Well, I finally did it -- I decided to enter Author Mentor Match! Since I'm super excited to connect with my fellow Round 7 hopefuls and the other members of the AMM Fam, I decided to make an #AMMConnect post.

About Me

So for those of you who don't know me, I'm Ellie! I'm a college student who does freelance editing on the side, and I've been writing stories ever since I can remember. I lived in England for the first sixteen years of my life, but now I live in Texas, so long story short is that nobody knows what the heck my accent is.

I'm a huge fan of YA books (psst, check out my Instagram if you also like YA and pretty pictures), and some of my all-time faves are The Belles, Eliza and Her Monsters, Every Day, Heartless, and Illuminae. In my free time (when I'm not reading or writing, of course), I like to swim, drink copious amount of tea, and talk about Star Wars to anyone who will listen.

About My Book

The story I'll be entering in AMM is my third completed novel: a 65,000-word YA contemporary with a speculative twist called ARDEN HAYES' GUIDE TO SAVING LIVES. So I guess it's time for ...

No matter how many people she saves, seventeen-year-old lifeguard Arden Hayes can’t fill the void left by her brother, Tristan, who drowned in a river three years ago because of her mistake. When a mysterious time-traveling clock appears by her bedside, she uses it to go back and rescue him — but she returns to a very different present to the one she left.

Tristan may be alive, but Arden never became a lifeguard, and four of the people she saved are now dead. What’s more, her meddling with time gives her periodic nosebleeds that get worse with each passing day. With the help of her best friend-slash-crush, David, Arden tries to control the damage she’s done to the present — but this version of David isn’t like the one she remembers, and has a sinister agenda of his own.

As Arden witnesses the effects of her decision on the people around her, and her nosebleeds turn into life-threatening hemorrhages, she must decide how much — and how many people — she’s willing to sacrifice in order to keep her brother alive.

I wrote the bulk of Arden's Guide the summer before I left for college, and it's basically a love letter to my last couple of years of high school -- the dedication I had to my swim team and lifeguarding job, the weird hipster Texas town that became my home, my love for my siblings that's so strong it hurts. Other things it includes are:

  • Moral philosophy (Chidi Anagonye would be proud, is all I'm saying)
  • Friends-to-lovers ... sort of
  • Wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey shenanigans
  • First-aid tips
  • That one weird kid who never grew out of the magic phase everyone goes through in eighth grade
  • Classic rock references
  • A lot of bad chemistry puns
Some similar books are Every Day by David Levithan, Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, and The Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds.

A Little About My Writing Journey + Why I'm Entering AMM

My first novel, which was MG fantasy, ended up in the first ever #TeenPit in 2017. The prize that year was a spot in Pitch Wars, so I got two awesome mentors in one year! The book never went anywhere (and looking at how stilted my writing was back then, I can see why), but that year showed me how important mentorships are, and helped me learn to take feedback even when the suggested changes are REALLY BIG.

Cut to the present day. I queried both my first and second novel (YA sci-fi) to death, so by the time I got to Arden's Guide, I was kind of weary and disillusioned. As the rejections started rolling in (well, except for one partial which eventually turned into a rejection), I started to consider giving up. The first pages must not be working, the query must be lame, the voice must be boring ...

And then one of my awesome CPs, who was an AMM Round 6 mentee, told me I should try entering AMM for Round 7. It sounded like just the thing I needed to get some next-level advice about what the heck I should do with Arden's Guide, but I'd sent so many queries that there was no way I'd be accepted. Right?

Then, I realized I'd only actually sent 13 queries for Arden's Guide. Which, considering that I queried over 50 agents for my first novel before throwing in the towel, isn't really all that much.

So it's settled -- I'm giving it a shot!

Sorry, I'm Hamiltrash -- I had to :P

What I Would Be Like to Mentor

If you're an AMM mentor reading this post, hi! *waves*

As I said before, I have previous experience working with mentors and CPs, and it's given me a pretty thick skin. While compliments do make me feel warm and fuzzy, I'm not afraid to take harsh truths. I'm always willing to learn new things, and I consider myself a dedicated worker. I treat writing as a profession, so I will always act professionally -- both in terms of respect and courtesy, and in terms of adhering to deadlines!

In Conclusion ...

I'm really heckin' excited!!!

Are you an AMM hopeful, past mentee, or mentor? Say hi in the comments!


  1. Heartless is one of my favorite books too! Good luck with Author Mentor Match. :)