Pitch Wars Interview with Jeanne Zulick Ferruolo and her mentors, Laura Shovan and Tricia Clasen
Oct06

Pitch Wars Interview with Jeanne Zulick Ferruolo and her mentors, Laura Shovan and Tricia Clasen

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 TLC . . . Jeanne Zulick Ferruolo – Mentee Twitter | Website   Laura Shovan – Mentor Twitter | Website   Tricia Clasen – Co-Mentor Twitter | Website   Jeanne: Why did you choose Laura and Tricia? Laura and Tricia had me at woohoo! (I am totally a Spartan fan!) Seriously, I am so honored (and still in disbelief) that Team TLC chose my manuscript, Ruby in the Sky to mentor. Laura and Tricia have so much talent and experience independently — together they are a Force! I was so impressed with their editing and writing experience and passion for storytelling that came across in their bio’s and their respective novels: Tricia’s: The Haunted House Project and Laura’s The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary. From their wishlist, I could tell they would do such a thorough, thoughtful and in-depth critique. But most of all I felt a strong connection between the kind of writing they sought and the story I was trying to tell. When I read, “…the heart of a story is first in our hearts,” I knew Tricia and Laura were the perfect fit for Ruby and me. Standing on the cusp of two months of serious revision and hard work, I’d be lying to say I’m not a little terrified. But, with Team TLC by my side, I am fully confident that Ruby’s story will sing – pure and strong. Laura & Tricia: Why did you choose (Mentee/MS)? We asked for a quiet, heart-centered protagonist who struggles with real-life problems. That’s exactly what we found in Ruby Moon Hayes. Jeanne’s writing is rich, descriptive, and true-to-life. We connected with the characters from their first moments on the page. Ruby is definitely a character worth cheering for! Jeanne: Summarize your book in three words. Silent becomes brave. Laura & Tricia: Summarize Jeanne’s book in three words. Voice yields truth. Jeanne: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? What makes Ruby in the Sky unique to me is that every character is drawn from personal experience — from painfully shy Ruby to reclusive Abigail to optimistic Ahmed. Even the magic and mystery of hand-feeding chickadees at an abandoned house each afternoon is something I did with my brother when we were kids. Mentors: Tell us about yourself. Something we might...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Christine Herman and her mentor, Amanda Foody
Oct06

Pitch Wars Interview with Christine Herman and her mentor, Amanda Foody

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 #TeamFeeling22 . . .   Christine Herman – Mentee Twitter   Amanda Foody – Mentor Twitter | Website Christine: Why did you choose Amanda? When I read Amanda’s profile, I just had a gut feeling that she would “get” my book. Part of it was because of how similar we are — we’re the same age (22), we both have backgrounds in publishing, and her favorite books and mine have a lot of overlap. But part of it was that she seemed like she’d be able to push me the way I knew I needed to be pushed. I felt that we could be friends while still maintaining a mentor-mentee relationship, which was very important to me. And the Game of Thrones gifs were also a definite plus. Amanda: Why did you choose Christine? One of things I was drawn to was the comp of THE RAVEN BOYS, and how well I felt the opening pages lived up to that comp. It is very character-driven, despite having high plot elements, and I grew majorly attached to these characters the more I read. It’s got some of the dark intensity of BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, small town creepiness and mystery of STRANGER THINGS, and incredibly strong writing on top of that. I was so impressed. Christine: Summarize your book in three words. my book in three words: funny, atmospheric, character-driven (is that two words? oops) Amanda: Summarize your mentee’s book in three words. Endearing, suspenseful, and layered Christine: What makes you and your MS unique? My go-to fun fact about myself is that I was raised abroad (in Hong Kong and Tokyo to be exact!). As for my manuscript, I think the thing that makes it unique is the fact that I wrote it for the teenager I used to be. I wanted to write something that had darkness and heart in equal measure, to create complex characters that were compelling to follow even when they weren’t likable, and to build an intricate, fantastical plot that would reward careful readers. I really love foreshadowing. Amanda: Tell us about yourself. Something we might not already know. That I talk a big game about world-building and high concepts, and as much as I’m all about atmosphere, I am such a goober for characters I love. I have a handful of characters, some my...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Emmy Neal and her mentor, Brianna Shrum
Oct06

Pitch Wars Interview with Emmy Neal and her mentor, Brianna Shrum

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  . . .  Emmy Neal – Mentee Twitter | Website     Brianna Shrum – Mentor Twitter | Website   Emmy: Why did you choose Brianna Shrum? There are So. Many. Reasons. why Brianna was top of my list. The first being–she wanted an anti-heroine! A lot of people prefer their heroes on the side of goodness and light, but my main character lives firmly in the morally grey realm and that was first thing on her wish list! Bri also writes some brutal romantic tension, something I adore above all else but struggle to execute in my own writing, and her books always have great characters with complex relationships. My book looks a lot about what you’re willing to do for the people you love, and I knew that she could help give that theme more oomph and she wouldn’t shy away from my anti-heroine doing dark things. Brianna: Why did you choose Emmy Neal and Bonewood? Emmy’s story was just one I absolutely could not get out of my head. The writing is lyrical and just wickedly atmospheric, plus it put me in the mind of kind of a terrifying ancient Scotland, and being of Scottish and Irish heritage myself, anything Celtic is my kryptonite. Plus, it gave me the excuse to read the whole this in a Scottish accent haha! What it came down to was these gorgeous characters I swooned so hard for and was a little horrified of at the same time. And the book just sank into my bones, and my bones left me with no choice but to pick this story. Emmy: Summarize your book in three words. Monsters. Blood. Consequences. Brianna: Summarize Emmy’s book in three words. Haunting. Gorgeous. Bone-deep. Emmy: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? My novel BONEWOOD is basically if Scorpio Races and Stranger Things had a YA fantasy baby. It’s diverse and lyrical and vicious and romantic, but mostly it’s all about how far we’d go for family and all the consequences that follow those choices. I teach research and writing in the Undergraduate Library at the University of Illinois and attend their Master’s of Library and Information Science program, where I get to read young adult novels and call it homework. I have excessive love for mythology, my three dogs, and Broadway...

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