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Pitch Wars Interview with Maxym Martineau and her mentor, Layla Reyne

Monday, 17 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 . . . 

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Maxym Martineau – Mentee

Twitter | Website

 

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Layla Reyne – Mentor

Twitter | Website

Maxym: Why did you choose Layla?

I submitted to Layla for a variety of reasons, but I was initially drawn to her because she mentioned a love for C.S. Pact’s Captive Prince Trilogy. At the time, I hadn’t read any of Pacat’s work (I’ve since devoured the first book in this series and she was right to recommend it), but I did a lot of research on Goodreads and the internet to get a feel for it. I wanted a mentor who wasn’t afraid of darker themes (i.e., masochistic relationships, indentured servitude, etc.). In addition, I wanted to work with someone who was familiar with both fantasy and romance elements.

From the beginning, I’d flagged Layla’s mentor bio on Brenda’s site, as well as her Pitch Wars wish list. Her revision plan speaks to my weaknesses, and I really wanted someone with those strengths to help beef up my work.

And she’s a fan fic lover like myself. I couldn’t go wrong!

Layla: Why did you choose (Mentee/MS)?

THE RAVEN PRISONER hooked me from page one. It absolutely started in the right place, the voice was crystal clear and wonderfully snarky, and there’s a curveball in the first 250 words that I ADORED. It was a total Keyser Söze moment. I did one of those slow blinks, cursed, then cheered loudly. As I continued to read, I didn’t once lose interest, I loved Maxym’s main characters and the romantic tension between them, and I fell hard for her secondary characters too, one in particular (Gavin is mine, forever and always). TRP was already a really good manuscript – engaging characters, clear stakes, voice-y as hell, with a nice balance of fantasy, adventure, romance and suspense – and I knew how to help make it great. It was my front-runner early on. When I started checking mentee bios, twitter interactions, etc., Maxym’s dedication, kindness and professionalism sealed the deal. This was a manuscript and author I couldn’t wait to work with!

Maxym: Summarize your book in three words.

Sexy, snarky, dark.

Layla: Summarize Maxym’s book in three words.

Sexy, snarky, surprising.

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

I guess I’ll start with the same random fact that I did on my mentee bio: I’m deathly terrified of moths. I know, I know. It’s completely absurd. But I’m 100-percent convinced that they’ll swarm me in a whirlwind of movement, eat the clothes right off my body, and leave me in nothing more than a thin veil of dust particles. Terrifying, right?

On a lighter note, I have a *cough* mild *cough* obsession with Dr. Pepper. And a penchant for rum — sometimes mixed with said Dr. Pepper. I have a voracious appetite for all things fantasy and romance, and when I need to occupy myself, I inhale books in record speed (I finished seven while waiting on the Pitch Wars announcement). Basically, if it can transport me to another world, then I’m a happy camper. Which probably explains my love for video games, too. And anime. Seriously, art and storytelling all wrapped into a graphically beautiful depiction? Count me in! I’m also an editor/writer for my company, and I hold a bachelor’s in English Literature from ASU. Go Devils!

My MS is a fantasy romance set in an alternate world that’s divided into warring guilds. I wanted to craft a story that highlighted some of the more underrated, female, mythological creatures. So I created Harlyn, the sarcastic, hot-headed succubus with a knack for landing herself in dangerous situations (like indentured servitude). She’s snarky and doesn’t know when to keep her mouth shut, which always makes for a good time. I love seeing her relationships develop, both with her love interest and a slew of secondary characters.

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

I’m an attorney by day with my own solo practice, and sometimes by day and always by night, I write M/F and M/M romantic suspense and contemporary romance. I’m also a big sports fan (watching, not playing, I lack the coordination, to put it mildly), so I’m dabbling in sports romance too. That may be the inner tomboy coming out. While I love my designer shoes now, I detested all forms of footwear as a kid, climbed all the trees (and fell a lot, that coordination issue again), worked the garden with my grandpa, and had pet crows that played in my hair. By mid-afternoon, though, grandpa and I would come inside to watch Santa Barbara and thus my love of romance and storytelling was born. I was spinning soap opera fanfic in my head at an early age (maybe too early), pilfered my mom’s copy of Tess of the d’Urbervilles in sixth grade (definitely too early), and once I met Mulder and Scully in High School, it was all over. I couldn’t not write romance. It took a while for me to get back here, but with a little jumpstart from fanfic again, I’m thrilled to be making an actual go at this romance author thing!

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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