Pitch Wars Interview with M.L. Brown and her mentors, Brooks Benjamin and Caroline Thompson
Oct28

Pitch Wars Interview with M.L. Brown and her mentors, Brooks Benjamin and Caroline Thompson

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 . . .  M.L. Brown – Mentee Twitter | Website Brooks Benjamin – Mentor Twitter | Website Caroline Thompson – Mentor Twitter | Website ML: Why did you choose Brooks and Caroline? I have long been a big fan of Brooks and his legendary hair. 🙂 His debut, My Seventh Grade Life in Tights, is a book after my own middle-grade heart. I subbed to him in last year’s Pitch Wars with a different book, and his kind, insightful feedback made me want to work with him even more. I am also a big fan of Caroline’s hair, especially since she reminds me of a character in my manuscript who has purple locks. The character even loves cosplay like Caroline and dresses in a horse costume. In Twitter-stalking Caroline’s feed, I found a Vote For Pedro hashtag, which I interpreted as code for “Sub to me and all of your wildest dreams will come true.” Mentors: Why did you choose Michelle? We fell in love with Michelle’s concept as soon as we read it. It had some serious competition, but there was something incredibly special about Marty and his story. It was one we found ourselves chatting about long after we’d read it. The humor, the heart, the nostalgic feelings of some of our favorite classics it conjured up while reading it. It didn’t take us long to realize we had a really special manuscript on our hands. And we can’t wait to share it with the Pitch Wars community! ML: Summarize your book in three words. Space. Sitcom. Spewing Mentors: Summarize ML’s book in three words. Zombie in training. ML: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? I live in a small town in the Midwest where I direct children’s theater, help my husband build custom puppets, and dream of doing roller derby. I write everything from musicals to picture books to middle- grade and am the founding (and only) member of Alliteration Addicts Anonymous. I once heard Stephen King talk about writing out his fears through his books. The two phobias I face in LIGHTS! CAMERA! BRAINS? are heights (the main character, Marty, wants to be an astronaut) and zombies (he ends up playing one on a sitcom to earn space camp money.) This gets really interesting because Marty is extremely weak-stomached. He’s pretty...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Lindsey Frydman and her mentor, Judi Lauren
Oct28

Pitch Wars Interview with Lindsey Frydman and her mentor, Judi Lauren

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 . . .  Lindsey Frydman – Mentee Twitter | Website   Judi Lauren – Mentor Twitter | Website Lindsey: Why did you choose Judi? The moment Judi mentioned a love for Supernatural in her bio, I was sold! Just kidding – (but it didn’t hurt!) There were so many things that had me nodding my head, going, “Yes, yes, yes!” Call me crazy, but I just had this feeling about her. In the end, what truly sold me was this line: Basically, when the picks are announced, you may meet your new best friend. That’s the kind of person I want in my writing corner! Judi: Why did you choose Lindsey and Project Aiden? Oh gosh, because this book is so amazing! When I wrote my wishlist for Pitch Wars, I debated on putting sci-fi on there because sometimes I just prefer contemporary, but I added it at the last second and I’m so glad I did. This was pretty much everything I was looking for in a manuscript, including strong characters and an adorable love story. And, like my other mentee, Lindsey is everything I could’ve asked for when working with a writer. Lindsey: Summarize your book in three words. Fugitive. Freedom. Hope. Judi: Summarize Lindsey’s book in three words. Strength and love (I wanted to say “utter perfection” but it’s only two words) Lindsey: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? I write YA and NA romance, and although some of it’s purely contemporary, I have a deep affinity for a sci-fi or fantastical element. The idea for PROJECT A.I.D.E.N. stemmed from an interest in what might happen if the line between man and machine became so blurred, you could no longer tell the difference. It’s a story about what it means to be human, what it means to be free, and what it means to love. Some fun facts about me: I’m a video game super-nerd, I can read Hebrew (but don’t you dare ask me to translate it), and I’m a burlesque performer – because I enjoy giving my introversion a worthy adversary. Judi: Tell us about yourself. Something we might not already know. I don’t have enough cool secrets to answer this twice! Can’t I just talk more about 80s music like I did in my bio? I love...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Luanne Smith and her mentor, Caitlin Sinead
Oct27

