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A Pitch Wars Team Interview with J.A. Crawford and mentor, Gigi Pandian

Tuesday, 29 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 . . .

J.A. Crawford
J.A. Crawford
Website | Twitter
Gigi Pandian
Gigi Pandian
Website | Twitter

Gigi, why did you choose J.A.?

I was looking for a manuscript I could see turning into a fantastic book, a mentee eager to learn and dive into the hard work of revisions with enthusiasm, and I also needed to have a clear vision for how I could use my skills and perspective to help.

Joe’s manuscript drew me in immediately (you’re all going to LOVE IT once it’s published!) and his commitment to craft and improvement impressed me. Since I have a soft spot for books that are a mash-up of genres, I saw how I could help. 

J.A., why did you choose to submit to Gigi?

I really admired Gigi’s skill at balancing mystery with character while enriching story with historical elements. Her Jaya Jones series is a mystery/adventure mash-up with a step-out-of-cozy tone — qualities shared with my manuscript.

I was also drawn to Gigi’s work ethic — writing two series simultaneously is impressive (and a goal of mine). I believe writing is work. It’s incredibly personally rewarding, but you have to stay disciplined and put in the time.

Gigi’s Pitchwars blog hop post gave me hope. She was describing my book! Even better, her self-described strengths were exactly where I was concerned my manuscript was weak. Fortunately, my manuscript had the lure of having all the right problems for Gigi to solve.

Gigi, summarize J.A.’s book in 3 words.

Stuntman’s rollicking redemption.

J.A., summarize your book in 3 words.

Marvel Does Mystery!

Gigi, tell us about yourselves. Something we may not already know.

Scooby Doo got me hooked on mysteries from a young age, and my first fan fiction was writing my own Scooby Doo stories in elementary school. Nearly two decades later, I discovered National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and it helped me get to THE END of my first novel. I signed with my wonderful agent 9 years ago, and in January, my 9th mystery novel will be published!

J.A., what do you hope to get out of the Pitch Wars experience?

To improve my craft and my manuscript, to grow my anemic network of writer-friends, to expand my knowledge of the industry, and to learn how to effectively critique. So far, I’m 4 or 4 in achieving these goals!

J.A., tell us about yourself! What makes you and your manuscript unique?

Each of our unique viewpoints makes our work singular. I’m good at making myself do things I don’t want to do (like learning to write a query letter). My manuscript is a breakneck mystery/adventure/comedy meta mash-up that I hope stands out. The backdrop of a fictional movie series allowed me to slip some world-building into a genre that typically keeps setting non-fictional. I tried for a fresh take on the sleuth with a tarnished past with my failed action-star protagonist.

Check out Gigi’s latest release, THE ALCHEMIST’S ILLUSION!

A perilous painting and an artist who meets his end lead Zoe Faust on an audacious alchemical adventure.

Centuries-old alchemist Zoe Faust is tired of running from her past. She’s finally got her life on track in Portland, Oregon, gardening and cooking in her fixer-upper house with her mischievous best friend, Dorian the gargoyle chef. It seems like the perfect life for Zoe—until she discovers that her old mentor Nicolas Flamel, who she thought had abandoned her, has been imprisoned.

A local artist holds the secret that could lead Zoe to her mentor, but the artist is murdered and the painting containing the hidden clue is stolen. To rescue Nicolas, Zoe and Dorian must explore art forgery, a transformative process that has much in common with alchemy and cooking—but one that proves far more dangerous.

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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