Pitch Wars Interview with Jen DeLuca and Helen Hoang and their mentor, Brighton Walsh
Oct18

Pitch Wars Interview with Jen DeLuca and Helen Hoang and their mentor, Brighton Walsh

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 #TeamBrightOnes . . .  Jen DeLuca – Mentee Twitter | Website   Helen Hoang – Mentee Twitter | Website Brighton Walsh – Mentor Twitter | Website   Mentee Jen De Luca . . . Jen: Why did you choose Brighton? So many reasons. When I was checking out potential mentors during the blog hop, her wishlist checked a lot of my boxes (TWSS): stories that take place in the 80s/90s, stories that take place in another country, her fondness for nice guys and tattoos. Secondly, ummm, have you ever interacted with her on Twitter? She’s amazing. When I tweeted out teasers about my story during the pre-submission period, she kept throwing gifs of Flynn Rider at me left and right, so I was pretty sure she at least wanted to take a look. (I take hints well.) But above all, I was really drawn to her experience as a mentor, and I loved the idea of getting “homework” if I was chosen as a mentee. I’ve been writing for a while, but never really learned much about the “craft” of it until recently. One thing on her bio hit me: she said she knows romance, and she knows how to make them good. This book has been through a few revisions, not quite making it, so I really wanted to know if someone could help me put it over the top. Brighton: Why did you choose PEACE, LOVE, AND ROCK & ROLL? I chose Jen because I fell in love with her characters. Nikolai and Miranda haunted me from the first chapter I read. I could not get them out of my head, no matter how many other fantastic manuscripts I read, and no matter that I knew I’d have to war for it. It’s the kind of book I honestly didn’t think I’d pick, but I couldn’t put it down. I wanted funny and light and happy, but instead I got beautiful, soul-wrenching angst and yearning. It was the only manuscript I cried while reading—and I cried multiple times. Jen: Summarize your book in three words. Swoony. Sexy. Slavic. Brighton: Summarize Jen’s book in three words. Lifetime of yearning Jen: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? I’m a Floridian by way of Virginia, and a paralegal by way of the theatre. I live with...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Amelia Diane Coombs and her mentor, Emily Martin
Oct18

Pitch Wars Interview with Amelia Diane Coombs and her mentor, Emily Martin

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 . . .  Amelia Diane Coombs – Mentee Twitter | Website Emily Martin – Mentor Twitter | Website Amelia: Why did you choose Emily? There were several mentor bios and wishlists I clicked with instantaneously—Emily was one of the firsts. She stayed at the top of my list even as I researched other mentors, created an elaborate points-based spreadsheet, and whittled down my choices. I appreciated that she was a former mentee, and this would be her third year mentoring. Her comic-bookish website drew me in, and her wishlist spoke to me—flawed female character with messy histories, and swoony, gritty YA? Check! After some shameless Twitter-stalking, I knew we’d get along on a personal level, which was vital. Basically, I’m thrilled to be working with Emily. Emily: Why did you choose Amelia’s manuscript? I actually remembered Amelia’s novel aesthetics when her submission landed in my inbox, so I was super excited to dive in. After reading her first chapter, I was completely smitten. The premise and voice hooked me right away, and there are so many references throughout to things I love (Old Hollywood, obscure movies, music…). Amelia’s writing also manages to seamlessly infuse dark humor into a story full of emotional heft–basically, it gave me allll the feels, and I can’t wait for more readers to fall in love with her characters! Amelia: Summarize your book in three words.  Gritty, cross-country misadventures. Emily: Summarize Amelia’s book in three words. Searching. Karma. Self-discovery. Amelia: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique?  I love my hometown in Northern California so much I returned after college and grad school. Recently, I’ve developed a penchant for traveling, and love exploring unusual places. Other than playing with character’s emotions, I adore all things geeky—comic books, video games, Magic the Gathering. Music gives me life, I melt over tattoos, Old Hollywood, and swoony romances. All these facets of my life have found their way into my manuscript, LOOK NO FURTHER. My MS explores some central Young Adult themes—issues of trust and love, the importance of identity, and whether your past dictates your future—in an unusual way. My main character is on her version of a “effed-up Hero’s Journey” to Graceland, where she hopes to find her bio-mom, while running from an outlaw motorcycle club. When she teams up with a...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Maxym Martineau and her mentor, Layla Reyne
Oct17

