the work week/day) but I can promise to respond in a timely manner (within 24 hours)!

If you don't hear from me within 48 hours, feel free to nudge or send me a gif of a skeleton turning to dust--it may be that I saw your message and mentally responded, but forgot to type it out. (As much as I like to pretend I am an ethereal being, I am unfortunately merely human.)

What kinds of communication are you able to accommodate?

Email, Zoom/Skype/Video, Text/Whatsapp, Social Media DMs, Phone calls

Are you able to make accommodations for mentees that request them?

Yes

Mentorship Details

Expected Timeline

Indefinite/As long as the mentee needs to complete our work together, I'm available for as long as the mentee needs to brainstorm and plot this single idea and manuscript

Check all that apply: What do you plan to offer as a mentor?

Partial manuscript critique (50 pages), Brainstorming a new idea, plotting a new book, outlining a new book idea, (also curating a spotify playlist, building a Pinterest board, picking character names) I can guarantee first draft chapter feedback up to 50 pages, but I'm looking at this as more of a "let's get you started on a new idea and brainstorm shit" rather than fixing an idea that was already written. So their submission package would need to include a writing sample, but not necessarily for the book they plan to work on with me, as well as the genre they are interested in brainstorming and maybe a list of fledgling ideas they'd like to flesh out

Submissions

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How polished should your submissions be?

N/A

The other side of the Two Way Mirror lol. Partially finished manuscript, short story, etc from a DIFFERENT book than they plan to plot (just an example of their writing style) My goal as a mentor is to help writers with the process of brainstorming a new idea, plotting it and curating inspiration to get them excited for it--but I will want to see examples of their writing style and talent; it just doesn't have to be from their new idea.

MSWL

Age Categories:

YA, NA, A, OTHER

Genres:

Contemporary, Horror, Gothic

Send Me:

I'm focusing on upper YA and Adult ideas only

When it comes to brainstorming, I get most excited about dark and creepy manuscripts with twisted horror elements and unreliable narrators. Gothic lit is my JAM - my cat's name is Edgar Allan Poe Tato. Give me haunted mansions, ghosts, paranormal anything, cemeteries, murder, ANGST.

But I also love books about love--romantic, platonic, enemies but not love, I'll devour it all! If you want the romance in your book idea to be similar to Jude and Cardan from The Cruel Prince or Alex and Henry from Red, White, and Royal Blue, or Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, I am READY.

I also love plotting books that have a very clear theme that you want to bring out, something you can lean into and research. Books with lots of symbolism and imagery.

(I'd really love to help plot a thriller/suspense novel like Gone Girl, but I'll admit I would be learning along with you as I've not yet written one.)

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Please do not send me:

Not the best mentor of MG, picture books, or graphic novels.

I'm not particularly interested in plotting:
-heavy sci-fi
-stories revolving around an animal or animal death
-high fantasy
-BDSM or books with hard core graphic sex scenes
-mermaids or books set under water
-books that have pregnancy as a main plot point

What are some of your favorite books? 

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchinson
Cute Mutants by SJ Whitby
Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

What are some books, movies, shows, games, etc. that you've recently enjoyed?

Books:
Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica
The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling
Horrid by Katrina Leno
Verity by Colleen Hoover
The Last Confession of Autumn Casterly by Meredith Tate

TV Shows/Movies:
Pieces of Her
Inventing Anna
The Queen's Gambit
The Haunting of Hill House & Haunting of Bly Manor
Someone Great
The End of the Fucking World

Is there anything else you want potential mentees to know?

I want to reiterate that the mentorship I am offering is different from the norm. If you are looking for someone to revise your existing manuscript with, I'm not the girl for you.

With me, you would be building an idea from the ground up. I don't expect you to have any of it written--in fact, I'd prefer you didn't! I want to share my knowledge and techniques of plotting, brainstorming, gathering songs for inspo playlists and pictures for Pinterest boards. And I'll be here along the way as you write and need more brainstorming sessions when you get stuck or have a new BRILLIANT idea...that changes the direction of the original plot.

I'm not able to commit to reading a full manuscript, but can offer occasional feedback on pivotal chapters and outlines.