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 . . .
Jennieke Cohen – Mentee
Tobie Easton – Mentor
Jennieke: Why did you choose Tobie?
I was really hoping Tobie would pick my manuscript! On Tobie’s wish list, she mentioned some novels that I really love (Jessica Day George’s Princess of the Midnight Ball series and Tasha Alexander’s Lady Emily mysteries), in addition to saying she loved historical fiction and romance, Jane Austen, Oscar Wilde, and Downton Abbey, all of which have influenced my writing in general and Dangerous Alliance in particular. Oh, and she also wanted beautiful gowns, gardens, and kissing, which again, are all major elements of my manuscript (and a well-lived life, in my humble opinion)! The fact that she described herself as a positive person but honest in her critiques also sounded right up my alley. In short, she sounded like the perfect mentor and I feel so lucky that she chose my manuscript!
Tobie: Why did you choose Jennieke?
First of all, I was instantly drawn in by the premise of Dangerous Alliance. I loved the idea of a YA Downton Abbey, and the angle of the protagonist’s sister dealing with domestic abuse during the 19th century really felt fresh because I read a lot of historical, and it was something I hadn’t seen before. I was excited to read more about the sister relationship as well as the romantic plot line with the main character, Lady Victoria.
When I started reading the pages, I loved the witty voice and that Victoria really cared about the estate. Often we read about members of the British aristocracy and their estates, but they don’t really seem to care about the running of those estates. The fact that Vicky does care made me really want to get to know her. Out of all the partials I requested during Pitch Wars Dangerous Alliance was the one I couldn’t stop thinking about during the entire selection process. It wouldn’t let go and it still hasn’t.
Jennieke: Summarize your book in three words.
Ballrooms, Intrigue, Love
Tobie: Summarize Jennieke’s book in three words.
Pitch Wars Winner #KiddingNotKidding Family, Romance, Gardens
Jennieke: Tell us something about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique?
I’ve been a classic film lover since I was a kid, which partially explains my Master of Professional Writing degree from USC where I studied fiction and screen writing with film industry greats Irvin Kershner (director of The Empire Strikes Back, among others) and Mel Shavelson (writer/director of Houseboat and Cast a Giant Shadow, among others). I’ve also loved English literature since I was a tween, but I never really appreciated English culture until I went there as a high school exchange student. Since then, I have been going back as often as possible to research different writing projects and various aspects of history (one summer in college I studied English history at Cambridge University), as well as to visit gorgeous gardens and manor homes. I’ve infused many of those experiences into Dangerous Alliance. What also makes the manuscript unique is that the whole story pivots on the protagonist’s sister getting a divorce from an abusive husband, which was extremely difficult during the early 1800’s but not impossible, and has rarely been dealt with in fiction. This family crisis leads to mystery, adventure, dueling, and finally, romance!
Tobie: Tell us something about yourself that we might not already know.
Like Lady Victoria in Dangerous Alliance, I also had a romantic kiss in a rose garden—at my wedding last year.
Check out Tobie Easton’s newest release . . .
Lia Nautilus may be a Mermaid but she’s never lived in the ocean. War has ravaged the seven seas ever since the infamous Little Mermaid unleashed a curse that stripped Mer of their immortality. Lia has grown up in a secret community of land-dwelling Mer hidden among Malibu’s seaside mansions. Her biggest problems are surviving P.E. and keeping her feelings for Clay Ericson in check. Sure, he’s gorgeous in that cocky, leather jacket sort of way and makes her feel like there’s a school of fish swimming in her stomach, but getting involved with a human could put Lia’s entire community at risk. So it’s for the best that he’s dating that new girl, right?
That is, until Lia finds out she isn’t the only one at school keeping a potentially deadly secret. And this new girl? Her eyes are dead set on Clay, who doesn’t realize the danger he’s in. If Lia hopes to save him, she’ll have to get closer to Clay. Lia’s parents would totally flip if they found out she was falling for a human boy, but the more time she spends with him, the harder it is for her to deny her feelings. After making a horrible mistake, Lia will risk everything to stop Clay from falling in love with the wrong girl.