Pitch Wars Interview with Maxym Martineau and her mentor, Layla Reyne

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 . . .  Maxym Martineau – Mentee Twitter | Website   Layla Reyne – Mentor Twitter | Website Maxym: Why did you choose Layla? I submitted to Layla for a variety of reasons, but I was initially drawn to her because she mentioned a love for C.S. Pact’s Captive Prince Trilogy. At the time, I hadn’t read any of Pacat’s work (I’ve since devoured the first book in this series and she was right to recommend it), but I did a lot of research on Goodreads and the internet to get a feel for it. I wanted a mentor who wasn’t afraid of darker themes (i.e., masochistic relationships, indentured servitude, etc.). In addition, I wanted to work with someone who was familiar with both fantasy and romance elements. From the beginning, I’d flagged Layla’s mentor bio on Brenda’s site, as well as her Pitch Wars wish list. Her revision plan speaks to my weaknesses, and I really wanted someone with those strengths to help beef up my work. And she’s a fan fic lover like myself. I couldn’t go wrong! Layla: Why did you choose (Mentee/MS)? THE RAVEN PRISONER hooked me from page one. It absolutely started in the right place, the voice was crystal clear and wonderfully snarky, and there’s a curveball in the first 250 words that I ADORED. It was a total Keyser Söze moment. I did one of those slow blinks, cursed, then cheered loudly. As I continued to read, I didn’t once lose interest, I loved Maxym’s main characters and the romantic tension between them, and I fell hard for her secondary characters too, one in particular (Gavin is mine, forever and always). TRP was already a really good manuscript – engaging characters, clear stakes, voice-y as hell, with a nice balance of fantasy, adventure, romance and suspense – and I knew how to help make it great. It was my front-runner early on. When I started checking mentee bios, twitter interactions, etc., Maxym’s dedication, kindness and professionalism sealed the deal. This was a manuscript and author I couldn’t wait to work with! Maxym: Summarize your book in three words. Sexy, snarky, dark. Layla: Summarize Maxym’s book in three words. Sexy, snarky, surprising. Maxym: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? I guess I’ll start with the same random fact that I did on my...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Olivia Hinebaugh and her mentor, Karen McManus
Oct17

Pitch Wars Interview with Olivia Hinebaugh and her mentor, Karen McManus

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 #TeamMaze, for our twisty, turn-y books!. . .    Olivia Hinebaugh – Mentee Twitter | Website   Karen McManus – Mentor Twitter | Website   Olivia: Why did you choose Karen? Right away, her wish list jumped out of the post. She wanted so many things my twisty story had, and I was looking for someone who got “edgy.” But also, her journey to publication is so inspirational. She was where I am today just a year ago. That, and her book sounds awesome! Karen: Why did you choose Olivia/DOWN WITH MO? I read Olivia’s submission late at night when I was tired, and my eyes flew open at her voice. Her first chapter grabbed my attention and made me laugh out loud more than once. The three main characters were crystal clear in my mind days later, and I tore through the full MS when I got it to find out what happened to them. I was fortunate to get a lot of great submissions for PitchWars, but Olivia’s was the one I couldn’t stop thinking about. Olivia: Summarize your book in three words. Backstabbing, theatre, jealousy Karen: Summarize Olivia’s book in three words. Lovable unlikeable narrator Olivia: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? I wrote this book for myself and my high school self. I love theatre, and would have geeked out about a book that referenced all my favorite plays. I studied playwriting in college, so it was fun to incorporate all of that. But also, it’s really frank about sex and darker parts of our brain. And, well, dark and sexual thoughts happen, why hide them? I’m actually a really sunshiny person, but maybe that’s why I’m drawn to darker subjects. It feels a little dangerous, a little taboo. My ultimate writing goal is to be able to have my work described maybe as a cross between the Coen Brothers and Melina Marchetta. That’s doable, right? Karen: Tell us about yourself. Something we might not already know. I wrote my first book in second grade, about a witch who couldn’t cast spells. That character arc might be the most satisfying I’ve ever created. Check out Karen McManus’s upcoming release . . . One of Us is Lying The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars, One of Us Is Lying...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Cory Leonardo and her mentors, Amanda Hill & Cindy Baldwin
Oct17

