Pitch Wars Interview with April Wall and her mentor Kara Seal
Sep28

Pitch Wars Interview with April Wall and her mentor Kara Seal

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 . . . April Wall – Mentee Twitter | Website Kara Seal – Mentor Twitter | Website April: Why did you choose Kara? I chose Kara because so many of her wishlist items spoke to my manuscript. She loved speculative fiction, ghost stories, and spirited heroines. As she pointed out in her mentor bio, she’s a contest veteran and I knew she’d have the expertise to whip my novel into tip-top shape. Plus, her birthday is the day before Halloween and there’s no way I could go wrong sending her a story about a gang of ghost busting middle school girls! Kara: Why did you choose April? I chose April to mentor because her manuscript wowed me with its spot on MG voice and it was almost like April tailored it to my wishlist! I fell in love with the spooky MG Ghostbuster-esque premise. April: Summarize your book in three words. Ghostbusters meets Goonies. Kara: Summarize April‘s book in three words. Spooktacular friendship tale. April: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? I’m a MG writer who loves all things kooky and weird. Ghost stories have always held a special place in my heart as with most middle grade readers and I wanted to show a different take on it. One where instead of hiding under covers with eyes closed tight, ghosts were sought out bravely and breathlessly. I felt uniquely qualified to write this story as I also dabbled in hunting ghosts as a child, but I was nowhere near as brave as my MC. Kara: Tell us about yourself. Something we might not already know. My day job is planning programs for teens at the library. My last big event was an author visit from Maggie Stiefvater. It was AWESOME! 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 Interview with Susie Fisher and her mentor Jennifer Blackwood
Sep28

Pitch Wars Interview with Susie Fisher and her mentor Jennifer Blackwood

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 . . . Susie Fisher – Mentee Twitter Jennifer Blackwood – Mentor Twitter | Website Susie: Why did you choose Jennifer? Why did you choose (Mentor)? I was intrigued by Jen’s wish list. She was looking for something from the past with a fresh spin, something fun and edgy, and unique formats. I added her to my list before reaching out on Twitter. Also, her editing style matches mine. Honest feedback leads to a great revision. My manuscript is in good hands, and I like the idea of having someone in my corner for the long haul. Jennifer: Why did you choose Susie? Why did you choose (Mentee/MS)? I chose Staged because it hooked me right from the first page. I LOVED the Gossip Girl aspect of the blog, plus the main character is very relatable. I had a clear vision as I read it of what changes could be made to make the book query-ready. Susie: Summarize your book in three words. Country music scandal. Jennifer: Summarize Susie’s book in three words. Gossip Girl meets Nashville (sorry, I cheated and used 4 words but I couldn’t resist!)   Susie: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? My husband and I reside in a suburb five minutes from Detroit. We have five rescue cats–all of my friends joke about me being the cat lady. After a trail of querying bumps and bruises, I wanted to write something closer to my heart. I wove my love for country music and gossip magazines with segments of my own life experience, and Staged was born. Check out Jennifer’s latest...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Mary Keliikoa and Suzanne Park and their mentors Sarah Henning and Kellye Garrett
Sep28

Pitch Wars Interview with Mary Keliikoa and Suzanne Park and their mentors Sarah Henning and Kellye Garrett

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 . . . Mary Keliikoa – Mentee Twitter | Website Suzanne Park – Mentee Twitter | Website Sarah Henning – Mentor Twitter | Website Kellye Garrett – Mentor Twitter | Website Why did you choose Sarah and Kellye? Mary: The minute I saw their wish list and their love of mystery novels, I knew they were the team for me. I love their diverse experience in journalism, TV writing, teaching and editing. I knew with their mystery backgrounds, if chosen, I’d be in the master class of my life. Suzanne: Oh, that’s an easy question. Because I love Idris Elba, and they do too. I love the Wire, and Luther, and hunks with British accents. It was a mentor-mentee match made in heaven. But other than that, Kellye and Sarah were looking for submissions with strong voice and humor, and those were two things my writers group thought I had going for me. My genre was women’s commercial fiction though, not mystery, so I was worried they’d pass. I am so happy they picked me! Kellye and Sarah are the best! Sarah is a tiny bit cooler, though. Sarah and Kellye: Why did you choose Mary? Both of our first loves are mystery novels and Mary has written a different take on the classic P.I. novel. Imagine that instead of being a single loner with no kids, Kinsey Millhone was divorced with a pre-teen daughter and the mother-in- law from hell. Our wishlist theme was Idris Elba because we wanted to our mentee’s manuscript to have mystery, voice and humor.Mary gave us all of that and then some with her main character of Kelly Pruett. (The name didn’t hurt either!) Sarah and Kellye: Why did you choose Suzanne? Uh, did you not just read that voice? Her manuscript is full of it. We were both seriously laughing at our computer screens like crazy people. Not only that, but Suzanne did a great job of using that terrific voice and humor to navigate important social issues regarding finding one’s place and direction in the world all the while navigating what other people—parents, bosses, friends—want you to be. It was very relatable to us, even though we’re a few years older than Julia, the main character. Those concerns are just part of getting older and coming into your own as an adult. Summarize your book in three words. Mary: Deception. Debauchery....

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