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A Pitch Wars Team Interview with Chad Lucas and his mentor, Eric Bell

Monday, 17 December 2018  |  Posted by Gwynne Jackson


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 . . .

Chad Lucas – Mentee


Eric Bell

Eric Bell – Mentor

Website | Twitter


Eric, why did you choose Chad?

Chad’s manuscript delves into a lot of important, hard-hitting topics while retaining a strong voice and unbreakable heart. It deals with anxiety, masculinity, same-sex crushes, family dynamics, shifting friendships, and the most awkward birthday cake of all time. We need more books like this one.

Chad, why did you choose to submit to Eric?

If I could time-ship a care package to my junior-high self in the early 1990s (hey there, gangly kid in the tie-dyed T-shirt and Kid’n’Play hi-top), both of Eric’s ALAN COLE books would be in that box. He writes with such authenticity and heart about trying to figure out who you really are when the world and sometimes even your own family are leaning on you to be something else. The kids in my book are on a similar journey, and I’m thrilled to be able to work with Eric to bring them to life.

Eric, summarize Chad’s book in 3 words.

Toxic masculinity sucks!

Chad, summarize your book in 3 words.

Boys risking vulnerability.

Eric, tell us about yourself. Something we may not already know.

Growing up I went through a brief phase where I thought I was being filmed all the time because I saw THE TRUMAN SHOW. I had an impressionable mind.

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

Mostly I want the best possible book I can write, and I’ve learned over the last few years that good writing is a communal experience. I’m already excited about new possibilities that have opened up in my story thanks to Eric’s feedback and suggestions from critique partners I’ve met through Pitch Wars.

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

I’m a former reporter and I wrote a parenting column for five years. Between coaching basketball, community volunteering, and having a houseful of kids, I spend a lot of time around middle-schoolers and I think they’re just the most fascinating people. They can go from video games and memes to global politics and climate change in 60 seconds flat. I love writing for them, and in SOMEWHERE IN A BETTER UNIVERSE I try to capture some of that energy and goofy humour in the midst of the finding-yourself angst.

Check out Eric Bell’s recent release, ALAN COLE DOESN’T DANCE…

To heartwarming cheer, Alan Cole came out to his school. But now what?

In this follow-up novel to Alan Cole Is Not a Coward, Eric Bell deftly explores with nuance and humor how the first step to complete self-acceptance may mean actually putting your feet on the dance floor. This laugh-out-loud and poignant tale is perfect for fans of Gary Schmidt and Jerry Spinelli.

Alan Cole has a problem: Ron McCaughlin. Ever since Alan revealed he’s gay, Ron has been bullying Alan with relentless fury. Alan can’t tell his parents why he’s really coming home with bruises—because they still don’t know the truth about him.

Yet buoyed by the support of his classmates and with his friends Zack and Madison by his side, Alan thinks he can withstand the bullying and—just maybe—break through to Ron.

But all things come to a head when Alan’s father asks that he take June Harrison to the upcoming Winter Dance. Never mind that Alan has two left feet, does not like girls, and might be developing feelings for a new boy at school.

This resounding tale about friendship, family, and the many meanings of bravery will leave readers rooting for Alan and his gang of proud misfits once more.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Alan-Cole-Doesnt-Dance-Eric/dp/0062567063
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/alan-cole-doesnt-dance-eric-bell/1126998351
Indie Bound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780062567062
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36099159-alan-cole-doesn-t-dance


Thank you for supporting our Pitch Wars Teams! The Agent Showcase is February 6 – 11, 2019. We hope you’ll join us to support our teams on the Twitter hashtag #PitchWars.

Filed: Interviews

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