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A Pitch Wars Team Interview with Amanda Miah and her mentors, Kimberly Vale and Francesca Flores

Friday, 25 January 2019  |  Posted by Brenda Drake


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 starting on February 6, 2019, we hope you’ll take a moment during your writing breaks and get to know our 2018 Pitch Wars Teams.

Next up, we have . . .

Amanda Miah – Mentee


Francesca Flores – Mentor

Website | Twitter

Kimberly Vale – Mentor

Website | Twitter


Francesca and Kimberly, why did you choose Amanda?

We were first drawn in by the captivating voice. Esma is a protagonist who catches your attention and doesn’t let go. From the very first pages, we were rooting for her. Esma lives in a world that wants to take away her freedom and sell her as a wife to the highest bidder, but she plans to take her future into her own hands and escape. This book has so many amazing themes–courage in the face of impossible odds, standing up for what’s right instead of doing what is easy, and redefining conceptions of freedom and love. The concept of ‘beauty’ is also given a lot of thought in this book. Most of us have heard the phrase ‘beauty is on the inside,’ but this book goes to the next level, illustrating this to readers through stunning prose, compelling characters, and a spellbinding plot.

Amanda, why did you choose to submit to Francesca and Kimberly?

When I read Kimberly and Francesca’s wish list, I knew I had to submit to them–a diverse retelling with unique magic and complicated romance basically summed up my story. Additionally, I loved their taste in books and connected with their revision plan. I was ecstatic when I found out they’d picked me; they truly get my book and have been so amazing, encouraging, and helpful.

Francesca and Kimberly, summarize Amanda’s book in 3 words.

Fierce, empowering, majestic

Amanda, summarize your book in 3 words.

Yearning. Ethereal. Freedom.

Francesca and Kimberly, tell us about yourself. Something we may not already know.

Francesca: I’m a dancer! I’ve danced ballet and jazz for most of my life. In the past two years, I’ve also fallen in love with circus arts, mostly aerials like trapeze, lyra and silks, but I’m going to start contortion, as well. Most of my protagonists end up having similar skills because of it.

Kimberly: I taught myself to play guitar on an acoustic guitar my grandpa left me when he died. I write my own music and would love to someday write music to accompany my books.

Amanda, what do you hope to get out of the Pitch Wars experience?

I entered this contest because I knew my manuscript needed some extra shine. At the end of Pitch Wars, I hope to have a book with fully-realized characters and a lush, immersive fantasy world that readers will enjoy. So far, this process has taught me new revising strategies and how to go deeper in my writing, a bonus, for sure.

Amanda, tell us about yourself! What makes you and your manuscript unique?

I lived in London for five years (that’s where my husband is from), but Louisville, KY has always been home for me. I love a good adventure: I’m a certified scuba diver and previously owned a motorcycle. Maybe that’s why I can’t get away from my writing adventure into my stories.

At its roots, FLY THE GOLDEN CAGE is a story about fighting for your passions, especially when your dreams fall outside of what others expect of you. I’ve seen so many women fight this kind of battle, and it’s something I’ve had to do at different times in my life. I never tire of hearing these stories. The book also touches on themes of self-confidence and self-love from an ownvoices perspective regarding dealing with chronic illness. Writing this manuscript certainly helped me grow in those areas!

Look for Francesca’s upcoming release, DIAMOND CITY, from Wednesday Books in 2020.


Thank you for supporting our Pitch Wars Teams! The Agent Showcase is February 6 – 11, 2019. If you’re an agent and would like to participate, you must register here: https://pitchwars.org/info-for-agents/. We hope you’ll join us to support our teams on the Twitter hashtag #PitchWars.


Filed: Interviews

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