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Pitch Wars Team Interview with Shannon Caldwell and her mentor J.R. Yates

Monday, 5 September 2016  |  Posted by Heather Cashman

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 #TeamOM-Mazing . . .

Shannon D. Caldwell

Shannon Caldwell – Mentee

Twitter | Website


J. R. Yates

J.R. Yates – Mentor

Twitter | Website

Shannon: Why did you choose J.R. Yates?

I chose to submit to J.R. Yates because her MS wishlist closely matched what I felt I’d written (romance, real characters, sass, the overlooked guy). After I submitted I learned she’d been mentored by Kelly who’d been mentored by Brighton, and I wanted to be a part of this talented family. The Ryan Gosling gif didn’t hurt either.


JR: Why did you choose Shannon Caldwell’s Retreating Hearts?

I was looking for something with a great voice and a concept that I really loved. Shannon’s manuscript fit the bill! The couple gave me all the feels and the voice made me laugh out loud/


Shannon: Summarize your book in three words.

Hot brothers = trouble


JR: Summarize Shannon’s book in three words.

Friends. Lovers. Twist.


Shannon: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique?

I was born and raised in Texas, but I don’t wear cowboy boots or ride a horse. Between my Southern roots and yoga background, I have a pretty laid-back approach to life. I read my first romance novel in high school–thanks mom–and wrote my first romantic time travel in college. I’ve been writing ever since and learned it’s the best way to stay sane and off the streets at night.

My best writing occurs when I suffuse it with my real world experiences. I grew up in a rural town and some of my favorite movies and TV shows revolve around small town life: Hart of Dixie, Friday Night Lights, and Sweet Home Alabama.


JR: Tell us about yourself. Something we might not already know.

Aside from being a writer, I’m a speech therapist and a mother to three young kids. If you get me talking about books or communication, you better pull up a chair and make yourself comfortable, you’ll be here for a while. Something that you may not know about me is that I have, what my husband calls, an “anti-foot fetish”. Meaning, I HATE FEET. Do not touch me with yours and do not touch mine (but I am allowed to keep mine warm under my husband at night). Despite Shannon’s manuscript having a foot massage scene, I still loved her characters enough to keep reading!


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


One Comment
We're thrilled at the different ways those in our Pitch Wars community are giving back—and we encourage them to do so. However, please keep in mind that Pitch Wars is not affiliated with any of these various contests, promotions, etc., including those of our mentors and mentees. Promoting any such opportunities via our social media channels doesn't imply endorsement or affiliation. We encourage you to do your research before participating.

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