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Pitch Wars Interview with Jamie Pacton and her mentor, Kevin A. Springer

Saturday, 3 October 2015  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

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Welcome to the Pitch Wars Team Interviews

Bringing you a closer look at each Pitch War Team and their project.

Be sure to comment with support, comments, and questions.


Meet Kevin A. Springer and Jamie Pacton

Team: MG Wonder Twins

Kevin SpringerKevin A. Springer (Mentor), tell us a little about yourself.

I’ve read everything from picture books to grown-up books and found that I love the middle grade voice. There is something about that age that speaks to my heart. I find that I am most drawn to books that are fast-paced, fun, and thrilling. I would describe my writing style as brain movies – I want the book to play out in the readers head so they can see the story clearly in their head. I write books that kids will get sucked in and need to hold on for the ride.

Jamie photo 1 copyJamie Pacton (Mentee), tell us a little about yourself.

Hi I’m Jamie! I write MG and YA books, blog every week for Parents magazine, and started college wanting to be a brain surgeon, but soon realized I was too clumsy after breaking thousands of dollars in glassware in my biology lab job. I also wanted to be a marine biologist, but I’m deathly afraid of sharks and I went to college in the Midwest, so scratch that. I became an English teacher and writer instead. I love fantasy and travel writing, but I’ll read most anything. Case in point, right now, I alternate listening to a biography of Genghis Khan and Leigh Bardugo’s Seige and Storm while I’m at the gym; I just finished reading Steve Silberman’s Neurotribes (fantastic!) and Amanda Palmer’s The Art of Asking (inspiring!); and, I’m on a bit of a Maggie Steifvater bender right now when I’m in the mood for fiction. And seriously, all these are on my nightstand.

Kevin, why did you decide to participate in Pitch Wars?

I wanted to be a mentor in Pitch Wars because I remember what the mentees are going through. The agony, doubt, and stress as you continually submit, edit, and repeat. I was looking for a book that I felt I could help the most with and Jamie’s jumped out at me. The other reason I got involved in PW was purely selfish – promotion. After the initial push of launch, I have found I need to work to build my presence in the writing community and hopefully good will come from that.

Jamie, why did you decide to participate in Pitch Wars?

Because I’ve written so, so many books. I’ve gotten so close to maybe-possibly-almost getting into the published author party– lots of silver medals from contests and agents. And I really, really love the book I entered in Pitch Wars– a middle grade adventure fantasy called MARCO POLO & THE MAGICIAN’S RING– and I want all the help I can get with it. Kevin is a great fit as a mentor as we both love and write fast-paced MG adventure stories.

Kevin, what are you most excited for?

I am most excited for the day I learn that Jamie has found a home for her story. When I finished my revision suggestions, I knew she has something here. It’s not a matter of if MARCO POLO gets published, it’s when. After we’re done working together, it is going to be AWESOME!!

Jamie, what are you most excited for?

I love the close read my MS is getting from my mentor. He’s literally spending hours imagining himself into the world I’ve created, and then spending hours telling me his thoughts about the book. It’s helping me add depth and re-see my story. And it’s so, so cool to have someone spend that much time in the world you’ve created.

Jamie, describe your novel in 3 words.

13th-century Percy Jackson

Kevin, describe your mentee’s novel in 3 words.

Historical Magical Adventure

Check Us Out …

Jamie photo 1 copy

Jamie Pacton, Mentee

Twitter | Website

She’s a writer, mom, feminist, and teacher who’s working every day to raise her kids, raise autism acceptance, and write all sorts of things. She has a BA (English) from Marquette and a MA (English) from East Tennessee State University. She blogs for Parents magazine each week, and she’s also working on a Middle Grade fantasy-adventure series and several Young Adult novels right now. She likes art, large bodies of water, her children’s laughter, coffee, reading to her children, reading all alone, binging on tv series, cooking, laughing…


Kevin Springer

Kevin A. Springer, Mentor

Twitter | Website

Kevin grew up on a farm in Maryland where his imagination knew no limits. As a husband and father, he reconnected with his creativity while telling bedtime stories to his two young boys. One such story evolved into his debut book, Extraordinary Sam & the Adventurers’ Guild (Bookfish Books LLC.), which tells the tale of an ordinary boy who finds a hatbox and discovers a world of adventure and self-discovery.

Kevin is a self-proclaimed dreamer and a kid at heart. When he’s not writing or reading, he is coaching soccer or helping with homework. He lives outside of Atlanta with his wife, two extraordinary boys, and dogs. He is also a co-founder of the Middle Grade Mafia blog.

Kevin’s latest release …

Sam Front Cover

The Extraordinary Sam & the Adventurers’ Guild

Cover illustrated Dora Mitchell

Available now through Amazon in paperback and Kindle format and for the Nook

In EXTRAORDINARY SAM, Sam Miller seems like an ordinary 12 year-old boy, but the discovery of a mysterious box from his missing grandfather 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 the riddles, and most of all, be Extraordinary.


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