Pitch Wars Interview with Brian O’Conor and his mentor, Hayley Stone
Oct29

Pitch Wars Interview with Brian O’Conor and his mentor, Hayley Stone

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 Hayley Stone and Brian O’Conor #TEAMFLIPPINGFLIP Hayley (H.N.) Stone (Mentor), tell us a little about yourself. I’m the type of person who considers Costco’s strategic value during a zombie apocalypse, which should tell you everything you need to know about me, really. No? Fiiiine. Here’s some other stuff then: I spent my formative years writing Star Wars fanfiction and developing a particularly strong affinity for character banter and tragedy. Link from Legend of Zelda was my original video game crush until unseated by Carth Onasi from Knights of the Old Republic (which I maintain is one of the best games ever). Much of what I learned about ensemble casts and storytelling, I learned from video games. BioWare has broken my heart numerous times, and I keep going back for more. Brian O’Conor (Mentee), tell us a little about yourself. I basically owe all of my creative drive and storytelling abilities to one things: FINAL FANTASY VI, which I got for Christmas one year back in the mid ’90s. It completely changed the way I thought of narrative fiction. It had a sprawling cast of characters, each with unique personality traits and rich personal histories. The worldbuilding was beyond anything I had experienced before, and the prominent fusion of magic and technology has been part of all my stories since. And it’s was a story where the bad guy actually won and the heroes, scattered to the edges of the world, had to regroup and start again in ruined world. There’s been a myriad of books, comics, movies, whatever over the years that have influenced the way I tell stories, but FFVI was the real spark that ignited my creative fire. Nowadays I enjoy reading SFF of most any flavor and have a TBR pile that extends from my Write Cave to the Moon (as pretty much every writer does). Recent faves include Brian Staveley’s THE EMPEROR’S BLADES, Max Gladstone’s THREE PARTS DEAD and Pitch Wars Mentor (and friend!) Emmie Mears’ STORM IN A TEACUP. My own writing style features a lot of dialogue and descriptions to flesh out the narrative. If there’s one thing I think I’m pretty good at, it’s writing snappy banter. If there’s one thing I really need to work on, cutting back on the flowery language and just getting to the point. I’m still working on that one (much to Hayley’s dismay, I’m sure :D). Hayley, why did you decide to participate...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Heather Murphy Capps and her mentor, Kendra Young
Oct29

Pitch Wars Interview with Heather Murphy Capps and her mentor, Kendra Young

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 Kendra Young and Heather Murphy Capps Team Ghost!  Kendra Young (Mentor), tell us a little about yourself. I live in southeast Tennessee and have a serious soft spot for good sweet tea, lightning bugs, and a good ghost story. While paranormal fiction is my first love, I enjoy any kind of well-told story regardless of genre. Sci-fi? Yes. Mysteries? Please. Romance? Bring it. With that said, I love to see mashups! I’m a huge fan of comedic horror, to say the least. My writing style tends to be pretty “voice-y” (that’s a word, right?) and I try to make every character unique in the way they think, sound, and move. It’s no small secret that my characters are very real to me, and I hope I show this in my writing. Heather Murphy Capps (Mentee), tell us a little about yourself. I am a mashup – born in Peru, raised in Minnesota, married a Southerner, and live on the East Coast. Of course I believe in magic — and also going with your gut, using your manners, and being loyal. Plus, I’m an extrovert, which makes me a fun person to invite to parties — I’ll always mingle and be happy about it. I love to read thrillers, horror, light sci-fi, and speculative fiction, all with a healthy dash of humor, which is also how I write. When things get serious (and they always do because there’s nothing I like more than DRAMA! SCARE! EMOTIONS!), my main characters say something silly or funny to lighten the mood. Kendra, why did you decide to participate in Pitch Wars? For me it was about giving back to the writing community. Unlike my mentee, I’m a true introvert. So there have been many times that people in the writing community have encouraged me through blog posts, Tweets, and especially through contests, without any knowledge that they did so (because I’m too shy to tell them, haha!). I’ve learned so much from my fellow writers and know my writing would not have grown the way it has without them, so this is just my way of paying it forward. Heather, why did you decide to participate in Pitch Wars? I watched the Pitch Wars feed last year and loved all the inspiring stories of collaboration and friendship. This year I decided I wanted the chance to be included in the fun – so I steeled my nerves and jumped in....

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Pitch Wars Interview with Jenn Brisendine and her mentor, Rebecca Wells
Oct29

Pitch Wars Interview with Jenn Brisendine and her mentor, Rebecca Wells

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 Jenn Brisendine and Rebecca Wells Team Secrets! Rebecca Wells (Mentor), tell us a little about yourself. Oh, man. Well, I enjoy reading pretty much everything! (This is only a slight exaggeration.) From picture books all the way through adult, I will read almost anything if it can hook me in. Right now the most surprising book on my nightstand is probably Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton (yes, the one that became the musical!). I started it on a friend’s recommendation and it’s surprisingly engrossing. It keeps me up at night! I do have to confess I’m particularly partial to anything and everything to do with fairy tales, though. I grew up on books like Robin McKinley’s BEAUTY and Shannon Hale’s THE GOOSE GIRL, so it’s not that surprising that when I started writing seriously, I wound up squarely in that lyrical fairy tale niche. I love books that twist the original tales and show familiar characters through unexpected, different lenses, and that’s what I aim for in my own writing. I’ve probably got fifteen different Rapunzel retellings buried somewhere in my computer… Fun facts? Well – I got my nose broken in a soccer game, but I didn’t realize it was broken until I got black eyes the next morning! In middle school I memorized 125 digits of pi for a recitation competition. Also, I once cried in front of Sharon Creech. Jenn Brisendine (Mentee), tell us a little about yourself. I grew up on Stephen King. I read pretty much every one of his books throughout middle and high school, and I reflected a lot on the fiction lessons inherent in his books (POV, pacing, parallel plotting…) throughout my college education, even as my love of Romantic poets, classic writers, and Shakespeare deepened. Stephen King’s books taught me that no matter your content, a story can be told with class, panache, and plenty of literary devices. I love women’s fiction too; favorites there are Barbara Kingsolver and Anna Quindlen for their ability to weave literary flavor into a sweep-you-up kind of story. Rebecca, why did you decide to participate in Pitch Wars? I entered one of Brenda’s other contests earlier this year (Pitch Madness). Being chosen to compete was a huge kick in the pants that helped me finally finish revising my novel and start querying. It’s not an exaggeration to say that my participation in Pitch Madness was instrumental in signing with my...

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