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Pitch Wars Interview with Kelsey Rodkey and her mentor, Sonia Hartl

Tuesday, 25 October 2016  |  Posted by Heather Cashman

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 #TeamBossBitches . . . 

Kelsey Rodkey

Kelsey Rodkey – Mentee

Twitter | Website

Sonia Hartl

Sonia Hartl – Mentor

Twitter | Website

Kelsey: Why did you choose Sonia?

There were a lot of reasons I chose Sonia. For starters, she was very active on the hashtag, always answering questions. While reading her wishlist, I felt that she was looking for *my* manuscript, though. THE BUSINESS OF BLACKMAIL hit so many things on her wishlist that she quickly became my number one choice. She mentioned wanting a 10 Things I Hate About You retelling, which is what my story started as; wanting strong female relationships; and she specifically said she loves blackmail and scandals. It felt like destiny already, but then I read through her favorite YA books of the last few years and not only did she mention both of my comp titles, including THE ONLY THING WORSE THAN ME IS YOU by Lily Anderson, which inspired me to write this story, but she also mentioned my back-up comp title and other books I absolutely adored.

Sonia: Why did you choose Kelsey’s manuscript?

From chapter one I knew Kelsey’s ms had to be mine. Her voice is INCREDIBLE! It’s so smart and funny. Her MC is flawed in all the best ways, and strongly reminded me of me at that age. Her ms hit everything on my wishlist I wanted most, but her characters are everything. They are all complex and real, they breathed off the page for me. Mostly I loved the fearlessness in Kelsey’s writing, her MC made big mistakes without apology and owned the consequences. She’s the definition of badass. Basically it was love at first page and I protected her ms from other mentors for WEEKS like a fire-breathing mama dragon.

Kelsey: Summarize your book in three words.

 Blackmail. Revenge. Snark.

Sonia: Summarize Kelsey’s book in three words.

Smart. Hilarious. Amazing.

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

I’ve been writing on and off since I was 10, but BLACKMAIL is my first completed manuscript. I have a ton of incomplete stories, but this one spoke to me so strongly that I completed the first draft within a week (and then proceeded to change the plot, but semantics). My manuscript features blackmail, which is unique in YA right now, and realistic, flawed characters that fight and joke and love and hate.

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

I can touch my nose with my tongue. I don’t know. I’m up past my bedtime and my brain is fried.

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.

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