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 . . .
Liz: Why did you choose Rebecca?
When I was looking at mentor bios, I paid particular attention to people who expressed interest in spooky stories. I figured subbing folks who wanted ghost stories would give me the best chance of getting chosen as a mentee. But I kept coming back to Rebecca’s bio. She didn’t indicate an interest in paranormal, but she talked about clean, smart, fast writing with lots of heart, and that quiet voice in my head pushed me to submit to her. Clearly, it was just meant to be.
Rebecca: Why did you choose Liz and GHOST TRAIN?
I love the concept. Trapped on a ghost train and must find a way off before the End of the Line? Love it! But Liz’s writing makes it more than a simple adventure–there is a lot of heart, especially in how well she portrays sibling dynamics. I feel like the pieces are all there, but as I was reading I had a sense she was holding back. I thought if I could nudge her to really let loose, she’d blow everyone away. And now that I’ve seen her revision plan, I KNOW she will. They say Superman is “more powerful than a locomotive,” but Liz’s GHOST TRAIN will give him a run for his money.
Liz: Summarize your book in three words.
Wow. That’s tough. How about “death-defying railway adventure.”
Rebecca: Summarize Liz’s book in three words.
Heart. Humor. Horror.
Liz: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique.
I started writing GHOST TRAIN not too long after my father passed away. My son and daughter were really curious about life and death and where their Pops was now that he wasn’t with us. Those discussions led to the idea of a train that collects lost souls and takes them on to the afterlife. I couldn’t stop thinking about how crazy it would be to accidentally end up on that train as a living person, and GHOST TRAIN was born!
Rebecca: Tell us about yourself. Something we might not already know.
Two of my cousins are railroad engineers. I interviewed one for a scene in my next book, Will Nolan Eats Bugs, where Will sneaks onto a train with his dad. But as the book evolved, the scene was no longer needed. So now there are no trains in the book, but Will’s dad is a railroad engineer like my cousins Garet and Brandon. I really like having that connection with Liz’s story.
Check out Rebecca Petruck’s latest release . . .
STEERING TOWARD NORMAL
Eighth grade is set to be a good year for Diggy Lawson: he’s chosen a great calf to compete at the Minnesota State Fair, he’ll see a lot of the girl he secretly likes at 4-H, and he and his dad Pop have big plans for April Fool’s Day. But everything changes when classmate Wayne Graf’s mother dies, which brings to light that Pop is Wayne’s father, too. Suddenly, Diggy has a half-brother who moves in and messes up his life. Wayne threatens Diggy’s chances to win Grand Champion, horns in on his girl, and rattles his easy relationship with Pop.
Despite his high hopes, eighth grade quickly turns into Diggy’s worst year ever, filled with jealousy, fighting, and several incidents involving cow poop. But as the boys care for their calves, pull pranks, and watch too many B movies, they learn what it means to be brothers and how weird the concept of family can be as they slowly steer toward a new kind of normal.