Pitch Wars Interview with Mikki Tolley and her mentor, M. M. Hoffman
Oct19

Pitch Wars Interview with Mikki Tolley and her mentor, M. M. Hoffman

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 Relic Twins . . .  Mikki Tolley – Mentee Twitter | Website M. M. Hoffman (Monica) – Mentor Twitter | Website   Mikki: Why did you choose Monica? Monica stood out to me from the very beginning. When the mentor list came out, I read her bio and researched her blog, and I couldn’t believe how much we had in common. We like the same books and movies; we both write YA science fiction and fantasy; and we love all things Star Wars and Disney. Then there’s the magic she creates on Twitter with her GIFs. I totally get her sense of humor! But it was more than just Monica’s effervescence. I saw her wish list, and I had such a great feeling about her. My MS seemed to have everything she wanted, and she seems like the perfect person to help me take this story to the next level. I am thrilled and honored that Monica wants to mentor me, and I hope I make her proud. Monica: Why did you choose Mikki’s manuscript? Space Opera. What more can I say? No really, that’s what pulled me in almost immediately. And her comps. And what sealed the deal? Her voice, the thrilling action, romance, and adventure. I knew I could help her tighten the plot, polish her action scenes, and really bring the best out in her fantastic story. And just interacting with Mikki on Twitter, I knew she was a hard worker, willing to take her MS to the next level. I’m over the moon she subbed to me and I can’t wait to see where she and The Last Relic go from here. We need more YA science fiction!! Mikki: Summarize your book in three words. Princess. Cyborgs. Secrets. Monica: Summarize Mikki’s book in three words. (To continue the tradition): The-last-of-her-kind-Princess-is-saved-by-hot-rebel-and-soon-realizes-she’s-strong-and-returns-home-to-save-her-world. Cyborgs. Teleportation. (Blame Wendy Spinale—she did it first! lol) Mikki: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? I grew up in Mesa, AZ, as the fifth of six daughters in a family obsessed with great storytelling. I was raised on the classics, like Little Women, Jane Eyre, and Anne of Green Gables. Nowadays, I’ll read anything that captures my attention and sucks me in—PB, MG, YA, Adult or non-fiction. But my favorite stories are ones that make me laugh, as well as melt...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Heather Elliott and her mentor, Charlie Holmberg
Oct19

Pitch Wars Interview with Heather Elliott and her mentor, Charlie Holmberg

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 . . .  Heather Elliott – Mentee Twitter | Website Charlie Holmberg – Mentor Twitter | Website Heather: Why did you choose Charlie? The real question is, why didn’t EVERYBODY choose Charlie? But here’s my list of reasons (in no particular order): 1. She’s hugely accomplished, with five published novels, and her Paper Magician trilogy has been optioned by DISNEY. 2. She was a student of Brandon Sanderson’s, and since I’ve learned a lot from his online educational stuff, I figured we’d probably be a good match in terms of how we approach craft. (Plus, to borrow the idea of lineage from kung-fu, this makes me, like, Brandon Sanderson’s writing granddaughter. WHAT!) 3. She’s a mom and a wonderful role model of how to both care for young children and actively pursue a successful writing career. 4. My MS was a solid fit for her wishlist. 5. Her list of favorite books included not just several of my own favorites, but books that have influenced and inspired my own writing. 6. She’s Mormon, so I knew she wouldn’t be intimidated by the religious aspects of my MS. (It’s set in 400 BCE, so EVERYBODY’S religious. Ain’t no such thing as atheism.) 7. Most importantly, I love her writing! I hadn’t actually read any of her books when I began my PW research. Then she tweeted that Followed by Frost was on sale, so I hopped over to Amazon, downloaded it, and FELL IN LOVE. It’s a marvelous adventure with a beautiful heart, it made me cry, and when I finished I was like, “YES! THIS IS HOW I WANT TO WRITE!” Charlie: Why did you choose Heather Elliott and her manuscript, Song of Suleiman? It’s been my experience with Pitch Wars that there’s always one manuscript that stands out above all the rest. I’ve never had a hard time choosing which story to mentor, and that was the case with Heather’s book. Her query stuck in my mind more than any other–I mean, using the songs of Solomon to solve a mystery? How original is that? The story was good too and always left me wanting more when I had to put it down. I also have some Old Testament under my belt, so I’m familiar with the culture in the story. It was a no-brainer (and I stalked her...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Katharine Manning and her mentor, Shanna Rogers
Oct19

Pitch Wars Interview with Katharine Manning and her mentor, Shanna Rogers

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 #TeamHatTrick . . .  Katharine Manning – Mentee Twitter | Website Shanna Rogers – Mentor Twitter   Katharine: Why did you choose to enter Pitch Wars? Pitch Wars is the best! If you’re a writer, there is really no better opportunity out there. I could not pass by the chance for feedback and support from someone who is further down the path, and invested in making my book better. Also: the community around Pitch Wars is unparalleled. Shanna: Why did you choose to mentor in Pitch Wars? I wanted to mentor in Pitch Wars because I was lucky enough to be a mentee last year (working with the fabulous Joy McCullough-Carranza), and I wanted the chance to support another writer the way she supported me. Plus I absolutely love this community, so I jumped at the chance to stay involved! Katharine: Summarize your book in three words: Fierce Footwork & Friendship Shanna: Summarize Katharine’s book in three words: Footballers behaving badly Katharine: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? THE WILDCATS is a middle grade story about a friendship and rivalry on a girls’ soccer team when a new player joins the team. It’s set in the diverse suburbs of Washington, D.C., and has players of different races, ethnicities, and family structures. The main character is African-American, her best friend is Korean-American and has two moms, and the new girl on the team is a recent immigrant from the Czech Republic with a single father. THE WILDCATS stands alone or could start a series. I am a former soccer player myself, including one ill-fated high school game against Mia Hamm. I couldn’t manage to convince my kids to play soccer, so I took my frustrated aspirations out on the page. My mother/daughter book club also inspired this story, when I noticed that all the girls ever wanted to talk about was friendship. I’m a member of the wonderful group blogs at The Winged Pen and From the Mixed-Up Files of Middle Grade Authors, and also have my own book blog, Kid Book List. Shanna: Tell us about yourself. Something we might not already know. Something you might not know: I love to karaoke, but only to old rap songs. Stuff you might already know: When I wasn’t reading as a kid, I was acting out...

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