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Pitch Wars Interview with Alex Block and her mentor, Lisa Lewis Tyre

Tuesday, 6 October 2015  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

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Welcome to the Pitch Wars Team Interviews

Bringing you a closer look at each Pitch War Team and their project.

Be sure to comment with support, comments, and questions.

 

Meet Alex Block and her mentor, Lisa Lewis Tyre

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 7.33.07 PMLisa Lewis Tyre (Mentor), tell us a little about yourself.

I’ve always loved reading. I think this is because I come from a long line of storytellers. I loved listening to my dad tell me about the escapades of his youth, like how he “accidentally” pushed his brother out of a two-story window, and “accidentally” shot his aunt’s chicken with a bow and arrow.

Apparently he was accident prone. As you might imagine, I am drawn to books that are quirky and full of heart.

I like anything that has a good story. I’ll read romance, mystery, fantasy, horror – you name it!

When writing, I tend to like characters who say what they think, and have a sense of humor. I’m a big fan of the South and the people that live there.

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 7.43.27 PMAlex Block (Mentee), tell us a little about yourself.

I’m the kind of person who used to annoyingly pick through the cherry tomatoes on the salad bar, but today, I trust that all the tomatoes will meet my needs, and I move right along. Sunday afternoons, you’ll find me jam skating at Astro Skate in Tarpon Springs, Florida. Come on down!

I love reading anything gutsy and passionate with a strong voice – the stories, essays, whatever, that jump off the page and stop me in the street to chat. A few of my favorites include The One and Only Ivan, Good Omens, and The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.

My favorite genres are realistic fiction, historical fiction, science fiction, action/adventure. Dang! I can’t pick a favorite! I like to experiment with lots of different writing styles, but the one that talks to me most often is Southern voice. I love humor in writing, especially when it takes me way up and then anchors me in something real – that push/pull of human emotions.

Lisa, why did you decide to participate in Pitch Wars?

I lucked out last year when another mentor had to step down. Obviously desperate, Brenda Drake called on me.

It was so much fun that I had to do it again. Getting a publishing deal was a dream come true and I will do anything I can to help other writers do the same.

Alex, why did you decide to participate in Pitch Wars?

‘Cuz it looked like tons of fun! And the chance to work with a mentor directly and develop a writing relationship? Priceless! I was struck by how welcoming the process and community were, and I wanted to be a part of it all.

Lisa, what are you most excited for?

I can’t wait for people to read the novel Alex has written. I love it so much! If you’ve ever read a great book and couldn’t wait to share it with your best reading buddy, you know the feeling!

Alex, what are you most excited for?

I’m most excited to work with my mentor, Lisa Lewis Tyre. She has already given me such valuable feedback while simultaneously preparing for the release of her novel, Last in a Long Line of Rebels. Her expertise, her generosity, her support – I can’t wait to get to know her better and learn from her.

Alex, describe your novel in 3 words.

quirky, inclusive, hopeful

Lisa, describe your mentee’s novel in 3 words.

quirky, moving, rich

Check Us Out …

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Alex Block, Team Mentee

Follow her on Twitter!

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Lisa Lewis Tyre, Team Mentor

Twitter | Instagram | Website | Facebook

I’m a Southern children’s book author represented by Susan Hawk at The Bent Agency. My mid-grade novel, Last In a Long Line of Rebels, is coming September 29, 2015  thanks to Nancy Paulsen Books.

I grew up in a small town in Tennessee surrounded by my crazy family and neighbors. I learned early on that not every child had a pet skunk, a dad that ran a bar in the front yard, or a neighbor that was so large his house had to be torn down to get him out. What else could I do but write?

Last In A Long Line of Rebels

LAST IN A LONG LINE OF REBELS is about a twelve-year old, determined to save her family’s house from the meddling county, who uncovers an ancestor’s diary that holds clues to the location of a cache of Civil War era gold, a thief who might be her own great-great-great grandfather, and the hidden history of the Underground Railroad in her town.

To read more about REBELS, or to see a review, visit my Books page.

I’ve wanted to write for as long as I can remember. I think this is because I come from a long line of storytellers. I loved listening to my dad tell me about the escapades of his youth, like how he “accidentally” pushed his brother out of a two-story window, and “accidentally” shot his aunt’s chicken with a bow and arrow. Apparently he was accident prone.

One of the stories they told me involved the name of our piece of the country. I lived in a tiny spot that the locals called Zollicoffer. When I asked why it had such a strange name, they said it was named after General Felix Zollicoffer who had camped nearby during the Civil War. One day I happened to ask my mom where exactly the camp had been. That’s when she pointed down the road and said, “Probably over there. That’s where some kids in the 50’s found GOLD.”

Seriously. You’d think that my mom would have led with that story, but to be fair, she was kind of busy.

I spent a lot of time digging around my own yard hoping to find gold of my own, and I never forgot the story. When I sat down to write REBELS, I knew it had to take place in Tennessee, it should include a group of kids, and they were definitely going to be looking for some gold!

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