Pitch Wars Interview with Jennifer Bryson and her mentor, Rebecca Petruck
Sep19

Pitch Wars Interview with Jennifer Bryson and her mentor, Rebecca Petruck

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 . . . Jennifer Bryson- Mentee Twitter | Website Rebecca Petruck – Mentor Twitter | Website Jennifer: Why did you choose Rebecca? Rebecca and I have a similar sense of humor, which is rare. I wanted a mentor who would appreciate the weirdness of a squirrel befriending a peanut detective. I knew it would take someone special to think “Yes! That makes perfect sense!” and not “I wonder if she’s on drugs? Should I alert someone?”. I also was impressed by her authorial/mentoring experience, but mostly it was a gut feeling she wouldn’t report me for child endangerment. Rebecca: Why did you choose Jennifer? Jennifer has that rare talent of incorporating genuinely creative, fun, wacky humor with a lot of heart. Her manuscript made me snort laugh and coo, “Aww,” at the same time. The MC is an adorable mess and the sentient peanut…as I told Jennifer, “You had me at Frankenut.” Jennifer: Summarize your book in three words. Find your people Rebecca: Summarize Jennifer’s book in three words. Squirrel + Frankenut = Buddylove Jennifer: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? By day I am an over-educated, mini-van driving, stay-at-home mom, but at night I am actually an international operative in a top secret spy ring. My kids think they have to go to bed at eight because I’m just mean—they don’t know it’s really so I can infiltrate foreign powers and prevent them from tampering with the upcoming Presidential election. Or maybe that was a just a dream I had… My manuscript makes up for how boring I am in real life. It’s a wacky, fun friendship story geared toward younger Middle Grade readers. The main characters are a down-trodden squirrel and a sentient GMO peanut who thinks he is a genius (but probably isn’t). It’s Leonard and Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory merged with Sherlock and Watson, solving mysteries on Sesame Street. With explosions. Rebecca: Tell us about yourself. Something we might not already know. My dad loves boiled peanuts, which he discovered when we lived in Louisiana and are not available where he lives now in Minnesota. So when I moved from New York to North Carolina for my MFA program, I had to send Dad care packages with boiled peanuts. But never again! #SaveTheFrankenut   Check out...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Triona Murphey and her mentors, Wade Albert White & Timanda Wertz
Sep19

Pitch Wars Interview with Triona Murphey and her mentors, Wade Albert White & Timanda Wertz

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 . . . Triona Murphy – Mentee Twitter | Website Wade Albert White – Mentor Twitter | Website Timanda Wertz – Co-Mentor Twitter | Website   Triona: Why did you choose Wade & Timanda? My (virtual) ears perked up when I read that they were solely focusing on MG sci-fi and fantasy. They perked up even further when I read that they liked some of my favorite authors—Terry Pratchett, Shannon Hale, Neil Gaiman, JK Rowling, Tamora Pierce, and Douglas Adams, to name a few. I also liked their approach to revisions: two major passes, one for big-picture edits and one for details. That’s how I prefer to edit myself (although it’s often more like six or seven passes!), so it sounded like we’d be a good fit.   Wade & Timanda: Why did you choose Triona and Shifting Gears? Timanda: I’m a sucker for intelligent female characters. As a STEM teacher, I was drawn to the main character, who has a knack for engineering and uses her brains and talents to solve the problems she faces. I’m also fascinated by the idea of parallel worlds, and I thought Triona did a really nice job distinguishing hers from other parallel world stories I’ve read. Wade: The voice of the opening pages immediately drew me in, and the quirky, super-smart MC kept me reading. On top of that, I love alternate Earth stories. How could I say no?   Triona: Summarize your book in three words. Dimension-jumping. Adventure. Belonging.   Wade & Timanda: Summarize Triona’s book in three words. Timanda: Smart girl power. Wade: Awesome. Multidimensional. Friendships.   Triona: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? I’m a freelance copywriter and knitting pattern designer (yep, that’s a real thing!). I live in Indiana with my husband, who’s also a writer, and my two sons. I’ve been a voracious reader since the age of four and was into cool sci-fi and fantasy more than anything else. SHIFTING GEARS has a lot of elements I loved at the middle school age, like interesting science concepts, relatable characters, and action/adventure.   Wade & Timanda: Tell us about yourself. Something we might not already know. Timanda: I usually mention my love of Broadway and marine science in these things, so here’s something new: as of last weekend, I have over a hundred (they’re hard to...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Cole N. and her mentor, McKelle George
Sep19

Pitch Wars Interview with Cole N. and her mentor, McKelle George

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 Lorem Ipsum . . . Cole N. – Mentee Twitter | Website McKelle George – Mentor Twitter | Website   Cole: Why did you choose McKelle? A number of factors drew me to McKelle. First off, the way she distinguished between the speculative fiction that she does and does not like showed me that she was a thoughtful and nuanced reader within the genre. Then when I learned that her upcoming book was a prohibition era Shakespeare retelling, I got super excited. It’s totally unlike what I’m writing, which I love because I know she’ll bring a different perspective to my manuscript. Just as importantly it sounds like a book I need to read, and I think it’s crucial for mentees to be just as excited about their mentors’ work as the mentors are about theirs. McKelle: Why did you choose Cole and CHIMERICAL? The thing about Cole is that she is, by her own admission, kind of an “Internet ghost.” So when I was thinking about taking her manuscript on, it was completely unrelated to whether or not she was nice or seemed easy to work with or had a huge following on social media: it was all down to her book. It wasn’t the kind of manuscript I originally envisioned taking on: it’s magical realism, and a bit strange, and sort of haunting, and not quite like any other book I’ve ever read. Even as I was trying to be more pragmatic about my choice, there were certain passages I could still remember, even from a quick read, days later, sentences and paragraphs that stuck with me. (And like Cole, I also like that it’s not exactly what I write, but it is what I like to read. I think the differing perspectives will feed off each other well.) I still think it’s an incredibly special book and wholly unique–and now here we are! Cole: Summarize your book in three words. Ghosts. Carnival. Memory. McKelle: Summarize Cole’s book in three words. Haunting. Magic. Enigmatic. Cole: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? My manuscript started out as my graduate school thesis. I graduated last year, and now I’m married to another writer. We both live in Minnesota and teach English and Writing at a liberal arts college. I do the...

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