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Pitch Wars Interview with Mikki Tolley and her mentor, M. M. Hoffman

Wednesday, 19 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 Team Relic Twins . . . 


Mikki Tolley – Mentee

Twitter | Website


M. M. Hoffman (Monica) – Mentor

Twitter | Website


Mikki: Why did you choose Monica?

Monica stood out to me from the very beginning. When the mentor list came out, I read her bio and researched her blog, and I couldn’t believe how much we had in common. We like the same books and movies; we both write YA science fiction and fantasy; and we love all things Star Wars and Disney. Then there’s the magic she creates on Twitter with her GIFs. I totally get her sense of humor! But it was more than just Monica’s effervescence. I saw her wish list, and I had such a great feeling about her. My MS seemed to have everything she wanted, and she seems like the perfect person to help me take this story to the next level. I am thrilled and honored that Monica wants to mentor me, and I hope I make her proud.

Monica: Why did you choose Mikki’s manuscript?

Space Opera. What more can I say? No really, that’s what pulled me in almost immediately. And her comps. And what sealed the deal? Her voice, the thrilling action, romance, and adventure. I knew I could help her tighten the plot, polish her action scenes, and really bring the best out in her fantastic story. And just interacting with Mikki on Twitter, I knew she was a hard worker, willing to take her MS to the next level. I’m over the moon she subbed to me and I can’t wait to see where she and The Last Relic go from here. We need more YA science fiction!!

Mikki: Summarize your book in three words.

Princess. Cyborgs. Secrets.

Monica: Summarize Mikki’s book in three words.

(To continue the tradition):
The-last-of-her-kind-Princess-is-saved-by-hot-rebel-and-soon-realizes-she’s-strong-and-returns-home-to-save-her-world. Cyborgs. Teleportation.
(Blame Wendy Spinale—she did it first! lol)

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

I grew up in Mesa, AZ, as the fifth of six daughters in a family obsessed with great storytelling. I was raised on the classics, like Little Women, Jane Eyre, and Anne of Green Gables. Nowadays, I’ll read anything that captures my attention and sucks me in—PB, MG, YA, Adult or non-fiction. But my favorite stories are ones that make me laugh, as well as melt my heart, with characters that stay with me for weeks afterward. I lived in Chicago and Dallas before recently settling in Utah with my husband and four children, where I’m an active member of Utah’s excellent writing community. When I’m not reading or writing, I’m hanging out with my family, usually hiking or watching movies. I love great stories in all their forms, and I work hard every day to improve my craft and become an effective storyteller. My goal as a writer is to create character-driven high concept fiction. Which leads me to . . .

My book! I’m excited to present THE LAST RELIC, a Young Adult space opera about a princess with a dark secret who teams up with rebel fighters to stop a bitter general and his cyborg army from taking over her empire. What makes my story unique is that it’s a new take on the space-based YA stories out there. I feel like the concept is fresh and the characters are fun and relatable. There’s romance, action, and mystery, with shades of Frozen and Star Wars throughout the MS. But it’s really a story about self-discovery and doing what’s right, even when it comes at great sacrifice—all set against the stark backdrop of space.

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

I’m a Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy author represented by Laurie McLean and Tricia Skinner of Fuse Literary. I’m an active member of SCBWI and the writing community. My day job requires me to hang out with dogs. I’m totally obsessed with Strawberry Shortcake. I now write my books using a piece of technology that doesn’t hook up to the internet. And I have no idea what my life would be like without family, the writing community, and the ability to create GIFs. Live long…oh you know the rest! Go Team Relic Twins!


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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