Pitch Wars Interview with Luanne Smith and her mentor, Caitlin Sinead

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 . . .  Luanne Smith – Mentee Twitter Caitlin Sinead – Mentor Twitter | Website Luanne: Why did you choose Caitlin? As soon as I read Caitlin’s bio I knew she’d be a great choice. Her education is impressive (masters in writing from Johns Hopkins University, hello!), she’s the author of two published novels, and she has a great agent. But then I read her wish list where she asked for “science fiction/fantasy, stories involving politics, or a romance with a hero who is a bodyguard, cop, or other type of protector.” That combination pretty much sums up my novel. Caitlin: Why did you choose Luanne’s manuscript? Early on in the novel the main character, Cira, the leader of a future society, needs to decide how to handle the death of her husband. Not emotionally. Not mentally. But politically. Her discussions with her advisor fascinated me and I was drawn in for the rest of the ride. Luanne: Summarize your book in three words. Murder. Betrayal. Love. Caitlin: Summarize Luanne’s book in three words. Resilient. Inventive. Romantic. Luanne: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? When your last name is Smith you never really get a sense of the unique, you know? But one thing special that I bring to my story is, as a former law enforcement officer, I know what it’s like to be a young woman doing dangerous work in a field dominated by men. My character is a warrior, a commander, and her nation’s Protector. Women who choose this type of work know they’re tough, so I didn’t want it to be another story about proving she’s as good as the men. She already is. She’s very capable, and she’s absolutely in charge. The more interesting question to me was how does a woman like this deal with the other, perhaps more vulnerable, side of her political position, that of having to produce an heir. Being a woman and a warrior, it creates some conflict for her. And, of course, there are disturbing incidents from her past affecting her choices, so everything sort of goes sideways from there. Caitlin: Tell us about yourself. Something we might not already know. I recently had a baby boy. It’s been very cool reading to him and wondering what he can and can’t grasp at each...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Hema Penmetsa and her mentor, Holly Faur
Oct27

Pitch Wars Interview with Hema Penmetsa and her mentor, Holly Faur

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 . . .  Hema Penmetsa – Mentee Twitter | Website Holly Faur – Mentor Twitter | Website Hema: Why did you choose Holly? Holly’s wish list, her elegant yet quirky website, and her mentoring style indicated that she was easygoing and that she had a wonderful sense of humor (two crucial qualities in someone with whom, with any luck, I’d be working closely for the next two months and hopefully developing a lasting friendship). Although none of Holly’s favorite books were the same as mine (no problem. It only meant my TBR list just grew more mouth-watering), we had a lot in common when it came to favorite writers and TV shows. And then her “List!” This was when I got really excited. Each of her requirements read like she was talking to me about my manuscript: Historical – check Strong women – check Diverse characters – check Complicated “unlikeable” people done right (my MC turns into a loathsome woman for part of the story because of circumstances, and if I hadn’t done her right, then I hoped Holly would see the potential and set me straight) – check Cultures and countries around the globe – check Polished and professional manuscripts written by serious and professional people – check By this time, I was close to swooning with giddiness at the “match factors.” And this is how my submission shot through the ether and lodged into Holly’s Inbox. I am beyond excited and humbled that among all the sparkling submissions Holly has received, she placed her faith in my writing and chose BEYOND THE CARVED WALLS! Holly: Why did you choose Hema’s manuscript? I chose Hema’s manuscript because it would not leave me alone! Besides being everything I wanted–rich in culture and diversity, strong female lead, “foreign lands”–I literally dreamed about it when I was on fence between a few MSs. Sounds silly, but I woke up knowing I HAD to mentor it. Then after talking with Hema on the phone after picks, it just felt like kismet. Hema: Summarize your book in three words. Survival, Self-discovery, Redemption. Holly: Summarize Hema’s in three words. Betrayal. Strength. Hope. Hema: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? Although I currently live in the US, I grew up in India to bed-time tales about its rich past and...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Tosha Sumner and her mentor, RuthAnne Snow
Oct27

