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 . . .
Kaitlin Hundscheid – Mentee
Ashley Martin – Mentor
Kaitlin: Why did you choose Ashley?
When I read Ashley’s bio and wish list, an angel choir belted in four-part harmony. “We love the same books, we enjoy the same things, and holy guacamole, she wants anything connected to classic children’s literature!” I’m pretty sure I did the Snoopy dance at this point because it was an oddly specific, not-everyone’s-cup-of-tea-
Stalking Following Ashley on Twitter for a couple weeks only cemented my excitement about submitting to her because she was so kind and helpful.
Ashley: Why did you choose Kaitlin?
Kaitlin’s story had all the things I was hoping for: Beautiful writing, a main character I adored (introduced with his nose in a book, no less), side characters that were unique and interesting in their own right, and a dash of humor. And it involved a very specific detail that’s near and dear to my heart: classic children’s literature. I also had a sneaking suspicion that Kaitlin and I were kindred spirits on many levels, starting with our mutual love of Earl Grey tea (a suspicion which has happily been confirmed). Go #TeamEarlGrey!
Kaitlin: Summarize your book in three words.
Saving cursed library.
Ashley: Summarize Kaitlin’s book in three words.
Library, rescue, mission.
Kaitlin: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique?
I’m a MG writer, Latin teacher, and gin enthusiast, and I spend far too much of my free time chasing the larger cat away from the smaller cat’s food bowl and keeping my emotionally needy corgi happy.
I’ve always loved old things. I like musty books, overgrown paths, crumbling buildings—anything that echoes a time and place far removed from my own, a place where people lived the same joys and sorrows that I’m experiencing today. Many of the ideas that shape my writing started percolating during my college years studying Classics (because you can’t get much older than that). Classical studies taught me that there truly is nothing new under the sun, that though appearances might change, the substance of true things never alters. Several years of teaching K-5 showed me how children can also sense this, and I was fascinated by their interest in discussing philosophical topics usually reserved for older students. When I started writing for children, this encouraged me to weave old ideas into my stories in ways that resonate with young readers.
A big inspiration for this particular story was my love of Wishbone (yes, the talking Jack Russell who inserted himself into every heroic role from Odysseus to Mr. Darcy). I wanted a story that captured the spirit of beloved characters in an authentic way that would both delight readers who already adore those personalities and prod others who haven’t met them yet to seek them out. And there’s no better way to bring all your favorite characters together than a library where books come to life.
Ashley: Tell us about yourself. Something we might not already know.
Things you *don’t* already know? Hmm…let’s see…I’m a city girl at heart who would much rather walk through a museum than the woods but who lives in a state known for its rural population and love of outdoor activities. Thankfully, I married a man who is also content to stay inside and watch old episodes of Parks and Recreation, but who does drag me out of the house on occasion and likely saved me from life as a crazy cat lady. Also, as a kid I was obsessed with musicals the way some kids were obsessed with Disney movies. I can still sing entire soundtracks to films like Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, My Fair Lady, and Fiddler on the Roof. But don’t ask me to, because I would probably die of embarrassment.
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.