Pitch Wars Interview with Deborah Graff and her mentor Kim Long
Sep26

Pitch Wars Interview with Deborah Graff and her mentor Kim Long

Welcome to the Pitch Wars Team Interviews Bringing you a closer look at each Pitch War Team and their project. Be sure to comment with support, comments, and questions. Meet Deborah Graff and Kim Long Team RIDDLEmethis! Kim Long (Mentor), tell us a little about yourself. I read across genres–everything from fantasy to light sci-fi to contemporary in MG, YA, and Adult, though lately I’m on a fantasy kick. Reading contemporary MG really helps me get an MG voice down though, so anytime I’m about to start a new MG, I overload on the MG conemp! I admit I’m a plotter. I find that if I don’t have at least an idea how I want the book to end and where the chapter should end, I am very inefficient with my writing time. I usually write between 10:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. during the week, but I’m always plotting. If you’re in the Chicago ‘burbs and see a woman drinking a diet coke in a McDonald’s while writing in a composition book, chances are it’s me furiously finding ways to make my characters suffer! Deborah Graff (Mentee), tell us a little about yourself. I’m honored to be a part of Pitch Wars and partnered with Kim! I’m an omnivore when it comes to books; I’ll read pretty much any genre or age category if the writing is beautiful and the story is compelling. My summer reading list included THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir, THE INVENTION OF WINGS by Sue Monk Kidd, THE WITCH HUNTER by Virginia Boecker, and GOODBYE STRANGER by Rebecca Stead…among many others. Despite reading anything/everything, my heart dwells in middle grade fiction, which is what I write. I try to meld a page-turning story full of action (swords! murderous trolls! magic gems!) with character growth (self-awareness, friendship, hard decisions). I have three middle grade daughters as my muses, and I also volunteer as a reading coach and Girl Scout troop leader. All the kids in my life are endless sources of inspiration. Kim, why did you decide to participate in Pitch Wars? I entered Pitch Wars two years ago with a now-trunked YA fantasy. At the time, I had no betas, no CPs, and no one had read my manuscript. One of the mentors made a partial request, and that simple act really was a confidence booster. From there, I entered a few other contests, where I found betas and CPs and fellow writers. The path to publication can be long and takes a lot of twist and turns. It’s great to know people going through the same thing I am. I wanted to be a mentor...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Michelle Tran and her mentor Brianna Shrum
Sep26

Pitch Wars Interview with Michelle Tran and her mentor Brianna Shrum

Welcome to the Pitch Wars Team Interviews Bringing you a closer look at each Pitch War Team and their project. Be sure to comment with support, comments, and questions.   Meet Michelle Tran and Brianna Shrum Team: Team SparkleShine! Brianna Shrum (Mentor), tell us a little about yourself. I read all over the place, but my very favorite thing is to read about villains. Give me charming and evil and I am ALL OVER THAT BOOK, YO. That’s what I write too. I write fantasy and contemp, and with the exception of one book (my 2016 YA, How to Make Out), all my stories are about bad people. I’m a sucker for the villainy charm; what can I say? ;D (I am aso desperately in love with romance and sexual tension. I love the love.) Michelle Tran (Mentee), tell us a little about yourself. I’m a coffee drinking, wine loving, book enthusiast with a soft spot for Young Adult literature. I love all sub-genres though I’m a big baby when it comes to horror (I still can’t even bring myself to watch PG-13 movies). But my absolute favorites tend to be issue-driven or light-romance contemporary and character-driven fantasy. Books like FLIPPED, SPEAK, JUST LISTEN, MAGONIA, WICKED LOVELY Series, THE LUNAR CHRONICLES, and DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE Trilogy are my cup of tea. My writing style tends to be more character-driven, but I have a thing for pretty lines and imagery (probably because I love to read and write poetry as well). I’m also a bit of a foodie so I have this habit of slipping food into my stories and I like to draw inspiration from places I’ve been (it gives me an excuse to travel). Brianna, why did you decide to participate in Pitch Wars? So the book I have that’s just released was actually in Pitch Wars 2013 (HELLO HI SUMMER, MY FIZZY MENTOR), and that contest wound up getting me my first book deal with Spencer Hill Press. I knew I wanted to be on the other side of that as soon as I could, and help writers achieve their dreams. IT was such a fantastic experience as a mentee then, and then as a mentor last year, that I couldn’t wait to jump in again this year and chill with my favorite people: writers ^_^ Michelle, why did you decide to participate in Pitch Wars? What I really love about Pitch Wars is the community. By entering you already win in some way, whether it’s meeting a new CP, linking up with other writers, or hearing about all the wonderful stories out there. It’s something...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Jen F. and her mentor Sonia Hartl
Sep26

Pitch Wars Interview with Jen F. and her mentor Sonia Hartl

Welcome to the Pitch Wars Team Interviews Bringing you a closer look at each Pitch War Team and their project. Be sure to comment with support, comments, and questions. Meet Jen F. and Sonia Hartl Team #TeamMotivationalPoster Sonia Hartl (Mentor), tell us a little about yourself. Hi all, I’m Sonia, and like Jen, I read a little of everything. I love contemporary stories that make me feel something other than sad (I don’t like to cry), mystery, suspense, dark and creepy. I like touches of magic too, especially the kind where the magic is questionable. I’ll read anything as long as the voice speaks to me. Strong characters with everything to lose will make me follow them until the bitter end. I think my taste in reading reflects my writing style as well. I’m drawn to ideas that are a little outside the norm with strong settings that are like characters. I will often times have the place where I want to set my story before I have characters. I’ll then create the type of characters who stand to get screwed over the most by where I choose to put them. So far everything I’ve written has strong romantic elements. Kissing scenes are a particular favorite of mine, followed closely by snarky dialogue between the MC and LI. Jen F. (Mentee), tell us a little about yourself. Hey hey buttercups! I’m Jen, code name @jennyleeSD. I’m a book nerd, about 9 months away from being a certified book doctor, so yes, yes, I read everything! Recent favs: Paolo Bacigalupi’s THE WATER KNIFE, Joy Castro’s HELL OR HIGH WATER, and Pitchwars’ own Brighton Walsh with TESSA EVER AFTER. From start to finish: spec fic, literary mystery, and hawt hawt hawt contemporary romance. I am all over the boat! When I’m LitFic-ing it, my prose tends to be all poetic and stuff. When I’m writing upmarket, like the project the scrumptious Sonia Hartl chose to mentor (fun fact: my auto correct keeps trying to change “Hartl” to “Hartlepoo”), I’m more saucy, fun, dirty, and full of Urban Dictionary words. And yes, yes y’all, you can fall into an Urban Dictionary hole (and learn all sorts of craycray stuff about the world) while researching on the net. It’s dangerous out there. Stay safe. Sonia, why did you decide to participate in Pitch Wars? I was a mentee in 2013, and it was the best experience. I learned an incredible amount from my mentor (Dannie Morin), and I wanted to give back to the community that gave me so much. Getting the chance to be on the mentor side has been amazing. And it’s a...

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