Have questions about submitting to Pitch Wars or just want to know what it is? Start here!


Pitch Wars Interview with Tara Creel and her mentor, Jenna Lehne

Tuesday, 20 September 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 . . .



Tara Creel – Mentee


jenna lehne

Jenna Lehne – Mentor

Twitter | Website

Tara: Why did you choose Jenna?

There were so many things about Jenna that I had hoped would make us a good match. She specifically said she wanted mystery, and not one her mom would read. That made me laugh and look at the voice in my story to be sure it was middle grade appropriate. Then she said she loved When You Reach Me, which was one of my comp titles. At the end of her wishlist, she threw in a note about Native Americans and my story revolves around Native American myths so I was really hoping that would lure her in. She also seemed like she would really support my story and that it’d be a connection throughout our careers, not just for PitchWars, and that was important to me. That, and our bond over terrible reality TV ;).

Jenna: Why did you choose Tara?

 I had my eye on Tara right off the bat. She was super friendly on twitter and her Pimp My Bio had me refreshing my e-mail for her entry. It took almost an hour after she tweeted that she had sent her app for it to make it’s way to me, so when it didn’t come in right away I panicked. I knew that I wanted to work with her when I found myself jotting down revision notes on my phone, stickies, and random scraps of paper. Even when I was reading for fun, I found myself thinking about her characters. I fell asleep reading her full (due to my toddler, not lack of interest) and dreamt that I was treasure hunting around Hearst Castle. I knew that morning that Tara was the mentee for me. She’s incredibly talented and I’m thrilled I get to help her introduce Amelia to the world.

Tara: Summarize your book in three words.

Castle Mystery Treasure

Jenna: Summarize Tara’s book in three words.

Exhilarating, code-breaking fun!

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

I grew up in Utah, but after marrying my husband, we settled in Southern California. We now have four boys together and I use nap time and bed time as my writing time and have gotten really good at reading books while playing cars.
I’ve been writing since elementary school, but when I went to college I didn’t realize I could write novels for a living, so I became a journalist instead. After a short stint in broadcast journalism, I taught high school English and journalism, and now recognize being an author as a career, and it would be a dream come true for me.
This story is unique in that it takes place in Hearst Castle and highlights the history of the land the mansion is built on and also the unique art featured on the property. Not only is it fun to learn about art, but when there’s a mystery to solve with a cute boy, you really can’t lose.

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

I’m a horror buff from Alberta, Canada. I have a super rad son named Jasper and another on the way. As for something everyone might not know…I blog at MidnightSocietyTales.com and I’ve lived in four different countries!  I really like tea and secretly hope my house is haunted


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: Misc

Tagged: ,

One Comment
Leave a reply


We’d love your comments but ask that you please keep it polite. Although your views are definitely your own, we do not condone harassment or bullying and don’t want to see it here. We reserve the right to delete any comments for any reason, including being abusive, profane or off topic.

We're thrilled at the different ways those in our Pitch Wars community are giving back—and we encourage them to do so. However, please keep in mind that Pitch Wars is not affiliated with any of these various contests, promotions, etc., including those of our mentors and mentees. Promoting any such opportunities via our social media channels doesn't imply endorsement or affiliation. We encourage you to do your research before participating.

Pitch Wars takes a stand. ANTI-BULLYING. Click here to review our policy

Pitch Wars 2021

Blog Archives

Blog Categories

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Pitch Wars 2020 (Previous Year)