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 Team Two ROFLs. . .
Erin Fry – Mentee
Kevin A. Springer – Mentor
Erin: Why did you choose to enter Pitch Wars?
Everything I read about Pitch Wars was glowing. Seriously, the twittersphere just couldn’t say enough positive things about this contest. Plus, I had a manuscript that I loved, loved, loved but still felt like it wasn’t quite “there,” and I was at a loss at how to get it “there.” The possibility of a mentor to help me? Super cool. And badly needed. I figured at the very least, I might make a few new connections on Twitter. Instead, I ended up with the opportunity to work with a talented, knowledgeable author. The whole process has been tremendously fun and positive and encouraging. I would nudge anyone out there who has a completed manuscript and is looking for an agent to jump in and give Pitch Wars a try.
Kevin: Why did you choose Erin’s manuscript?
This year was so tough. I read so many stories that were great, but the concept of having a character split between the “main” story and the direct communication with the reader drew me in. As I read, I could tell she was so close to having her story to where it needed to be. With that being said, I felt as if my strengths could get her there. I am not a mentor who is going to re-work the entire manuscript, but rather give the punch it needs throughout the story to bring out details in certain scenes that will make it richer and make the character more relatable.
Erin: Summarize your book in three words.
Magic. Mystery. Manipulation.
Kevin: Summarize Erin’s book in three words.
Unexpected. Twist. Mystery. (I know Erin used that word, and I wanted three original words, but “mystery” was too good to not include twice – one for each Rolf!)
Erin: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique?
I teach middle school history and English by day and write when I am not grading papers. I actually explained to my students this week that my two jobs require me to impart the truth half the time and lie the other half. (And hope I don’t mix those up.) I coach cross country every fall, and my favorite moment every year is when the kid who never expected to stay on the team blows through the two-mile course at the last race of the year and finishes with the biggest victory smile ever. I have three teenage kids which means my house is never clean and my pantry is always empty. I love to hike and am addicted to Tiny House Nation. I have a dog who eats remote controls.
My middle grade manuscript is entitled A TALE OF TWO ROLFS. I think its uniqueness comes from the fact that its narrator, Rolf, has been magically trapped inside the book and directly appeals to the reader to help him get out. There is this “story within a story” format as Rolf continually breaks out of his aunt’s story to tell his OWN story and convince the reader that together they must find a password which will release him from the book. However, as the reader learns more of the clues and hears how Rolf got trapped in the first place, Rolf’s credibility is called into question. Can he be trusted? And should he be released back into the world?
Kevin: Tell us about yourself. Something we might not already know.
Growing up, my imagination was something I kept to myself. Most of my childhood was spent on a farm and I had to entertain myself. It has been both empowering and terrifying to share that part of me with the world. Ever since I let my creativity flow, story ideas continue to rise up. I have a list of book ideas that are waiting to be told. I can honesty say I have never been happier!
My first book, EXTRAORDINARY SAM & THE ADVENTURERS’ GUILD, is based on a bedtime story I told to my eldest son, but the character of Sam is closer to my personal journey. I have always been a dreamer and the real world always seemed too big. I lacked the confidence needed to make my dreams come true, but I never gave up. Over time, I have discovered my voice and, much like the character of Sam, embraced that I am strong enough to win in the end. This is one thing I share with kids during my school visits – never give up on yourself and dream big.
Check out Erin M. Fry’s latest release . . .
Bennett Robinson loves baseball, especially watching Dodgers games with his dad while munching on burgers and fries—the perfect “game food.” Baseball even helped Bennett and his dad get over his mom’s death from cancer. But there’s no way Bennett could ever play baseball. Bennett is fat, the kind of fat that gives you belly button sweat stains and makes it tough to get off a sagging couch. But on one perfect, baseball-watching day, everything changes. Bennett’s dad is taken away on a stretcher, and Bennett doesn’t know if he will live or die. Now Bennett has to move in with know-it-all Aunt Laura. And she’s making it her personal mission to Get Bennett Healthy. Bennett knows that Aunt Laura will take over his entire life if he lets her. It’s time for Bennett to step up to the plate. Because maybe there are some things a Fat Boy can do…like talk to a girl, run a mile, and maybe even save his own life. Erin Fry explores the issue of obesity with heart, depth, and humor in this unforgettable debut novel.
We hope you like Kevin A. Springer’s debut novel . . .
Sam Miller seems like an ordinary twelve-year-old boy, but the discovery of a mysterious box changes his life forever. He soon finds himself in a strange world full of adventure and magic where he must battle pirates, giant spiders, and an evil tyrant. To survive, Sam must overcome his fears, solve riddles, and most of all, be Extraordinary.