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 . . .
Tracy Gold – Mentee
Diana Gallagher – Mentor
Tracy: Why did you choose Diana?
I did Pitch Wars last year, so I knew Diana’s former mentees loved her! I also submitted to her last year and she sent me a really sweet “good luck” note. And everyone I know in Pitch Wars says Diana is the nicest person ever, which I’ve found to be true in our Twitter interactions and our relationship so far! We also have a lot in common with MFA/writing professor backgrounds, so I thought we could connect on that level.Then, my novel seemed pretty perfect for Diana’s wish list. It has sports, complicated relationships, humor, friendships, a slow-burn romance–lots of things that Diana wanted! I’m so glad it worked out!
Diana: Why did you choose Tracy and VERA WITH A VENGEANCE?
I remembered that Tracy’s submission last year had a strong query and a great hook, so when she submitted to me again this year, I was excited to see what she had in store. Right from the title itself, I was intrigued. As I read further, the voice kept me hooked and the stakes kept ratcheting up. Not only was VERA entertaining and engaging, but it landed for me emotionally. Ultimately, I finished the manuscript feeling unsettled in the best possible way. None of these characters are cut-and-dry good or bad; they’re complicated, sometimes polarizing, and always fascinating.
Tracy: Summarize your book in three words.
Sweet, sweet revenge? (Can I get away with the question mark like that to show moral ambiguity? Trying!)
Diana: Summarize Tracy’s book in three words.
Smart girls scheming.
Tracy: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique?
I’m a writer/editor/writing professor living in Baltimore. My manuscript is about a girl who starts a business to sell revenge. What makes me uniquely positioned to tell this particular story is that I used a lot of bad things that have happened to my friends, or to me, and got fictional vengeance. I didn’t set out to do this, but the book turned out to heavily involve the fallout from college sexual assaults. That’s a topic I’m sadly familiar with. When I was in college, I held a leadership position in a living group (which is like a co-ed frat). A friend came to me after she was sexually assaulted by a guy in the group, and I helped her work with the administration. I tried to help her feel safe again, but she never did. She moved out of our group before the end of the year. I was totally overwhelmed and didn’t know what I was doing, or that grabbing someone’s vagina at a party was even considered sexual assault. As I helped this friend, I realized that I had been in similar situations, and had a new window into why they had upset me so much. It took helping someone else to make me see what had happened to me as sexual assault. I still worry about the way I handled those situations and the effect my actions had on other people. In VERA WITH A VENGEANCE, my characters deal with the same types of situations (except way worse–sorry, characters). My main character is overwhelmed, too, but she does her research. Then, she gets revenge. I hope her schemes are satisfying to read, even if they’re morally questionable (or because they’re morally questionable!). It was so cathartic for me to write her.
Diana: Tell us about yourself. Something we might not already know.
As I listed in my PW wishlist, I love a fantastic sports story (and Tracy certainly gave me one! Thank you, girl!). While I watched the Olympics this summer, tweeting about my undying love for Simone Biles and the Final Five, viewing track and field reminded me of one of my favorite sports moments.
Along with doing gymnastics, I was also a member of my high school’s track team. Although I did a variety of running events, I fell in love with high jump. At 5’0″ tall, this was not the most obvious nor the most fitting field event, but I didn’t care (and neither did my coach, which was awesome). Having a flexible back meant I could scoot my way over the bar and sometimes beat girls taller than me.
During a meet my senior year, I cleared 4’6″ and prepared for my first attempt at 4’8″. The bar went down. No surprise. I’d never cleared anything higher than 4’6″, anyway, so this was just for fun. Second attempt: I landed on the mat and looked up at the bar. Something about the jump felt different. Maybe, just maybe…
The bar wobbled, wobbled, and then steadied. I screamed, jumped on my coach, and nearly gave him a concussion.
Check out Diana Gallagher’s upcoming release . . .
When Savannah Gregory blows out her knee – and her shot at a gymnastics scholarship – she decides she’s done with the sport forever. Without gymnastics, she has more time for her best friend, Cassie. She’s content to let her fun, impulsive best friend plan a memorable senior year.
That is, until Cassie tries to kill herself.
Savannah wants to understand what happened, but Cassie refuses to talk about it and for the first time, Savannah has to find her own way. The only person she can turn to is Marcos, the boy who saved Cassie’s life. Being with him makes her see who she could be and what she really wants: gymnastics.
But Cassie doesn’t approve of Marcos or of Savannah going back to gymnastics, and the tighter she tries to hold on to Savannah, the farther it pulls them apart. Without Cassie to call the shots, Savannah discovers how capable she is on her own – and that maybe her best friend’s been holding her back all along.