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Pitch Wars Interviews with Suzanne Marie, Lisa Kay Houghton, and their mentor, Brighton Walsh

Tuesday, 15 September 2015  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

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Welcome 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 Suzanne Marie, Lisa Kay Houghton, and their mentor, Brighton Walsh

Team: We are the Cunning Linguists of Team BrightOnes


Brighton Walsh (Mentor), tell us a little about yourself.                        

Helloooooooo! I’m Brighton, and I enjoy quiet, candlelit dinners, barefoot walks on the beach, and every dessert I’ve ever come across. (Okay, you got me…only one of those is actually true.) I spend every spare second I have reading, and unlike my two awesome mentees, I rarely (if ever) venture away from romance. My oldest kid just asked me why the other day, and I’ll tell you what I told him: because I like to get lost in other people’s love stories, and there’s enough heartache in real life so I want my guaranteed HEA. My favorite genre is definitely contemporary, followed by paranormal and romantic suspense. As far as my writing style, my books tend to have a few things in common: the heroes are always swoony, the heroines are always strong, and the book is always sexy. Have to live up to my title of Smut Queen.

 Suzanne and Lisa, tell us a little about yourself.

 Suzanne Marie (Mentee): What do I enjoy reading? Anything that isn’t a geometry textbook. I love history or historical fiction, and just finished Empire of the Summer Moon. If you’re into Native American history, it’s really interesting. I love memoirs. My favorite is Just Kids by Patti Smith, and I cry every time I read it. If I had to a desert island book, it’d be A Tree Grows in Brooklyn because I feel like I am Francie.

Obviously, I read a pretty good amount of romance since I write it. Who doesn’t love to read their porn? How would I describe my writing style? In the immortal words of Kanye West, “I am so credible and so influential and so relevant that I will change things.” Kidding. It’s sweet and spicy. The anti Nicholas Sparks.

Lisa Houghton (Mentee): Hi. *dorky wave.* I’m Lisa, and I enjoy reading pretty much anything, but I’m particularly fond of books featuring food, hot guys, balsy women, and small towns. I write romance novels with flawed characters and plenty of sexy times. When not reading or writing romance you can probably find me reading any kind of non-fiction (I’m an info sponge) or trying to train my maniac dog.



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

Last year, I thought it sounded like a cool idea, and I wanted to give something back to the writing community. This year, it was for purely selfish reasons: seeing my mentees succeed. When my mentee last year, Kelly Siskind, got her agent, and then her book deals, my Proud Mama Bear was through the roof. Seeing someone you’ve helped along the way succeed is amazing.

Suzanne and Lisa, why did you decide to participate in Pitch Wars?       

Suzanne: I kept seeing the hashtag #PitchWars, and became curious enough to look it up. I liked the idea that even if I wasn’t picked, five different people were at least looking at my query and first chapter. I thought that was cool.

Lisa: I entered last year and although I wasn’t picked as a mentee, my experience as an alternate was fantastic and I saw first hand all of the amazing learning and experiences that came out of Pitch Wars. I made up my mind to enter this year with a new, better novel, and now here I am!

Brighton, what are you most excited for?

Teaching Lisa and Suz tools they can use for the rest of their writing careers, and ultimately seeing their successes.

Suzanne and Lisa, what are you most excited for?

Suzanne: I am most excited to WORK WITH BRIGHTON. Holy guacamole, Batman! I was so surprised because I didn’t submit to her, even though I really wanted to. I didn’t think my MS fit her wishlist. Lo and behold, she picked me. Plus, I was lucky enough to meet my Canadian twin/co-mentee, Lisa, through Brighton. These ladies have the perfect combination of potty humor, pretty smiles, and unicorn magic. And they both have really good hair. I’m kind of jealous.

Lisa: I’m most excited for Brighton’s That What She Said jokes and to tear apart my manuscript so that I can put it back together in an improved, Frankensteinian way.

Suzanne and Lisa, describe your novels in 3 words.

Suzanne: Easy answer, the title is three words: Luck, Love & Lyrics. Better answer: totally super cool

Lisa: Snarky Sexy Moussaka

Brighton, describe your mentees’ novels in 3 words.           

Suzanne’s: all the feels

Lisa’s: snarky comedy gold


 Check Us Out …   

Suzanne Marie, Team Mentee

Twitter | Website

Red Head, Tree Hugger, Lost Boy.



Lisa Houghton, Team Mentee

Website | Twitter

Hi, I’m Lisa Houghton. I work in business intelligence during the day, and write contemporary romance at night. I’ve been an avid book-lover forever, and when I was 13 I read Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ novel BREATHING ROOM. Ever since then, I’ve been hooked. After reading several thousand more romance novels, and writing in other capacities for years, I realized that writing romance combined my two loves perfectly, and I’ve been doing it ever since. I live in Calgary, AB where I try to stay warm, with a crazy half-Border Collie puppy I’ve only partially managed to potty train (so far). I’m a member of RWA.


Brighton Walsh, Team Mentor   

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Facebook | Brighton’s Brigade

Brighton spent nearly a decade as a professional photographer before deciding to take her storytelling in a different direction and reconnect with her first love: writing. When she’s not pounding away at the keyboard, she’s probably either reading or shopping—maybe even both at once. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and two children, and, yes, she considers forty degrees to be hoodie weather. Her home is the setting for frequent dance parties, Lego battles, and more laughter than she thought possible.

She is multi-published with Berkley, St. Martin’s Press, and Carina Press, and is represented by Mandy Hubbard of D4EO Literary Agency.

Check out all of Brighton’s books here.  Her recent release …


Release date: 7.21.15
Series: Captive #2
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

In this sexy, suspenseful New Adult novel, a young woman hiding from her criminal past is taken into hiding by her ex-boyfriend, the ultimate bad boy.

Evie is about to embark on the perfect life. Beautiful, poised, and engaged to a rising business star, she fits the part of trophy wife perfectly, except for one thing: her entire identity is a lie.

Five years ago she created a new identity for herself, but it all crashes back when something she witnessed years ago comes back to haunt her. Now she’s in danger of losing more than her social status.

Determined to protect the careful life she’s built for herself, Evie doesn’t want anything to do with Riley, the criminal for hire who broke her heart years ago. But Riley has other ideas. He’s never forgotten Evie, and to protect her, he steals her away. Hidden from the world, sparks begin to fly as old memories resurface and their passion reignites.

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