Pitch Wars Interview with Kyle W. Kerr and his mentor, Jessie Devine
Sep18

Pitch Wars Interview with Kyle W. Kerr and his mentor, Jessie Devine

Welcome to the Pitch Wars Team Interviews Bringing you a closer look at each Pitch War Team and their projects. Be sure to comment with support, comments, and questions. Jessie Devine and Kyle W. Kerr  Team: Devine   Jessie Devine (Mentor), tell us a little about yourself. I enjoy reading LOTS of YA. I don’t pick up an adult book very often. YA to me is a world of heightened emotions, when navigating changing relationships with people is brand new. I like books where the MC changes quite a lot and figures themselves out through interactions with others. I gravitate toward concise, snappy styles both when I read and write–not going to lie; flowery writing drives me crazy. Black humor and sarcasm are the best for me. Hmm favorite genre . . . YA sci-fi will always have a special place in my heart. Outside of the publishing industry, I’m a martial artist and a student. I’m working toward my bachelor’s in media arts with a minor in communications. As I said before, relationships between people fascinate me, so the opportunity to hone my digital art skills while studying communication between people makes my heart eyes explode. In addition, I’m a fourth degree black belt with a couple grand championship wins in the old school martial arts world. Basically, I like to fight people. Kyle W. Kerr (Mentee), tell us a little about yourself.     I write because I’m an anthropologist at heart. I love the human condition and finding out how people will act in certain situations. It’s my way of understanding humanity. But I also love storytelling in all its forms (fiction, of course, but especially movies—I saw 75 movies in theaters last year alone! Maybe one day I’ll actually finish writing one!). And those two passions of mine have coalesced into this singular urge to write. I could hardly pick a favorite genre, either for reading or for writing! I’ll pretty much read/watch anything… except for Horror (I have an extremely overactive imagination and I don’t cherish the nightmares!). Jessie, why did you decide to participate in Pitch Wars?     Oh, this question. This is my second year Pitch Wars-ing on the mentor side (fun fact: I entered several years ago with a laughably unready manuscript, and did not make it in). This is going to seem like an obvious answer, but I mentor because I wish I had a mentor back then. So much of publishing feels like fumbling around in the dark until you accidentally find the right answers. When I was starting out, I read all the books (YOUR FIRST NOVEL and HOW TO...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Kerbie Addis and her mentors Susan Gray Foster and Mónica Bustamante Wagner
Sep18

Pitch Wars Interview with Kerbie Addis and her mentors Susan Gray Foster and Mónica Bustamante Wagner

Welcome to the Pitch Wars Team Interviews by Marnise Nicole Bringing you a closer look at each Pitch War Team and their projects. Be sure to comment with support, comments, and questions. Susan Gray Foster, Mónica Bustamante Wagner, and Kerbie Addis  Team: Stinky   Susan and Monica, tell us a little about yourselves. Mónica Bustamante Wagner (Mentor): I’m a mother of three boys, owner of eight hens, three dogs–and right now, NINE adorable puppies! I was born in Peru, raised in Chile, so my first language is Spanish. I’m a vegetarian, and I love to travel—especially to India. I write kidlit and NA, and I’m represented by the awesome Lauren MacLeod. My NA romance, FROSH: FIRST BLUSH, releases on Oct 20, 2015, from The Studio/Paper Lantern Lit.   Susan Gray Foster (Mentor): I enjoy reading YA and love both fantasy and contemporary realism, but many of my favorites tend to be contemporary (such as Rainbow Rowell and Stephanie Perkins) Recently, though, I added a new favorite: Maggie Stiefvater’s THE SCORPIO RACES. I like writing contemporary with a twist, and my favorite scenes to write include lots of dialogue. A few other facts: I’m vegetarian, I love writing songs (though I seldom find the time while writing novels), and I give dogs haircuts!   Kerbie Addis (Mentee), tell us a little about yourself. I’m a senior English major intending to go into the master’s program to become a librarian. Right now, I work as the librarian assistant at my university, where I help students with their research papers. I’ve been writing as long as I can remember (my first story featured a dolphin with a cold and was written in crayon – my mom still has it!), and I wrote my first novel when I was 11. I’m married to a wonderful man who brings me coffee during writing binges, and my late-night writing buddy is our black cat. Susan and Monica, why did you decide to participate in Pitch Wars?    Mónica: I’ve been a mentor since the first PW year, and it’s always SO FREAKING FUN. I get to know lots of people, feel the excitement in the agents’ round, and edit! (I love editing!) I’ve made two amazing CPs just because of Pitch Wars. It was just a no-brainer. =D Susan: My experience as Mónica’s mentee last year couldn’t have been better. With her help, I was able to take my manuscript to the next level and land an amazing agent. Mónica became a great friend and CP (and we may even be cooking up a co-writing project!) So when she asked if I’d like to co-mentor this...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Kristen Valentine and her mentor Kellye Garrett
Sep18

Pitch Wars Interview with Kristen Valentine and her mentor Kellye Garrett

Welcome to the Pitch Wars Team Interviews Bringing you a closer look at each Pitch War Team and their projects. Be sure to comment with support, comments, and questions. Kristen Valentine and Kellye Garrett Team: TopShelf Kellye Garrett (Mentor), tell us a little about yourself.            I can’t even tell you the last time I’ve even glanced at a book that wasn’t a mystery. I’ve been reading them since I was little, jumping straight from Nancy Drew to Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone series (B is for Burglar is textbook mystery writing). I love all types of mysteries, but for some reason I must start with first book in the series and must, must, must read the books in order. The more sarcastic the MC, the better. My own writing tends to be very conversational, which works well for writing a book, but not so much for, say, writing an email to your boss. (I’ve started a work email with “Hey!” more times than I care to admit. I also need to be permanently banned from adding smiley faces.) Kristen Valentine (Mentee), tell us a little about yourself.     From the moment I read a book called Sam the Cat Detective when I was eight years old, I knew mystery stories were going to be my passion–as a reader and a writer. I enjoy mysteries with tough female characters, clever PIs, or gritty settings, like Theresa Schwegel, Linda Barnes, Sue Grafton, Richard Price, and Robert B. Parker. If I’m not in a mystery mood, I also love the clipped but moving prose of fiction writers like Tom Drury, Joy Williams, and Joan Didion. I’m a graphic designer by day and also the founding editor of Betty Fedora (http://bettyfedora.com/), a mag dedicated to short crime fiction featuring kick-ass women. Kellye, why did you decide to participate in Pitch Wars?     I was Sarah Henning’s mentee last year, It was such an enjoyable experience, especially meeting people like Sarah and the other 2014 mentees, that getting my agent through it almost felt like an added bonus. So mentoring this year was a no-brainer, even though I still feel like a mentee sometimes–the kid who snuck a seat at the grown-up table. Luckily, Sarah still lets me bug her with questions. I jokingly call her my Mentor Mentor.. Kristen, why did you decide to participate in Pitch Wars? After stalking #mswl, #pitmad, and other Twitter-related writing programs, I discovered Pitch Wars last year–but it was too late to enter. I decided to go for it this year because the timing was right, and also because the more I read about it, the more it...

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