Pitch Wars Team Interview with Kosoko Jackson and his mentor, Kip Wilson Rechea
Sep13

Pitch Wars Team Interview with Kosoko Jackson and his mentor, Kip Wilson Rechea

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 . . . Kosoko Jackson – Mentee Twitter Kip Wilson Rechea – Mentor Twitter | Website   Kosoko: Why did you choose Kip? Kip was actually (luckily) my first definite ‘yes’ I was going to sub to for Pitch Wars. After reading her website and seeing her interest in “historical” and “novels set in a different country,” I knew I was sold. My novel has a unique style, so someone who is a fan of verse novels, although not my style, showed they knew how to handle someone who also wrote in a unique format. She was also mentored before & repped by an agent I admired. Putting those things together–made her seem like the perfect choice! Kip: Why did you choose Kosoko’s manuscript? My wishlist was quite narrow (historical, verse, foreign settings), and prospective mentees responded with very well-targeted subs, including A KISS OF BLOOD AND GUNPOWDER. On top of that, I also mentioned a love of diverse characters and weird timelines in my post, and Kosoko’s story delivered these as well, pushing his story into the “I MUST HAVE THIS” category. The gritty, realistic romance between James and Tomas is so unique, and I rushed through the pages as breathlessly as any published book. I’m thrilled to be helping Kosoko make it even shinier! Kosoko: Summarize your book in three words. War. Lies. Letters. Kip: Summarize Kosoko’s book in three words. EXPATS for teens Kosoko: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? I’m the quintessential DC political young wonk (suit and tie, too much coffee, complains about the validity of exit polls), but I’m also a romantic in the literary sense (obsessed with wanderlust, female driven period pieces, and tough, emotional choices). In every novel I write—whether it’s science fiction, contemporary, historical–I try to combine those romantic literary elements with the thrill and high-paced environment I know how to navigate the best. In a sense, if upmarket YA was a genre, I would have all the books—all of them, I tell you! What makes my novel unique is not only the style of which its written (a mix of epistolary, first person narration, and a secret third narrative style), but also the setting. The Kosovo-Serbian conflict is mostly untouched in literature–especially young adult. The novel is peppered with historical factoids, but also creative...

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Pitch Wars Team Interview with Sarah Van Goethem and her mentor, Jenni L. Walsh
Sep13

Pitch Wars Team Interview with Sarah Van Goethem and her mentor, Jenni L. Walsh

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 Bearcats (lively, spirited women, possibly with a fiery streak) . . . Sarah Van Goethem – Mentee Twitter | Website Jenni L. Walsh – Mentor Twitter | Website   Sarah, why did you choose Jenni? The minute I read Jenni’s wish list I knew my MS was a great fit as she listed that she was most drawn to historical and fantasy. As well, her own book, Becoming Bonnie (which I am dying to read) is set in the late 1920’s and mine is a time travel to the mid 1930’s. I thought she would have fabulous advice and have a great grasp on the era. And, so far, all of her ideas are the Bee’s Knees! (I will also mention here, that after I had narrowed down my mentor choices to about ten, I let my fifteen-year-old daughter, who read my MS, go through the mentor blogs and help me choose. She also put Jenni in my top choices.) Jenni, why did you choose Sarah Van Goethem? The premise. Man, the premise of Sassafras Road hooked me right away. Maybe it’s because my Saturday nights feel lonely without Outlander, maybe it’s because I loved The Time Traveler’s Wife, or maybe it’s because Sarah’s historical, time-travel premise was just so dang good. Then, I started reading her pages and her MS was so clean. I knew she’d be able to handle any edits I threw her way. Her novel was pitched as YA (and I started as a YA mentor), but we’ll be showcasing this baby as Adult. We’re coming for ya Adult agents 🙂 Sarah, summarize your book in three words. Intriguing, Unexpected, Bittersweet Jenni, summarize Sarah’s book in three words. So. Freaking. Good. Oh, but for real: Lush. Raw. Hopeful. Sarah, tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? I definitely drew on my personal life to some degree when writing my MS. I lost my husband when I was 31, and I felt that while he was sick with cancer and dying, that somehow we fast forwarded through all of the middle years we should have had, straight to the end. The ‘what if’ questions always resonated after that. In Sassafras Road, I used the idea of time not being linear, and what if you were forced to do the ending before the middle of the...

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Pitch Wars Team Interview with Rebecca Bischoff and her mentors, Gail Nall and Abby Cooper
Sep13

Pitch Wars Team Interview with Rebecca Bischoff and her mentors, Gail Nall and Abby Cooper

  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 . . .   Rebecca Bischoff – Mentee Twitter | Website Gail Nall – Mentor Twitter | Website Abby Cooper – Mentor Twitter | Website Rebecca: Why did you choose Abby & Gail? Reading their blogs, I liked their sense of humor as well as some of the favorite books they mentioned. I felt like they would be great to work with and a good team to help me with my manuscript. Mentors: Why did you choose Rebecca and HOLE IN THE ROCK? Abby: It made me laugh (a lot!) and the MG voice was totally spot-on. Gail: The humor for sure, the main character’s voice, and the vivid setting. I’m in love with the setting, which is an actual roadside attraction in the desert. Rebecca: Summarize your book in three words. Laughter. Tears. Taxidermy. Mentors: Summarize Rebecca’s book in three words. Abby: Unique, hilarious, raccoon Gail: Bizarre, desert, family. Rebecca: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? For starters, I’m a speech pathologist, and in my writing I find that kids with various types of disabilities tend to show up in my books as secondary and sometimes main characters. I guess that’s natural since I’ve worked for eighteen years and counting with kids who have communication disorders. As far as my manuscript goes, I first got the idea for a story involving taxidermy when I saw a coffee table book at a local store entitled “Crappy Taxidermy.” It had hilarious photos of taxidermy projects gone horribly awry, and it got me to thinking about how I could include taxidermy in one of my novels. That coincided with a trip to visit family where we happened to be driving in Southern Utah along highway 191 and came across a place called “Hole N’ the Rock,” and decided to check it out. It had everything: a cave house dug into a huge red rock, tacky souvenirs, taxidermied animals, ice cream cones, weird metal sculptures, and a zoo. It was reality at its most weirdly awesome, and totally something I wanted to put into a book one day. Pretty soon my draft of “Hole in the Rock” was taking shape. Mentors: Tell us about yourself. Something we might not already know. Abby: I’m a big animal lover! I can definitely relate to the main...

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