Thursday, September 21, 2017

Author Mentor Match Bio #AMM

It's that time again!

Hello, fellow mentees and future mentor of my dreams! My name is Elisa and you can find me on Twitter @elisa_stryker



This will be my second time trying to earn a mentor with Author Mentor Match. I tried Pitch Wars as well...but it's obvious how that turned out. Third (fourth, fifth, hundredth...) times the charm, right? RIGHT?!

Let's start with the book. So it's called IMMUNITY HUNTER. It is YA Fantasy. If you like zombies, magic, werewolves, evil organizations, and secrets, then you'll love my book. Let me stress: This is very anime-ish. So if you do not like anime or do not understand anime then it's probably not the book for you.

A few things you may not know about my manuscript:

  • It's written like an anime including cheesy poses and over exaggerated expressions (no nose bleeds, though)
  • The zombies have tentacle tongues, long claws extending about five inches, and sharp teeth that extend out like a shark
  • It's set in the distant future after a nuclear war and massive earthquake tore Japan into multiple islands. 
  • Magic exists
  • My fiance helped with most of the "blow em up" scenes




Query

Two years after disgusting undead mutants known as Konadai killed Sasame’s parents, she joined an agency that turned her grief into revenge. Now an Immunity Hunter, seventeen-year-old Sasame kidnaps those who are immune to the Konadai virus. The downside: her victims are harvested for their blood and bones by the agency in order to create a stronger antidote.

Although the work causes gut-churning nightmares, Sasame trusts her boss, Omi, and his belief that this is the only way to save her island city.

Then she meets Konan, a persistent teen working with a group fighting to figure out why people are vanishing. His passion and dedication to the city reel her in, but she refuses to fall for him. Connections lead to distractions and heartache. Eventually, Konan’s constant interference with her missions breaks her guard and Sasame uses his attention to distract from the madness.

Immunity Hunters are well-oiled machines, and Omi won’t tolerate a petty romance distracting his agents. After forcing her to watch the murder of another agent's girlfriend, Omi presents Sasame with a choice: kill Konan to prove her loyalty to the cause, or be killed herself.


Say hello to Konan Henslee, Sasame Kai, Jeiku Okamimuto, Nevin Rockiest, and Ashley Sonnie.
The Investigator, The Hunter, The Protector, The Hero, and The Princess

Pitch

In a city protected by a large wall, five teens hone their magic and fighting skills to take on their worst enemy. Little do they know the undead, flesh-hungry mutants aren't the only things threatening their lives. When deadly betrayal shatters their friendship, each teen is forced to decide who to trust and who to leave behind.

Yes, this is a multi-POV novel. If the plot doesn't hook you, the characters will.

Now About me...
  • I work all the time but I work for myself so it's not bad
  • I'm always around my laptop and/or smartphone
  • I prefer electronics over paper and pen
  • I do not like cats at all...not even a little bit. They are the spawn of the devil sent to destroy my home
  • Social media has ruined my life

Favorite Video Games
  • Skyrim
  • Left 4 Dead (1 & 2 and all the DLCs)
  • Dragon Age
  • Kingdom Hearts
  • FFX & FFX-2 (you may recognize one of the character names in my manuscript)
  • The Last of Us

Favorite Movies

  • Saw (all of them)
  • Paranormal Activity (all of them)
  • The Conjuring (both of them)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (the 1st one)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean (most of them)
If anyone wants more information, go to Author Mentor Match.

Monday, September 11, 2017

#SonOfAPitch Query & 1st Page | Immunity Hunter


Hey, peeps! Below you'll find my query and the first page of IMMUNITY HUNTER. Thank you all for the helpful advice.

Title: Immunity Hunter
Genre: YA Fantasy
Word Count: 98,000

Query:

Two years after Sasame’s parents were devoured alive by undead mutants known as Konadai, she joined an agency that helped turn her grief into revenge. Now an Immunity Hunter, seventeen-year-old Sasame kidnaps those who are immune to the Konadai virus. Her victims are harvested for their blood and bones by the agency so they can create a stronger antidote.

Although the work tears at her conscience, Sasame trusts her boss, Omi, and his belief that this is the only way to save her island city.

