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 . . .
Sheena, why did you choose Kate?
I fell in love with MONSTER RIOT! from the first chapter. The MC Olive is a plus-sized Frankenstein monster who lives in this spooky quaint town where the swamp monster hosts a PTA bake sales, and vampires have to go to night school. It’s paranormal in a Vincent Price classic monster movie kind of way. Kate’s writing is emotionally grounded and lovely, and the friendship story between these three monstrous teen girls caught my heart. Olive and her best friend fight to save their friendship when the new ghost girl in school comes between them. But the thing that clinched it for me, was the way Olive loves her odd, undead, fat body, and her fight for body autonomy. When someone literally created you, when do you own your own body? It’s lovingly inclusive, effortlessly charming, and feminist af.
Kate, why did you choose to submit to Sheena?
Honestly, when I read Sheena’s wishlist, it was like she did the spell in Practical Magic and called me into existence! She wanted, and I quote: “atmospheric world building, witches, female friendships, found families, ghosts, quiet stories set in huge worlds, monsters, fat characters.” That’s MONSTER RIOT! in a nutshell: a plus-size teenage Frankenstein monster struggling with her witch BFF when a ghost shows up in their secret town full of vampires, monsters, witches and ghouls. And then she referenced one of my absolutely favorite movies, repeatedly. The beautiful atmospheric world building and love-yourself message of “Penelope” is exactly the kind of self-contained fairy tale that I wanted to write. I knew she was a fan of the same kind of fantasy as I was. But what really sealed the deal was how many time Sheena said she was looking for FAT CHARACTERS. As a plus-size writer with a plus-size MC, I wanted to make sure my mentor would understand the story I was trying to tell. I was looking for a mentor who understood body-positivity, not just as a general concept but as a lived experience. Seeing a plus size MC whose journey isn’t about losing weight is rare – and I wanted to make sure my mentor would get it. Not being afraid of the word FAT, well, that’s getting it.
Sheena, summarize Kate’s book in 3 words.
Fat Feminist Frankenstein
Kate, summarize your book in 3 words.
Monster best friends.
Sheena, tell us about yourself. Something we may not already know.
This is my second year as Pitch Wars mentor, and I was selected as a mentee in 2015. My novel THE WIRE CROWN (which might have a new title by the time this interview posts) will be published by Feiwel and Friends, Winter 2020. Something you might not know about me is that when I was twenty I filmed a T.V. pilot. It never aired, so my bad hair from the time will never see the light of day… hopefully. *zooms to check YouTube*
Kate, what do you hope to get out of the Pitch Wars experience?
For me, it’s not about getting a perfect finished manuscript. It’s about picking up skills I don’t have. I know I need to work on story structure and plot, and that’s specifically what Sheena knows best. She’s guiding me to learn how to make a book, how to tell a narrative that moves and draws you along with the story. I’m incredibly grateful for her help and her support, so coming out of Pitch Wars not just with new techniques, but also a cheerleader? Win-win.
Kate, tell us about yourself! What makes you and your manuscript unique?
I think one of the most telling things about me is despite the fact that I’ve lived in New York for seven years, I keep my Florida driver’s license so I can go to Disney for cheap. Every year, I go to the Halloween party and it is honestly my favorite night of the year. I love the campy ridiculousness, the cheesy ghouls and ghosts, the copious amounts of sugar and of course, the Sanderson sisters. For me, I wanted to write about that feeling of playful spookiness and a town where everyone is a monster all the time. I wanted to use it as a place to tell multiple stories, to explore different characters and how being a “monster” adds to the drama of being a teenager.
Read about Sheena’s upcoming release, GLITCH KINGDOM…
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.