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
Amanda Hill – Mentor
Cindy Baldwin – Mentor
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 seven years ago, and I haven’t looked back since. Oh yes, and I like *short* walks on the beach (it gets hot), any sort of food really, and glass-blowing (I made up that part).
As for CALL ME ALASTAIR, I think what makes it unique—aside from the Humor/Literary mash-up and an interesting mix of narration, poetry, letters, and log entries—is its characters. Add one curmudgeon, one hypochondriac, and one slightly flighty but stubborn old bird and you’re in for a bumpy ride. Also, anytime you have a parrot eating poetry and subsequently reworking the likes of Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Wallace Stevens, and others, you know you’ve got something, well, different.
Mentors: Tell us about yourself. Something we might not already know.
Amanda: Ummmm, I can’t wink. Or fold my tongue. I pretty much fail at life.
Check out some of Cindy Baldwin’s publications . . .
- “heartbeat (for my someday baby)” in Segullah
- “Six Years Here” in IDAHO Magazine (August 2012)
- “By Hand” in Rhythm of the Home
- “Living Breathless”-regular column in The Equals Record
- “Final Day” in Caesura Poetry Journal (December 2012)
- “Choosing Motherhood” in Segullah
- Many articles in FamilyShare.com