Pitch Wars Interview with Judy Lin and her mentors, Janella Angeles and Axie Oh
Oct13

Pitch Wars Interview with Judy Lin and her mentors, Janella Angeles and Axie Oh

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 . . .  Judy Lin – Mentee Twitter | Website   Janella Angeles – Mentor Twitter | Website Axie Oh – Co-Mentor Twitter | Website Judy: Why did you choose Janella and Axie? My main character is obsessed with food and is snarky about growing up in an Asian household. Since Janella and Axie are both Asian-Americans, I thought they would be able to relate to some of those family dynamics as well as the food culture. When I read their bios and interacted with them on Twitter, they sounded like so much fun and would be awesome people to work with. I’m so excited to spend the next two months with them revising and polishing my manuscript! Janella and Axie: Why did you choose Judy? From the moment we first read Judy’s entry in our inbox, we knew she was a strong contender due to her fantastic voice. As writers of color and supporters of We Need Diverse Books, we were hoping to find an #ownvoices manuscript that we really loved in our slush pile, and Judy’s story was one we went crazy for! How could we not choose a manuscript that has food, humor, spine-tingling Chinese ghost stories, and intriguing character dynamics? Judy: Summarize your book in three words. Secrets, hauntings, betrayal Janella and Axie: Summarize Judy’s book in three words. Taiwanese “Stranger Things” Judy: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? I was born in Taiwan and immigrated to Canada with my family when I was eight years old. Having grown up in big cities, I currently live in rural Saskatchewan (in a town of less than 2,000 people). I’ve always felt like I existed somewhere in-between, and my writing helps me explore and make sense of that feeling, whether it’s navigating my Taiwanese / Canadian identities or the differences between small town / urban lifestyles. I actually attended a summer camp in Taiwan that is similar to the one that my main character attends (minus the ghost sightings!). It was a fun experience travelling all over the island sight-seeing, but a bit of a whirlwind to live and travel with so many people my age in such a short span of time. I also grew up reading and hearing ghost stories based on Chinese and Japanese mythology. I want to...

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Pitch Wars Interview with L. C. Holst and her mentors, Sarah Glenn Marsh and Shana Silver
Oct13

Pitch Wars Interview with L. C. Holst and her mentors, Sarah Glenn Marsh and Shana Silver

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  . . .  L. C. Holst – Mentee Twitter | Website Sarah Glenn Marsh – Mentor Twitter | Website Shana Silver  – Mentor Twitter | Website L. C.: Why did you choose Sarah and Shana? When I was reading the mentor wishlists and taking notes on which mentors I’d like to query, I wrote “Definitely!” next to Sarah and Shana’s names for a couple reasons. The most obvious one is that they were looking for YA sci-fi. My MS checked off that box, but it also has other elements that they specifically mentioned: crew-centric space adventures, LGBTQ+ characters, romance, strong female characters, and anything reminiscent of Joss Whedon’s work (I was going for a Firefly-ish vibe!). Beyond the wishlist, Sarah and Shana are both second-year mentors who are total pros and so knowledgeable about craft and the industry. I felt sure that they’d be able to provide stellar feedback and help me get my novel where it needs to be. Plus, they both listed “nerdery” among their interests, so that instantly gives us about a billion things to bond over. Sarah and Shana: Why did you choose L. C.? Sarah: Well, it’s no secret that a space adventure is the type of book most likely to steal my heart–the catch is, it has to be a really good space adventure. So you can imagine how thrilled I was when STEALING THE STARS came along, offering a ship with an all-female crew, a heist, and Whedon-esque characters and badassery. This story is full of diversity and heart, and I knew Shana and I could help shine it up to make it irresistible to agents. And then, of course, there’s L.C. herself–a super-smart gal who is already such a talented writer; we asked her some questions before choosing her, and her positive attitude and willingness to work hard made this a perfect match to me. Shana: I was hooked from the very first chapter! Aria is such a great character, both hilarious and bad ass. I was rooting for her from the get go. And the plot is SO fun! Additionally, I’d previously written a contemporary heist novel myself so I thought my experience in writing about (very different!) heists could help L.C. make hers shine. Plus we had a very clear vision for revisions that we think could really take L.C.’s novel to the next...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Eileen Haas and her mentor, Carrie Callaghan
Oct13

Pitch Wars Interview with Eileen Haas 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  . . .  Eileen Haas – Mentee Twitter Carrie Callaghan – Mentor Twitter | Website Eileen: Why did you choose Carrie? I chose to submit to Carrie in part because she said she writes historical fiction, but mostly because everything she listed as general likes about books are things I also really like. I also like historical fiction that is at heart about the human experience, so I felt like we’d get along. So I started following Carrie on Twitter, and she seemed approachable, upbeat, and smart. Carrie: Why did you choose Eileen? Eileen’s story is about an Irish outcast and a Norse woman adrift in Ireland during the 9th century who get snagged in a young man’s murder and dynastic politics.  I’m a historical fiction geek with an Irish background, and I knew almost nothing about the Norse settlements in Ireland — certainly not that they held what is today Limerick, nor that they warred with Irish kings. So the premise captivated me. But what sealed my love for Eileen’s manuscript was her deft characterizations of Cathal, and Irish jurist, and Ragna, a smart and scheming Norsewoman, who are trying to find their place in a dangerous world. Beautiful and brilliant. Eileen: Summarize your book in three words. Viking Lawyer Mystery Carrie: Summarize Eileen’s book in three words. Ireland’s outcasts scheming. Eileen: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? I studied poetry and psychology in college before embarking on a career in academia. I got the idea for this story while exploring hill-fort ruins in Ireland. I haven’t seen Ireland’s Viking Age in a lot of fiction, so my manuscript has a unique setting and, I hope, memorable characters. Carrie: Tell us about yourself. Something we might not already know. I speak Spanish fluently (though not flawlessly), can read French, and used to speak a good conversational formal Arabic. As a result of all these languages rattling and, in some cases, rotting in my head, I fantasize about being a translator of international fiction.  Some day. Check out some of Carrie Callaghan’s short stories . . . “Waves Breaking on Asturias: a Triptych,” Silk Road Review “Opened House,” Mulberry Fork Review “The Debts of Miguel Ascencio,” The MacGuffin “Departures,” Weave Magazine … and elsewhere. Thank you for supporting our Pitch Wars Teams! And don’t forget to stop by...

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