According to her dad (so it must be true), Krystle Brantzeg is the undisputed lumpia-wrapping champion. She received her B.A. in Literature and Writing, and previously worked as a writer and graphic designer for a wedding magazine. She now writes novels and homeschools her quartet of kids.
She shares her journey from one-to-one mentoring to agent representation.
What made you apply for the WriteMentor programme?
The mentors! Reading their profiles made me want to watch K-dramas with them, so I felt safe submitting my story. I knew they wouldn’t be like Gordon Ramsay and tell me their grans could do better. Although, I’m sure they could.
What was your experience like?
I thought it was going to be like boot camp, but it was more like summer camp with bonds forged and lessons learned–plus, a retrofitted manuscript. That’s because my Jeep-cruising mentor, Brandy Woods Snow, was my camp counselor, muse, and Merlin.
Tell us about your writing journey from start until now?
In fifth grade I won an essay contest and have the prized polyester jacket to prove it. But I’ll fast-forward to the part when I was a writer and graphic designer for a wedding magazine, which I left to be a stay-at-homeschooling mom. I wrote in the hairline gaps between teaching, laundering, diapering, and nursing (and while nursing—I’d type with one hand). Four kids later, my husband said I should be sharing my stories instead of hoarding them like Gollum (my precious!), so I entered the 2019 WriteMentor summer program. I was also a finalist for the 2020 We Need Diverse Books Mentorship. After several lunar cycles of querying, Larissa Melo Pienkowski at Jill Grinberg Literary Management offered me rep. She was the dew in the 2020 suckstorm.
Can you tell us a little more about the book you worked on and signed with?
In my Young Adult contemporary romance INDOOR GIRL, fifteen-year-old Prayer Perrault’s life is confined to the Internet and books because of her mom’s agoraphobia. When termites chew their way into Prayer’s bedroom, they bring Abel Page, a high school volleyball star who’s serving time with his exterminator uncle because of his reckless drinking and flubbing GPA. Desperate for a night out of her bubble, Prayer strikes a deal with Abel: good grades for him, joyrides for her. But as their covert lifts develop into starlight trysts, they risk love, freedom, and Prayer’s mom’s mental health if exposed.
I think everyone can relate to the “life is confined” part.
What is your best piece of writing advice that you learned on the programme?
Revision Formula = (Subtract Song Lyrics + More Internals)²
“Always remember to really contemplate what resonates with you, and that’ll be the best because your passion will show through.” –Brandy Woods Snow
Why do you think mentoring is important for writers?
A true mentor unveils your worth and possibility.