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A Pitch Wars Team Interview with Chrystal Giles and her mentor, Maria Frazer

Thursday, 17 January 2019  |  Posted by Lisa Leoni

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 . . .

Chrystal Giles
Chrystal Giles
Maria Frazer
Maria Frazer

Maria, why did you choose Chrystal?

Gentrification is an issue that is very important to me, so when I saw that this was a contemporary middle grade about a young black boy facing gentrification in his community, I was completely hooked. Chrystal has created an awesome world with a fun cast of characters, and I desperately want to see this story on bookshelves!

Chrystal, why did you choose to submit to Maria?

Maria has such a strong desire to support and uplift authors of color, that is the thing that rang the loudest when I read her wishlist. She also expressed the need to show positive representation where all kids can see themselves on bookshelves.

I also loved the idea that she wants to help authors “level up” their writing and then cheer them on for the rest of their career.

Maria, summarize Chrystal’s book in 3 words.

Gentrification, friendship, community

Chrystal, summarize your book in 3 words.

Heart, survival, friendship

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

The secret to my best brownie recipe is using Dr Pepper instead of water.

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

I hope to get a polished, “leveled up” manuscript. Before applying to PW, I realized my manuscript needed that final push to get it agent-ready. I had already taken a hard look and was ready to revise and polish but I needed some help. I know working with Maria will get me there.

I also hope to gain a family of supportive writers whose work I can champion.

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

I am an own voices writer with a primary focus on creating stories and characters that give black children voice and presence. I aim to write authentic stories like the ones I wanted to read as a child.

TAKE BACK THE BLOCK tackles a very real issue that impacts children in underprivileged areas, but it is more than that. Readers will get a peek inside the life of an 11-year-old boy in a fight to save his community, restore his friendships, and accept his role as a leader.

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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