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Pitch Wars Interview with Laura E. Adams and her mentor Mary Ann Marlowe

Saturday, 19 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.

Laura E. Adams and Mary Ann Marlowe

Team: Donut

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 10.11.01 PMMary Ann Marlowe (Mentor), tell us a little about yourself.

Although I currently work as a computer programmer, I am a lapsed French lit doctoral student who grew up in Narnia. I will read almost anything. If it’s on a list of books someone says I should read, I will pick it up. My favorite books range from Lolita and Dangerous Liaisons to The Hitchhiker’s Guide and Game of Thrones.

Lately, I’ve been gorging myself on high octane Romances – the steamier, the better. I get irritated when the Romance genre is belittled as inferior or somehow easier to write than other genres. Creating a believable, all-encompassing sense of falling in love from nothing but words takes skills. I know this very well because my last three books have been Romances, and every time I approach a new story, it’s always the chemistry between the protagonists that requires the most attention. Get that wrong, and all the plot in the world can’t save a Romance.

My writing style is very much by the seat of my pants. I always have a concept in mind when I start, but when I first sit down to write, it’s all about the characters. Once I have a sense of who they are, then I let them take over and drive the story where it needs to go. I generally have no idea how it will end until I get there. Granted, revisions usually take me twice as long as drafting, but I’ve tried to plot in advance and find I can’t without completely killing the magic.


Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 10.14.46 PMLaura E. Adams (Mentee), tell us a little about yourself      

I am a “love” enthusiast who believes that there are not enough ways in this world to express the all-encompassing, heart-thumping, world-stopping, hair-pulling emotion that love is. Okay, I’m being dramatic and a little sappy, but I write romance…almost exclusively. And I think of romance…almost exclusively. Asking me to pick my favorite book would be like asking me to pick my favorite boy band. Here’s my dirty little secret (besides that I love boy bands): there’s plenty of room in my heart for all my favorite reads. Furthermore, I’ll read anything with a swoon-worthy relationship in it. My bias is for musicians; however, my current favorite books have no musicians in them. See that? Point proven. I have room in my heart for all.

My writing style, probably like most other writers, consists of utilizing key craft elements that my favorite authors use and blending these elements with who I am “on the page.” I like quick, witty dialogue between my MCs. I’d like to think my writing style centers on voice as well as building contemporary worlds my readers can engage in and visualize alongside my characters. I don’t tend to stay in one place setting wise. My characters tend to take their readers on adventures with them. My goal as a writer is that we all have a good time. I want to have fun writing my books; I want people to have fun reading them. Fall in love. Get your heart broken. Fall in love again. That’s my style. I write swoon-driven love books with a lot naughty in them, too. My favorite thing to write is dialogue and I’m a braver writer talking through my guy MCs. Just a fun “Laura” fact for anyone interested:) My second favorite thing to write is sexy scenes. My third favorite thing to write is everything else. Is there anything else? (Wink) I have to have music playing anytime I’m putting thoughts on paper. Currently, Aerosmith’s “Crying” is playing on my Pandora. It’s not quite the calm music that this interview would be better supported by. But, I do love me some Steven Tyler even though he’s in a man band and not a boy band.

Mary Ann, why did you decide to participate in Pitch Wars?  

When Brenda invited me to be a mentor this year, I may have pulled my squeal muscle from over-excitement. Last year, I was fortunate to be chosen as a mentee, and the fabulous Jaime Loren helped me restructure the plot in my Pitch Wars novel, making the whole story more solid. Since then I’ve become a huge freak flag waving dork for Pitch Wars. This contest has brought me so much more than improvements to one book. We always say it’s about the community – because it truly is. The friends I’ve made through this experience have been the rocket fuel beneath my wings.

I am thrilled to participate this year to pay forward everything that Pitch Wars has brought me. I hope that the new group of mentees will build their own community and find as much success as we have through each other.

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

I decided to enter Pitch Wars to meet other writers who live with the same passion as I do. I have so much love in me for every one who put themselves out there and entered this year’s contest. The community I’ve felt thus far has reminded me why writers are my favorite people in the world. We’re neurotic; we’re self-deprecating; we’re sensitive and yet have to deal with a lot of rejection. But, you know what else? I haven’t met people so passionate about supporting each other and pushing each other to be better. I will admit that I entered Pitch Wars slightly on a whim, having suffered a lot of rejection on a previous project. As I began to read the mentors’ bios, my mentor’s (Mary Ann Marlowe) included, I began to re-fall in love with WHY I write–WHY I have to write. Luckily, I also had a manuscript I was incredibly proud of but knew needed a sharper eye than mine. So, I entered Pitch Wars not expecting anything, but wanting something. I feel like I won the lottery.

Mary Ann, what are you most excited for?

I’m most excited about sitting down with Laura’s novel once she’s finished revising. It’s already massively awesome, so I can’t wait to see what she’s going to do with it. She’s been a pleasure to work with, and I know she’s going to completely rock the revision process and knock it out of the park.

I’m also excited about watching all the mentees connect and build their own group. There’s so much energy in the collective author community, but Pitch Wars brings together people who are going through a very similar intense experience, and the relationships forged at this time are so powerful.

Laura, what are you most excited for?

I am most excited to be working with my mentor, Mary Ann, who is the most kickass, awesome joy to work with. Her support and guidance is humbling; it really is. She is also incredibly funny, so I haven’t cried once as I’ve begun my edits. I’m also excited for the exposure to agents and for the exposure to other writers. Gosh, I’m excited to be surrounded by people who are inspired by books like I am and who want to create books for others to love, too!

Laura, describe your novel in 3 words.

Naughty; adventurous; charming

Mary Ann, describe your mentee’s novel in 3 words.

Catch falling star


Check Us Out…

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Laura E. Adams,  Team Mentee

Twitter | Website 

Writer. NA and Adult Romance. YARWA. RWA. I love love. Big love. I love heartbreak. Big heartbreak.


Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 10.11.01 PM

Mary Ann Marlowe, Team Mentor        

Twitter | Website | Facebook

Mary Ann is a central Virginia-based contemporary romance writer. When she’s not writing, she loves to do karate with her kids (She has a second degree black belt) and work by day as a computer programmer/DBA. Theoretically, she loves to travel, but until she finds a patron to fund her trip around the world, she placates her wanderlust by letting her characters hop on a plane and hang out in Paris.

Her debut novel, I WANT YOU TO WANT ME, is scheduled for release with Kensington in Spring 2017. She’s represented by Rachel Stout at Dystel & Goderich.


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