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Pitch Wars Interview with Adalyn Grace and her mentor, Brian Palmer

Saturday, 29 October 2016  |  Posted by Heather Cashman

PW Interviews

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 3rd-9th, we hope you’ll take a moment during your writing breaks and get to know our 2016 Pitch Wars Teams.

And now, we have #TeamSinisterEyes . . . 

AHHHH-dalyn Ghoul

Adalyn Grace – Mentee


Brian Palmer

Brian Palmer – Mentor

Twitter | Website

Adalyn: Why did you choose Brian?

I completely lucked out with being able to choose Brian. His wish list for Pitch Wars was actually unavailable to me when I initially picked and submitted to mentors. I couldn’t get his page to load to save my life! The day before submissions were due, I won two bonus entries and had to go scavenging through the mentors’ wish lists one more time. This time, Brian’s page loaded for me, and I’m so, so glad I won those extra mentors and didn’t miss out.

I loved Brian’s bio. For starters, he seemed so stoked to be a mentor, which is fantastic because I am SO stoked to be his mentee. Secondly, I really resonated with his described editing style. I was looking for a mentor who wanted to do more than one pass with my manuscript, and Brian gave me the impression that he was willing to donate so much of his free time in order to help his chosen mentee. He had so much experience that I thought would be so beneficial in a mentor, and I felt like my book child would be in good hands. Eventually, I knew it was time to stalk his Twitter. I asked a few questions and read a bunch of his answers to other potential mentees. While he didn’t necessarily mention wanting something that screamed, “Hey! That’s my book!” I loved his bio and many of the “favorite books” he had listed. Something in my gut said that I needed to take the risk and sub to him. I would have been honored to work with any mentors, but my instincts told me that, if I were to be chosen, it’d be by Brian. And boy did I luck out.

Brian: Why did you choose Adalyn’s manuscript?

I got a really good vibe from Adalyn when I was checking out her Twitter presence. I enjoyed seeing how supportive she was of others and how she had inserted herself into thr Pitch Wars and online writing community on Twitter, so I knew she was something I could work well with because her sensibilities were outward focused. Reading her pimped-out bio helped too, as it gave me a great understanding of what her writing and otherwise creative background was like, how much she was going all-in on writing, and what some of her favorite genres, styles were. I knew she was serious and dedicated to making this happen if she got the chance to be mentored by someone, but I also liked that she was enjoying the whole experience and not simply fretting over whether or not someone would fall in love with her MS. Speaking of which…

DONOR won me over not only because of its unique concept, but also its execution and the complex social and moral issues it touches on. I saw what she was aiming for with this one—ambitious, yet not too far-fetched; dystopian, but not in a Hunger Games sort of way; characters with loads of layers and potential for significant back stories—and knew exactly how to help her improve upon what she’d already come up with. I had a lot of quality submissions to choose from, but this was THE ONE.

Adalyn: Summarize your book in three words.

More edits, probably . . . Just kidding! Unwilling organ donors.

Brian: Summarize Adalyn’s book in three words.

Lies. Livers. Liberation

Adalyn: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique?

I grew up around stories in various forms all my life. Nearly every job I’ve worked has been within a creative outlet, whether it’s been at a live theater, a newspaper, or even an animation studio. I’ve known since I was in third grade that I needed to somehow worm my way into a career of telling people stories.

When writing DONOR, I imagined what it’d be like to live in a world without consequences — a world where people didn’t need to worry about exercise or concern themselves with the foods and substances they put in their bodies. In my story there’s seemingly a cure for all of this: a corporation that specializes in advanced medical procedures by breeding and supplying organ donors. This corporation is called Donor, and society has grown dependent upon it. People have fallen victim to greed and vice. They have their cure and their perfect lives. But how would those people react if they knew their organ donors were real, unwilling humans? What if the truth threatened to take away their perfect world? Would they care?

That’s where the idea for DONOR came from. It may start out light and playful, but each passing chapter gets a little darker. The story is told from both a girl who’s received a donation in the past, as well as by one of the unsuspecting donor patients. I believe all these traits help make the story unique, and, hopefully, something that people will want to read.

Brian: Tell us about yourself. Something we might not already know.

I have an affinity for writing in unusual places. My tiny work space used to be our closet, and when I’m not writing there, I print out my work and take a red pen to it like Freddy Krueger while riding the bus to and from work. I also used to have hair down to my shoulders if you can believe that–it wasn’t my best look, ha!


Thank you for supporting our Pitch Wars Teams! And don’t forget to stop by the Agent Showcase starting November 3rd to see how our teams do in the final round.

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