Pitch Wars Team Interview with Elliot Smith and his mentor,  Gabrielle Byrne
Sep01

Pitch Wars Team Interview with Elliot Smith and his mentor, Gabrielle Byrne

Our mentors are editing, our mentees are revising, and we hope you’re making progress on your own manuscript! While we’re all working toward the Agent Showcase on November 3rd-9th, we hope you’ll take a moment during your writing breaks and get to know our 2016 Pitch Wars Teams. And now, we have Team Fiery Stakes . . . Elliot Smith – Mentee Twitter | Website Gabrielle Byrne – Mentor Twitter | Website Elliot: Why did you choose Gabrielle? Like most mentees, I expect, I made my decision by casting lots and consulting a Ouija board. Gabrielle was a unanimous choice since she asked for MG historical fantasy, and I liked the gifs on her twitter account, which is widely regarded as the primary means of judging whether someone will like your writing. Gabrielle: Why did you choose Elliot’s manuscript? I chose Elliot’s book because the story wouldn’t let me move on. The MC’s voice is wonderfully snarky. The stakes couldn’t be higher. The premise is unique, and fun, and irresistible. Also, my Ouija board backed me up. Elliot: Summarize your book in three words. American (Witch) Revolution Gabrielle: Summarize Elliot’s book in three words. Revolution. Magic. Betrayal. (a.k.a. A Must Read) Elliot: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? I’m not sure I qualify as unique aside from a troubling addiction to tea, but my manuscript is the American Revolution turned up to 11, because everything is better with magic. After all, there is no proof Abigail Adams wasn’t a witch. Gabrielle: Tell us about yourself. Something we might not already know. Well, folks can learn quite a bit about me through Winged Pen, and through my bio, but something you won’t know is that I wore a back brace for several of my teenage years. For that reason (among others) I have a strong, abiding love for Frida Kahlo. Other things I adore, in no particular order, are rain, cat purrs, open windows, and sweatpants.   Thank you for supporting our Pitch Wars Teams! And remember, there’s a #PitMad Twitter pitch party on September...

Read More
Pitch Wars Team Interview with Michelle Iannantuono and her mentor, Michelle Hazen
Sep01

Pitch Wars Team Interview with Michelle Iannantuono and her mentor, Michelle Hazen

Our mentors are editing, our mentees are revising, and we hope you’re making progress on your own manuscript! While we’re all working toward the Agent Showcase on November 3rd-9th, we hope you’ll take a moment during your writing breaks and get to know our 2016 Pitch Wars Teams. And now, we have . . . Michelle Iannantuono – Mentee Twitter | Website Michelle Hazen – Mentor Twitter | Website Mentee Michelle: Why did you choose Mentor Michelle? Michelle and I both come from fandom, so I think we value similar things in a story. We want characters to idolize, romances to root for, gut punches to the feels, and interesting world building that can unite an audience. Additionally, the editorial notes in her bio were on point with what I needed help with. While I want there to be epic feels, it’s a hurdle for me to get there in the narrative. She also touted being excellent at editing fight scenes, and there are a LOT of them in my book. I think relationship arcs are often more interesting than individual character arcs, and coming from years of writing fanfiction, relationships are always the emotional core of anything I write. It was a bit of a wild card to pick a romance writer like Michelle when my book doesn’t have much romance, but I felt she could appreciate the relationships of all stripes – marital, sibling, friendship, father/son, etc – that are really important to Paradisa, and she would strengthen them across the board. Essentially, Michelle’s interests were a direct crossover of action + relationships and that was the perfect match. Mentor Michelle: Why did you choose Mentee Michelle’s manuscript? It’s a book about a gay Navy SEAL. Next question. No, really, though, I was looking for something with a grabby start. Paradisa had all the main characters in the hospital by the end of the first chapter, and it just got better from there. Every time I tried to stop reading long enough to feed myself, somebody would get clobbered with a fire sword. Plus, there are Gods from every faith in this book. They’re so real that when they sneeze, you get wet. My mentee writes them with such heartbreaking flaws that it forces you to remember in most traditions, the Gods were an intensified metaphor for what it means to be human: both the exquisite and the ugly. Mentee Michelle: Summarize your book in three words. Soulbound to Gods. Mentor Michelle: Summarize your mentee’s book in three words. Bromance and Axes. Mentee Michelle: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? I’m a 90’s kid, and a filmmaker....

Read More
Pitch Wars Team Interview with R.R. Baker and her mentor, Laura Brown
Sep01

Pitch Wars Team Interview with R.R. Baker and her mentor, Laura Brown

  Our mentors are editing, our mentees are revising, and we hope you’re making progress on your own manuscript! While we’re all working toward the Agent Showcase on November 3rd-9th, we hope you’ll take a moment during your writing breaks and get to know our 2016 Pitch Wars Teams. And now, we have #TeamShmexyCrutches . . . R.R. Baker – Mentee Twitter    Laura Brown – Mentor Twitter | Website   Rosalyn: Why did you choose Laura? I chose Laura Brown because when a mentor asks specifically for something you’ve written, GIVE IT TO THEM! Although I had three other mentors to choose, it took me all of 5 minutes to solidify Laura as a potential mentor. I hoped she’d connect with my words but knew I had to have my research together or she’d call me on it. Laura: Why did you choose Rosalyn’s manuscript? RR’s query first caught my attention. It was full of yummy diversity and a rich, romantic plot that I wanted more from. Her voice sealed the deal for me. In fact, the moment I met the disabled hero, I was sold. I couldn’t stop reading, even if I wanted to, and more importantly, I connected to the story in a way that I knew how I’d make the story stronger. Rosalyn: Summarize your book in three words. Passion. Resilience. Acceptance. Laura: Summarize Rosalyn’s book in three words. Swoon-worthy. Diverse. Heart-wrenching. Rosalyn: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? I live in Memphis, TN and no I’ve never been to Graceland and don’t plan on going. Ever. My day job as a 504 Compliance Associate keeps me busy. I work with students who have physical or mental impairments that affect them academically. When I’m not writing my 8-yr.old pit bull, Charlie Brown does a great job bossing me around. What makes me unique? I believe I’m the only African-American in my state, possibly the country, to own VHS’s of Riverdance, Riverdance: Live From New York, and Lord of the Dance. I also may or may not have the soundtracks to all three. My MS is unique in that the heroine comes from a culturally strict background but is unapologetic in her lifestyle choices. She’s proud of her body and her profession. My hero is sexy, talented, and just so happens to be disabled. It’s something not normally seen on shelves but it should be! Laura: Tell us about yourself. Something we might not already know. I’m pretty much an open book, not sure if there is much that others don’t know! A few facts that might be different: 1) I dropped...

Read More