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Pitch Wars Team Interview with Alistair Reeves and mentors, Laura Elizabeth and Mary Ann Marlowe

Tuesday, 7 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 . . .

Alistair Reeves – Mentee

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A white woman with shoulder length blonde hair

Laura Elizabeth – Mentor

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Mary Ann Marlowe – Mentor

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Laura and Mary Ann, why did you choose Alistair?

Laura: Alistair’s voice is off-the-charts fantastic. Furthermore, his main character is a relatable, beautifully-flawed human who is easy to follow throughout his entire journey. Alistair has a real clear vision for his book, and he’s such a gifted writer. His attention to detail is amazing, and he brings the reader on a spectacular journey with Rune Tithe. I love several of his secondary characters, too. This whole book is amazing. Amazing. Amazing. I could go on gushing.

Mary Ann: I was giddy to find Alistair’s book in our subs. Rune Tithe is exactly the kind of adult fantasy romance I want to see in bookstores. Everything about it sparkled with magic from the initial submission materials. Alistair has built this incredibly vibrant world filled with witchcraft, curses, prophecies, and potions, and he handles the human elements (love, humor, heartache, illness, betrayal) with incredible deftness. Threads of mystery underpin the heart-wrenching romance, and also there’s a ghost sidekick, so what’s not to love? It’s an absolute honor to be able to mentor this book and this impressive author.

Alistair, why did you choose to submit to Laura and Mary Ann?

Well, as someone who hates being perceived but also wants creative validation, submitting at all left me pretty conflicted, but I ultimately wanted to challenge myself. Beyond that, I knew my book wasn’t where I needed it to be. I needed a kick up the arse, and Mary Ann and Laura sounded like the kick-ass types.

Obvious MSWL reasons aside, they had what I can only describe as immaculate vibes (with lots of sparkle emojis.) Their styles of critique sounded like they’d fit me to a T, with equal parts pushing me out of my comfort zone and reassuring me that I’m not a talentless hack when the doubts set in. It was also just super reassuring to see how many queer stories they’d mentored before.

Laura and Mary Ann, summarize Alistair’s book in 3 words.

Laura: Time heals wounds.

Mary Ann: Hyggely Ghibli-esque romance.

Alistair, summarize your book in 3 words.

Drag witch disaster.

Laura and Mary Ann, tell us about yourself. Something we may not already know.

Laura: Along with being a lover of love books, I am a proud left-handed human who prefers writing my own stories in notebooks before moving them over to the computer. As a reader, I enjoy books that make me laugh, cry, and swoon. One of my now not-so-secret dreams is to write and sell my own original greeting cards. One of my other not-so-secret dreams is to play Tinker Bell at Walt Disney World. I love a good word search and one of my favorite things to do is color. The fact that adult coloring books are a thing now is absolutely freaking fantastic. My favorite social media platform is Instagram.

Mary Ann: I’ve been mentoring Pitch Wars since 2014 and I think I’ve run out of answers to this question, so I’m going to share what draws me back to this contest (that isn’t a contest) year after year. Obviously, everyone who mentors has an urge to help other authors reach their next level. The excitement around the submissions and selection is always a blast. But my favorite part is during these months that look so quiet to the rest of the world where we’re digging into the MS, mining for the gold, and forging a relationship I hope is the beginning of a lifelong friendship. So secretly I’m using PW to grow my own personal army, er, social network.

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

Friends! And I’ve made some, so yay! I’m also looking to pick up some new craft tools, learn about the publishing industry I’m staggering half-blind into, and (this is going to sound kinda hippie-ish) find out more about myself as an author. What I want out of my stories, who I’m writing them for, that sort of thing.

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

I’m an artist! I used to animate children’s cartoons, now I illustrate and make comics and sometimes even go to conventions for those things. College really took the mickey out of me though. I’m super familiar with burnout, and I poured a lot of my feelings on the subject into my story about this cursed witch who’s working himself into an early grave. I’m also transgender, and my book explores gender expression in small ways that make my heart do the smiley emoji.

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. 

 

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