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Pitch Wars Team Interview with Alexandra Kiley and mentor, Amanda Elliot

Tuesday, 21 December 2021  |  Posted by Rochelle Karina

Our mentors are mentoring, our mentees are revising, and we hope you’re making progress on your own manuscript! While we’re all working toward the Agent Showcase starting on February 9, 2021, we hope you’ll take a moment during your writing breaks and get to know our 2021 Pitch Wars Mentor and Mentee Teams.

Next up, we have . . .

Alexandra Kiley – Mentee

Website | Twitter


Amanda Elliot – Mentor

Website | Twitter

Amanda, why did you choose Alexandra?

As soon as I read the query and opening of KILT TRIP, I was smitten by Alex’s lush, beautiful writing and sparkling voice. When I read on, I fell in love with her characters and the way reading her book made me feel like I’d traveled to Scotland—which felt great in the middle of a pandemic that prevented real international travel! I was bubbling over with ideas as I read and, once I finished and reached out with some of my editorial feedback and questions for her, her responses were so thoughtful and brilliant that I knew I had to work with her.

Alexandra, why did you choose to submit to Amanda?

Amanda’s wishlist was full of my favorite things: enemies to lovers, forced proximity, workplace romance, and richly detailed settings. It felt like her list was made for KILT TRIP. I was genuinely giddy reading it, thinking this could be a great match.

But more than that, I was drawn to Amanda’s description of her mentoring style—that she loves the editorial process and that she’d be there to brainstorm new ideas. I knew my manuscript wasn’t ready for querying, but wasn’t sure how to get it to the next level, so working with someone collaborative, who liked the technical aspects of writing was huge for me. I also loved that she said she would be honest and wanted to work with someone who was willing to work hard, but still gave off a supportive vibe which has been absolutely true!

Amanda has challenged me to dig deeper and ask the hard questions of my characters and been so kind and supportive in her feedback. I am beyond thrilled to be working together. I know already that her guidance will help not just this book, but how I think about future stories. I’m so grateful for her mentorship!

Amanda, summarize Alexandra’s book in 3 words.

Heat. Heath. Hope.

Alexandra, summarize your book in 3 words.

Kilts. Kisses. Kinship.

Amanda, tell us about yourself. Something we may not already know.

If I were to write a book that’s a love letter to a country in the way KILT TRIP is a love letter to Scotland, it would be about France. I studied abroad there in college and speak French (fluently then, less fluently now) and can’t wait to go back one day.

Alexandra, what do you hope to get out of the Pitch Wars experience?

My biggest hope is to gain tools to improve my writing process. Already there are so many ways I’ve streamlined the way I think about story structure that will be immensely helpful down the road. I hope to walk away from this experience more confident in my writing and to have a book I’m proud of!

And, of course, the community. This process is intensive and unique and it’s been amazing having a group of people who understand what I’m going through, and who share their highs, lows, and strategies for editing (or making one-pot dinners!). I’m so excited to display all their books on my bookshelf one day soon!

Alexandra, tell us about yourself. What makes you and your manuscript unique?

KILT TRIP is a love letter to Scotland. It’s been a long time since I studied abroad there, but Edinburgh hasn’t let go of my heart. This story was inspired by the lush and magical land, but also by the people who invited me into their homes and made me feel like family.

This story is full of adventure and romance, exploration and healing. It’s about taking chances on yourself and on love—and the possibilities that exist out in the world when we’re brave enough to reach for them.

Check out Amanda’s upcoming release, SADIE ON A PLATE …

Thank you for supporting our Pitch Wars Teams! The Agent Showcase is February 9-14, 2022. Make sure to stop by then and check out all our mentees’ entries when it opens. 


Filed: Interviews

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