Pitch Wars Interview with J.K. Smejkal and mentor Jessie Devine
Sep21

Pitch Wars Interview with J.K. Smejkal and mentor Jessie Devine

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 . . . J.K. Smejkal – Mentee Twitter Jessie Devine – Mentor Twitter  J.K: Why did you choose Jessie? This is only easy question of the bunch! Jessie wanted YA with atmospheric world-building, dark themes, LGBTQIA+ representation, and romance, so I thought DEVIL’S CARAVAN would be a great fit. Plus, as a mentor, his candor appealed to me. I wanted someone who’d be tough on my work, tear it apart, and hold me accountable. I expect to shed many tears during this revision, but it’ll be worth it! Jessie: Why did you choose J.K.? I chose Jeannette’s book because it is dark and atmospheric, and I was in love with the characters from page one. It also has queer rep. Basically, she delivered everything I asked for. J.K.: Summarize your book in three words. Jessie used adjectives, so I’ll add some nouns! masks, delirium, loopholes Jessie: Summarize J.K.’s book in three words. dark, whimsical, powerful J.K.: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? Let’s see. I’m a first generation Canadian living in beautiful BC with my two kids (an aspiring unicorn and a magician-in-training) and my ever-patient husband. He’s the only realist in this family, bless him. Besides the cliched writer-staples like books, coffee, and solitude, I also love big trees, Lebanese food, and hoodies. My background is diverse and includes social and environmental work (if I listed everything, this bio would be obnoxiously long). I’m marvelously liberal and nothing raises my hackles more than intolerance. It’s a complicated thing: people are my favorite, except when they’re not. 😛 So I write to try to make sense of the world, both the beautiful and the ugly. DEVIL’S CARAVAN is either a dark story deceptively dressed in glittering costumes, vibrant color, courage, and romance, or a hopeful one swathed in black magic, lies, and despair. It all depends on how you tilt your head. 😉 Jessie: Tell us about yourself. Something we might not already know. Ah, jeez. After the hamster incident, I don’t know if there’s anything left to tell. Let’s see, a fun fact. I have a fighting national championship title! 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 round. Save...

Read More
Pitch Wars Interview with Kristen Clouthier and her mentor, Jamie Howard
Sep21

Pitch Wars Interview with Kristen Clouthier and her mentor, Jamie Howard

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 . . . Kristen Clouthier – Mentee Twitter Jamie Howard – Mentor Twitter | Website Kristen: Why did you choose Jamie? After reading Jamie’s mentor bio, I knew I had to sub to her. We both shared a love of kickass heroines and books with a generous dollop of romance. She viewed the editing process as a collaborative effort, which was soooo appealing to me because I’d basically lived in a writing bubble. After becoming acquainted with the PitchWars community, I don’t know how I ever survived on my own. Jamie has tons of awesome editing skills, but her talent for bettering character relationships really drew me to her. In my MS, my character relationships really help keep the reader turning the page, so I need those to be as strong as they can possibly be. With Jamie’s help, I knew they would be! Jamie: Why did you choose Kristen? I’ve gotta say, the Pitch Wars competition was fierce this year, and choosing a manuscript was no easy task. But there was something about Kristen’s story that stuck with me long after I finished reading it. Maybe it was the witty banter or smart dialogue. Quite possibly it was the intricate dynamics between the main characters and their awesome relationships. Then again, it may have just been her swoon-worthy main character and the fact that I couldn’t get enough of him. Kristen: Summarize your book in three words. Spunky, Callen <3, Trust Jamie: Summarize Kristen’s book in three words. Adventurous. Heartwrenching. Addictive Kristen: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? I recently finished my BA in Psychology and am working towards my MS in Clinical/Counseling Psychology. You’d think my writing would focus on psychological issues, however I am obsessed with all things YA fantasy. If a book has a strong heroine and is riddled with witty banter, I will find and devour it. I’ve always loved to read, but my passion for story telling started at the age of seven when I wrote a short story about a pumpkin coming to life and seeking revenge on any who dared eat a pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving! Although I spend most of my free time writing, I’m quite the adventurer. I’ve been sky diving, white-water rafting, have my motorcycle license, and was a contestant on a game show...

Read More
Pitch Wars Interview with Meghan Jashinsky and her mentors, Lynnette Labelle and Destiny Cole
Sep21

Pitch Wars Interview with Meghan Jashinsky and her mentors, Lynnette Labelle and Destiny Cole

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 . . .   Meghan Jashinsky – Mentee Twitter  Lynnette Labelle – Mentor Twitter | Website Destiny Cole – Mentor Twitter | Website Meghan: Why did you choose Destiny and Lynnette? Lynnette and Destiny seemed like the total package right from the start—both of them are writers who have feet in other aspects of publishing as well, from interning at literary agencies to freelance editing to digital marketing. They do it all! And then I saw “anything dark/twisted/creepy” on their wish list, and I knew I would love working with them. Destiny and Lynnette: Why did you choose Meghan and COURT OF GLITTERING CRIMSON? Lynnette: I chose COURT of GLITTERING CRIMSON because I loved Meghan’s voice and the premise. And, I became a little obsessed with it. I have to admit, I wish I wrote this book. It rocks. Destiny: I was hooked within the first 3 sentences of her query: “Princess Skylla is a nightmare from which her people will never wake. She will use their bones to clean her teeth and wear their intestines like ribbons. It’s the least they deserve after what they did to her family the night of the Slaughter.” Then I quickly flipped to the pages and prayed like mad it would hold up… which it SO did! Meghan: Summarize your book in three words. Dark. Fear. Puppeteer. Destiny and Lynnette: Summarize your mentee’s book in three words. Lynnette: good/evil swap places (It’s one word if you use a slash, right?) Destiny: Vengeance. Determination. Redemption. Meghan: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? I grew up in the oldest city in the United States, and its local ghost stories fueled my passion for all things creepy. My favorite characters to read and write are the ones that you love to hate. Give me all of the antiheroes! The darker, the better! Two of my favorite books are Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein and Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I spend most of my non-writing time balancing my love of dark/gritty books by being crazy peppy on YouTube—whether it’s for my day job (producing educational children’s videos), or for the WordNerds (a YA literature themed vlogging group). My personality could probably be summed up as: the love child of Leslie Knope and April Ludgate, from Parks and Recreation. 🙂 Destiny...

Read More