Pitch Wars Interview with Cory Leonardo and her mentors, Amanda Hill & Cindy Baldwin

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 #TeamMascaraTracks! . . .  Cory Leonardo – Mentee Twitter   Amanda Hill – Mentor Twitter | Website   Cindy Baldwin – Mentor Twitter | Website Cory: Why did you choose to submit to Amanda and Cindy? My gut said to. (Truth!) From the very beginning, Amanda and Cindy were my first choice. When I read their PW wish list I knew what I had wasn’t exactly what they were looking for genre-wise. However, everything else they’d written pointed to a possible match made in heaven, and I could tell we all loved a book that would make your heart crack open. #TeamMascaraTracks wanted big issues, emotional resonance, and hope, and I really felt like the stories of Alastair, Fritz, and Bertie afforded it. And if that didn’t happen to work, I took a chance on them falling in love with this crazy little cast of characters. I sure did. (By the way, the gut was right, as guts often are. Amanda and Cindy are THE BEST!) Mentors: Why did you choose Cory? Amanda: Cory’s poetry is beautiful and her knack for voice and funny asides with a big helping of heart reminded us of THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN. We were hooked from the first pages. Cindy: When we got Cory’s query, I was pretty sure it would be a quick pass—it just didn’t seem like my cup of tea. As soon as I opened the pages, though, I fell head-over-heels in love. Cory’s prose is crisp and witty while still being totally accessible to a middle grade audience, and her poetry is fantastic. When Amanda and I requested her synopsis and just reading THAT had us tearing up, we knew it was a keeper. Cory: Summarize your book in three words. Peevishness, Poetry, Pits Mentors: Summarize Cory’s book in three words. Amanda: Poetry, Parrots, and Pits Cindy: Beauty through failure. Cory: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? I never took a creative writing class. (I have a degree in English.) Never even considered it. Writing was a bit too scary, a little too wild. I’d stick with the literature, thank you very much. Years later, knee-deep in diapers and soggy Cheerios, I spent a good deal of time soul-searching, and what followed was an epic struggle—one which left me with just a few minor flesh wounds, but also a freshly-realized writing dream tattooed on my heart. That was...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Elle Evans and her mentor, Sarah Cannon
Oct15

Pitch Wars Interview with Elle Evans and her mentor, Sarah Cannon

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 #TeamStrangestThings . . .  Elle Evans – Mentee Twitter   Sarah Cannon – Mentor Twitter | Website Elle: Why did you choose Sarah? Sarah listed comp titles for her forthcoming novel, ODDITY, which read with a tone and wavelength I aspire to in my own work. Add to that ODDITY’s intriguing premise (and throw in what I knew about her agent’s unusual, and stellar, tastes)–and I knew this was an author who would totally get the off-kilter world and characters I love to write. Sarah: Why did you choose Elle? Honestly, SAMTO DIES AGAIN was impossible to say no to. It had everything I was looking for: larger-than-life setting, an adventurous plot, an engaging cast of characters, and a terrific sense of humor to top it all off. Elle responded to my questions like a total pro, and I could hear her rolling up her sleeves. I knew it was a fit. Elle: Summarize your book in three words Swamp-cursed Achilles or if “Achilles” might seem too misleading toward Greek thinking: A swamp, a curse, a hero Sarah: Summarize Elle’s book in three words. Bayou tall tale. Elle: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? I set out to write a book that would make boys laugh. I’m also an outdoor lover from Arkansas, and I wanted to root my story in a visceral Southern setting, one where readers would experience a different world. So in the end, the Southern voice, mixed with the magical swampy setting, give it a unique flavor. And I think it ended up dead-funny. Sarah: Tell us about yourself. Something we might not already know. Ha! I tend to think of myself as an open book. OK, how about this: I’m an avid gardener, but I move roughly every four years. So basically, I am the Johnny Appleseed of native wildflowers, herbs, and fruit trees/bushes. And I’m starting all over RIGHT NOW. Seeds and transplants welcome.   Sarah Cannon’s debut MG novel will be coming out next year . . . ODDITY, follows 11-year-old Ada Roundtree as she searches for her missing twin sister Pearl in Oddity, N.M., where the dumpsters can be carnivorous, aliens big and small walk the streets, and the local Protection Committee defends citizens from the Blurmonster roaming the town outskirts– though the organization...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Dianne Freeman and her mentor, E.B. Wheeler
Oct15