Then she meets Konan, a persistent teen working with a group fighting to figure out why people are vanishing. His passion and dedication to the city reel her in, but she fights her attraction to him—connections lead to distractions and heartache. Eventually, Konan’s constant interference breaks down her guard and Sasame uses his attention to distract from the madness.

Her weakness angers Omi. His Immunity Hunters are well-oiled machines, and a petty romance is a distraction he won’t tolerate. After forcing her to watch the murder of another agent's girlfriend, Omi presents Sasame with a choice: kill Konan to prove her loyalty to the cause, or be killed herself.

Two years after Sasame’s parents were devoured alive by Konadai—undead mutants, she joined an agency that let her turn her grief into revenge. Now an Immunity Hunter, seventeen-year-old Sasame kidnaps those who are immune to the Konadai virus. Her victims are harvested for their blood and bones by the agency so they can create a stronger vaccine.

Although the work tears at her conscience, Sasame trusts her boss and his belief that this is the only way to save her island city.

Then she meets Konan, a persistent teen working with a group that’s desperately trying to figure out why people are vanishing. His passion and dedication to the city reel her in, but she fights her attraction to him. Eventually, Konan’s persistence works and Sasame uses his attention to distract from the madness.

Her weakness angers Omi. His Immunity Hunters are well-oiled machines, and a petty romance is a distraction he won’t tolerate. After forcing her to watch the murder of another agent's girlfriend, Omi presents Sasame with a choice: kill Konan to prove her loyalty to the cause, or be killed herself.

IMMUNITY HUNTER, a YA Fantasy novel of 98,000 words, follows six teens’ points of view as they fight to protect their city. With an ensemble cast like SIX OF CROWS and the action and teamwork of ATTACK ON TITAN created by Hajime Isayama, this anime-themed, character-driven novel is the first in a planned series. It will appeal to fans of THE ENEMY series.


First 250 Words:

Prey comes in different forms. Luckily for me, my target is an idiot.

With his face glued to that small, bright screen, this will be an easy hunt. Forget sneaking—short of yelling his name, he won’t notice me.

I follow him past decorated storefronts and dull office buildings. The faint scent of pastries and coffee still lingers in the midnight air. Sakura trees line the sidewalks a few feet apart. Pink and white petals give pleasant color to the concrete surroundings.

Downtown is deserted this late at night. Few people live close to the oversized buildings towering just high enough to see the top of the concrete wall surrounding our city. And around this time, most people are locked safely away in their cozy beds. They prefer living in the smaller homes in quiet neighborhoods and farmland.

Anything to avoid reminding themselves of the outside world.

Usually, my prey takes the time to enjoy the lasting smell of baked goods and the blossomed sakura, or at the very least, care. But this guy refuses to turn around or take his eyes off the screen. I could’ve taken him down at any point during this seemingly endless trek through the empty downtown streets, but his attentiveness to the phone intrigues me. How can someone get attached to something so trivial?


Irritation rushes over me—both from the fool I was sent to capture and the too-tight bra strap cutting into my shoulder. Then it hits me.

Prey comes in different forms. Luckily for me, my target is an idiot. 

With his face glued to that small, bright screen, this is an easy hunt. Forget sneaking—short of yelling his name, he won’t notice me. 

I follow him past decorated storefronts and dull office buildings. The faint scent of pastries and coffee still lingers in the midnight air. Sakura trees line the sidewalks a few feet apart. Pink and white petals give pleasant color to the concrete surroundings.

Downtown turns silent this late at night. Few people live close to the oversized buildings towering just high enough to see the top of the wall surrounding our city. And at this time of night, most people are locked safely away in their cozy beds. They prefer living in the smaller homes in quiet neighborhoods and farmland.

Anything to avoid reminding themselves of the outside world.

Usually, my prey takes the time to enjoy the lasting scent of baked goods and the blossomed sakura, or at the very least, care. But this guy refuses to turn around or take his eyes off the screen. I could’ve taken him down at any point during this seemingly endless trek through the empty downtown streets, but his attentiveness to the phone intrigues me. How can someone get attached to something so trivial?

I pull at my bra strap—this thing is digging a hole into my skin. Maybe he knows I’m here and is leading me into a trap?

