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 10, 2021, we hope you’ll take a moment during your writing breaks and get to know our 2020 Pitch Wars Mentor and Mentee Teams.
Next up, we have . . .
Courtney Kae – Mentee
Rachel Lynn Solomon – Mentor
Rachel, why did you choose Courtney?
Courtney’s incredible voice grabbed me right away. She has these clever turns of phrase and hilarious one-liners mixed with a lovely, undeniable warmth. I adored her characters: Morgan, the event planner who reluctantly returns to her hometown to help save the tree farm owned by her former best friend Rachel, which brings up a whole lot of unresolved feelings between them. The setting is a fall aesthetic in book form and truly leaps off the page. There are so few queer holiday romcoms, and this is a book I desperately want to see on shelves.
On a personal note, as a Jewish person, I’ve always had complicated feelings about the holiday season. Courtney’s book made me feel SO accepted and loved in a way I’ve never felt from holiday/Christmas movies and books, and I’m just so grateful for that.
This sounds so good! I hope to see it on the shelves too. And Courtney, what makes you excited to work with Rachel?
As a person and author, Rachel Lynn Solomon is the warmest, most welcoming, and caring presence. She creates big-hearted, complex characters that remain so open and accessible to readers. I’ve looked up to her for a very long time, so to have had her choose ITEOL is a literal dream come true. Our processes and styles mesh so well that we often say what the other is thinking, lol! I’m so grateful to be able to work with someone I consider a friend, who not only gets my story, but sees my heart, and is so willing to share tools and advice for the road ahead.
I can attest, Rachel has the biggest heart and is so generous. So Rachel, can you summarize Courtney’s book in 3 words?
I have to go with how Courtney described it in her query: steamy queer Hallmark
Courtney, summarize your book in 3 words.
Warm winter hugs
I’m hooked! Love a steamy queer Hallmark! Courtney, what do you hope to get out of the Pitch Wars experience?
Ultimately, I hope to end this PWs season with a book I’m proud of, confidence to query, and an expanded community of wonderful writer friends. Check, check, and check. I’m forever grateful.
I’m so happy to hear you’ve checked all the boxes on what you wanted to get from Pitch Wars. I’m crossing my fingers for all the successes for you! Now, Courtney, tell us about yourself. What makes you and your manuscript unique?
I’m an anxious ball of feelings that consumes too much caffeine? LOL. Really, though, I poured my flaws into my MC as well as things I’m proud of. Morgan is an event planner, so it was a lot of fun to pull from some of my own work experience to build her professional life. I’m also QUITE fond of (read, obsessed with) all things romantic, cozy, and whimsical. Writing this story was a haven, and I took so much joy in saturating it with all those elements I love. I’d like to thank Lifetime and Hallmark holiday movies for keeping me company during edits, ha. Actually, consuming many of those movies in 2019 made me want to create a holiday romance featuring a bisexual MC. This is my contemporary f/f fairytale wrapped in winter charm and glowing lights. It’s the pine-laced second-chance romance I wanted to read.
I write under the influence of coffee. There’s no other way. For me, anyway. The way you describe your story feels like a gift and I can’t wait to see it’s journey!
Thank you Rachel and Courtney for the interview!
Check out Rachel’s upcoming book releasing January 26, 2021, THE EX TALK …
Public radio co-hosts navigate mixed signals in Rachel Lynn Solomon’s sparkling adult romantic comedy debut.
Shay Goldstein has been a producer at her Seattle public radio station for nearly a decade, and she can’t imagine working anywhere else. But lately it’s been a constant clash between her and her newest colleague, Dominic Yun, who’s fresh off a journalism master’s program and convinced he knows everything about public radio.
When the struggling station needs a new concept, Shay proposes a show that her boss green-lights with excitement. On The Ex Talk, two exes will deliver relationship advice live, on air. Their boss decides Shay and Dominic are the perfect co-hosts, given how much they already despise each other. Neither loves the idea of lying to listeners, but it’s this or unemployment. Their audience gets invested fast, and it’s not long before The Ex Talk becomes a must-listen in Seattle and climbs podcast charts.
As the show gets bigger, so does their deception, especially when Shay and Dominic start to fall for each other. In an industry that values truth, getting caught could mean the end of more than just their careers.
Praise for The Ex Talk
Shondaland Best Books of January
CNN Best Books of January
Apple Books Best of January
Goodreads Most Anticipated Romances of 2021
Hello! Most Anticipated Books of 2021
PopSugar Most Anticipated Books of 2021
A LibraryReads Pick
“A glimmering, sharp, and delightfully feminist rom-com. Hysterical and heart-tugging and absolutely pitch-perfect. I can’t gush enough. I’m still smiling hours after reading this book in a single sitting. When you read this blurb saying that you need it, I’m not being polite, I’m shouting: The Ex Talk just crashed its way onto my forever-rec pile.” —New York Times bestselling author Christina Lauren
★ “Witty dialogue meets steamy slow-burn tension while fun romance tropes (fake dating! there’s only one bed!) take a refreshing turn. Delightfully romantic and emotionally uplifting.” —Kirkus, starred review
★ “The transition from enemies to lovers is handled with wit and humor in Solomon’s exceptional adult debut. This charming, multicultural rom-com is a winner.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
★ “YA author Solomon makes her adult debut with this sizzling rivals-to-lovers romcom, where the heat comes from both precise characterization and a focus on direct communication. Bursting with zest and deep emotion, this one’s a winner.” —Booklist, starred review
Thank you for supporting our Pitch Wars Teams! The Agent Showcase is February 10-15, 2021. Make sure to stop by then and check out all our mentees’ entries when it opens.