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A Pitch Wars Team Interview with LL Montez and her mentors, Marty Mayberry and Léonie Kelsall

Wednesday, 2 January 2019  |  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 . . .

LL Montez – Mentee


Marty Mayberry – Mentor

Website | Twitter

Leonie Kelsall

Léonie Kesall – Mentor

Website | Twitter


Marty and Léonie, why did you choose LL?

We were excited to work with a female sci-fi author who has such an exciting premise and stellar descriptive ability.

LL, why did you choose to submit to Marty and Léonie?

Marty and Lee had a wide-spread blanket over with the genres they enjoy, read, write, and mentor. I loved it. I don’t think my manuscript can be pigeon-holed into any one category, so this thrilled me. I remember reading their description, freaking out, and screaming “Yes! YES! YES this is exactly who I am! Sci-fi! Romance! Agency! Women fiction! Suspense! The next level? YES!” I couldn’t wait to submit. Not to mention… #teamfinewine speaks to something deeper and more primal within my soul.

Marty and Léonie, summarize LL’s book in 3 words.

Swoony, action-packed world-building

LL, summarize your book in 3 words.

She survives despite _____

Marty and Léonie, tell us about yourself. Something we may not already know.

Marty: I represented my university at a multi-state billiards championship.

Léonie: Multi-pubbed hybrid author under a pseudonym.

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

The first time I entered PitchWars, my MS was a mess. No surprise it didn’t get picked. This year, however, I was ready. I prepped for PitchWars, toiled over the thing for a whole year, sharpened it and crafted it to be the strongest story I had the power to make it be. Finally, I thought it was at a place where I could do no more good on my own. I knew it needed outside help and was excited for a major change. MAJOR CHANGE. And that’s exactly what I’m getting. I didn’t realize how hard it would be, but I’m so grateful because I’m already in love with this new book. With this restructuring, I hope to catch an agent’s eye, but more importantly, I want to get the fully matured story I know is buried in its chrysalis.

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

I am a Wattpad fanatic who was lucky enough to stumble on a life-changing writing community. My Watt-Fam helped me see how my silly idea–that stemmed from a Theraflu dream–had potential to be something big. I wrote the first draft of ARC10 off the platform. When I started posting on the site, community feedback came pouring in. They provided con-crit to sharpen my clumsy story. While there, I gained a dedicated fanbase who loved my characters as much as me–and still do. When I won the site’s major writing award in 2017–The Wattys–I felt confident enough that I could take the book and make it something bigger in traditional publishing.

The first draft of this book had so many hands in it–a retired US Marine who helped shape the my world’s militia and guided me through the scenes with jargon and weapons I didn’t know how to use; hard sci-fi fans and soft sci-fi fans who helped me find balance in my world-building; many who manage the same mental health issues as my protagonist and identify with her struggles to live her best life; a copyeditor who took time to teach me how to craft stronger prose; a slew of hopeless romantics who commented and bawled over all the scenes when I was a cruel writer and found pleasure in breaking their ship to shards.

My story is my own, but it took a village to secure the foundations. That was years ago when making my first draft. The story is so different now, I’m driven to get it published so I can show them what their love and support did for me.


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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