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Pitch Wars Interview with Timanda Wertz and Lacee Little and their mentor, Wade Albert White

Sunday, 18 October 2015  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

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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 Timanda Wertz, Lacee Little, and Wade Albert White


Tell us a little about yourselves.

Wade Albert WhiteWade Albert White, Mentor: I’m a very eclectic reader. In fact, pretty much the only guarantee is that whatever I read next will be completely different from the book I just finished. So far this year my reading has included such books as The Jumbies, Karen Memory, The Fog Diver, the Jinx series, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, The Fallen World trilogy, and The Westing Game. I loved We Were Liars and How I Live Now, but also read The Martian twice just because I couldn’t get enough of it.

In terms of my writing style, I will simply note that the inspiration for my first book was the thought, “I wonder what it would look like if Douglas Adams had written Harry Potter?”

Timanda WertzTimanda Wertz, Mentee: I fell in love with reading fantasy during high school, and that’s mostly what I write. Harry Potter’s a favorite, Goose Girl, The Thief, Hunger Games, Divergent, Breadcrumbs, The Giver, Ender’s Game, Chronicles of Narnia, Lord of the Rings… More recently, I really loved A Snicker of Magic and Red Queen. The only fantasy subgenre I don’t read much is urban, due to my very strict (self-imposed) Whedon rule: if vampires and werewolves are involved, then Joss had better be too.

Lacee LittleLacee Little, Mentee: I absolutely love fantasy and science fiction, especially ones based in our world. The idea of there being more to what we see in everyday life fascinates me. My top three “other worlds” I wish were real: Harry Potter (duh), A Wrinkle in Time (but only if I was in the Murray family), and the Marvel universe (S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, please). I strive to create the same level of world-building in my writing, as well as stories that connect emotionally with everyone.

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

I choose to become a Pitch Wars mentor for mainly two reasons: 1) I’d heard wonderful things about the contest; 2) I believe strongly in paying it forward. Many of my fellow writers have been (and continued to be) a tremendous help to me on my own writing journey. If I can in any small way be a help to others, I’m happy to give back to the writing community in that way.

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

One of my pals, Laura Shovan (whose Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary is available for pre-order on Amazon) participated a few years ago and had an amazing experience. I applied last year, and though I wasn’t selected, I got some very helpful and encouraging feedback. It’s such an uplifting community, applying again this year with my newest manuscript was a no-brainer.

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

Honestly, it wasn’t the success stories that drew me in but the stories where even though people didn’t get an agent or a book deal, Pitch Wars still revolutionized their writing skills. The idea of it being a learning experience/community was really appealing.

Wade, what are you most excited for?

As great as the agent round will undoubtedly be, I think what excites me most is the prospect of watching all these fantastic writers over the coming months and years as their careers blossom and flourish. There are some great narrative voices here, and I’m excited to see what they have to say.

Timanda, what are you most excited for?

Everything I’m learning that will make/is making my manuscript so much stronger. Wade’s amazingly insightful, and I can see using the strategies he’s suggested on every manuscript in the future.

Lacee, what are you most excited for?

Um, squeezing in a little extra writing time in this week? I very much take life one day at a time or I start to freak out too much. 🙂

Timanda, describe your novel in 3 words.

Spying. Treachery. Family.

Lacee, describe your novel in 3 words.

Time travel coming-of-age.

Wade, describe your mentees’ novels in 3 words.

Timanda: Spy. War. Bravery.

Lacee: Family. Time-Travel. Mystery.

Check Us Out …

Timanda Wertz

Timanda Wertz, Mentee


I’m a middle school science teacher with a love of coral reefs and sports and a wicked Broadway obsession. 79% of my iPhone music collection is currently showtunes. (Yes, I did the math.) I grew up and still live just outside Washington, D.C., which has its perks. It also means I balk at paying museum admissions. Thanks, Smithsonian!

Lacee Little

Lacee Little, Mentee


Lacee lives in Northeastern Kansas with her husband and two kids, who all have as much of a book buying addiction as she does. When not reading or writing, she loves traveling and exploring new places.

Wade Albert White

Wade Albert White, Mentor

Twitter | Website

Wade is the author of the middle grade novel, The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes, and its sequel, The Adventurer’s Guide to Dragons (and Why They Keep Biting Me), forthcoming from Little Brown Books for Young Readers in 2016 and 2017 respectively. In addition to writing, he teaches part time (mostly to do with ancient languages), draws pictures with his kids (usually robots fighting other robots), and tries to improve his time for running a 10K (sadly he seems to be getting slower rather than faster). Also, he owns one pretend cat and one real one, and they get along fabulously. Wade is represented by Elizabeth Kaplan of the Elizabeth Kaplan Literary Agency.

Add The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes to Goodreads!

Filed: Pitch Wars

One Comment
  • Betty May says:

    I am trying to enter the Pitch Wars contest but can’t seem to find the place where I can get a submission form. Since the deadline is less than 24 hours away, I’m in a bit of a bind. My understanding is the deadline is 10:00PM August 6th.
    I enjoyed reading about you and your work and would love to be considered as a candidate for your support.
    Thank you for any help you can offer.

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