Pitch Wars Team Interview with Anthony Tardiff and his mentor, Naomi Hughes
Sep15

Pitch Wars Team Interview with Anthony Tardiff and his mentor, Naomi Hughes

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 . . . Naomi Hughes – Mentor Twitter | Website Anthony Tardiff – Mentee Twitter: | Website Anthony: Why did you choose Naomi? Naomi struck me as both incredibly professional and someone I would really get along with. She likes Megan Whalen Turner and Avatar: The Last Airbender, which shows great taste! And I wanted someone who would approach mentoring the same way as would an agent or editor. Naomi described her approach as exactly that, and I knew she could back those words up because of her amazing track record, including mentoring Casey Lyall, whose book I’d beta read a few years back. Naomi: Why did you choose Anthony and GHOST IN THE MACHINE?   Two words: revision brilliance. Anthony’s manuscript had Potential with a capital P, which was enough to interest me–but when I emailed him to check whether he’d be up for some heavy-duty edits, he enthusiastically replied with some seriously excellent revision ideas. That was enough to push me over the edge from “this could be such a cool story” to “I MUST WORK WITH THIS AUTHOR!” Anthony: Summarize your book in three words. Humans aren’t machines. Naomi: Summarize Anthony’s book in three words.  Cleverness, hacking, & AIs. Anthony: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? I’m a university instruction librarian and fascinated by information as such, including how our Information Age has brought both unimagined benefits and unexpected complexity to our world — and we’re not done yet. My manuscript dives into those musings in a fun, fast-paced, character-centered way. Naomi: Tell us about yourself. Something we might not already know. I have two dogs, and both of them are named after characters from Avatar: The Last Airbender. Shout-outs for Momo and Zuko! Thank you for supporting our Pitch Wars Teams! And don’t forget to stop by the Agent Showcase starting November 3rd to see how our teams do in the final...

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Pitch Wars Team Interview with Emma Nelson and her mentor, Jennie Nash
Sep15

Pitch Wars Team Interview with Emma Nelson and her mentor, Jennie Nash

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 . . . Emma Nelson – Mentee Twitter | Website Jennie Nash – Mentor Twitter | Website Emma: Why did you choose Jennie? As I studied the mentor bios, I kept coming back to Jennie Nash because she seemed like an amazingly accomplished drill sergeant. She obviously knew how to write. She knew how to break down the structure of books. And she seemed to know how to push an author to make their MS the best it could be. The only problem was, she mostly wanted memoirs and historical fiction. Logically, picking Jennie was a bad idea for me. She specifically said she wasn’t drawn to genre fiction, and my MS was a strange amalgamation of witches, ghosts, and time loops. But I loved the idea of her, and I hoped the historical elements of my novel would catch her attention. So after going back and forth half-a-dozen times, I hurried and put her in as my choice and clicked submit before I could change my mind. Jennie: Why did you choose Emma’s manuscript? I did NOT want genre fiction. I did not want ghosts. I did not want witches. I did not want fantasy. But I kept going back to Emma’s story again and again — drawn to it because of the powerful, assured voice; the ambitious structure (real history, fantasy history, time travel, witches, ghosts); and because it was saying something important about women and memory and the power of owning your own narrative but at the same time was so darn FUN. And there was something else — hard to put my finger on — but it was SO present. Some aliveness. Some deep story promise. I felt like I was in the hands of a true storyteller. In the end, it screamed to me and I couldn’t turn away. I guess that just goes to show that sometimes a reader has no idea what she really wants, other than to be delighted! Emma: Summarize your book in three words. Witchy. Suspenseful. Empowering. Jennie: Summarize Emma’s book in three words. History repeats itself Emma: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? As I worked toward an MA in literature, I was increasingly drawn to the narratives of the different voices I studied–women, slaves, Native Americans, storytellers–and found myself, at...

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Pitch Wars Team Interview with Sabina Khan and her mentor, Natasha Neagle
Sep15

Pitch Wars Team Interview with Sabina Khan and her mentor, Natasha Neagle

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 . . . Sabina Khan – Mentee Twitter | Website Natasha Neagle – Mentor Twitter | Website   Sabina: Why did you choose Natasha? While I was trying to decide on which mentors to sub to, I was lucky enough to win a free query critique from Natasha. When she sent me her ideas for polishing my query, I knew right away that she’d be the perfect mentor for me. Her suggestions and feedback were incredibly helpful and clear. The teacher in her presented them in a way that made it very easy to implement them. I also think the fact that we’re both in the teaching business as well as writers would allow us to work well with each other. I feel very fortunate to have her as my mentor and I look forward to learning a great deal from her. Natasha: Why did you choose Sabina? From page one, I fell in love with Sabina’s main character. I read through the first chapter and was mad that was all I had in front of me. After requesting it, I read the manuscript in one sitting. The whole time I read, ideas kept popping in my head of ways to take the story being told to the next level. Sabina put so much into the characters and I was beyond thrilled when she told me she was open to my suggestions. Sabina: Summarize your book in three words. Muslim teen lesbian. Natasha: Summarize Sabina’s book in three words. Traditions forbidding love Sabina: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? I think what makes me unique is that I don’t fit into any neat boxes. I grew up learning about prejudice at a very young age, growing up South Asian in small-town Germany in the early 70’s. When we moved to Bangladesh, my father’s homeland, there was a different sort of discrimination since my mother is Pakistani. I was raised in a Muslim family but I married a Hindu man. I learned that using labels to define a person only drive people apart. In my story, I explore some of the prejudices that I have experienced as a woman, as a Muslim & as a South Asian. However, I have always managed to find a place for myself, no matter where I lived, surrounded by...

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