Pitch Wars Interview with Tosha Sumner and her mentor, RuthAnne Snow

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 . . .  Tosha Sumner – Mentee Twitter | Website RuthAnne Snow – Mentor Twitter | Website Tosha: Why did you choose RuthAnne? I chose RuthAnne for so many reasons.  First and foremost because she rocks. But there are several other reasons, like how her wishlist mentioned she’d love a sports book. She also listed one of my comps as a book she enjoyed. Then in her mentor bio, she mentioned some strengths that were items I needed help with. Oh and her website/blog URL “andthenshewaslikeblahblahblah” – I SERIOUSLY love that URL!! J I did a teeny bit of Twitter stalking and just knew she was someone I’d get along very well with. RuthAnne: Why did I choose Tosha? Tosha’s manuscript stood out to me for so many reasons. Her writing just flows, it was so easy to get caught up in the story. I adore her main character–a fantastic, focused teen. I loved the sports theme, and how authentic it felt. But the main thing was, as great as it already was, I could think of a million different little ways I could help, which is how I knew it was the one for me. Tosha: Summarize your book in three words. Only three? That’s so hard, but here goes:  Scandal. Betrayal. Love. RuthAnne: Ooh, Tosha’s were good. Badass teen athletes. Tosha: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? I’m a pretty typical writer in that there’s either coffee or tea and some sort of chocolate on my desk at all times. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, and my husband and I actually had an evening brunch for our wedding reception. My favorite city is Paris, followed by Asheville, NC – which has been called “The Paris of the South.” I ran track in college and was an Olympic hopeful many, many years ago. I was lucky enough to run professionally for a couple years and got paid to travel the world, racing in track meets. I am passionate about girls and young women having the opportunity to participate in sports, so all of my stories feature strong, athletic heroines.  I think what makes this manuscript unique is getting a glimpse into the life of an elite teenage athlete and some of the additional pressures they face outside of the...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Lisa Moore Ramee and her mentor, Tabitha Martin
Oct27

Pitch Wars Interview with Lisa Moore Ramee and her mentor, Tabitha 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 . . .  Lisa Moore Ramee – Mentee Twitter Tabitha Martin – Mentor Twitter | Website   Lisa: Why did you choose Tabitha? Tabitha had me at “darker, more emotional contemporary.” And when I read she liked “messy,” I was certain we’d make a great match. Someone who wouldn’t go cross-eyed over my fragments? Yes, please! Also, Tabitha was looking for thrillers and didn’t need a whopping romance. Don’t get me wrong. I love a love story, but that’s not what I wrote. Add all those things up and throw in that Tabitha seemed nice and sincere and like we could hang out when not working on my book, and I knew I had to sub to her. Tabitha: Why did you choose Lisa? As soon as I started reading WE ARE NOT ALONE, I was in love with the main character’s voice. Nia’s voice is authentic, raw, and real, and that’s what I love in a contemporary YA. But I was so intrigued as I kept reading, because this is a book about an epic disaster, and I was on pins and needles wondering what was going to happen and who was going to survive. I read Lisa’s book in one sitting, and after thinking about it for two days, I just couldn’t STOP thinking about it, and I knew it was the book for me. Lisa: Summarize your book in three words. Disaster. Terror. Hope Tabitha: Summarize Lisa’s book in three words. Disaster. Mystery. Perseverance. Lisa: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? I grew up in Los Angeles but have lived in Northern California for over twenty years. So I’m both a Lakers and Warriors fan. I’m married with two kids who believe they’re grown but I believe they are still my babies. I’m a reader more than a writer. All genres–really. One of my best jobs ever was working for Disney Publishing where I actually got paid to read. I was in two book clubs before one booted me out because I kept insisting we read the books. I liked Harriet the Spy, but adored The Long Secret and (true story) I started a “spy journal” in fifth grade, left it out during lunch and all my friends read it–costing me said friends. I’m much better at hiding my spy journals now. Disaster movies are...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Patty Lenz Bovie and her mentor, K.C. Held
Oct26

