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Pitch Wars 2017 Team Interview: Christine Adler And her mentor Jenni L. Walsh and E. K. Thiede and her mentor Molly E. Lee

Friday, 8 September 2017  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

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 on November 1st-7th, we hope you’ll take a moment during your writing breaks and get to know our 2017 Pitch Wars Teams.

And now, we have . . .

Christine Adler – Mentee

Website | Twitter


Jenni L. Walsh – Mentor

Website | Twitter


Christine, why did you choose to submit to Jenni?

Jenni was only looking for historical fiction submissions, so I knew this meant my odds were tougher. But the main character in her debut book, Becoming Bonnie, had a journey similar to that of my protagonist. I really felt that Jenni would best appreciate my story of a young woman who has to make hard choices to help her family and who ultimately becomes infamous as a result. But I never thought I’d get picked–I’m over the moon with excitement and gratitude!

Jenni, why did you choose Christine’s manuscript?

My wish list this year was both very specific and very broad. I wanted historical fiction — that was all — but, within historical fiction, I vaguely said I was open to any era, point-of-view, tense, etc. What I was looking for was a combination of a great premise + great writing. I wanted a concept to grip me and the writing to refuse to let me go. That’s what I very happily found with Christine’s submission.

Christine, summarize your book in 3 words.

Renoir’s first model

Jenni, summarize Christine’s book in 3 words.

Renoir’s secret lover

Christine, tell us about yourself! What makes you and your MS unique?

I’m currently the President of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, and I live in the suburbs of NYC. I’ve been writing essays, articles and poetry for almost twenty years, but when I was struck with the idea for my book, it wouldn’t leave me alone. I’d never written fiction before but I knew I had to give this a try, so I followed the experts’ advice to “write the book I wanted to read”. Portrait of Lise is about the 17-year-old model of then unknown French painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir. It follows her six-year relationship with him, which eventually became intimate, and everything she sacrificed and learned in the name of family, love, loyalty and friendship. So many people would recognize this young woman–she was the subject of over twenty of Renoir’s paintings–but almost nothing is known about her. She helped launch his career and I felt like she needed to have a voice, that her story needed to be told.

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

Once, while on vacation, I did flying trapeze.

And next, we have . . .

E. K. Thiede (Emily Thiede) – Mentee

Website | Twitter


Molly E. Lee – Mentor

Website | Twitter


Emily, why did you choose to submit to Molly?

No Man’s Land I saw on Molly’s wish list that she likes strong female characters, unique premises, and new settings—all true for my story!—but it was probably her promise to be a sounding board that appealed to me the most. I’m one of those rare extroverted writers and I really like to bounce ideas of people when I write. Molly made it very clear that she wanted to be there to listen and a support her mentee and that was exactly what I hoped to find in a mentor. I’m so grateful that my story appealed to her!

Molly, why did you choose Emily’s manuscript?

I was instantly hooked by her concept! Then her first chapter really delivered. After some light stalking, I knew we’d get along, and I absolutely couldn’t wait to work with her!

Emily, summarize your book in 3 words.

Suspense. Plot-twists. Life-or-death.

Molly, summarize Emily’s book in 3 words.

Unique. Thrilling. Captivating.

Emily, tell us about yourself! What makes you and your MS unique?

I grew up in New Jersey but I’ve lived in Virginia for more than half my life so I’m a little bit northern and a little bit southern. I’ve had way more misadventures in my life than the average person- tornadoes, armed robberies, and more. I seem to attract once-in-a-million occurrences and I have no idea why!

My book, NO MAN’S LAND, takes place in an all-female society a century after a mysterious pandemic kills every man on earth. I first came up with the idea during a biology lesson about cloning. It struck me that since cloning was possible, it might not be that much more difficult to combine DNA from two women to create a child. That BLEW MY MIND. I tried to imagine what that world—a world that didn’t need men to exist—might look like, and over time that nugget of an idea turned into No Man’s Land.

In this book, the main character discovers a secret—a prisoner who isn’t supposed to exist—and her choice to get involved threatens to destroy her future and, possibly, her entire peaceful society. There’s suspense, action, romance, and drama, but underneath it all it’s a story about self-discovery, making hard choices under incredible circumstances, and learning to look past what you think you know about people to see them for who they really are.

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

I have this dream to publish a YA fantasy someday, even though all my books so far have been contemporaries 🙂

Our mentors’ latest releases…


Amazon | B&N | Indibound | Books-A-Million

From debut historical novelist Jenni L. Walsh comes the untold story of how wholesome Bonnelyn Parker became half of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde duo.

The summer of 1927 might be the height of the Roaring Twenties, but Bonnelyn Parker is more likely to belt out a church hymn than sling drinks at an illicit juice joint. She’s a sharp girl with plans to overcome her family’s poverty, provide for herself, and maybe someday marry her boyfriend, Roy Thornton. But when Roy springs a proposal on her and financial woes jeopardize her ambitions, Bonnelyn finds salvation in an unlikely place: Dallas’s newest speakeasy, Doc’s.

Living the life of a moll at night, Bonnie remains a wholesome girl by day, engaged to Roy, attending school and working toward a steady future. When Roy discovers her secret life, and embraces it—perhaps too much, especially when it comes to booze and gambling—Bonnie tries to make the pieces fit. Maybe she can have it all: the American Dream, the husband, and the intoxicating allure of jazz music. What she doesn’t know is that her life—like her country—is headed for a crash.

She’s about to meet Clyde Barrow.

Few details are known about Bonnie’s life prior to meeting her infamous partner. In Becoming Bonnie, Jenni L. Walsh shows a young woman promised the American dream and given the Great Depression, and offers a compelling account of why she fell so hard for a convicted felon—and turned to crime herself



The only thing worse than not being able to tell your best friend you’re head over heels in love with him? Having to smile and nod when he enlists your help to ensnare the girl of his dreams.

Braylen didn’t even want to go to Lennon Pryor’s epic graduation-night party, but when Fynn begs her to be his “wingwoman,” she can’t deny him. Talking up her BFF—how he’s magic behind a camera, with a killer sense of humor and eyelashes that frame the most gorgeous blue eyes in the history of forever—is easy. Supporting his efforts to woo someone so completely wrong for him? Not so much.

Fynn knows that grad night is his last shot before leaving for college to find true love. And thanks to Bray, he gets his chance with the beautiful Katy Evans. But over the course of the coolest party of their high school careers, he starts to see that perhaps what he really wants has been in front of him all along. Bray’s been his best friend since kindergarten, though, and he’d rather have her in his life as a friend than not at all.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains one epic party, complete with every high-schoolers-gone-bad shenanigan, and two best friends whose sexual chemistry is off the charts…if only they’d succumb to it.”

Thank you for supporting our Pitch Wars Teams!

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