Welcome to the Pitch Wars Team Interviews by Marnise Nicole
Bringing you a closer look at each Pitch War Team and their project.
Be sure to comment with support, comments, and questions.
Meet Joanna Hathaway and Katie Bucklein
Team: Team Buckaway! And we are also one half of Raptor Squad.
Katie Bucklein (Mentor), tell us a little about yourself.
Reading? Who reads anymore?
And now that I’ve gotten my sarcasm in, I loooooove YA/A fantasy, which won’t be a surprise if you’ve listened to me talk about books even once. I also have a deep love for NA contemporary, the sexier the better. When I’m not writing, I’m likely doing homework, and when I’m not doing homework (read: procrastinating) I’m likely finding music to share on my blog and/or make playlists for my books. I can’t write without music blasting in my ears. I swoon for brother relationships/male friendships (which Jo has and I love her for it), love kickass girls (not always in the physical sense) (also which Jo has), and reimagine paranormal creatures (such as demons or the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse) (not what Jo has, but she reimagines WWII, and that’s just as fabulous because that’s my favorite war).
Like Jo, I’m a huge history nerd (I’m a history major; how much nerdier can I get?). There’s this feeling I get whenever I study points in history that leaves me feeling both extremely happy and extremely sad–these people lived, but not everyone was well-known enough to be written down on paper and put into books. I love finding out about those people.
Joanna Hathaway, tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a huge history nerd! I read All Quiet On The Western Front at thirteen and was hooked. Nothing fascinates me more than reading about people—why they do what they do, what they love, what they’re willing to fight and bleed for. There’s a great quote I have from Tom Wolfe (I have so many writing quotes, bear with me): “The problem with fiction, it has to be plausible. That’s not true with non-fiction.”
Absolutely! It’s why I’ve always found history books and memoirs so fascinating. You can’t make this stuff up. But it’s also why I love a good novel with complex characters and twisting plots. I don’t usually read light and fluffy. I want tough choices, heart-breaking decisions, and things that leave me pondering for days. I want to look at the world differently after I put the book down. (But I swear, I’m also a goofball at heart. Just ask Katie. There’s that other great quote from Joss Whedon: “Make it dark, make it grim, make it tough, but then, for the love of God, tell a joke.” Yes to this forever!)
Katie, why did you decide to participate in Pitch Wars?
I was a mentee in 2013, picked by Stephanie Garber for my YA pirate fantasy. After that didn’t get me an agent (though it did catch my agent’s eye, leading her to request my next MS) I wrote another book, became agented, and promptly asked to mentor in Pitch Wars. It’s been a dream of mine since I was lucky enough to participate on the other side, because my mentor helped me so much. Without her, I would not be here right now, and I hope to help another writer as much as my mentor helped me. (Stephanie deserves a hug-squish for talking me through my freak-outs! Hey, every writer has ’em, no matter what stage you’re at.)
And holy crap, who would’ve thought I’d be fortunate enough to find Jo’s manuscript and hit it off so quickly with her? I certainly never expected to be this lucky!
Joanna, why did you decide to participate in Pitch Wars?
Honestly, it was a rather last minute decision. I didn’t know much about the contest, but a fellow writer messaged me and said, “You’re submitting. You have no choice.” I owe him one! And the more I researched what PW was all about, the more I excited I became, because, whoa, what a cool thing! I was so impressed by the supportive, encouraging community on Twitter. Just reading all the positive tweets (from participants and mentors and authors) gave me such a good vibe. This is a really special bunch. I love writers!
And, of course, getting to know Katie has been amazing. I could not have dreamed up a more perfect mentor for myself. I was worried going into this because my MS is a fantasy with no magic, and magic seemed to be at the top of all the want lists. But when I saw Katie’s bio and what she was looking for, I saw a nice smattering of things (forbidden romance, brother friendships, low fantasy) that made me think “She might just dig this.” Little did I know how much we have in common! That is the absolute best thing I could ask for as a mentee—to have a mentor who “gets” my vision and will help me make it shine.
Katie, what are you most excited for?
Team Buckaway to dominate the battlefield.
And totally kidding. (Maybe ;)) I’m most excited to help Jo get her manuscript as shiny as we possibly can in these upcoming months, to make her as proud of the manuscript as I know I will be. I’m so excited to teach her everything I know and help her on her journey to becoming an agented writer (and beyond)! I love Jo and couldn’t have asked for a more upbeat, positive, hilarious writer to spend the next couple months working with (though I can’t promise to give her up after that).
Joanna, what are you most excited for?
I can’t wait to learn more about the editing process and how to tighten this baby up. It’s going to feel so, so good at the end. I’m also excited for all the history memes Katie and I will be sharing with each other. (Priorities.)
Joanna, describe your novel in 3 words.
Love, loyalty, dogfights.
Katie, describe your mentee’s novel in 3 words.
Kickass pilots and princesses. (That’s four words, but the “and” shouldn’t count.)
Check Us Out …
Joanna Hathaway, Team Mentee
Joanna Hathaway is a Canadian writer who moved to Minnesota for true love (not for the winters). She works at a small-town newspaper in the middle of the prairies, and spends her evenings working on her novel, snuggling both her cat and her husband for warmth, and dreaming of the day she can have a horse again. She’s still trying to figure out Twitter.
Katie Bucklein, Team Mentor
Katie Bucklein is a college student majoring in History and writes Young Adult fantasy novels. She has a love for proper grammar, kickboxing, and the mechanics of war. When she’s not studying or writing, she can generally be found making a fool of herself, because life is awkward, and she knows that better than many. She currently lives in small town Idaho, but she’s sure that won’t be for long. She is represented by Emmanuelle Morgen of Stonesong Literary Agency.