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Pitch Wars Interview with G.K. Kaup and her mentor, Tom Torre

Friday, 30 October 2015  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

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Meet Tom Torre and G.K. Kaup



Tom Torre (Mentor), tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a sucker for any sort of book. No joke – you can find me reading middle-grade in Barnes and Noble, but don’t be surprised if you accidentally open the bathroom door and find me eyeballs deep in a good thriller. Ultimately though my genre of choice is the good ‘ol MG. Can’t escape it…can’t avoid reading, can’t avoid writing it. It’s funny, but I never even pictured myself as a writer. I was a comic book artist since college, and until my wife convinced me that my writing techniques were stronger than my artistic ones, I didn’t even think about it. Now, I can’t even stop. Go figure! But, I can’t say I didn’t learn anything at art school, and who knows maybe one day I’ll make the next DIARY OF A WIMPY KID….fingers crossed, eh?

G. K. KaupG.K. Kaup (Mentee), tell us a little about yourself.

I love children’s sci-fi and fantasy that are set in the ordinary world and take a twist into the supernatural–A Wrinkle in Time, Holes, Underland Chronicles, etc. I’ve been seriously writing for three years, starting with YA books, but I couldn’t quite master the teenage angst that so many others are good at expressing. So I tried my hand at writing in first person as a middle school boy and the voice fit. My years teaching over-active pubescent boys paid off!

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

Easy – I know what it’s like to want to take a book to the next level, and I know for a fact you need those extra eyeballs for it. Not to mention, it’s impossible for me to not want to meet and greet new writers since the writer-verse we have in twitter-land and in the blog-o-sphere has some of the most amazing writers imaginable. Who wouldn’t want to befriend one!? Oh, and of course I love critiquing a juicy MS.

G.K., why did you decide to participate in Pitch Wars?    

I’ve been doing some online contests, and I love the feedback and encouragement. With Pitch Wars I figured I’d get a little info from some of the people I submitted to, but if I actually got a mentor, then I’d get help with my WHOLE manuscript. So I was ecstatic when I saw my name on the mentee list!

Tom, what are you most excited for?

Seeing that book evolve from good, to great, to EPIC. Because I know my mentee has what it takes, and we are so amazingly in sync with each other that it’s crazy. Hell, I know she is going to do an amazing job, because she already did one before I threw my editorial axe into the mix.

G.K., what are you most excited for?

I’m really excited about the process. People have only critiqued parts of my book or given me overall comments about it. So now I have an experienced author point out the holes and gaps and chunks that don’t fit well. And it’s also helpful that my mentor Tom seems like he can relate quite well to my main character.

G.K., describe your novel in 3 words.

Goonies meets Inception

Tom, describe your mentee’s novel in 3 words.


Check Us Out …

G. K. Kaup

G.K. Kaup, Mentee

Twitter | Blog | What’s Write About This Blog

I spent most of my adult life in the Land of the Eagles, otherwise known as Albania. After nine years of teaching international middle and high schoolers every subjectexcept math, I decided to take a break and return to the States. Currently, I volunteer with No Boundaries International, a non-profit that raises awareness about human trafficking and mobilizes communities to bring change. When I’m not working in the food pantry, tutoring at the elementary school, or doing awareness programs with teens, then I’m writing. It was my students’ passion for current literature that motivated me to start crafting novels.


Tom Torre, Mentee

Twitter | Blog | Middle Grade Minded Blog

Tom is an IT whiz by day (just think of one of those guys from Office Space), and a comic book artist, video game buff, and middle-grade writer by night. After a few stints as colorist in the comic book industry, he completed his first major middle grade novel, COPERNICUS NERDICUS, which combines his love for video games and robotic warfare. He is now chugging away on final edits for his newest MG novel, LUCAS PEREGRINUS AND THE ESCAPE FROM MANUKI ISLAND, which combines the treasure hunting fancies of INDIANA JONES and the misfit styled adventure of THE GOONIES.

Now, when he isn’t locked away in his man-cave watching THE GOONIES for the 347th time, or catching up on some geek-news on Kotaku, he’s probably busy cooking up some chaotic food dishes for his wife and his 100 lb doberman named Braveheart’s Dantes Inferno. Yes…that’s his dog’s real name.

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