Another Pitch Wars Success Interview with Mara Rae and Jessie Humphries!
Jan09

Another Pitch Wars Success Interview with Mara Rae and Jessie Humphries!

The best part of the contests for us around here is when we hear about successes. Today we are so happy to have Mara Rae and her Pitch Wars mentor, Jessie Humphries here for a little Q and A. Mara recently signed with John M. Cusick of Greenhouse Literary. So as to not make this post a novel, we’ll jump right into the interview. Mara, what made you decide to send a Pitch Wars application to Jessie? I sent my application to Jessie because I’ve “known” her for a while now via the blogging community, and she has always been one of my favorites. Her own how-I-got-my-agent story was really inspiring to me, and she just seemed like someone I could be friends with in real life. She wasn’t necessarily looking for speculative fiction, and the other three mentors I pitched to were all specifically asking for manuscripts in my genre, so Jessie was kind of a wild card. But I had a dream that she picked me the week before Pitch Wars, so I guess subconsciously I was really hoping Jessie would want to work with me! Jessie, what about Mara’s application made you choose her? Mara’s writing jumped off the page for me. It was obvious from the first line that she knew what she was doing. And it didn’t hurt that I’d seen Mara around the internets before and I had prior knowledge of who she was. I suspect that agents and editors use this kind of knowledge all the time to move through their slush piles and submission lists. Meeting someone at a conference, or engaging with a writer on Twitter, can help create a relationship of trust. Mara had both advantages: strong writing and an established platform. Mara, tell us about the revision period for Pitch Wars? Jessie was extremely busy during the revision period, what with a huge book launch party, a week-long contest tour, and the release of her second book (seriously, if my novel gets published, I’m going to Jessie for advice – she knows how to do it up right!)! So we didn’t have a ton of back and forth. Jessie gave me her notes a few weeks into the contest, and then I revised and resubmitted the ms to her. The best part was that Jessie honed in on a couple of plot holes I KNEW were there but had been lazy about changing. This was the kick in the pants I needed. Jessie, tell us about your experience with mentoring Mara. How was mentoring your other team members? Mara is a pro, so she didn’t need much help from me....

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