Have questions about submitting to Pitch Wars or just want to know what it is? Start here!

Blog

Pitch Wars Interviews with Eric Bell, Shanna Rogers, and Joy McCullough-Carranza

Friday, 11 September 2015  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

4laxXK6X.png large

Welcome to the Pitch Wars Team Interviews by Marnise Nicole

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

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

 

Meet Eric Bell, Shanna Rogers, and Joy McCullough-Carranza

Team: Team Alory

*(This is a combo of the main characters’ names in both books.)

 

Eric and Shanna, tell us a little about yourselves.

Eric Bell, Mentee:

Hi! I’m thrilled and honored to be a part of Team Alory.

I mostly read contemporary middle grade, which also happens to be what I write. My favorite book is The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt. I guess you could describe my writing style as conversational, wry, and self-deprecating (at least that’s how it turned out for this book!).

Other miscellaneous tidbits about me: I can count the number of letters in words very quickly, which is about the most useless skill anyone could ever have short of the ability to drink an entire carton of orange juice in one sitting; I can tell you more about Japanese video game composers than I can about anyone on Top 40 radio; I once kicked with a Rockette; I once ran around on stage in my underwear in a bizarre Croatian theatre production. None of these factoids pop up in my manuscript, which I guess is probably a good thing.

 

Shanna Rogers, Mentee:

Hi everyone! I’m Shanna (like Anna with a “sh”) and I love middle grade, both to read and write. Mostly because I’m still twelve at heart. My favorite genre is contemporary with a helping of humor, and my writing style is evolving. I used to be more of a pantser, but after studying structure I now have to have the major story milestones mapped out ahead of time. And I delve into character ahead of time too, because if I don’t know the characters well from the beginning, it is impossible to predict how they will act/react in a given circumstance. As much as I love revising (I really do), I don’t TRY to give myself more work in later drafts.

Three truths and a lie*:
-I used to be a regular on the show “How I Met Your Mother”
-I got into grad school at Harvard
-I lived in a volcano crater in Italy one summer
-I love to karaoke, but only rap songs

*Actually, there’s no lie. These are all true.

 

Joy McCullough-Carranza (Mentor), tell us a little about yourself.

I love reading (and writing) MG and YA. I read across genres, but am perhaps most drawn to contemporary (though I am the sort of Harry Potter fan who devoted four months of her life to making a Harry Potter quilt). I love books that make me laugh and cry, with incredible heart. I’m a sort-of plotter. I figure out emotional arc before anything, and plot-wise I usually have a big picture idea where it’s heading, but I only outline a few chapters at a time. Then I write, then I outline more, etc. I have slept in a volcano crater (though that’s not as cool now that I know Shanna lived in one for a year). I did live in a Scottish castle for two years, though.

 

Eric and Shanna, why did you decide to participate in Pitch Wars?

Eric: I wanted to participate in Pitch Wars because I thought it would be a great opportunity to get intensive feedback on my book with the explicit goal of getting it ready for agents.

Shanna: Only because it is the best contest out there for writers (duh!). But seriously, this is my fourth manuscript and I really wanted to take my writing to the next level with the help of a mentor before releasing it into the querying world. I submitted to Joy in 2013 with a different MS, and I am SO happy she picked me this time around!

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

This is my third year as a Pitchwars mentor and there was never a question I would come back. I am head over heels in love with the amazing community found in Pitchwars. My close writing friends and CPs now include a number of other mentors and my previous mentees. Previous mentees have already gotten book deals and it’s such a rush to see their ARCs and covers – it’s like an addiction I must keep feeding!

Eric and Shanna, what are you most excited for?

Eric: I wanted to participate in Pitch Wars because I thought it would be a great opportunity to get intensive feedback on my book with the explicit goal of getting it ready for agents.

Shanna: Only because it is the best contest out there for writers (duh!). But seriously, this is my fourth manuscript and I really wanted to take my writing to the next level with the help of a mentor before releasing it into the querying world. I submitted to Joy in 2013 with a different MS, and I am SO happy she picked me this time around!

Joy, what are you most excited for?

I’m so excited to see how Eric and Shanna’s already fantastic books grow, and then to push them out of the nest and watch them fly. I have no doubt I will see their books on shelves one day, and when I do, it will be an amazing feeling to know I played a small part in their journey.

Eric and Shanna, describe your novel in 3 words.

Eric: Alan Kim is

Shanna: Fixer Upper Family

Joy, describe your mentees’ novels in 3 words. 

They both did such an amazing job of describing their own books that I’m not going to touch this one, except to say that they are both chock full of VOICE, HEART, & HUMOR.

 

Check Us Out …

Eric and Shanna, Team Mentee 

 

Eric Bell, Mentee

Blog | Twitter

Middle grade writer and eater of pie. What kind of pie? TUNE IN TO FIND OUT.

 

Shanna Rogers, Mentee

Twitter

MG writer and SCBWI member. Mom–powered by Keurig. If someone opens a bookstore with wine and cheese tastings, I will live there.

 

Joy McCullough-Carranza, Team Mentor

Website | Twitter

Joy McCullough-Carranza writes plays and children’s fiction. She has a degree in theater from Northwestern University. Her plays have been developed and produced in Seattle, San Diego, Chicago, and New York. In 2012 her middle grade novel FRAMED made the long list for the Times of London/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Prize. In 2013, her middle grade novel NOWHERE BIRDS made the long list for the same prize. Joy’s fiction is represented by Sara Crowe at Harvey Klinger, Inc. She also works as a freelance ghostwriter, book doctor, and editor. Joy lives in Seattle with her husband, who she met while traveling through Latin America, and their two children. She blogs (sporadically!) here and is also a part of the team blogging about middle grade books and writing at Project Mayhem.

Filed: Pitch Wars

2 Comments
Leave a reply

Disclaimer:

We’d love your comments but ask that you please keep it polite. Although your views are definitely your own, we do not condone harassment or bullying and don’t want to see it here. We reserve the right to delete any comments for any reason, including being abusive, profane or off topic.

IMPORTANT!
We're thrilled at the different ways those in our Pitch Wars community are giving back—and we encourage them to do so. However, please keep in mind that Pitch Wars is not affiliated with any of these various contests, promotions, etc., including those of our mentors and mentees. Promoting any such opportunities via our social media channels doesn't imply endorsement or affiliation. We encourage you to do your research before participating.

Pitch Wars takes a stand. ANTI-BULLYING. Click here to review our policy


Check out our 2018 list of Participating Agents

Pitch Wars 2018

Blog Archives

Blog Categories

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Please read our Privacy Policy before singing up.