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Pitch Wars Interview with Leigh Mar, Delia Moran, and their mentor Sarah Nicolas

Sunday, 20 September 2015  |  Posted by Nikki Roberti

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Welcome 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 Sarah Nicolas, Leigh Mar, and Delia Moran

Team: Sarah (or Team with the coffee cups next to our Twitter names)

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 9.29.07 PMSarah Nicolas (Mentor), tell us a little about yourself.
I’m Sarah Nicolas, the author of DRAGONS ARE PEOPLE TOO (a YA about a snarky dragon shapeshifter who works for the US government), and some other books with sex in them under the name Aria Kane. I’m a whedonite, a whovian, and am still convinced I’m going to marry Leonardo (the Ninja Turtle). I play a lot of wallyball and my day job is planning events for a public library.

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 9.21.47 PMLeigh Mar (Mentee), tell us a little about yourself.

Hello! I’m Leigh Mar and I love books (reading them, writing them, talking about them, staring at pretty pictures of them…). As a kid, I twice dressed up as Laura Ingalls Wilder for Halloween.

What do you enjoy reading: Pretty much everything! I love sci-fi, fantasy, contemporary, mysteries, thrillers… anything with a great story. Some of my all-time favorite books include: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Summer Sisters by Judy Blume, The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer, The Sloppy Firsts series by Megan McCafferty, The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, and of course, can’t forget Harry Potter.

Favorite Genre: Depends on my mood, I don’t think I could pick one favorite. I love everything.

Writing Style: I’m a binge-writer. And I’m constantly sending myself emails with ideas for my WIPs (and sometimes just new out of left field ideas). At the end of the day I’ll have a dozen emails that say things like “Character should lie about That Thing to Other Character!” and “add scene where Character talks to Character about Thing before Big Event.” The notes all make their way onto a to do list/tracker in excel until I can sit down and binge-write/edit them into place.

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 9.25.46 PMDelia Moran (Mentee), tell us a little about yourself.

Hello. I’m Delia Moran, and I am a book addict. I pile them around my house. I carry them in my purse. I inscribe passages from them into my skin.* And every night, when the kids are all tucked away, I write them.

My reading habits span the book spectrum, but I have enormous affection for all things speculative fiction. Bonus points if it’s in the young adult category. (I’m pretty sure AU Delia is still seventeen.) Extra special bonus points if the protagonist is a girl I’ve never met before. I love that girl. I implore the authors of the world to write more of her.

As for me, I write like I road-trip. I know where I’m going, but I’m also open to pulling off the interstate and exploring that kitschy shop with the novelty taxidermy and the one-eyed cat watching from the window. My absolute most favorite things to write are young adult fantasy and light sci-fi, because I am a giant nerd. *hoists freak flag* *salutes* But I also follow the horror path into the dusky woods on occasion, because it’s required when you share Stephen King’s birthday. I don’t make the rules.

*Not, like, in a weird, ritualistic way. They’re just tattoos.

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

I was pulled in as a “ninja mentor” in the very first Pitch Wars and have stuck around ever since. I LOVE queries and I love taking a great book and tweaking it and the pitch so that it becomes more marketable.

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

I was so lucky to discover Pitch Wars about two weeks before the submission deadline. It was perfect timing, I had a completed MS, but I wasn’t quite ready to query yet. I know it needs a bit more work and I loved the idea of having a deadline and a mentor to help me get it there. This is such an incredible opportunity, I couldn’t not enter!

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

I’ve been cheering Pitch Warriors on for a few years now, but this year was the first year I’ve had a completed manuscript during Pitch Wars season. I wasn’t certain it was ready for public consumption yet, so I hemmed and hawed a bit about entering. A good friend (Hi, Rachel!), who’d had enough of my dithering, told me to knock it the crap off and send, already. But more politely. I sent.

Sarah, what are you most excited for?

Mostly, I’m excited to be a part of sharing these books with the world! A lot of people helped me on my path to publication, so I’m so happy I get to pay it forward by working with Leigh and Delia.

Leigh, what are you most excited for?

I’m so excited to take my MS to the next level. Sarah Nicolas (my mentor) has some fantastic ideas that are really going to ramp up the suspense in my story. I can’t wait to see my novel come out on the other side after some big revisions! I’m also beyond excited to get to know the Pitch Wars community. Writing can be lonely, I’m thrilled to have found such a supportive community full of incredibly creative and talented people.

Delia, what are you most excited for?

When I entered, my only hope was that I’d have the benefit of a mentor. I don’t think the value of working with a person who’s already been down the road you’re traveling can ever be overstated. So, honestly, the thing I was most excited for is already happening. Even if it hadn’t, though, the community was – and is – invaluable for the support and friendship it brings. Wins all around.

Leigh, describe your novel in 3 words.

Accident. Identities. Choices.

Delia, describe your novel in 3 words.

Injudicious coping mechanisms.

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

Leigh: Who IS she?

Delia: Kick-ass fun adventure.


Check Us Out …

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 9.21.47 PM

Leigh Mar

Twitter | Website

Writer, reader, fangirl. Gryfflepuff. 2015 mentee. Tweet me about all the book activities (aka – booktivities).


Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 9.25.46 PM

Delia Moran

Twitter | Website 

YA writer. Book nerd. Ravenclaw. Member of SCBWI. 2015 mentee. Bakes a mean cookie.


Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 9.29.07 PM

Sarah Nicolas

Twitter | Website | Youtube

Sarah is a 30-something YA author who currently lives in Orlando, FL with a 60-lb mutt who thinks he’s a chihuahua. She believes that some boys are worth trusting, all girls have power, and dragons are people too.

She’s a proud member of the Gator Nation and has a BS in Mechanical Engineering, but has switched careers entirely. She now works as an Event Coordinator for a County Library and as a freelance book publicist and author’s assistant. She also blogs at YAtopia and video blogs at the YA Rebels.

Sarah provides freelance book publicity and author assistant services. More information can be found here.

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 9.30.30 PM

 About her book…

Never judge a dragon
by her human cover…

Sixteen-year-old Kitty Lung has everyone convinced she’s a normal teen—not a secret government operative, not the one charged with protecting the president’s son, and certainly not a were-dragon. The only one she trusts with the truth is her best friend—and secret crush—the über-hot Bulisani Mathe.

Then a junior operative breaks Rule Number One by changing into his dragon form in public—on Kitty’s watch—and suddenly, the world knows. About dragons. About the Draconic Intelligence Command (DIC) Kitty works for. About Kitty herself.

Now the government is hunting down and incarcerating dragons to stop a public panic, and a new shape-shifting enemy has kidnapped the president’s son. Kitty and Bulisani are the last free dragons, wanted by both their allies and their enemies. If they can’t rescue the president’s son and liberate their fellow dragons before getting caught themselves, dragons might never live free again.

Read the first chapter and see all the sales links at Entangled Teen’s homepage!


Ebook: Amazon Kindle | B&N Nook
Print: Amazon | B&N

Filed: Pitch Wars

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