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Pitch Wars Interview with Anissa Malek and Amanda Searcy, and their mentor, Stacey Trombley

Friday, 23 October 2015  |  Posted by Nikki Roberti

4laxXK6X.png largeWelcome to the Pitch Wars Team Interviews

Bringing you a closer look at each Pitch War Team and their project.

Be sure to comment with support, comments, and questions.

Meet Anissa Malek, Amanda Searcy, and Stacey Trombley

Team Silent Assassins 

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 7.09.18 PMStacey Trombley (Mentor), tell us a little about yourself.

I write and read pretty much everything, but prefer the dark stuff. Deep emotional stories, with fun twists and interesting perspectives. I write and read both YA and MG but since my first book is a YA contemporary, I’m focusing on that in an effort to brand for now. Random fun facts: My father is a children entertainer (magician, balloon man, ventriloquist,) I went to my first third world country at age 12 (without my parents. I was a bold child) and while I love reading now (duh) I didn’t start reading much of anything until High school (late bloomer)

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 7.15.07 PMAnissa Malek (Mentee), tell us a little about yourself.

I read, write, and love all things YA. Dark, funny, swoony, these grabby hands want it all. My writing leans toward the dark side, but with sprinkles of humor. Sort of like sea salt on dark chocolate. YUM! I’m drawn to stories about outsiders, about finding one’s home—be it in friends, family or something else. I am also a huge Orphan Black fan and have a bad Ukrainian accent to prove it. And while I possess limited assassin skills (unlike my main character), I did grapple “Ronda Rousey” style in college.

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 7.14.04 PMAmanda Searcy (Mentee), tell us a little about yourself.

I love a good apocalypse (asteroids, volcanoes, zombies…whatever). I read a lot of science fiction and dark, gritty contemporary—and love stories (because who doesn’t love a love story?). Since I work in collection development and acquisitions for a large library system, I see ALL the new books that come in, and then I take them home and curl up in the fetal position between the stacks and stacks of beautiful books that are far too many for any one person to ever read. I write parallel stories that dance and twist around each other before they meet at the end. I try to give everything I write a hint of mystery.

Stacey,  why did you decide to participate in Pitch Wars?

Because I’ve been on the other side of this many times, in many contests. I entered a ton of them when I was querying and I loved it. Now, not only do I still want to be involved in these magical events but I want to give back. Meeting other writers never gets old.

Anissa, why did you decide to participate in Pitch Wars?    

I learned about Pitch Wars a week before the submission window opened. Funny how in that tiny window of time, so much can change! I joined in hopes of finding like-minded writers to learn and grow with. And I have!

Amanda, why did you decide to participate in Pitch Wars?    

Several years ago when I first started my writing journey, I was privileged enough to be mentored by a well-published author, and I found that there is no substitution for having the guidance of someone who has been there before. I participated in Pitch Wars last year, and even though I wasn’t chosen, I learned a lot and walked away feeling really good.

Stacey, what are you most excited for?

To see where these talented writers go from here. To see their books on shelves one day and know that I helped make it happen… and maybe even see my name in the acknowledgments of their books 😉

Anissa, what are you most excited for?

I feel like I’ve already won. I get to work with a fabulous mentor, and the thing that’s most exciting to me…I’ve found my people, my community, my Sestras and brothers! (I told you I loved Orphan Black!)

Amanda, describe your novel in 3 words.

I am most excited about making my book the best it can be. It has only been 24 hours, and I have already had about 12 aha moments.

Anissa, describe your novel in 3 words.

Teen assassins. Woot!

Amanda, describe your novel in 3 words.

Everyone has secrets

Stacey, describe your mentees’ novels in 3 words.

Anissa’s novel, I AM SARIN: Intricate assassin conspiracy

Amanda’s novel, TRUTH IS: Twisty, psychological thriller

Check Us Out …

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Anissa Malek, Mentee


Anissa Malek is a recovering accountant and former lifeguard. When she’s not writing, she’s remodeling her house–very slowly. She dreams of the ocean, but lives in the desert with her husband, children, and a dog with too much fur.

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Amanda Searcy, Mentee


Amanda Searcy lives in Albuquerque, NM with a giant cat named Gypsy, and is a vegetarian foodie who loves chocolate.


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Stacey Trombley, Mentor

Website | Twitter  | Instagram

Stacey Trombley is a YA author and new mom living in Ohio. She loves football (Go Bengals) and her first book NAKED released from Entangled teen in July.

Check out Stacey’s book …

Naked, YA contemporary
Entangled Teen 2015

On Goodreads
On Amazon

The best place to hide is in a lie…

I could never fit in to the life my parents demanded. By the time I was thirteen, it was too much so I ran away to New York City and found a nightmare that lasted three years. A nightmare that began and ended with a pimp named Luis. Now I am Dirty Anna. Broken, like everything inside me has gone bad.

Except that for the first time, I have a chance to start over. Not just with my parents but at school. Still, the rumors follow me everywhere. Down the hall. In classes. And the only hope I can see is in the wide, brightly lit smile of Jackson, the boy next door. So I lie to him. I lie to protect him from my past. I lie so that I don’t have to be The Girl Who Went Bad.

The only problem is that someone in my school knows about New York.

Someone knows who I really am.

And it’s just a matter of time before the real Anna is exposed…

Filed: Pitch Wars

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