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Pitch Wars 2017 Team Interviews: Deanna Roy and her mentors Austin Siegemund-Broka & Emily Wibberley and Caroline Flory and her mentor Jenny Lundquist

Thursday, 7 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 . . .

Deanna Roy – Mentee

Website | Twitter


Austin Siegemund-Broka – Mentor

Website | Twitter


Emily Wibberley – Mentor

Website | Twitter


Deanna, why did you choose to submit to Austin and Emily?

Crash and Ride Emily and Austin had distinct upbeat personalities that came through on their wishlist. They specifically asked for unconventional characters who had a unique romance. Mine was exactly that! I could tell from their writing style and the fun way they portrayed themselves that we would be a perfect fit.

Austin and Emily, why did you choose Deanna’s manuscript?

Deanna tells an utterly unique story, detailing the experience of foster children with incisiveness, emotion and in-depth perspective. Combine that with her heroine’s love for drumming, an unforgettable romantic lead and an inventive roadtrip format, and we couldn’t stop reading.

Deanna, summarize your book in 3 words.

Metalheads, flee, fostercare.

Austin and Emily, summarize Deanna’s book in 3 words.

Drumming, Driving, Discovery

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

I became a foster parent two years ago and it has been a wild, emotional ride. Last summer we were able to adopt one of the boys who came to us, but my heart split open for all the children still caught in the labyrinth of the system, stuck between homes. I wrote CRASH AND RIDE to give voice to all the silenced stories that are lost as children age out of the system without finding a family.

Austin and Emily, tell us about yourself. Something we may not already know.

Austin is a former drummer and Emily was in marching band in high school, which is part of why all the music in CRASH AND RIDE spoke to us. Our debut hasn’t come out yet, but it’s expected Summer 2018 from Puffin. Currently, it’s titled UPSTAGED, but we have new title that hasn’t been announced yet. It’s a modern-day retelling of Romeo and Juliet, about a teen girl who always winds up playing the Rosaline in her off-stage relationships – the girl before he finds “the one” – but when cast as Juliet in her school play, she begins to notice the Romeo she never expected. Add it to Goodreads here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34092885-upstaged

And next, we have . . .

Caroline Flory – Mentee

Website | Twitter


Jenny Lundquist – Mentor

 Website | Twitter


Caroline, why did you choose to submit to Jenny?

The Sound Inside First of all, I loved that Jenny loves Middle Grade and wanted to see contemporary books with magical elements. Beyond that, I loved that Jenny has had some experience with a couple of different publishing houses and editors, has a couple of MG books already (including a new one out next month!), and wanted to mimic the author-editor relationship as much as possible with at least two rounds of edits during our PitchWars time together. And already I’m so, so glad and thankful that I’m getting to work with Jenny! She’s been welcoming, encouraging, and has fantastic insights and questions that are already spurring my book to become better.

Jenny, why did you choose Caroline’s manuscript?

Her query instantly hooked me and she has a remarkable voice!

Caroline, summarize your book in 3 words.

Hope amongst storms

Jenny, summarize Caroline’s book in 3 words.

Whimsical. Heartfelt. Hope-filled.

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

This particular novel of mine has a note of magic, a main character finding her place, a setting that aches to be a character of its own (and that has my heart), spunky side characters, magical fireflies, and a chord of hope. I hope it’s a book that will entertain and encourage readers!
As for me, I’m a wife, homeschooling momma (who used to be a public school teacher!), reader, writer, runner, chai latte and decaf coffee drinker, music lover, and wonder-seeker. And SO excited to be in PitchWars this year!

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

I spent my last semester of college studying abroad in Russia.


Our mentors’ latest releases…

THE WONDROUS WORLD OF VIOLET BARBABY by Jenny Lundquist (Releasing Sept. 19, 2017)

Amazon | B&N | Indibound

Description From Amazon: Violet Barnaby is a having a blue Christmas. She’s still grieving the loss of her mother, and to make things worse, her dad has just married Melanie Harmer, a.k.a. the meanest teacher at Dandelion Hollow Middle School. But on the day Violet and her dad are packing up and moving into the new house they’ll share with Melanie and Melanie’s two children, Violet finds a letter her mother wrote to her before she died, asking Violet to enjoy Christmas, along with a Christmas Wish List—things her mom wants her to do during the holiday season. On the list are exactly the kinds of things Violet doesn’t want to do this year, like Be Someone’s Secret Santa; Give Someone the Gift of Your Time: Volunteer; and Bake Christmas Cookies.

Violet shows the letter to her friend Izzy’s Aunt Mildred, who calls a meeting of the Charm Girls, a club Izzy and Violet belong to along with their friends, Daisy and Sophia. Aunt Mildred decides she will give them each a charm to put on their bracelet if they do all of the tasks on the Christmas Wish List, which Violet is not too happy about. She’d rather forget about the list completely, but feels compelled to honor her mother’s wishes.

And when Izzy’s crush confides a big secret to Violet, Violet feels like she is stuck between her best friend and the boy who she just might have a crush on, too…

Thank you for supporting our Pitch Wars Teams! And remember, there’s a #PitMad Twitter pitch party today from 8 AM – 8 PM EST. Come join the fun!


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