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Pitch Wars Team Interview with Tomi Adeyemi and her mentor, Ashley Hearn

Friday, 16 September 2016  |  Posted by Nikki Roberti

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 . . .



Tomi Adeyemi – Mentee

Ashley Hearn

Ashley Hearn – Mentor



Tomi: Why did you choose Ashley?

Besides hearing incredible things about Ashley from a lot of the other mentors, I saw that she was looking for a beautiful fantasy that gets in formation (think Beyoncé in Lemonade) and that is exactly what my manuscript is about! And once I heard her ideas for the revision it was like being hit in the head with a brick except the brick exploded into glitter and in the glitter I saw everything CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE is going and meant to be!

Ashley: Why did you choose Tomi and CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE?  

 CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE was the perfect storm of everything I hoped to find in a submission! From the West African-inspired world, to Tomi’s painstakingly layered characters, and her ability to crush you with heart-shattering *FEELS* bombs… how she uses magic and the monarchy to illuminate privilege and connect with Black Lives Matter is nothing short of ingenious! Revision ideas just clicked into place as I read her full, and I knew instantly what I could bring to this manuscript to make it the best it can be!

Tomi: Summarize your book in three words.

Black. Girl. Magic.

Ashley: Summarize Tomi’s book in three words. 

LOL! I was gonna say the same thing. How about: Fantasy meets LEMONADE!

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

My parents immigrated from Nigeria in their 20s and in 2015 I received the Le Baron Russell Briggs Fellowship from the Harvard English Department to go to Brazil and study Orisha, the West African deities prominently featured in my book. One of my favorite things about this manuscript is it gave me a chance to explore everything I love about my heritage, portray the social justice issues I feel passionate about, and write the adventure I wish I had as a kid!

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

I’m a jack of all trades: an author, an editor, a sports journalist/ producer. But I’m trying to master the one thing they all have in common—stories. I drink way more coffee than the doctor recommends and most important lessons in life I learned from Lorelei Gilmore. As an author and Atlanta native, I write Southern Gothic YA dripping with Spanish moss, Geechee folklore, and plots that don’t sugar-coat the ugliness of Southern history.

Thank you for supporting our Pitch Wars Teams! And don’t forget to stop by the Agent Showcase starting November 3rd to see how our teams do in the final round.

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