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Pitch Wars Interview with Julia Darcey and her mentors Katie Bucklein and Megan Lally

Monday, 3 October 2016  |  Posted by Nikki Roberti

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 . . .

Julia Darcey

Julia Darcey – Mentee


Katie Bucklein

Katie Bucklein – Mentor

Twitter Website


Megan Lally – Mentor

Twitter Website

Julia: Why did you choose Katie and Megan?

Megan asked for “cannibal fantasy” in her wishlist and I was like THIS IS IT! But seriously, I was really impressed with Megan and Katie’s experience with PitchWars: they had three agented former mentees between them, and Megan is a freelance editor to boot. Everything on their wishlists spoke not just to my MS, but to so many things I LOVE in general: weirdness, darkness, freaky carnivals, touching male friendships. On top of that, they were encouraging and full of excitement (exclamation points!!!!), and I knew we’d be a good fit.

Why did you choose Julia?

Katie: From the first chapter, I knew we’d be in good hands with Julia’s manuscript. She has such a unique way with words—some of her descriptions are so beautiful that, as I read, I sent Megan messages that pretty much consisted of “brb sobbing from the beauty.” And FAMINELAND is jam-packed with action, intrigue, mystery, battles, darkness, hate-to-maaaybe-something-more…all of the things I love in books, wrapped up in a gorgeous story with some of the most unique characters I’ve encountered in YA. Plus, Julia’s personality just clicked with ours from the very first email—I knew from the get-go that we’d get along beautifully.

Megan: From the very start, I was hooked on Julia’s concept. I mean, cannibals? Check. Romance? Check. Death and mayhem? BIG check. And then by the end of her first chapter I was totally obsessed. Julia is an incredibly talented writer, and has some descriptions—both of setting and of emotion—that’ll just break your heart, they’re so beautiful. And as a bonus, she’s also a total sweetheart. We really hit the jackpot with her.

Julia: Summarize your book in three words.

Cannibal war roadtrip.

Summarize Meghan‘s book in three words.

Katie: Explosions, heartbreak, cannibalism

Megan: Hostile cannibal takeover

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

I love YA fantasy of all kinds! There’s something about young characters on adventures in strange worlds that speaks to the quest for purpose and belonging in us all. I’m continually looking for my place in the world; I love adventure, travel and the outdoors. I live in Africa and have been to every continent except Antarctica (I’m coming for you, you frosty minx!).

Biology is my background, and one of my favorite things about this MS is mashing-up sci-fi mutations with fantasy settings (I want to do this even better in the rewrite!). I also feel uniquely qualified to write about sword fighting from a girl’s perspective because I used to work at a medieval theme restaurant where I fought broadsword duels against men twice my size. This book is close to my heart and I’m so grateful to have two funny, supportive, gif-spouting, battle ax-wielding, brilliant mentors to help make it the very best it can be!

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

Katie: I’m a writer of YA fantasy represented by Josh Adams of Adams Literary, a full-time college student (senior year, baby!) majoring in history, and an intern at my university’s museum. My books almost always feature monsters, war, dragons, royalty, kissing…and lots of death. What can I say? I like to kill characters. And I am currently OBSESSED with Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (all three seasons are on Netflix! Go watch. I’ll wait here).

As for something unique about myself…I can quote nearly every single line from nearly every single episode of I Love Lucy. Give me a line, and I’ll be able to tell you which episode it’s from. My mom, eldest brother, and I have had entire conversations in nothing but Lucy dialogue—we’re thatin love with the show. And as we like to say, there’s an I Love Lucy quote for every situation. 😉

Megan: I’m a YA author represented by Mandy Hubbard at Emerald City Literary, and a freelance editor with Wild Things Editing and Author Accelerator. I’m the creator of the #CPMatch Twitter party where writers pitch their books to find critique partners. I write about death and mayhem and blood and gore (otherwise known as horror). I also have an unhealthy obsession with Sherlock. 🙂

And, hmmm. Something unexpected? Well, as mentioned above I pretty much exclusively write horror but I’m actually a gigantic scaredy cat. HUGE WIMP. I can’t watch scary movies, the trailers for The Walking Dead give me nightmares, and I have nightlights all over my house. It doesn’t make any sense, but I just roll with it anyway. Oh, and I’m completely addicted to gummy bears and cinnamon jelly beans.

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.

Filed: Interviews

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