• Bex Drate

Dear #AuthorMentorMatch Mentors,

Updated: Feb 13

I know, I know, I'm supposed to personalize that greeting! But my hope is you've taken a look at Half Tree and liked it enough to venture out in the www to check me out. If I submitted to you, I've read through your online life, so it's only fair that I make it easy for you to see what I'm about.

Here’s why we should team-up:

I’m a professional. I’ve been consulting in higher education digital marketing for years (Villanova, Norte Dame, Stanford, Texas A&M, University of Iowa, The New School, and Northwestern are some of my clients). I understand how to get a ton of work done over phone calls, emails, and teleconferencing. I will meet deadlines. I will value your time. I'm a great communicator.

I’m confident but coachable. I love Half Tree. I’m overflowing with ENFP optimism. I know my message of overcoming fear to be your authentic self will connect with young (and probably all) adults. My plot is twisty. My romance is swoony. My sci-fi is accessible. But I know that the fastest way to success is to partner with smart people. I will value your expertise and experience. I don’t want Half Tree to be good, I want it to be incredible. Which brings me to...

I’m writing with a purpose. I believe in the magic of story. I’m fascinated by the real-world science of empathy (it’s a major part of Half Tree) and the impact of story on our brains. Lessons can be learned, but lives are changed when those truths are experienced -- which is what empathy can do. I’d gladly risk sounding trite to say that I want to use story to leave the world a better place than I found it.

Succinct answers to those lingering questions...

Is she going to flake on me? I have support. My husband is a fellow creative. My family and friends are beta reading. I live in one of the UNESCO Cities of Literature full of writing resources. (The house where Kurt Vonnegut wrote Slaughterhouse-Five is just up my street.) I'm determined for Half Tree to be a success.

What's her background? I have journalism and business degrees from the University of Iowa. I've had a successful career across publishing (tech pubs), TV News, corporate communications and digital marketing. Everything I've ever been paid to produce has relied on clear and effective communication.

Can she follow through and be successful? I'm not intimidated by book marketing. I'm actually excited about it. I’ve consulted on digital analytics, advertising, content strategy, customer relationship management, and search engine optimization. (Google Analytics, Tag Manager and Data Studio are my wheelhouses.)

But really, what's her deal? I loved my marketing career but decided (and feel lucky to have had the choice) to stay home with my boys -- James is four, Jack is two. I’m using the transition to write fiction, something I’ve always known I would do.

Is she serious about writing? But this is not a hobby. I will continue writing as my career. Despite being the primary caregiver to two busy boys, I get shit done. In less than a year, I wrote, revised, edited, and sent betas all 94,000 words of Half Tree, all while building an Instagram following over 5000 strong. I crave smart, hard work. I can do this.

Will we get along? When not writing or hugging kids too hard I like traveling, concerts and music festivals, eating delicious food, themed parties and cheering on the Hawkeyes. I've (probably) been called nice, friendly and not a weirdo.

The things on my Kindle:

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

Artemis by Andy Weir

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

One of Us Is Lying, and One of Us Is Next By Karen M. McManus

This Mortal Coil series by Emily Suvada

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner

The Mirror Souls by Julia Scott

Origin by Dan Brown

Fortunately the Milk by Neil Gaiman

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

Under the Never Sky trilogy by Veronica Rossi

Peculiar Children series by Ransom Riggs

Harry Potter (my ranking: 3, 6, 7, 5, 1, 2, 4)

Regarding GoF, if you have a Deatheater in Hogwarts and can use a port key, entering HP in a tournament and helping him win can NOT have been the simplest way to get him into that graveyard.

A Song of Fire and Ice series by George R.R. Martin But I gave no spoilers away to my watch party companions.

Craft & Nonfiction that lights me up:

The Magic Words by Cheryl B. Klein

Save The Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody

Story Genius and Wired for Story by Lisa Cron

Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

12 Rules For Life by Jordan B. Peterson

The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Anything by Bill Bryson, Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Stephen Hawking, Ray Kurzweil

The things I watch if I ever get control of the remote: Arrested Development, Rick & Morty, Bob’s Burgers, Parts Unknown, Ancient Aliens, Game of Thrones, The Shannara Chronicles, Riverdale, Nancy Drew, Annihilation, Happy Death Day, Prometheus, Mean Girls, Easy A, Always Be My Maybe, Crazy Rich Asians, Columbo, Fletch, Castle, Twin Peaks, Westworld, Hemlock Grove, The X-Files, Dawson’s Creek, Firefly, Schitt’s Creek.

Definitely not a weirdo.

Let's talk.

@BexDrate on Instagram and Twitter

BexDrate@gmail.com More about Half Tree.