Pitch Wars Team Interview with  Taylor B. Gardner and her mentor Kim Long
Sep05

Pitch Wars Team Interview with Taylor B. Gardner and her mentor Kim Long

  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 #TeamKraken . . . Taylor B. Gardner – Mentee Twitter Kim Long – Mentor Twitter | Website Taylor: Why did you choose Kim? She was my dream mentor. Before I read her wish list, I was excited by her sage writing advice, kindness to and encouragement of other writers, and thoughtful posts on social media. And, then, her wish list was a perfect fit. She listed stories with smart girls who like science and puzzles first. I couldn’t believe it. I am thrilled and incredibly lucky to be working with such a talented, generous, imaginative, and fun mentor. Kim: Why did you choose Taylor’s THE SOCIETY OF FLYERS? Let’s start with the concept–a Society of Flyers with a girl MC who is a fan of aviation? Heck, yeah! So original! But in addition to the cool concept, it comes down to the writing. “Junior high would crash faster than a plane with a broken piston if kids found out who she really was.” That’s on page 2, folks. And then, when I advised Taylor of my ideas for revisions, she was not only ecstatic but started brainstorming on the spot. As a mentor, all I can ask is to get to work on something I love for two months with someone who loves it as much as I do. Taylor: Summarize your book in three words. Secrets. Puzzles. Flying. Kim: Summarize your mentee’s book in three words. Smart. Fun. Flygirl. Taylor: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? As a child, I dreamt of learning the secret steps to be able to fly with the birds, but I never remembered them when I woke up. My book, THE SOCIETY OF FLYERS, is based on that dream. It is the story I’ve wanted to tell for as long as I can remember. When I am not inventing puzzles, stories, or challenges, I devour all types of books. I have a special place in my heart for middle grade books with smart girls, mysteries, magic, and different ways to look at the world. I live in beautiful San Francisco, and I love things that are silly, dancing when it rains, and eating chocolate for breakfast. Kim: Tell us about yourself. Something we might not already know. All of my MG experience is finally paying...

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Pitch Wars Team Interview with Gwynne Jackson and her mentors, Mary Ann Marlowe and Jaime Loren
Sep05

Pitch Wars Team Interview with Gwynne Jackson and her mentors, Mary Ann Marlowe and Jaime Loren

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 . . . Gwynne Jackson – Mentee Twitter | Website Mary Ann Marlowe – Mentor Twitter | Website Jaime Loren – Co-Mentor Twitter | Website   Gwynne: Why did you choose Mary Ann and Jaime? I subbed to Mary Ann in Pitch Wars 2015. She passed on my manuscript, but gave me some stellar feedback. When I told her I had a vastly revised version of my story, she remembered it from last year, complimented me on it, and encouraged me to submit it. How could I say no, already knowing what a great mentor she’d make? I loved Jaime’s mentor bio and planned to submit to her based on her obvious sense of humor and general… friskiness. When Mary Ann and Jaime teamed up, it seemed like an opportunity to win the lottery. I got my hands on a ticket and won! Mentor: Why did you choose Gwynne/ALL SONGS ARE LOVE SONGS? Mary Ann: As Gwynne said, she subbed to me last year, and hers was one of those subs I never forgot. When her entry came into my inbox this year, I flagged it right away, praying the book would hold up. And it totally did, but more importantly, she’d revised substantially from last year, tearing out whole points of view, without losing the heart of the story. That’s always a great sign when you’re about to send an author into an intense two-month revision period. Jaime and I knew she’d be able to meet the demands of this contest and take any feedback we threw at her. But it was the book that won us over. We gushed over Gwynne’s beautiful writing, her atmospheric settings, and seriously believable characters. As we fell in love with her story, we both found we shared a vision for shaping it into a more commercially marketable novel. All the magical PitchWars pieces fell into place for us to choose her—a great book with room to grow. The only problem was we weren’t the only ones who wanted her… Gwynne: Summarize your book in three words.  Uh-oh, spotlight! RUN! Mary Ann & Jaime: Summarize your mentee’s book in three words. PARTY’S OUT BACK Gwynne: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? I’ve done a lot of things and held a lot of careers, everything from...

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Pitch Wars Team Interview with Shannon Caldwell and her mentor J.R. Yates
Sep05

Pitch Wars Team Interview with Shannon Caldwell and her mentor J.R. Yates

  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 #TeamOM-Mazing . . . Shannon Caldwell – Mentee Twitter | Website   J.R. Yates – Mentor Twitter | Website Shannon: Why did you choose J.R. Yates? I chose to submit to J.R. Yates because her MS wishlist closely matched what I felt I’d written (romance, real characters, sass, the overlooked guy). After I submitted I learned she’d been mentored by Kelly who’d been mentored by Brighton, and I wanted to be a part of this talented family. The Ryan Gosling gif didn’t hurt either.   JR: Why did you choose Shannon Caldwell’s Retreating Hearts? I was looking for something with a great voice and a concept that I really loved. Shannon’s manuscript fit the bill! The couple gave me all the feels and the voice made me laugh out loud/   Shannon: Summarize your book in three words. Hot brothers = trouble   JR: Summarize Shannon’s book in three words. Friends. Lovers. Twist.   Shannon: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? I was born and raised in Texas, but I don’t wear cowboy boots or ride a horse. Between my Southern roots and yoga background, I have a pretty laid-back approach to life. I read my first romance novel in high school–thanks mom–and wrote my first romantic time travel in college. I’ve been writing ever since and learned it’s the best way to stay sane and off the streets at night. My best writing occurs when I suffuse it with my real world experiences. I grew up in a rural town and some of my favorite movies and TV shows revolve around small town life: Hart of Dixie, Friday Night Lights, and Sweet Home Alabama.   JR: Tell us about yourself. Something we might not already know. Aside from being a writer, I’m a speech therapist and a mother to three young kids. If you get me talking about books or communication, you better pull up a chair and make yourself comfortable, you’ll be here for a while. Something that you may not know about me is that I have, what my husband calls, an “anti-foot fetish”. Meaning, I HATE FEET. Do not touch me with yours and do not touch mine (but I am allowed to keep mine warm under my husband at night). Despite Shannon’s manuscript having a foot massage scene,...

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