Pitch Wars Interview with Anna Brittain and her mentors Jennifer Hawkins and Kes Trester
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 . . .
Anna Brittain – Mentee
Jennifer Hawkins – Mentor
Kes Trester – Mentor
Anna: Why did you choose Jen and Kes?
I had three criteria for potential mentors: First, and most importantly, I was looking for mentors that were actively seeking female- driven contemporaries and stated that they were looking for LGBT stories — f/f in particular. All six of the mentors I subbed to ticked off at least two out of three of those, and a lot of them featured other items on their wish list that I felt my manuscript satisfied — an enemies-to- lovers arc was fairly common among the six I chose, as well as stories set in boarding schools and/or featured some kind of specific skill or hobby (FEMSLASH takes place in a private school that caters to STEM and the performing arts). The second thing I was looking for was an editorial style that complimented my process. The third was a certain, unnameable *thing* in our interactions on twitter — I wanted a friendship as well as a mentor, and my interactions with Jen and Kes in the weeks leading up to the sub window really made me feel like a friendship with them would be as easy as breathing.
Jen & Kes: Why did you choose Anna?
Anna’s manuscript, FEMSLASH, grabbed us immediately. The concept was fresh and unique, and her query was well-written. When we stalked checked out her social media, we noticed that she was kind and funny and supportive of other writers. So we requested—and then devoured her story in less than a day. We sent her some questions that bounced revision ideas around to get a feel for her style and vision, and her professional demeanor and willingness to work made it a no- brainer.
Anna: Summarize your book in three words.
Rivalry. Romance. Reconciliation.
Jen & Kes: Summarize Anna’s book in three words.
Enemies to Lovers.
Anna: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique?
Really, FEMSLASH is what happens when you ask yourself what book only *you* can write. As a teen, I didn’t understand how depressed I was. My anxiety began in early childhood, so it’s not like I had a baseline for what ‘normal’ (whatever that is) felt like! But, like Rhodes, my creative work suffered to the point that it stalled out entirely for several years. I felt like I’d always been this numb, irritable secondary character in someone else’s story, and it took a really long time to connect all the dots, give the beast a name, and accept that I wasn’t going to overcome it by sheer force of will alone.
Ultimately, I realized that I haven’t seen many stories about characters who struggled with their mental health specific to the way it affects their creative process (even though many Creatives who grapples with their mental health will tell you that the two often have an inverse relationship), and it occurred to me that it was an Anna-sized hole I could potentially fill.
Jen & Kes: Tell us about yourselves. Something we might not already know.
Jen: I can mirror-write like Da Vinci, and I love to paint. My paintings, however, are decidedly NOT Da Vinci-like. Wine and painting nights are more my jam.
Kes: My neighbor created “Star Trek: Voyager”. The cast included a blonde alien character named Kes – who had a life expectancy of only seven years! I always wondered if he was trying to tell me something.
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.