Signing with my agent was one of the best days of my life and it’s something I want you to experience as well. Before I get into all the things that give me grabby hands, allow me to introduce myself.
My name is Natasha Neagle (that’s Nagel like bagel), but most people on the interwebs call me Nat. Either one is fine. I am repped by Michelle Richter of Fuse Literary. I’m married with two not-so-tiny humans (Evil Genius and Mini Me), four demented cats, and two dogs.
By trade, I am a teacher. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a Master’s in Curriculum & Instruction. I am currently seeking my Ed.S. in Educational Leadership through Old Dominion University (where I also received my BS in Biology). I teach eighth grade physical science (think basic chemistry and physics) and used to teach high school Biology.
This is my second year participating in PitchWars. I didn’t participate in 2015 due to personal reasons.
No NA or Adult. Sorry folks, maybe next year.
Make sure you have a synopsis available (don’t worry if it sucks) because I will ask for one this year.
The following will give me grabby hands and fill my heart with happiness.
DIVERSITY & #OWNVOICES
The novels on our bookstore shelves do not represent the world. They never have. This is a problem.
Does your book feature LGBTQIA? GIMME.
I’m particularly interested in bisexual main characters, but if you have any LGBTQIA characters represented in your novel, I WANTS IT.
Does your book feature a physical or mental disability? GIMME.
These characters are missing from books. If you have them in your novels, I call dibs on your manuscript.
Does your book feature POC? GIMME.
We don’t look the same and our books need to reflect this.
If you have diverse characters within any of the genres I’m looking for below, I need your novel in my life.
Sci-Fi/Fantasy & Horror.
These will always be my first love. I became hooked on reading fantasy and horror when I bought my first Christopher Pike book from the bookstore when I was 8. My first manuscript was a fantasy that featured alternate histories (drooling for this in my inbox, BTW) and the last one I turned into my agent was a fantasy with romantic elements.
If you know me at all, you know I’m 100% in love with Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series and the TV show. I even used it as a comp title for my latest novel. Sidebar: If you are an Outlander fan, we MUST follow each other on Twitter!
If you’ve written anything that meshes time travel with romance and feisty ladies and gorgeous guys (kilts not required), DO NOT PASS GO, DO NOT COLLECT $200. GIVE IT TO ME NOW.
I LOVE supernatural and sci-fi characters thrown into an otherwise normal world. Especially when they are the love interest. As for horror, I want to be afraid. I want to question EVERYTHING…
Thrillers and Mystery.
Besides writing fantasy, I’ve written a few YA thrillers. I love any story that will make me wonder who dunnit. I enjoy reading books where I refuse to stop reading because I have to know if the characters are going to get out of their current situation. I want to be shocked. I want to keep guessing until the end when you totally pull the rug out from under me. Make me go back and reread, looking for clues once I reach the end.
I found that I like to write a bit of everything when I wrote my YA contemporary romance. I’m on a romance kick, so if you’ve written one (especially if your character is diverse), I’d love to read it. As a former band geek and the parent of two saxophone players (one in his school’s award-winning marching band), I’d love to see a contemporary that deals with marching band. I’d also kill for a road trip or summer camp novel. If you’ve written something like this, then I WANT IT.
Your Genre Not Listed?
That’s okay! If your novel is filled with the voice of quirky characters that will make me laugh, ugly cry, or feel ANY emotion, then GIMME. I’m not a huge historical fiction (unless *cough cough* time travel or some alternate reality is involved), but that doesn’t mean I won’t read it. Because I have. It makes me happy when books surprise me, and I love them. If your manuscript has any of the elements I mentioned above, definitely consider me. If you think I might be able to help you take your novel to the next level, consider me.
If you’ve written from a male POV, multiple POVs, have dual timelines, reverse timelines, etc. please consider me for your mentor! I eat that stuff up with a spoon. And not a little spoon, I mean, the big serving spoons!
When in doubt: QUERY ME. PICK ME. LOVE ME.
What You Can Expect From Me:
My feedback will be honest, just like the feedback you will receive once the book is published. I always offer up suggestions when I find an error and turn things into teachable moments (the teacher in me will never die) or ask questions to make you think outside of the parameters of what you’ve written. There’s no sugar coating or ass-kissing here, but I’m not mean either.
If I don’t like something, I will tell you.
If I love something, I will tell you.
I will help you edit your manuscript and point out the following:
- lack of voice/internal dialogue
- plot holes and continuity issues (especially if they are science related)
- passive voice
- filter words
- overused words/phrases
- words/phrases used too close together
- lack of setting/missing details/pointing out where you could expand a scene