Pitch Wars Interview with ReLynn Vaughn and her mentor, Carrie Callaghan
Oct05

Pitch Wars Interview with ReLynn Vaughn and her mentor, Carrie Callaghan

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 #TeamSummerCamp . . .    ReLynn Vaughn – Mentee Twitter | Website   Carrie Callaghan – Mentor Twitter | Website   ReLynn: Why did you choose Carrie? I actually ended up aging up my protagonists at the last minute in a final revision before submitting to Pitch Wars, because when I started the project, I thought I’d be writing it for YA…and that’s not how the story came out. So I actually only started looking at adult mentors maybe a week or two before submission opened. Eep! Carrie stuck with me for a few reasons. She writes historical, which is a love of mine (and even though my novel is fantasy, a lot of my own background as a historian went into it). Her writing, even on her blog, has this great lyrical quality. And her blog is a treasure trove of amazing advice on writing and editing. Then we ended up having this great interaction on twitter about war as a theme/setting, and I was hooked! Carrie: Why did you choose ReLynn and The Last Witch of Caelhearth? In the (current) first chapter of THE LAST WITCH OF CAELHEARTH, the powerful witch Willa reluctantly ends her self-imposed retirement to respond to a mysterious threat against the king. The scene bubbles with tension and dark atmosphere, and it immediately caught my attention. The unique concept kept me reading, and I wanted to learn more about Willa’s history of tragic forced training in spellcasting and her efforts to save the king who brought peace to the kingdom. The final climax combined sacrifice, politics, and an exciting plot twist. So I loved the story, but I also saw clearly how I could help ReLynn improve it. This unique combination of personal connection and particular vision for a story helped me make the difficult choice of which manuscripts to take on. ReLynn: Summarize your book in three words. Loss. Growth. Sacrifice. Carrie: Summarize ReLynn’s book in three words. Forbidden magic redeemed. ReLynn: What makes you and The Last Witch of Caelhearth unique? I’m a little big of a higher education addict, with degrees in history, law, and education. I currently work at a university doing targeted student recruitment, so I often joke that I loved college so much, I just made it my life. When I’m not writing or working the day...

Read More
Pitch Wars Interview with Rebecca Schaeffer and her mentors, Stacey Trombley and Rebecca Sky
Oct05

Pitch Wars Interview with Rebecca Schaeffer and her mentors, Stacey Trombley and Rebecca Sky

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 Ginger Snaps!   Rebecca Schaeffer – Mentee Twitter | Website   Stacey Trombley – Mentor Twitter | Website   Rebecca Sky – Mentor Twitter | Website   Rebecca Schaeffer: Why did you choose Stacey and Rebecca as your mentors? Lots of reasons. I think the first thing that drew me to Rebecca Sky and Stacey Trombley was their interest in dark stories featuring antiheroes. I knew my novel was only going to appeal to a certain demographic due to the very grey morals of all the characters involved, so I explicitly looked for mentors who were into that kind of thing. Once I’d narrowed that down, I still and a reasonably big list. But then I had my own criteria for people. I liked the commitment they expressed for their prospective mentee, both during and after the contest, and the willingness to do work, and push me to do work and improve my novel. Then I stalked them on twitter and liked the writing advice I saw and the types of things they talked about. Also, they wanted voice-alicious. I LOVE voice-alicious writing. A character’s voice can make or break a book. I want to do that kind of writing, and I thought they could push me further. Mentors: Why did you choose Rebecca Schaeffer? Stacey: It’s so creepy! Like in a really cool way. From the beginning it reminded me of Daughter Of Smoke and Bone and uhh, can you get a better comparison? I know this book has so much potential and I can SEE it sitting shelves one day. I just hope Rebecca and I can help it get there! Rebecca: For me it was love at first sight. I knew within a few paragraphs that if the rest of the pages held up, I’d want it. I messages Stacey right away but before I could even push send on my message, a message from her popped up asking if I’d read the creepy new sub we just got. I had a feeling that she was having the same response to the MS as I was, and I was right. Rebecca Schaeffer: Summarize your book in three words. Why do you hate me? I shall attempt this. I shall most probably fail. “Dexter meets Curseworkers”  <— I know, using comps, that’s probably cheating. “Girl vs...

Read More
Pitch Wars Interview with Clay Harmon and his mentor, Judi Lauren
Oct05

Pitch Wars Interview with Clay Harmon and his mentor, Judi Lauren

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 . . .  Clay Harmon – Mentee Twitter | Website   Judi Lauren – Mentor Twitter | Website   Clay: Why did you choose Judi? I wrote a dark story about some pretty heavy subject matter. Also, this story was a particularly hard sell because I knew it needed work. I’d received rejections before from agents telling me the story was too dark, so I knew I needed to submit to mentors who specialized in that sort of thing. Judi went to the top of my list as soon as I saw what she was looking for! Judi: Why did you choose Clay? I knew when I started reading the full manuscript that Clay was one of my top choices. It deals with some ugly things in a way that I loved. It’s really dark, and I loved that Clay didn’t shy away from talking about it in his book. He’s also super open to feedback and is incredible at brainstorming. I’m falling in love with his book all over again just talking about it. Clay: Summarize your book in three words. (A) dark rabbit hole. Judi: Summarize Clay’s book in three words. Dark and twisted (I wanted to say “written just for me” but not only does it sound a little egotistical, but also Clay already took four words. Someone has to follow the rules.) Clay: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? I work at Starbucks, and I write at Starbucks. Therefore, I spend way too much time at Starbucks. Also, I’m in my last semester of college. Something unique about me? I won first place in a state competition for a high school military program. Also, I have 30 hours of flight time logged flying airplanes. Something unique about my manuscript? My story is like deep space horror mixed with a small town in the Wild West. With lots of drugs. Judi: Tell us about yourself. Something we might not already know. Something you may not already know? I’m really bad when it comes to talking about myself, but that might’ve been obvious on the live shows. For Pitch Wars, I just wanted to write a wishlist minus the bio. I’m very introverted and have a tough time with attention. You know, like that time I went to the fire...

Read More