Pitch Wars Interview with Chrystal Carver and her mentor, Allison Ziegler
Oct10

Pitch Wars Interview with Chrystal Carver and her mentor, Allison Ziegler

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  . . .  Chrystal Carver – Mentee Twitter Allison Ziegler – Mentor Twitter   Chrystal: Why did you choose Allison? I knew the moment I finished reading Allison’s wish list that she and I would work well together (and laugh a lot together). I’m not sure if it was her Harry Potter gif, her love of poop jokes, or the elements of Sci-Fi, humor, and heart sprinkled throughout her post — but all of her personality pulled me in. And let’s not forget her Labrador retriever, Mojo. I do have a soft spot for sweet, lovable, dogs. Allison: Why did you choose Chrystal? Chrystal’s book stood out in my inbox for its easy humor and fabulous voice. Her book features a girl scientist who’s not afraid to get a little gross, and I love that so much. This book makes my inner biology major sing, and it’s full to bursting with the kind of wacky antics that make great middle grade so charming. I knew from the start that her story was in such good hands, and I’m just so happy to have a part in nudging it toward perfection. Chrystal: Summarize your book in three words. Persistent fledgling scientist Allison: Summarize Chrystal’s book in three words. Undead Coffee Shenanigans Chrystal: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? I’m a full time working mom who loves to bake and overuses the word bacillus. My husband and I have two middle grade readers and between the four of us we read more books in a week than most people do in a year. We love to laugh, take misguided adventures into the unknown, and come up with outrageous inventions that we will most likely never build. I have a 27 year-old pet turtle named Snappy that has lived more lives than a cat. He has an important role in my MS and may or may not be a zombie (my lips are sealed — sorry). If you take science, humor, heart, friendship, caffeine addicted zombies, racing turtles, and an accidental trend setting hairstyle and you put them all into a blender and press PULSE, you’d get my MS. Allison: Tell us about yourself. Something we might not already know. Fun Fact: I’m totally pumped to be mentoring such a talented, funny, hard-working author. Except you probably already...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Melanie Dixon and her mentor, Kate Foster
Oct10

Pitch Wars Interview with Melanie Dixon and her mentor, Kate Foster

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  . . .  Melanie Dixon – Mentee Twitter Kate Foster – Mentor Twitter | Website   Melanie: Why did you choose Kate? I found out about Pitch Wars just two days before it was due to open to submissions. I love deadlines! I chose Kate by watching the recording of the video stream of mentors and I knew she was right for me as soon as I saw her. I wrote her name in my notebook and put a big red circle around it. I was excited about Kate being an editor as well as an author. There was something about Kate that just felt right, and already I’m sure I made the right choice. Kate: Why did you choose Melanie? The Witch Catcher caught my attention from the opening lines of the query. The concept was so fresh and unique. And on reading the opening pages, I was hooked by the sleek, addictive tone. Something so dark and tense was hiding beneath the words and I just couldn’t wait to find it. Melanie’s submission went straight in the YES folder, and stayed there until the end! Melanie: Summarize your book in three words. Witches, music, fear. Kate: Summarize Melanie’s book in three words. Twisted. Unique. Eerie. Melanie: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? I am a writer based in Christchurch, New Zealand. I write middle grade novels as well as short stories and flash fiction for adults. I also teach creative writing to an amazing bunch of 10-12 year olds at the School for Young Writers. I love helping to nurture the next generation of writing talent. When I’m not writing you can find me hiking into a tramping hut with my kids, somewhere in the New Zealand wilderness. My manuscript, The Witch Catcher is a unique take on the concept of witches – these are dark clouds of malevolent energy, witches as you’ve never seen them before. My heroine Evie, age 13, has to overcome her own fears and doubts in order to realise her own destiny, to become the witch catcher. The Witch Catcher was short-listed for the Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon Award in 2015 and I’m looking forward to seeing it re-emerge at the end of pitch wars, better than ever. Kate: Tell us about yourself. Something we might not already know. Erm, I play flute and used...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Elise Bungo and her mentors, Dan Koboldt and Michael Mammay
Oct10

Pitch Wars Interview with Elise Bungo and her mentors, Dan Koboldt and Michael Mammay

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 #DreamTeam! . . .  Elise Bungo – Mentee Twitter | Website   Dan Koboldt – Mentor Twitter | Website   Michael Mammay – Co-Mentor Twitter | Website   Elise: Why did you choose Dan and Mike? Mike and Dan are hilarious. I can roll with anything as long as there’s humor. They also promised explosions – real explosions, not just the manuscript kind. That and pretty much everyone I came in contact with told me I had to submit to Mike. I mean, everyone. Apparently, he’s my inner monologue doppelganger, which is truly terrifying. Maybe this book is a thinly veiled autobiography, and they have already taken over my brain . . . Mentors: Why did you choose Elise’s ERGO SUM? Mike: We chose Elise because it was something we thought we could both add to. There’s tons of science, and tons of things that blow up, so it fell right into our sweet spot as a mentor team. Add to that the awesome voice, and we were pretty well hooked. Dan: The genre was a good fit for us, but the voice is what sold me. It reminded me of Mike’s voice in his 2015 Pitch Wars manuscript, so I knew we’d be great mentors for it. Elise’s positive (on Twitter and in private communications) also worked in her favor. It wasn’t why we chose ERGO SUM, but it helped us feel confident we’d like working with her. Elise: Summarize your book in three words. Reverse Turing test Mentors: Summarize your mentee’s book in three words. Mike: African Explosion Safari Dan: Nanobots ruin everything Elise: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? I’m not nearly as interesting as Mike or Dan. My day job is to keep people from making bad decisions, or for those of you who like comps: shrink + economist + professional cat herder. The idea for my book came because my husband made me watch a terrible movie, and I was so annoyed I had to write a novel. I usually write fantasy. This was my first time writing as a 1st person POV guy, which came easier than I thought — though trying to combine some pretty technical science on quantum computing, a thriller pace, and a core question that is rather literary and try to do it...

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