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A Pitch Wars Team Interview with Tala Shannak and mentors, Fallon DeMornay and Rebecca Sky

Thursday, 24 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 . . .

Tala Shannak
Tala Shannak
Website | Twitter
Fallon DeMornay
Fallon DeMornay
Website | Twitter
Rebecca Sky
Rebecca Sky
Website | Twitter

Fallon and Rebecca, why did you choose Tala?

Not only was her premise incredible, we saw tremendous raw potential in her voice.

Tala, why did you choose to submit to Fallon and Rebecca?

I chose to sub to Rebecca and Fallon because I felt like my MS ticked off so many boxes on their wishlist checklist! Dark and contemporary fantasy and OV definitely fit their bill. I especially loved their honesty in that they won’t sugarcoat what needs to be fixed, and the promise of a heavy workload was as enticing as it seemed challenging. Plus, reading their wishlist post, I got the feeling that they are very approachable and kind (and I was right!). I feel super lucky that I got to work with them.

Fallon and Rebecca, summarize Tala’s book in 3 words.

Dark, harrowing, epic

Tala, summarize your book in 3 words.

Beware Bloodthristy Woods

Fallon and Rebecca, tell us about yourselves. Something we may not already know.

Fallon: I was a bikini fitness athlete and competed professionally for one year, earning my CBBF status, I go out dancing as often as I can (salsa and bachata) and have a SERIOUS addiction to weaponry (swords, daggers, whips, bows & arrows) which I blame on my childhood obsession with Catwoman, Xena and Ninja Turtles.

I plan to acquire a collection one day and to learn how to use them all.

Rebecca: I used to ski professionally, and was being recruited to the Canadian Olympic team, but then I went to Africa to work with a humanitarian organization and while I was there I got bite by a spider that caused such severe joint paint I was bed ridden for a year. So I was forced to give up skiing, but it’s not a sad ending because during that time I found writing instead!

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

Oh, wow. To be honest, I never thought I’d be chosen as a mentee, not because I wasn’t confident enough, but because, like, come on. It’s PITCH WARS we’re talking about. There was definitely the sense that this is a big, big deal, and I’d be lucky to even get a full request, much less be actually chosen.

I’m super, super grateful for being Rebecca and Fallon’s mentee, and what I’m hoping to get out of Pitch Wars is, more than anything else, the chance to be a part of the writing community. One Pitch Wars tweet is actually what introduced me to my CP-turned-BFF Morgan (if you’re reading this: hey morgan!! *waves*). And then, of course, there’s the experience of actually being a mentored by Rebecca and Fallon, who are both writing geniuses. My end goal is publication, but Pitch Wars in particular provides me with the opportunity to connect with people like me and work closely with and learn from experienced authors.

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

I’m a Jordanian-American Muslim teen and a YA book blogger from Houston, Texas, and I’ve been an avid reader and writer for as long as I can remember! I mostly liked to write short stories, but HOLLOW SOULS is my second attempt at a full-length novel. I wanted to write something that was part dark fantasy, part thriller, with characters that looked and talked like me in a story that integrates, rather than highlights, what “marginalizes” them.

HOLLOW SOULS is a dark contemporary fantasy that features bloodthirsty woods, twin sisters, their smol cinnamon roll bff, and appreciation for fast cars. It’s a project that terrified me to undertake, but it looks like it’s shaping up to be something I’ll be proud of.

Check out Rebecca’s latest release, KISS OF THE ROYAL!

The gods are gone.
The people have forgotten them.
But sixteen-year-old Rachel Patel can’t forget – the gods control her life, or more specifically, her love life.
Being a Hedoness, one of a strong group of women descended from Greek God Eros, makes true love impossible for Rachel. She wields the power of that magical golden arrow, and with it, the promise to take the will of any boy she kisses. But the last thing Rachel wants is to force someone to love her . . .

When seventeen-year-old Benjamin Blake’s disappearance links back to the Hedonesses, Rachel’s world collides with his, and her biggest fear becomes a terrifying reality. She’s falling for him – a messy, magnetic, arrow-over-feet type of fall.

Rachel distances herself, struggling to resist the growing attraction, but when he gives up his dream to help her evade arrest, distance becomes an insurmountable task. With the police hot on their trail, Rachel soon realises there are darker forces hunting them – a group of mortals recruited by the gods who will stop at nothing to preserve the power of the Hedonesses – not to mention Eros himself, who is desperate to reverse the curse . . .

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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