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 . . .
Christine L. Arnold – Mentee
Allison Saft – Mentor
Allison, why did you choose Christine?
I knew I had to work with Christine when I found myself laughing at all the jokes, swooning at the leads’ chemistry, and getting misty-eyed at the Zaea’s character arc. I grinned throughout the whole book, and by the end, I was bursting with ideas! Plus, Christine so brilliantly adapts elements Pride and Prejudice, one of my favorite novels, to a fantasy setting. She’s a beautiful prose stylist and is inventive and hard-working to match. A Whisper of Moths is a delight, and I cannot wait for more people to read this beautiful story!
Christine, why did you choose to submit to Allison?
I talked a little bit about this during my takeover of the Pitch Wars Instagram account (if you’re interested, you can find it archived on the page) but I devoured Allison’s DOWN COMES THE NIGHT after it came out this past spring—the characters, the world, the love story (Hal anyone? Come on *swoons*) and as I was reading I found myself trying to learn from the book and what Allison had done to make the character arcs so satisfying. Wren’s arc in particular was beautiful and moving, and I was blown away by Allison’s gorgeous writing. The world felt so textured and real. So when mentors were announced for this year’s Pitch Wars, I got SO excited to see Allison was mentoring because I just had this feeling she’d know how to help me with all of the things I tend to struggle with. Of course when wish lists were posted I did a quick scan of Allison’s to make sure she was even accepting my genre, which, thankfully, she was! But beyond that I don’t even think I read hers too closely because I was THAT sure she would be a great fit for me.
Allison, summarize Christine’s book in 3 words.
Romantic. Clever. Cozy.
Christine, summarize your book in 3 words.
Love is magic (too) <– I cheated and added a 4th, oops.
Allison, tell us about yourself. Something we may not already know.
When I’m not writing, I spend my time training to join the circus! I do aerial silks and pole. I think people might know that, so my bonus fun fact is that I’ve never been injured doing circus. I’ve had four major injuries in my life: one from playing four square at recess, two from middle school gym class, and one from an escape room. The particular room was called “Boot Camp,” which is in retrospect so ominous that were it a plot point in one of my books, my editor probably would have told me to be more subtle with the foreshadowing.
Christine, what do you hope to get out of the Pitch Wars experience?
First and foremost, a better book! I am so excited about the revisions Allison and I have planned. I can already tell they’re taking the story to another level. Beyond that… is it too cheesy to say the friendships? Everyone has been so supportive and I’ve loved getting to know other writers at a similar stage in their careers and learn about their stories and revisions!
Christine, tell us about yourself. What makes you and your manuscript unique?
When I’m not writing, I work full time as a Marketing Director and I’m a mom to a three-year-old toddler and a four-year-old dog who I tell people is part coyote (and they believe me). I met my husband at the ripe old age of 18 (first day of freshman orientation at college) so big YA love will always have my heart. My Pitch Wars book began as a retelling of Pride & Prejudice, which is one of my all-time favorites, and with an idea of Lizzy and Darcy not being able to escape each other because of an intense magical bond. My world, magic system, and characters all sprouted up around that, and I’ve loved getting to play with some of the conventions of the source material to arrive at something that (hopefully!) feels new. A big theme of this story is love and magic and the messy ways it entangles, and I think all (?) of my book’s main players are dealing with their ability to love and trust (others and themselves) because of deep parent-wounds.
Check out Allison’s upcoming release, A FAR WILDER MAGIC …
When Margaret Welty spots the legendary hala, the last living mythical creature, she knows the Halfmoon Hunt will soon follow. Whoever is able to kill the hala will earn fame and riches, and unlock an ancient magical secret. While Margaret is the best sharpshooter in town, only teams of two can register, and she needs an alchemist.
Weston Winters isn’t an alchemist—yet. He’s been fired from every apprenticeship he’s landed, and his last chance hinges on Master Welty taking him in. But when Wes arrives at Welty Manor, he finds only Margaret. She begrudgingly allows him to stay, but on one condition: he must join the hunt with her.
Although they make an unlikely team, they soon find themselves drawn to each other. As the hunt looms closer and tensions rise, Margaret and Wes uncover dark magic that could be the key to winning the hunt – if they survive that long.
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.