Pitch Wars Interview with Dianne Freeman and her mentor, E.B. Wheeler

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 . . .    Dianne Freeman – Mentee Twitter E.B. Wheeler – Mentor Twitter | Website   Mentee: Why did you choose E.B. Wheeler? When Brenda Drake released the mentor blog hop, E.B. Wheeler was the first name I clicked on.    The more I read of Emily’s bio and wish list, the more excited I became.  Help with sagging plots and character arcs – nice.  She likes mystery and history, so this might be a good fit.  I liked her sense of humor, and critiquing style.  I got to the end and started over.  That’s when this passage jumped out at me:  “Not sure if you have enough historical detail, or too much?  I’m your girl.”  I knew she was talking to me.  Reading THE HAUNTING OF SPRINGETT HALL, clinched it.  I really wanted to work with her.  I don’t know how it happened, but I got my wish.  And I feel very lucky. Mentor: Why did you choose Dianne Freeman? I loved Dianne’s manuscript. The story caught my attention and pulled me all the way through. It’s already a great story, and I could immediately see how to make it even stronger. In my interactions with Dianne, it was clear that she was enthusiastic, easy to work with, and ready to roll up her sleeves and get some editing done. Mentee: Summarize your book in three words. Deception, Death, and Debutantes Mentor: Summarize your mentee’s book in three words. Rollicking Victorian mystery Mentee: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? Edith Wharton really messed with my adolescence.  I was 13 when I read the Buccaneers.  It was an old copy my mom had.  The story sounded fascinating.  Five young women leave their dull lives in America, seeking excitement in London society.  Wow, that sounds like fun! It wasn’t fun.  It was heartbreaking. Even worse, I got to the last page and the story wasn’t over.  What?  Who publishes a book that isn’t finished?  I cried in my frustration.  My mom explained that Wharton died before finishing it, so I cried about that too. (I was a very sensitive kid)  I read more of her work, and found the completed novels held even more misery.  House of Mirth.  That should be a giggle-fest, right?  Wrong!  This continued for some time.  I read and cried...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Ashia Monet and her mentor, Katherine Webber
Oct14

Pitch Wars Interview with Ashia Monet and her mentor, Katherine Webber

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 . . .  Ashia Monet – Mentee Twitter | Website Katherine Webber – Mentor Twitter | Website Ashia: Why did you choose Katherine? Katherine is awesome and her mentor bio showed it. She had a huge list of qualifications so she obviously knew her stuff. As if that wasn’t awesome enough, she also made costumes of book characters (she dressed up as Karou from Daughter of Smoke and Bone!) which was honestly so cool. We liked works by some of the same authors, too– Laini Taylor, Rainbow Rowell, V.E Schwab and Maggie Stiefvater. When I read that she loved stories that were set in our world but with fantasy elements, I was super excited because I knew I had one of those! And then I may or may not have stalked her on Twitter. Katherine: Why did you choose Ashia? Ashia’s pitch is what initially hooked me: “Cassandra Clare meets Amazing Race” with a time-bending magical forest….I knew that this was something I NEEDED to read. The sheer scope of her imagination blew me away, and I couldn’t get the world and the characters she created out of my head. The whole manuscript is incredibly cinematic, I could really see it, and it looked amazing! And I totally fell for the characters. THE BLACK VEINS has a wonderful diverse ensemble cast, and Ashia does a wonderful job of getting the reader to care about and invest in all of them. And the dialogue! Ashia’s got a natural ear for dialogue, and I love how her characters banter back and forth. The main character, Blythe, is also incredibly loyal and devoted to her family, and I liked that a lot too. It takes a while for her to warm up to people, but when she does, she’d really do anything for them. All of the characters are so real. And that magical forest that I mentioned earlier…I love it so much that our team name is #TeamTempore (the name of the forest). Everything about THE BLACK VEINS feels epic and exciting…I really think it has the potential to be huge and I am thrilled that I get to work on it with Ashia! I could also tell pretty early on how we could make the MS even stronger, and I had a really clear vision for revisions and edits, which was super exciting! I also did...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Lacee Little and her mentor, Juliana Brandt
Oct14