Saturday, September 9, 2017

How To Waste An Agent's Time

This post was inspired by a guy in a Facebook writing group who asked:

"I don't want to traditionally publish my first series, but would it be alright to query agents to see if there's interest then turn them down?"

I'm paraphrasing since the post was removed due to backlash (for good reason).

DISCLAIMER: I'm no expert. I'm just a writer trying to make the best of this crazy publishing world.

Short Answer: DO NOT WASTE AN AGENT'S TIME by querying them with zero intentions of signing with them. STOP IT. Agents have enough going on and do NOT need arrogant writers wasting their time. Not only that, but you're taking away time from potential and current clients.

If you receive an offer from an agent (or multiple offers as some of you fabulous writers may get), but turn around and deny them because you only wanted to see if there was interest, you're only setting yourself up to be put on the blacklist.

No one wants to work with an arrogant time waster.

If you want to self-publish then go right ahead and do so. If you want to go through an agent, then query your heart out. But please, for the sake of all of us, DO NOT QUERY AGENTS UNLESS YOU WANT TO BE SIGNED BY AN AGENT.

Alexa's Tears

Alexa dug her nails into the dirt as she crawled away from the screams of her people dying around her. With one leg bloodied and broken, running wasn't an option. Twigs and small rocks ripped her thin nightgown leaving shallow cuts across her stomach. She ignored the pain. Her mind was focused on escaping--surviving.

The sun had set hours ago leaving the village Haringard hidden in the valley. But when the Black Ravens, an army controlled by Queen Evelyn of the Hightower Commonwealth, came for them, being hidden wasn't enough.

Using her good leg and every ounce of her strength, Alexa pulled herself into the surrounding woods. Shadows danced on the trees from the flames that devoured the small cottages. Her dark hair stuck to her face wet with blood and sweat. Most of it wasn't her blood. She was forced to watch her sister get slaughtered like an animal. Part of her was glad the dark army chose murder over enslavement. The women would be used for breeding while the men would be used as food.

Alexa made it to a clearing before stopped to catch her breath. She choked back a scream. Sounds of death and battle echoed through the trees. Alexa cried silently, staring up towards the heavens. Bright stars shined down on her. She cursed them for not protecting her family the rest of Haringard. Her leg ached. Blood seeped into the dirt beneath her.

The sound of footsteps on snapping twigs approached. Alexa's heart went rapid. She couldn't move. Her body froze. A whispered prayer escaped her scarlet lips as she shut her eyes tight awaiting her death.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Rejections, Rejections, Rejections

Isn't it funny how all your hopes and dreams can scatter before you can say, "Wait!"?

There's nothing worse for a writer to see a "Thanks, but no thanks" letter in their email. People say it's the way things are. Rejection is part of life.

You can throw a rock at a writer's conference and hit any bright-eyed hopeful that has been rejected. You might get lucky and hit a published author who earned their fair share of rejections. They'll turn to you and try to throw in some logic, "I got [insert random number] rejections before I published my first book. Just keep pushing."

Keep pushing. Keep going. Everyone says "don't give up." Then you have those that say, "Write something else." That's probably the worse advice of all. Sure I'll just plop down in my handy dandy writing chair and spend the next 9 years writing a brand new story filled with brand new characters, a brand new voice, and a brand new plot. How hard could it be?

I have seven ideas sitting in my documents folder. Seven ideas I started writing because I was told to "write something else." All seven put together never made it passed a grand total of 10,000 words. Why? Because my heart isn't there. The go-to advice of "write something else" seems to work for some people, but it's not one-size-fits-all advice. More people should learn that before throwing it out there.

There probably won't be anything else for me to write, at least not in this lifetime. The story I have to tell is the one I want to be told. Not something that will please others.

So I have two choices:

  1. I can continue to mentally torture myself with querying agents, small pubs, and maybe even self-publish, editing my MS until it's no longer recognizable, and hope and pray someone gives me the slightest bit of chance.
  2. I can give my sanity a break and quit.

My Twitter account is gone and this blog may soon follow. I guess we'll find out in the next week.

