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Jonny Garza Villa (they/them)


Young Adult, New Adult


Contemporary Romance


Jonny Garza Villa (they/them) is a product of the Great State of Texas; a Sagittarius sun, Capricorn everything else; and an author of contemporary stories inspired by their own Tejane & Chicane and queer identities including the Pura Belpré Honor Book and a Kirkus Best YA Fiction of 2021 selection Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun, the Barnes & Noble Book Club pick Ander & Santi Were Here, and the upcoming Canto Contigo. When not writing, Jonny enjoys reading, playing Dungeons and Dragons (bard main) and Super Smash Bros. (Inkling main), cooking, bar hopping, listening to Selena, caring for their many cacti children, and spending hours on airline websites, pondering on where they might venture off to next.


Queer authors, trans authors, BIPOC authors, those who fit in the middle of that Venn diagram especially—QTBIPOC authors writing QTBIPOC stories—are who I am most hyped for. Stories with heart and soul, with compelling characters, and that will force me to feel emotions.


And stories that could be comp'ed to any of the following: books: This Is Why They Hate Us by Aaron H. Aceves, The Long Run by James Acker, This Is Kind of an Epic Love Story by Kacen Callender, anything by Laekan Zea Kemp, You Don't Have a Shot by Racquel Marie, Beating Heart Baby by Lio Min, Heartstopper by Alice Oseman, The No-Girlfriend Rule by Christen Randall; visual media: Gameboys, Entergalactic, The Way He Looks, Vida, Mosquita y Mari, The Half of It, Derry Girls, Gentefied


As a writer that focuses more on character-driven narratives, focusing on character(s) arcs, on voice, on creating an immersive setting where we see how they see the world, interact with it, react to it, and how we can best make the manuscript highlight that. I aim to look at big picture, large editorial needs and focus points, and the flow of the novel first; it'd be hard to put a puzzle together if we don't have the box with the final image to help guide us, right? After that, we can delve further into specific points that should be brought out more or replaced, looking at every piece of it and making sure that we're propelling the story forward.


And I want to know what about the story, what about the romance between these characters, brings you joy. What aspects of this book and the love story are you really excited about? As a mentor, this is just a single step in the journey to your book being on a shelf, so my goal is to make sure the end point of this process includes something you are happy with, changes and edits you are proud of, and a manuscript you will want to continue to be obsessed over for the long haul.

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