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Pitch Wars Interview with Tanya Spencer and her mentor, Lizzy Charles

Wednesday, 7 October 2015  |  Posted by Nikki Roberti

4laxXK6X.png largeWelcome to the Pitch Wars Team Interviews by Marnise Nicole

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

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

Meet Tanya Spencer and Lizzy Charles

Team Cowboy Kisses

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 7.31.31 PMLizzy Charles (Mentor), tell us a little about yourself.

Chocolate fanatic. Registered nurse. Mother of three under five years old. Wife to the most amazing man on earth, who I fell head over heels for on my sweet 16th birthday (which involved a hand full of classmates playing music together in my dining room in front of my grandpa. It wasn’t an MTV sweet 16 party, but oh man did I fall for the guy from my history class singing to me from behind his guitar.)

Oh, I’m also an author of young adult contemporary romances! My works include the Effortless With You series and my stand-alone novel, Bring the Rain. I embrace the Coming of Age genre and coat it in sugar with sweet love and renewal. My reading tastes are all over the place; enjoying everything from contemporary, fantasy, non-fiction, and even self help books! I’ll dive into tales of first love, scandal, vampires and witches, and biblical studies. I’ll honestly read anything I can get my hands on when the opportunity allows! Even reading through a Thai Restaurunt Menu gives me a feeling of pure serenity (and hunger. Lots of hunger.) With a cup of tea in hand, I cherish any moment with a book you place on my lap.

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 7.30.16 PMTanya Spencer (Mentee), tell us a little about yourself.

a. I’m a football fanatic. College (Auburn University – War Eagle!) and NFL (too many teams to list). I’m also a classic car buff, and my awesome husband surprised me a couple years ago with my very own (I mean, our very own) 1965 red Mustang coupe. Many friends have suggested that I should’ve been a dude, but I still want to be a princess . . . We have two beautiful teenage daughters, who help me brainstorm and ultimately approve of my YA plots. Our family’s favorite pastime is camping and hiking in our national parks. In fact, my husband and I will celebrate our 20-year anniversary camping in Mammoth, CA this month – alone in the camper for the first time in 15 years! Trust me. You only get that many years with hard work on both sides, and taking turns being the strong, supportive one.

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

I decided to participate in Pitch Wars because I love the supportive nature of the writing community. Having benefited from the amazing support, I wanted to give back. I’m a nurse, so helping others is simply what I’m meant to do. (Though I wonder how Tanya feels about this right now, as some nurses (ME!) can be a bit blunt at times). When Brenda asked me to participate while we sat in the lounge at the Romantic Times Convention this past spring, the answer jumped out of my mouth like I’d been practicing it for years. “Yes! I’d love to mentor!”

Also, I have to add a totally selfish note. Challenging myself to a thorough critique has always developed my writing skills far better than doing another edit pass on my own work. It trains my eyes, my heart, and refines me in a way I can’t find any where else. So really, Tanya is helping me!

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

One of my awesome CP’s (I’m blessed to have three of them) suggested entering Pitch Wars. She’s a current Pitch Wars mentor to a very lucky mentee. I told her my manuscript wasn’t ready. She asked what I had to lose. Well, my sanity. I tend to get hyper-vigilant checking Twitter and email when contest results are still two weeks out. But then I remembered that my sanity was long gone, so what the heck? I could kiss her for talking me into it, if there weren’t an entire continent between us.

Lizzy, what are you most excited for?

I’m excited to hear how Tanya feels about her manuscript after she’s re-worked it. It’s got such great depth and a strong, sweet romance that will shine! I really hope she feels proud of what she’s accomplished. She’s a great writer!

Tanya, what are you most excited for?

I’m very excited to work with Lizzy! She writes hot cowboys, I try to write hot cowboys – she can help me. When I read that one of Lizzy’s favorite books was INDIAN CAPTIVE, one of my all-time favorites, I knew we were kindred spirits. I wanted her to pick me so badly, and almost fell on the floor when I saw my name next to hers on The List. Actually, I held my hand over my mouth and hyperventilated in front of my family. Nope, my CP gave NO hints. Oh, and the long and distinguished list for the agent round is also incredibly exciting.

Tanya, describe your novel in 3 words.

Cowboys. Horses. Stalker

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

Broken, Cowboys, Strength

Check Us Out …

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Tanya Spencer, Mentee


Tanya Spencer writes YA contemporary novels that contain with a healthy dose of romance and adventure in beautiful settings. She enjoys exploring unique gifts and talents which she reflectsin the special gifts her main character’s possess. She’s held positions in Marketing and Program Management, is a voracious reader, a 5K runner, knits and crochets, and is a member of SCBWI.


Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 7.31.31 PM

Lizzy Charles, Mentor

Twitter | Facebook | Website

A young adult romance author that captures the heart with tender (and hot!) stores of growth, forgiveness, and love.

 Lizzy’s recent releases …

LCharles_M9B_PerfectlyMessy_eCover_1800x2700 (1)Perfectly Messy is the sequel to Effortless With You

 Popularity isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be. Justin Marshall knows this better than most. For the captain of the basketball team, small business owner, and son of Minnesota’s next governor, life can get pretty overwhelming. But Justin can handle anything as long as he has Lucy, the girl who fell for the man he’s trying to be.

But for Justin and Lucy, finding time together proves challenging. Stolen kisses and whispered promises just aren’t enough. That is, until scandalous photos of the couple are leaked to a press intent on creating a juicy scandal during Justin’s dad’s gubernatorial campaign. And when Lucy becomes fair play for the tabloids and gossip pages, Justin does the only thing he can to protect her: he breaks her heart.
For Lucy, junior year is everything she hoped it would be: new friends, second chances, and a boyfriend she can’t stop kissing. That is, until the boy she’s pretty sure she loves chooses the life his family wants for him, over her.
Now it’s up to Lucy to teach him what it really means to have everything. Because for Justin, being who everyone needs him to be just might cost him the one person he can’t live without.

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One Comment
  • Thank you for posting this, Nikki! And Brenda, thank you for Pitch Wars, which is allowing me to have an incredible experience with my amazing mentor, and the writing community. I am so honored to be a part of it. 🙂

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