Good luck to the rest of you out there. You all are a lot stronger than I am.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Ashley Sonnie | Immunity Hunter

Name: Ashley Sonnie
Age: 16
Occupation: Student/Eradication Squad Leader
Weapon: N/A
Magic: Energizer

They call me "The Squad Princess". I wear it as a badge of honor. My father is the General and head coordinator of the Eradication Squad. Being his daughter means I have to prove myself daily. I got that chance when he gave me permission to lead my own squad.

Don't get me wrong, I love my father, but I also want to be my own person. His guards suffocate me with attention. Sometimes I just want to break out and run around the city without constantly being watched.

Being a "princess" isn't all that bad, people respect me. I have my friends and my adorably goofy boyfriend, Nevin, to back me up. I want to see him reach his goal, but he'll have to train to reach it. He expects me to use my status to get him into the squad, but he's wrong. I love him, but I won't beg my father to throw him into battle. Nevin will have to prove himself the way I did. There are no shortcuts in this world. Especially not on Caara Island.

Illustration by: Autumn-Sacura on DeviantArt

Thursday, June 29, 2017

#PimpMyBio PitchWars 2017

Hello, fellow mentees! My name is Elisa and you can find me on Twitter @elisa_stryker


This is my very first #PitchWars and I'm not sure what I'm doing. I saw a hashtag on Twitter with the word "pimp" in it so here I am. (No pimps or Doggs were harmed in the making of this blog)


So, I have no idea what to say about myself that's interesting. This is the part I usually skip on interviews, contests, meeting new people, classrooms...but let's pretend I'm interesting for a bit.

Scratch that, let's start with the book. So it's called IMMUNITY HUNTER. It is YA Fantasy. If you like zombies, werewolves, evil organizations, and secrets, then you'll love my book. Let me stress: This is very animeish. So if you do not like anime or do not understand anime then it's probably not the book for you.

A few things you may not know about my manuscript:

  • It's written like an anime including cheesy poses and over exaggerated expressions (no nose bleeds, though)
  • The zombies have tentacle tongues, long claws extending about five inches, and sharp teeth that extend out like a shark
  • Magic exists
  • My fiance helped with most of the "blow em up" scenes




Blurb

Seventeen-year-old Sasame’s city is at war. The enemy is horrific, reanimated mutants that rip people apart with their tentacle tongues and eat them alive. But unlike other people, Sasame can actually make a difference. As an Immunity Hunter, she does the dirty work for her agency, kidnapping those immune to the mutation virus so the agency can create a stronger vaccine.

Although the work tears down her mental state, Sasame trusts her boss, Omi, and his vision for the future of their city. That's before she meets Konan, a persistent teen desperately trying to figure out why people are vanishing. Sasame shouldn’t be attracted to him—connections lead to heartache—yet his passion and dedication to the city reel her in. As the missions leave her with horrible nightmares, she uses Konan as a distraction from the madness. That distraction turns into wanting more than a quick fix.

Omi isn’t pleased with this turn of events. His Immunity Hunters are well-oiled machines, and petty romance is just gunk in the gears. After forcing Sasame to watch the murder of another agent's girlfriend, Omi presents Sasame with a choice: kill Konan to prove her loyalty to the cause, or be killed herself.


Pitch

In a city protected by a large wall, five teens hone their magic and fighting skills to take on their worst enemy. Little do they know the undead, flesh-hungry mutants aren't the only things threatening their lives. Together, they must overcome their own internal battles to save the city.

Yes, this is a multi-POV novel. If the plot doesn't hook you, the characters will.

Now About me...


  • I work all the time but I work for myself so it's not bad
  • I'm always around my laptop and/or smartphone
  • I prefer electronics over paper and pen
  • I do not like cats at all...not even a little bit. They are the spawn of the devil sent to destroy my home
  • Social media has ruined my life

Favorite Video Games

  • Skyrim
  • Left 4 Dead (1 & 2 and all the DLCs)
  • Dragon Age
  • Kingdom Hearts
  • FFX & FFX-2 (you may recognize one of the character names in my manuscript)

Favorite Movies

  • Saw (all of them)
  • Paranormal Activity (all of them)
  • The Conjuring (both of them)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (the 1st one)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean (most of them)