Pitch Wars Interview with Lacee Little and her mentor, Juliana Brandt

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 . . .  Lacee Little – Mentee Twitter Juliana Brandt – Mentor Twitter | Website Lacee: Why did you choose Juliana? Juliana’s love of rich fantasy worlds and complex magic systems made me eager to get her help sorting through mine. I knew that her strengths with world-building would challenge me to make my setting, and my magic, as lifelike as possible. Juliana: Why did you choose Lacee? Lacee’s richly imagined world was spell-binding! Her characters felt fully realized and had distinct, compelling voices. I was absolutely thrilled with the creativity of the magic system, and the way she pitted her main characters against one another with their magical talents. I was also incredibly excited to see where we could take the book! I thought she would be absolutely lovely to work with, and I was blessedly right! Lacee: Summarize your book in three words. 1880s Magical Outlaws Juliana: Summarize Lacee’s book in three words. Magical Book Thieves Lacee: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? I am absolutely in love with historical fantasy, especially the kind where magic appears around the cracks of real historical events. Growing up in Oklahoma made me appreciate the history of the West and wonder how much more wild it would’ve been if outlaws could use spells instead of six shooters! I have enjoyed exploring a part of the world that is not normally seen as magical and turning the familiar into something fantastical. Juliana: Tell us about yourself. Something we might not already know. I would love to be Diana Wynne Jones when I grow up…Ohh, we already knew that? Then instead: I dream of building a rock climbing wall in my garage, so I can practice bouldering at home!   Thank you for supporting our Pitch Wars Teams! And don’t forget to stop by the Agent Showcase starting November 3rd to see how our teams do in the final round. Save...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Hope Grietzer and her mentor, Rebecca Wells
Oct14

Pitch Wars Interview with Hope Grietzer and her mentor, Rebecca Wells

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 . . .  Hope Grietzer – Mentee Website Rebecca Wells – Mentor Twitter | Website Hope: Why did you choose Rebecca? I put a star next to Rebecca’s name during the Live Chat with the Mentors session. I liked her right away; she came across as thoughtful and articulate, contemporary middle grade was high on her wish list, and her mentoring approach seemed like a perfect fit for me. Star number two came after reading her blog. We share a love of many of the same books – especially those that tug at your heart. The clincher was her solid qualifications, and I have to say, like her I have absolutely no GIF game, so a little bonding point there! Rebecca: Why did you choose Hope & THE CAROUSEL KEEPER? Hope’s entry immediately caught my attention because of its beautiful language and unusual setting. I had a few finalists but THE CAROUSEL KEEPER just stuck in my head! I finally chose it both because of its many strengths and because I felt like I was a good mentor fit for it; I had a good idea of how to help Hope make it truly shine. Hope: Summarize your book in three words. Fear. Friendship. Courage. Rebecca: Summarize your mentee’s book in three words. Loss. Courage. Hope. Hope:Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? My twin passions are writing and playing the fiddle. I jumped ship from my fifteen-year job as a software analyst to teach fiddle full time; I love it and have never looked back! Despite being shy at times, I adore performing on stage and chatting with the audience, and have been inducted into the New York State Fiddlers’ Hall of Fame. My novel is a mystery that takes place in a unique location: the setting was inspired by an island amusement park off the coast of Connecticut where my husband spent his summers growing up, and by a spectacular carousel that was donated to the small town I grew up in by a benevolent shoe industry magnate in the early 1920’s. Rebecca: Tell us about yourself. Something we might not already know. Besides being a bookseller and writer, I used to be (kind of still am, actually) a fiercely competitive soccer player. I got my nose broken by an opponent in a...

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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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