The best part of the contests for us around here is when we hear about successes. Today we celebrate Laura Creedle and her Pitch Wars mentor, Marty Mayberry! Laura recently signed with Jim McCarthy of Dystel & Goderich Literary Management, and we couldn’t be more thrilled for her. So without further ado, please meet Laura and Marty as they recap their epically awesome Pitch Wars success story.
Laura, how did your Pitch Wars application end up with Marty? Did you send it to her or was it passed on to her by another mentor? What was your response when you found out Marty would mentor you?
I didn’t send my manuscript to Marty. I still don’t know how it ended up in her hands but I’m glad it did. I wasn’t her official choice, but she decided to help me revise anyway. I was blown away by her generosity and her faith in my novel. I still am.
Marty, what about Laura’s application made you choose her?
Laura’s MS was passed to me by another mentor who felt I might be interested. The mentor was right, I loved Laura’s MS. Ultimately, I was torn between Laura’s MS and another. After the picks were announced, I approached Laura about working on her MS outside PitchWars. But then, Brenda offered me a Wild Card, which allowed me to bring my “unofficial alternate” into the PW agent round.
Laura, tell us about the revision period for Pitch Wars?
Marty and I just clicked. Everything she suggested was simple, direct and brilliant. She honed in on the part I felt needed the most work, and left other stuff alone. A great mentor knows when to stop tinkering.
Marty, tell us about your experience with mentoring Laura.
Laura was so much fun to work with. She has an incredible sense of humor, and her voice is fantastic. We bounced ideas off each other. I believe we each brought out the best in the other, which was then reflected in Laura’s MS. Truly, it was a pleasure working with her.
Laura, after Pitch Wars you signed with Jim McCarthy of Dystel & Goderich Literary Management, tell us about “The Call.” Can you tell us the details about the offer: How long were you on submission? What did you do to distract yourself? How did Jim contact you? How did you respond? How did you celebrate? Anything! We love knowing it all.
Jim was the last agent I talked to. We’d played phone tag all day, and I almost didn’t pick up the phone when he called. But I did pick up and I was struck by how easy going he seemed. A lot of agents wanted me to change a key plot point in my novel—he made a great case for keeping it. That was a big deciding factor.
How do you feel Pitch Wars helped in your success?
I’d queried extensively before this, but my novel wasn’t really ready until Marty helped me take the romance to the next level. And the PitchWars agent days were amazing! Nothing prepared me for the level of interest I received.
Now for some fun! The following questions are for you both to answer:
What fictional academy/university/school would you most want to attend? (ie Starfleet Academy, Hogwarts, Jedi Academy, Camp Half-Breed, Battle School in Space, Beauxbatons, etc)?
Laura: Camp Half-Blood, definitely. Like all demigods I’m dyslexic.
Marty: Hogwarts, of course!
What fictional character would be your confidante? Enemy? Idol? Kick-butt ally?
Confidente: Olympia Binewski, Geek Love
Enemy: Dolores Umbridge, obviously
Idol: Irene Adler, the only woman to outsmart Sherlock Holmes
Kick-butt ally: Gansey. Who doesn’t love a whip-smart rich boy in a dilapidated muscle-car?
Confidante: Jack Skellington, because he’d keep me on my toes
Enemy: Scar from Lion King, enough said.
Idol: Hermione Granger. Who wouldn’t admire Hermione?
Kick-butt ally: Daniel Craig, because he’s the coolest Bond.
What fictional food/beverage would you most want to try?
Laura: Saurian brandy. With Romulans.
Marty: I’ll toast your Saurian brandy, Laura, with my Klingon drink, Chech’tluth
You are faced with your nemesis! You instantly grab your trusty __________. (lightsaber, phaser, wand, mace, girly scream, katana, broadsword, etc)
Laura: Power tools and frosting. Like Peeta, I believe most problems can be solved with light carpentry and a working knowledge of pastry.
Marty: I’m kind of partial to crossbows.
What is your work fuel of choice? (food-wise)
Laura: Coffee. Greek Honey yoghurt.
Marty: Apples. Any variety; fresh-picked, if possible.
Whose work inspired you to start writing?
Laura: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, E.L. Konigsburg. This novel was my earliest introduction to the idea that a girl could obsess over arcane knowledge and not care who knows it. Revolutionary. Also, I would like to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Marty: C.S. Lewis, Stephen King, John Steinbeck, Anne Mccaffrey.
Any last words you’d like to share or tell us that wasn’t covered in the questions above?
Laura: Thank you Brenda for all you do!
Marty: Yes, thank you, Brenda. For giving me the chance to mentor in PitchWars, and for my Wild Card draw! You’re the best.
Thank you for sharing your success story. We couldn’t be happier about it – CONGRATULATIONS! Everyone, rush off and say hello, celebrate with them, and if you don’t already follow them, you totally should – they’re awesome!
Marty writes anything from ya sci-fi and contemporary, to adult historical fantasy. When she’s not dreaming up ways to mess with her character’s lives, she works as an RN/Clinical Documentation Specialist. She has a BA in International Affairs in German and an Associate’s Degree in Nursing. She lives in New England with her husband and children, as well as three neurotic cats and a geriatric chocolate lab. She’s a member of SCBWI, YARWA, and a PRO member of RWA.
Her young adult sci-fi thriller, PHOENIX RISING, recently won the YARWA’s Rosemary Award for speculative fiction.
She’s represented by Jessica Watterson of the Sandra Dijkstra Agency: http://dijkstraagency.com/