Pitch Wars Interview with Kate Micheal and J. R. Yates and their mentor, Kelly Siskind
Sep23

Pitch Wars Interview with Kate Micheal and J. R. Yates and their mentor, Kelly Siskind

Welcome to the Pitch Wars Team Interviews by Marnise Nicole Bringing you a closer look at each Pitch War Team and their project. Be sure to comment with support, comments, and questions.   Meet J. R. Yates and Kate Micheal and their mentor, Kelly Siskind Team:  w/ JR Yates’ UNSPEAKABLE: Team Canuck, w/ Mary Ann Marlowe (co-mentor) for Kate Micheal’s THE MONTH OF FIREFLIES: Team fireflies Kelly Siskind (Mentor), tell us a little about yourself. Aside from being an obsessive writer, I’m a caseophile and moved from the city to open a cheese shop with my husband in Northern Ontario. When I’m not neck deep in cheese or out hiking, you can find me, notepad in hand, scribbling down one of the many plot bunnies bouncing around in my head. I devour romance novels and laugh at my own jokes. I’ve been known to eat my feelings—Gummy Bears heal all—and I’m seriously tech-challenged. J. R. Yates (Mentee), tell us a little about yourself. I’m a word nerd through and through. I’m a pediatric speech-language pathologist and mother of three young children. I joke that I spend all day at work trying to get kids to talk, and the rest of my time at home trying to get my kids to stop! I’m a voracious reader and can sometimes polish off four novels in a week. I especially enjoy reading anything with an underlying love story, but I’m not exclusive to it. My tastes are quite diverse. Some of my more recent favorite reads are JoJo Moyes’s ME BEFORE YOU (Women’s Fiction), M. R. Carey’s THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS (Adult Science Fiction), Rainbow Rowell’s ELEANOR and PARK (YA Romance) and Brighton Walsh’s CAGED IN WINTER (Sexy Time NA Romance). I tend not to read anything historical, but Lawrence Hill’s THE BOOK OF NEGROES (published as SOMEONE KNOWS MY NAME in the U.S.) is so beautifully written and haunting that it will stay with you forever. Fun Facts: I hate feet. My husband doesn’t get why I’m allowed to touch him with mine, and he can’t touch me with his. Really? My mother wouldn’t let me wear white when I was kid because I was such a klutz. The ‘no white’ rule is still a good rule for me. In elementary schools, I sometimes get mistaken for a student because most kids in grade 6 are taller than me. Kate Micheal (Mentee), tell us a little about yourself. (Kate is mentored by co-mentors Kelly Siskind and  Mary Ann Marlow.)  Hi! Kate here. I write NA/A contemporary romance and dark fantasy (with romance, of course, because kissing books are NOT...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Joan He and her mentor, Mara Rae Rutherford
Sep23

Pitch Wars Interview with Joan He and her mentor, Mara Rae Rutherford

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. Meet Joan He and Mara Rae Rutherford Team: Team B-Words   Mara Rae Rutherford (Mentor), tell us a little about yourself.   My favorite genre is YA fantasy (favorite books include The Scorpio Races, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and everything by Neil Gaiman), but I like to take breaks from my own genre. For example, I’m currently reading Bossypants by Tina Fey, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo (a must for anyone who moves every two years!), and I’m about to delve into some Peruvian folklore for inspiration for my next book. I have no idea how to describe my own writing style, but it has recently been called “enchanting” by one fellow Pitch Wars mentor, and “fast-paced and thrilling” by another, and that sounds good to me! “Atmospheric” is another word I’ve heard used – I think if you’re going to set a novel in a foreign country, it helps if you’ve spent some time there.   Joan He (Mentee), tell us a little about yourself.       It’s too hard to decide what my favorite novels are, but some of my favorite authors are Sara Zarr, Marie Rutkoski, Lauren DeStefano, Ruta Sepetys, and Cristin Terrill. From that you can probably tell that I read across the genres, from historical fiction to time travel/thriller, though I do find myself reaching for books from the more speculative side of the spectrum. I cherish beautifully strung-together words and protagonists of quiet strength. I’ve been told that my writing style is minimalistic yet descriptive, which sounds simple enough. The process of getting the words down is a whole other story. I frequently will write out of order, and my pre-first draft of anything will come out with many random strings of letters (fdjskfjds is my favorite) acting as substitutes for words, sentences, or even full paragraphs that I could not come up with on the spot. My real first draft involves going back to plug in the holes. When I’m not writing and drowning in textbook readings, I’m baking cupcakes as fuel for when I am writing and drowning in textbook readings. Mara, why did you decide to participate in Pitch Wars?        I have wanted to be a Pitch Wars mentor since before I ever made it into Pitch Wars as a mentee! I just knew it would be such an awesome way to pay it forward if I was ever lucky enough to sign with an...

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