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 Sheena Boekweg, Isabel Davis, and Megan Grimit
Sheena and Isabel, tell us a little about yourself.
Sheena: Hi, I’m Sheena Boekweg. I grew up on Harry Potter, Gilmore Girls, and Roald Dahl. I love Shakespeare because Shaun Hunter fell for a girl with a book of Shakespeare’s sonnets in her purse. I’m a mom, a Mormon, and a Whovian. I stay inside and write all day, unless the weather is gorgeous, and then I stay inside and write with my windows open. I love music. I have aspirations to be Lane Kim when I grow up. I enjoy a good song, and I don’t care who sings it– Miley Cyrus, the Smiths, Lana Del Ray, Jason Mraz, One Republic, Carol King, The Clash, The Cab, Death Cab, Anything involving Cabs, Neko Case, Fall Out Boy, Taylor Swift, The Weepies, Hozier, Paramore, Fun., My Chemical Romance, James Taylor, John Denver, Alicia Keys, Bastille, Arcade Fire, The Used, and Adele are constantly running on my Spotify playlist. I don’t pay the extra money so I listen to the commercials. Usually with an annoyed look on my face, because commercials are the worst. I’m cheap. I grew up in a library (not literally) but I love libraries more than almost any other place on earth. Jess Mariano from The Gilmore Girls imprinted himself into my head at a tender age, but so did Roald Dahl’s Matilda, Terry Pratchett’s Granny Weatherwax, and Jane Austen’s Every Female Character. My favorite book to read to my children is the Wolves in the Walls by Neil Gaiman, and Beezus and Ramona. I once met a children’s librarian who didn’t know about Ramona, and I’ve never been more angry. But I was polite, because she was a librarian, and librarians are the bacon of humanity, so I simply returned to her desk with a stack of Cleary and gave her homework to do before the next time I saw her. I’m often running late. I forget things. I burn brownies, and forget to sign permission slips. I believe in honesty in all things, except Driver’s Licences ( Yes, Officer. I do only weigh that much) and I love people who are real. I hate small talk, but I will sit and crowd watch for hours. I love truth. I consider Luna Lovegood a close personal friend. I write YA, because YA books made me who I am and saved my life.
Isabel: Hello, all, I’m Isabel! So glad you “meet” you! Growing up my mom had my brother and I draw every single card we sent out—thank you, birthdays, holidays, you name it. Twenty-five years later, I’m still drawing cards. I started 9th Letter Press three years ago and it’s been an incredible, wild and life-giving journey. But writing has always been my first love and before I held crayons, I told tall tales to anyone who would listen to my half Spanish, half English gibberish. Writing a book and getting it published has been my lifelong dream. I LOVE stories but the kind that really thrill me are the ones set in a faraway place where the MC is about to embark on an epic adventure. If there are swords, battles, adventure, castles and a dreamy sarcastic know-it-all, I tend to swoon a bit. I love YA fantasy, any and all English Lit is welcome on my nightstand, and I have a not-so secret love for mysteries. Old school stuff like Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers. And you know, Harry Potter. Which is a whole other thing in of itself. My writing style tends to be conversational with the other occasional dressed up sentence. Oh, I’m also a bit long-winded and heavy handed when it comes to exclamation points. Heh. Unrelated to writing trivia: I’m an avid movie-goer, doer and believer in sending snail mail. I’m also a GIANT people pleaser and I have a hard time saying no to people. Hope that’s ok. I’m an aspiring globe-trotter, afraid of heights, creepy-crazy-crawlies and a pen snob. I respect and admire kindness in people. I’m fluent in bumper-sticker—and engage in pep talks on a near daily basis. I love people, I’m not shy and sometimes I don’t have. But I’m an introvert. So there’s that conundrum.
Megan, tell us a little about yourself.
Hi! I’m Megan! I’m a Pride & Prejudice fanatic. (Mr. Darcy is the basis for 70% if my love interests.) And I have upwards of eight copies, I think, now. It’s the only thing I love enough to collect. Besides Post-Its. I have a serious Post-It problem…
I’m a total adrenaline junky! A few years ago I went skydiving. I jumped (“out of a perfectly good airplane”) at 13,000 feet, dropped for a full minute before the parachute deployed, and fell in LOVE with it. I even have plans in place to get certified so I can jump solo! Besides falling through the clouds, I also drive too fast, I’m a freak about rollercoasters, and I’ve always wanted to cliff dive and swim with sharks.
I’m a Netflix binge-watcher, (but who isn’t these days?) and I think it’s probably the single best procrastination tool on the planet. I’m also a sporadic runner. I’m better at *complaining* about the running than the actual act itself, but I’m determined to do it so I have a pretty good chance at outrunning you when the zombies come. 😉 I have dreams of renovating a pretty farmhouse, building a barn, and filling it with horses and a whole mess of reindeer.
I occasionally dye chunks of my hair pink and purple (because what’s life without whimsy) and I go through obscene amounts of hot chocolate and gummy bears.
