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Pitch Wars Team Interview with Julia Nobel and her mentor, Julie C. Dao

Wednesday, 7 September 2016  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

PW Interviews

Our mentors are editing, our mentees are revising, and we hope you’re making progress on your own manuscript! While we’re all working toward the Agent Showcase on November 3rd-9th, we hope you’ll take a moment during your writing breaks and get to know our 2016 Pitch Wars Teams.

And now, we have . . .

Julia Nobel

Julia Nobel – Mentee

Twitter | Website

Julie C. Dao

Julie C. Dao – Mentor

Twitter | Website

Julia why did you choose Julie as a mentor?

When I was going through all the mentor bios, Julie’s was the first one that made me go YES, this is someone I really need to submit to! She specifically asked for mysteries set in boarding schools, determined main characters, and books that explore relationships. It felt like she was actually describing my book. Then there were little things, like the fact that she’s a huge Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter fan (like me!). I knew we would connect really well.

Julie why did you choose to mentee Julia?

As a mentor, I am looking for three things: 1) raw talent, which is something I cannot teach; 2) a story I LOVE and one I wouldn’t mind reading over and over again; and 3) a manuscript that has weaknesses I feel confident (with my particular experiences and skill sets) I can help fix. Many of the submissions I read had one or two of these, but THE ORDER OF BLACK HOLLOW LANE had all three. Also, I knew right away that Julia had read my wish list carefully, because her manuscript has practically everything I asked for!

Julia, summarize your book in three words.

Boarding School Secrets.

Julie, summarize your mentee’s book in three words.

An engrossing mystery!

Julia (Mentee), tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique?

I grew up in the ‘80s, which meant my bookshelf was overflowing with The Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley High. When I was in my ‘20s, I found Harry Potter and Pseudonymous Bosch, and I became a middle grade book addict. Even though the middle grade and young adult markets have changed a lot over all those years, I think these series really impacted how I write. I love using mystery and adventure as a venue to explore relationships and personal issues. I like watching my characters grow and change as they figure their way out of all the tough situations I put them in. When those tough situations come up, family dynamics and friendships are bound to shift, and that’s when things get really interesting!

Julie (Mentor), tell us about yourself. Something we might not already know.

I am a HUGE mystery fan, though I don’t write it myself (or at least, I haven’t tried yet!). I cut my teeth on the Nancy Drew books and still own all 56 original yellow hardcovers. Sometimes I pull them out in a blue moon and reread them, and it always amuses me how many times the author can describe Nancy’s “titian” hair to remind us she’s a redhead. I absolutely love Agatha Christie and the BBC adaptation of her Poirot mysteries, starring David Suchet, is one of my all-time favorite shows.

Check out Julie C. Dao’s story on Wattpad  . . .


A humorous fairy tale about a pumpkin farmer’s daughter searching for her own happily-ever-after.

Exclusively available on Wattpad HERE.

AWARDS: Wattpad Featured Story, Top 50 on the Wattpad Teen Fiction Hot List




Thank you for supporting our Pitch Wars Teams! And remember, there’s a #PitMad Twitter pitch party on September 8th.


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