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Pitch Wars Interview with Ashley MacKenzie and her mentor, Amy Trueblood

Friday, 30 September 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 . . .



Ashley MacKenzie – Mentee

Twitter | Website


Amy Trueblood – Mentor

Twitter | Website


Ashley: Why did you choose Amy?

I submitted to Amy because I was scouring wishlists for Mentors who were interested in sibling relationships over romantic relationships in contemporary YA. Since Amy listed family stories and dual POV among her wants, I thought she might be a good fit for my manuscript. Add to it the balance of professionalism and fun she brought to her Mentor post, and I thought she might be a good fit for not just my words, but for me, too.

Amy: Why did you choose Ashley and her manuscript?

I chose Ashley because I loved the themes of her book: sisterhood, family, and forgiveness. I also liked her writing style, and I will admit after doing a bit of research, I liked her online personality too!

Ashley: Summarize your book in three words.

Connection. Strength. Hope.

Amy: Summarize Ashley’s book in three words.

Strength. Courage. Love.

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

I’m a high school French and English teacher based out of Vancouver, BC (Canada). My 2016 Pitch Wars manuscript, WE ARE EMBERS, is the story I wrote while querying my 2015 Pitch Wars manuscript. Yep, that’s right — I did Pitch Wars last year and am ridiculously excited to be back for another few months of intense writing and revision.

WE ARE EMBERS follows the story of two sisters in the immediate aftermath of a house fire, and it was (unfortunately) inspired by one of my friend’s experiences with losing her condo to fire. I had been looking to write a manuscript about sisters, and this inciting incident made me think about my own sister, and how differently we handle crisis. So, I created two sisters who have lived the same experiences, but react to this upheaval in their own ways. WE ARE EMBERS is one day in these sisters’ lives, but it’s a day that brings so many others to the forefront and shows that no action — and no person — exists without impacting the people around them.

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

Besides writing and editing full time, I’m involved in a local group that collects new or slightly used formal dresses for teen girls. The program allows girls, who would not otherwise be able to afford a dress, to take one for FREE for high school dances. And yes, somehow I will work this into a book one day!


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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