When it comes to books, I love Young Adult. It’s what I write, it’s what I read, it’s my favorite. I think there’s something about that age. The world feels so big and so small at the same time as you frantically try to find your place in it. I also love the complicated, emotional rollercoaster of first love. These themes are so fun to explore… especially when you add murderous cults, or purgatory, or body-snatching ghosts. 🙂
Sheena and Isabel, why did you decide to participate in Pitch Wars?
Sheena: Because I love this novel, and I wanted to make it the best I possibly can. I love everything about Pitch Wars. I love that Mentors give back and lift up. I love the mentees, all 1900+ of us, who put our words and our stories out there. What a beautiful brave thing we all did together. I didn’t think I would get in. I hoped. I believed in my story. And I believe that life belongs to those who show up. So I tried, and I’m just so thrilled to be working with Megan. She’s incredibly kind and brilliant.
Isabel: I participated in Pitch Wars because I felt that I’d done everything I knew how to do with CORDELIA + THE PIRATE KING. I’d reached that point where I couldn’t do it on my own anymore and this wonderful contest presented itself. I wanted thoughtful and wise feedback — but more importantly, an objective lens — and Pitch Wars was the best solution to tackle the issues in my manuscript. I’m SO glad I entered. This contest is incredibly well done and I’m impressed by the community that breathes life into it. I’ve made lifelong friends (thanks, Brenda!), found critique partners and I’ve mastered Twitter.
Megan, why did you decide to participate in Pitch Wars?
It’s always been really important to me to find ways to help other people moving up in the writing world. I was taught a lot by those doing it longer than me, and I feel a real responsibility to pay that forward and do the same. I jumped at the chance to be a mentor because I couldn’t imagine something I’d rather spend that time on. It’s a wonderful family, and attracts so much talent. It’s truly incredible. All the support, and encouragement, and advice. I feel so lucky to be a part of Pitch Wars.
Sheena and Isabel, what are you most excited for?
Sheena: I’m excited to learn how to put gifs in emails. Sorcery I tells ya. I don’t know how Megan does that. I’m also looking forward for the edit email. I’m so excited to be getting back into this manuscript. I’ve had to put it down while we wait for the results, and I miss it. Is that dumb to say? I’m ready to do the work and to read the final draft of it, were it is finally where I want it to be. And I’m really pumped to have an awesome story to put before these phenomenal agents.
Isabel: I’m SO excited to tackle revisions, to make my book the best that it can be. This is my dream and I get to live it right this moment. Perfecting my writing style and learning how to tell the best story I can is thrilling. I’m also looking forward to working with sweet Megan who has been such a big source of encouragement. She’s such a cheerleader and working together is going to stretch and push me — in the best possible way.
Megan, what are you most excited for?
Seeing what my edit letters translate to! As I was reading both of these manuscripts I had so many ideas popping into my head and so far they’ve been SO well received. I’m very excited to see those changes in action. Sheena and Isabel are incredibly talented storytellers and I also just can’t wait for the world to know them. Beyond the writing they’re also genuine, and kind, and they deserve all the success in the world.
Sheena and Isabel, describe your novels in 3 words.
Sheena: Hearts will burn.
Isabel: Gritty. Whimsical. Adventure-happy.
Megan, describe your mentees’ novels in 3 words.
Sheena’s: “Killer” wax magic!
Isabel’s: Backstabbing pirate adventure!
Check Us Out …
Shena and Isabel, Team Mentee’s
Sheena Boekweg‘s first published novel, Funny Tragic Crazy Magic has sold more than 15,000 digital copies. Her second novel, Alchemy (Cowritten with Melanie Crouse and Sabrina West) made Amazon’s top 100 Hot New Releases, and was voted # 42 (Don’t Panic!) of Indie Authorlands top one hundred Self-Published books worth reading. You can find her at the links above or in her back yard on a hammock reading.
Isabel Davis lives in Winter Park, Florida with her husband and fluffy goldendoodle, Piper Bramble Buns Davis. She majored in Creative Writing at the University of Central Florida in 2006 and has been writing tall tales ever since. When she’s not writing in the middle of the night, Isabel runs her small business, 9th Letter Press, where she gets to design, illustrate and letterpress print stationery and greeting cards. She loves to write YA historical fantasies packed with adventure, hate-to-love romances, and a strong female lead.
Megan Grimit, Team Mentor
Megan Grimit is a displaced Oregonian living on an Air Force base in the middle of nowhere with her family. She’s lived on both coasts but prefers the pacific NW because she has a special place in her heart for rainy days and fluffy blankets. Her books are full of creepy undertones, always with an air of tragedy. Her most recent project involved a demonic, soul-sucking train that attempted to kill its passengers with their worst fears. When she’s not writing (or thinking about writing) she can usually be found listening to music, very, very loudly, or baking gigantic birthday cakes (and cookies, and cupcakes, and literally anything that involves an oven.)