Pitch Wars Interview with Amanda Donegan and her mentor, Sharon M. Johnston
Oct01

Pitch Wars Interview with Amanda Donegan and her mentor, Sharon M. Johnston

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 Sharon M. Johnston and Amanda Donegan Team: Team Flamming Walrus Sharon M. Johnston (Mentor), tell us a little about yourself. I grew up on fables and fairytales. I used to snuggle on my parents bed with my sister while my dad read us amazing stories, captivating me, solidifying my love of the written word. I read horror then romances (because YA didn’t exist like it does nowadays) then fantasy (Oh Sparhawk!). I stopped reading fiction and switched to non fiction when I went to university, my university texts predominately. Because I had some literature electives I also read some short stories and plays. But barely anything for fun. When my oldest son started reading, I started reading MG books so I could share in the joy. Harry Potter got me hooked on reading again. I predominately read YA, but anything with a speculative bent really gets me going, like the Time Travellers Wife, the Curse Workers Series and Outlander. I’m a ‘What if’ writer. A weird idea comes to me in the form of a ‘What if’ questions. Some times it’s the twist (so I can’t share those – like my story DIVIDED), but other times it’s the premise. For example my contemporary YA WIP is based around “What if my dad had died when I was in high school?” My short story Karma (which was runner up in the Australian Literary Review’s YA short story comp and I’m currently expanding into a novel) came to me when I was very, very pissed off. My dad was dying from cancer and I was really down. I received a rejection from an agent. When I read it I said out loud like “Come on, Karma. Don’t you think I’ve had enough?” Immediately followed by “Ping! What if there were people who were responsible for delivering karma?” I am a complete pantser, so the ideas take on a mind of their own after that. When I’m not writing or reading (or listening because I’ve become addicted to audio books thanks to my long commute to work) I’m working my PR day job; wrangling guinea pigs, cats and my kids and husband, or working on creating a bigger and better Sugar City Con (my city’s Pop Culture Convention). Amanda (Mentee), tell us a little about yourself. I enjoy reading (and writing) all the spooky spooks and anything that gives me the goosies in all age categories. I also enjoy complex...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Ava Quinn  and her mentor, Natasha Raulerson
Oct01

Pitch Wars Interview with Ava Quinn and her mentor, Natasha Raulerson

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 Natasha Raulerson and Ava Quinn Team: Women of Letters Natasha Raulerson (Mentor), tell us a little about yourself. Hello and Hazzuh! My name is Natasha. Tasha for short. Romantic Suspense, Urban Fantasy, and Paranormal Romance are my jimmy jam to read. My bookshelves are lined with Neil Gaiman, Patricia Briggs, Shiloh Walker, etc and so on. I say those are my favorite genres, but really I just need a good story to hook me and I’m in. The only thing I tend to stay away from is the historical romance. I originally started writing in first, but now I’m a third POV maniac. Not sure I can ever go back to first, except for in the area of short stories. Ava Quinn (Mentee), tell us a little about yourself. I enjoy reading. Period. All the genres call to me from non fiction to sff to literary, but my favorite is Romance. (Pause for a commercial: Romance – Giving voices to women since 1811. Now back to our regularly scheduled interview.) I write contemporary western romance, live in the US with my husband and my two daughters who participate in way too many activities. There’s been more than one time when I’ve called my answering machine while driving them places to record an idea or some dialogue I don’t want to forget. I’ve been a teacher for over 20 years. Riding my motorcycle and going to the roller derby are some of the things I like to do in the small amount of spare time I can scrape up. Natasha, why did you decide to participate in Pitch Wars? I entered PW last year, and didn’t get in. However, the tools and information I learned about the writing craft I incorporated into my next novel, which helped me land an agent. I wanted to be a PW mentor to give back, pay it forward, and ultimately, to help someone achieve the dream. Ava, why did you decide to participate in Pitch Wars? What writer wouldn’t? The mentors are fantastic, generous individuals who are extremely helpful to everyone. Brenda Drake is a rock star for organizing this. That woman deserves the best karma this world has to offer for how much she does for others. The writers who participate, whether chosen or not, are an incredible group of people. There’s such an encouraging vibe in this community, and I’m so thankful to be a part of it. Natasha, what...

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