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Pitch Wars Interview with Ashia Monet and her mentor, Katherine Webber

Friday, 14 October 2016  |  Posted by Nikki Roberti

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 . . . 


Ashia Monet – Mentee

Twitter | Website

Katherine Webber

Katherine Webber – Mentor

Twitter Website

Ashia: Why did you choose Katherine?

Katherine is awesome and her mentor bio showed it. She had a huge list of qualifications so she obviously knew her stuff. As if that wasn’t awesome enough, she also made costumes of book characters (she dressed up as Karou from Daughter of Smoke and Bone!) which was honestly so cool. We liked works by some of the same authors, too– Laini Taylor, Rainbow Rowell, V.E Schwab and Maggie Stiefvater. When I read that she loved stories that were set in our world but with fantasy elements, I was super excited because I knew I had one of those! And then I may or may not have stalked her on Twitter.

Katherine: Why did you choose Ashia?

Ashia’s pitch is what initially hooked me: “Cassandra Clare meets Amazing Race” with a time-bending magical forest….I knew that this was something I NEEDED to read. The sheer scope of her imagination blew me away, and I couldn’t get the world and the characters she created out of my head. The whole manuscript is incredibly cinematic, I could really see it, and it looked amazing! And I totally fell for the characters. THE BLACK VEINS has a wonderful diverse ensemble cast, and Ashia does a wonderful job of getting the reader to care about and invest in all of them. And the dialogue! Ashia’s got a natural ear for dialogue, and I love how her characters banter back and forth. The main character, Blythe, is also incredibly loyal and devoted to her family, and I liked that a lot too. It takes a while for her to warm up to people, but when she does, she’d really do anything for them. All of the characters are so real. And that magical forest that I mentioned earlier…I love it so much that our team name is #TeamTempore (the name of the forest). Everything about THE BLACK VEINS feels epic and exciting…I really think it has the potential to be huge and I am thrilled that I get to work on it with Ashia!

I could also tell pretty early on how we could make the MS even stronger, and I had a really clear vision for revisions and edits, which was super exciting!

I also did some stalking on my own…in addition to being a writer, Ashia is a super talented artist, which I thought was so cool! And her excitement and enthusiasm, and willingness to work hard, make her the perfect mentee.

Ashia: Summarize your book in three words.

Chaotic magical road-trip. Road-trip is totally one word.

Katherine: Summarize Ashia’s book in three words.

Magical ensemble adventure

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

My name is Ashia (like the continent, pretend the “h” isn’t there) and I’m seventeen, going into my senior year in high school this fall. This is my first time participating in Pitch Wars and (obviously) my first year as a mentee. Other than writing, I love art, reading webcomics, playing video games and listening to music. My MS, THE BLACK VEINS, is an #ownvoices story about an ensemble cast of seven diverse teens on a magical road trip. They fight monsters, visit lots of cities across the US, dodge weird Matrix-y bad guys and have a lot of inner drama.

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

I’m originally from Southern California but have spent most of my twenties living other places! I’ve been living in London for almost three years. Before I lived in London I lived in Hong Kong for four years, and Atlanta for a year before that. I love to travel and have been lucky enough to visit 45 countries and 6 continents. I can speak Mandarin Chinese (studied it in high school and university) and can swear and order dim sum in Cantonese. I am a spicy food fanatic but also have a total sweet tooth. I didn’t make Pitch Wars two years in a row, but then I wrote a new novel, got an agent and a deal and my debut THE HEARTBEATS OF WING JONES will be out in March of next year! It has a lot of things I love in it: girl power, late night adventures, thunder storms, kissing, hilarious grandmas, delicious food, and a touch of magical realism. I hope other people will love it too!

Check out Katherine Webber’s upcoming release . . .

The Heartbeats of Wing Jones


Jandy Nelson meets Friday Night Lights in this sweeping, warm, arrestingly original novel about family, poverty, and hope.

Wing Jones, like everyone else in her town, has worshipped her older brother, Marcus, for as long as she can remember. Good-looking, popular, and the star of the football team, Marcus is everything his sister is not.

Until the night everything changes when Marcus, drunk at the wheel after a party, kills two people and barely survives himself. With Marcus now in a coma, Wing is crushed, confused, and angry. She is tormented at school for Marcus’s mistake, haunted at home by her mother and grandmothers’ grief. In addition to all this, Wing is scared that the bank is going to repossess her home because her family can’t afford Marcus’s mounting medical bills.

Every night, unable to sleep, Wing finds herself sneaking out to go to the school’s empty track. When Aaron, Marcus’s best friend, sees her running one night, he recognizes that her speed, skill, and agility could get her spot on the track team. And better still, an opportunity at a coveted sponsorship from a major athletic gear company. Wing can’t pass up the opportunity to train with her longtime crush and to help her struggling family, but can she handle being thrust out of Marcus’s shadow and into the spotlight?

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.







Filed: Interviews

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