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Pitch Wars Interview with Amelia Diane Coombs and her mentor, Emily Martin

Tuesday, 18 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 . . . 

Amelia Diane Coombs

Amelia Diane Coombs – Mentee

Twitter | Website

Emily Martin

Emily Martin – Mentor

Twitter | Website

Amelia: Why did you choose Emily?

There were several mentor bios and wishlists I clicked with instantaneously—Emily was one of the firsts. She stayed at the top of my list even as I researched other mentors, created an elaborate points-based spreadsheet, and whittled down my choices. I appreciated that she was a former mentee, and this would be her third year mentoring. Her comic-bookish website drew me in, and her wishlist spoke to me—flawed female character with messy histories, and swoony, gritty YA? Check! After some shameless Twitter-stalking, I knew we’d get along on a personal level, which was vital. Basically, I’m thrilled to be working with Emily.

Emily: Why did you choose Amelia’s manuscript?

I actually remembered Amelia’s novel aesthetics when her submission landed in my inbox, so I was super excited to dive in. After reading her first chapter, I was completely smitten. The premise and voice hooked me right away, and there are so many references throughout to things I love (Old Hollywood, obscure movies, music…). Amelia’s writing also manages to seamlessly infuse dark humor into a story full of emotional heft–basically, it gave me allll the feels, and I can’t wait for more readers to fall in love with her characters!

Amelia: Summarize your book in three words. 

Gritty, cross-country misadventures.

Emily: Summarize Amelia’s book in three words.

Searching. Karma. Self-discovery.

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

I love my hometown in Northern California so much I returned after college and grad school. Recently, I’ve developed a penchant for traveling, and love exploring unusual places. Other than playing with character’s emotions, I adore all things geeky—comic books, video games, Magic the Gathering. Music gives me life, I melt over tattoos, Old Hollywood, and swoony romances. All these facets of my life have found their way into my manuscript, LOOK NO FURTHER. My MS explores some central Young Adult themes—issues of trust and love, the importance of identity, and whether your past dictates your future—in an unusual way. My main character is on her version of a “effed-up Hero’s Journey” to Graceland, where she hopes to find her bio-mom, while running from an outlaw motorcycle club. When she teams up with a karma-touting tattooed diner worker harboring his own violent history, they’re both in for an unforgettable summer.

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

I am a huge environmental nerd, and one thing on my bucket list is to visit all the national parks. I haven’t made much of a dent yet, but if I do plan a road trip, I will DEFINITELY be incorporating detours to some of the wonderfully off-beat settings in LOOK NO FURTHER!


Check out Emily Martin’s latest release . . .



Few things come as naturally to Harper as epic mistakes. In the past year, she was kicked off the swim team, earned a reputation as Carson High’s easiest hookup, and officially became the black sheep of her family. But the worst mistake was her first one: destroying her relationship with her best friend, Declan.

Now, after two semesters of silence between Harper and Declan, Declan is home from boarding school for summer break. Everything about him is different—he’s taller, stronger . . . handsomer. But Harper has changed too, especially in the wake of her mom’s cancer diagnosis.

While Declan wants nothing to do with Harper, he’s still Declan, her Declan, the only person she wants to talk to about what’s really going on with her. But after she betrayed his trust, he’s also the one person she’s lost all right to seek comfort from.

As shared friends and shared histories draw them together, Harper and Declan must decide which parts of their past are still possible to fix and which parts they’ll have to live with forever.

Out now from Simon Pulse. Available on Barnes and Noble, IndieBound, and Amazon.

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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