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Pitch Wars Interview with Kyle W. Kerr and his mentor, Jessie Devine

Friday, 18 September 2015  |  Posted by Nikki Roberti

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Welcome to the Pitch Wars Team Interviews

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

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

Jessie Devine and Kyle W. Kerr 

Team: Devine


JessieJessie Devine (Mentor), tell us a little about yourself.

I enjoy reading LOTS of YA. I don’t pick up an adult book very often. YA to me is a world of heightened emotions, when navigating changing relationships with people is brand new. I like books where the MC changes quite a lot and figures themselves out through interactions with others. I gravitate toward concise, snappy styles both when I read and write–not going to lie; flowery writing drives me crazy. Black humor and sarcasm are the best for me. Hmm favorite genre . . . YA sci-fi will always have a special place in my heart. Outside of the publishing industry, I’m a martial artist and a student. I’m working toward my bachelor’s in media arts with a minor in communications. As I said before, relationships between people fascinate me, so the opportunity to hone my digital art skills while studying communication between people makes my heart eyes explode. In addition, I’m a fourth degree black belt with a couple grand championship wins in the old school martial arts world. Basically, I like to fight people.

Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 11.59.54 PMKyle W. Kerr (Mentee), tell us a little about yourself.    

I write because I’m an anthropologist at heart. I love the human condition and finding out how people will act in certain situations. It’s my way of understanding humanity. But I also love storytelling in all its forms (fiction, of course, but especially movies—I saw 75 movies in theaters last year alone! Maybe one day I’ll actually finish writing one!). And those two passions of mine have coalesced into this singular urge to write. I could hardly pick a favorite genre, either for reading or for writing! I’ll pretty much read/watch anything… except for Horror (I have an extremely overactive imagination and I don’t cherish the nightmares!).

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

Oh, this question. This is my second year Pitch Wars-ing on the mentor side (fun fact: I entered several years ago with a laughably unready manuscript, and did not make it in). This is going to seem like an obvious answer, but I mentor because I wish I had a mentor back then. So much of publishing feels like fumbling around in the dark until you accidentally find the right answers. When I was starting out, I read all the books (YOUR FIRST NOVEL and HOW TO GET A LITERARY AGENT, to name a couple), but nothing is a stand in for advice from someone who has been there, done that. Now that I’ve mucked my way out of the query trenches the hard way, I want to help other writers do the same. Or at least give them a flashlight and a shovel.

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

I want to be better. If I ever get to a place where I think I have nothing left to learn about writing, someone please shoot me in the face. I also wanted the perspective from someone who doesn’t know me and has no sense of needing to placate me. Mentors are able to look at our work with unbiased eyes, without knowing the “history” of the novel, like my critique group does. It’s refreshing! And most of all, I want my WIP to be the best it can be. The dream is publication, after all, and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get there!

Jessie, what are you most excited for?

I am most excited to see Kyle and his book reach their full potential.

Kyle, what are you most excited for?

I’ve come to love revision, which is something I never thought I’d say. But having done it on other pieces in the past, and seeing how they continued to get reshaped and get even better, I literally can’t wait to see the finished product this time around. Is it November yet?? I’ve also really enjoyed the community I’m now suddenly a part of. Regardless of what happens at the end of this, I know I have a lot of friends who support me out there.n!

Kyle, describe your novel in 3 words.

Gay Gossip Girl. 🙂 

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

^^ Gay Gossip Girl is pretty spot on. Can I like, serial comma this? Like, “luxe, flaming, delightful”?


Check Us Out…

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Kyle W. Kerr  Team Mentee

Twitter | Website | Facebook | Goodreads

Is this an A/S/L sort of thing? I’m Kyle W. Kerr (official-sounding author name), I’m 29 (until 9/17 at least) and I live in Boston. I write novels, short stories, and have dabbled with screenplays and TV scripts. I’m on Twitter all the time, but you can also find me lurking on Goodreads  and Facebook. Follow/Friend me! And check out my website at kylewkerr.com. 


Jessie Devine, Team Mentor        

Twitter | Website | Blog

Hi! My name is Jessie Devine. I’m genderqueer, and I prefer the pronouns he/his/him. I write queer YA lit, and I’m represented by literally the best person on the whole planet, Kathleen Rushall of Marsal Lyon Literary.


Filed: Pitch Wars

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