Pitch Wars Interview with Patty Lenz Bovie and her mentor, K.C. Held

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 . . .  Patty Lenz Bovie – Mentee Website K.C. Held – Mentor Twitter | Website Patty: Why did you choose KC? I loved reading about K.C.’s passion for mysteries and historical settings and I enjoyed many of the same books she listed on her profile, including The Borrowers and Holes. I was also really curious about K.C.’s MFA in costume design. Who studies costume design? Someone cool. Mostly, I was drawn to her because of her interest in “digging in” on a manuscript and working with me to make my book the best it can be. (Plus, I’m a K.C. and the Sunshine Band fan so I figured maybe K.C. Held and I were destined to be together.) KC: Why did you choose Patty’s manuscript? THE SECRET OF SAGAMORE HILL has so many of the elements I love in a story: a mystery entwined in history, hidden secrets, an unusual setting, a smart heroine on a compelling quest, and the promise of things to be discovered! Plus, I have a character in HOLDING COURT who is an Eleanor Roosevelt superfan so I couldn’t resist the Roosevelt connection! Patty: Summarize your book in three words. Roosevelts. Mystery. History. KC: Summarize Patty’s book in three words. Grave secrets revealed! Patty: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? I am a twin, I love show tunes, camping and thunderstorms (though not at the same time) and I have more than a dozen different nicknames ranging from Rat and Pate’ to Patty-Trish, Pbo and Patrilla. I now live outside of Boston with my husband and two daughters (14 and almost 11). I grew up on Long Island and visited Sagamore Hill many times as a kid. I loved hearing stories about Theodore Roosevelt and his family and was drawn in by the history of the place and its beauty, right on the water with lots of trees and a huge rolling lawn. After reading Peter Collier’s biography The Roosevelts as an adult, I learned things about Alice Roosevelt’s childhood which inspired me to write this story. I have a passion for history and the Roosevelts, and for what happens behind closed doors in people’s homes—not the inappropriate stuff, but the stuff that makes us who we are. I think what’s inside of people is much more...

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Pitch Wars Interview with Allison Castle and her mentors, Kate Karyus Quinn and Demitria Lunetta
Oct26

Pitch Wars Interview with Allison Castle and her mentors, Kate Karyus Quinn and Demitria Lunetta

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 . . .  Allison Castle – Mentee Twitter | Website Kate Karyus Quinn – Mentor Twitter | Website   Demitria Lunetta – Co-Mentor Twitter | Website Allison: Why did you choose Demitria and Kate? Choosing mentors can be a daunting task because there’s so much awesome to pick from. Aside from looking for my genre, Kate and Demitria both have great credentials, with several published books under their belt, so I knew they know their stuff. Their wish-lists got me excited and intimidated at the same time, so I knew I had to try my hand with them! Mentors: Why did you choose Allison’s manuscript? Demitria: I LOVE video games and the idea of telling a story from the point of view of game character hooked me, then Allison’s writing reeled me in. 🙂 Kate: I love any story with a clever twist and this had one in the first chapter which immediately grabbed me. Add to that a story that deals with big existential questions like what makes a person a person and what is real. Well basically I just fell in love. Allison: Summarize your book in three words. Game character betrayed. Mentors: Summarize Allison’s book in three words. Demitria: Existential virtual assassin. Kate: Um maybe, MATRIX meets BLADE RUNNER? (Obviously I’m counting BLADE RUNNER as one word). Allison: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique? I live in Vancouver, BC, and work at a digital effects studio by day, working on TV shows like “Zoo” and “The Magicians.” I’m also an identical twin, though my sister doesn’t write at all. Hopefully my MS is far more interesting than me! It’s set inside a virtual reality game and is told from the perspective of a Non-Player-Character who’s convinced she’s real. Mentors: Tell us about yourself. Something we might not already know. Demitria: My favorite video game is Pikmin. I once called off “sick” from work so I could finish it without stopping. I actually bought the WiiU specifically to play Pikmin 3. I have a problem. Kate: I really DON’T like video games. I’ve never won one and don’t really care enough to try. I do however enjoy a good time wasting smartphone game like Candy Crush or Bubble Witch. Check out Kate Karyus Quinn’s latest book . . .  Down With the Shine There’s...

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