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Pitch Wars Team Interview with Danielle Parker and mentor, Emily Golden

Wednesday, 3 February 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 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 . . .

Danielle Parker – Mentee



Emily Golden

Emily Golden – Mentor

Website | Twitter


J.Elle – Mentor

Website | Twitter

Emily and J.Elle, why did you choose Danielle?

My co-mentor J.Elle and I fell in love with YOU BET YOUR HEART immediately. It was one of the first submissions we read and it stuck with us. We just couldn’t stop talking about it. First off—the enemies to lovers trope!! The HEAT of Ezra and Sasha’s competition for valedictorian had us gasping, laughing, and crying from page one. It’s so fresh. It’s the kind of story that hooks your heart and never lets go.

Love a good enemies to lovers tale. OK, Danielle, why did you choose to submit to Emily and J.Elle?

Team work makes the dream work! I was immediately drawn to my mentors because of the vast and diverse wealth of knowledge between the two. Emily’s years of editing experience really spoke to me–I knew that if I could work and learn from her, I’d be a better writer (and person). Jess’s background as an educator and now a prolific writer felt serendipitous because of my experience in education and writing goals.

Sounds like the makings of a great team. Now, Emily and J.Elle, summarize Danielle’s book in 3 words.

Fierce. Clever. Enchanting.

Danielle, summarize your book in 3 words.

Nerdy. Swoony. Heart-felt.

Yep, sign me up for this one! So, Emily and J.Elle, tell us about yourself. Something we may not already know.

J.Elle and I met through Twitter! We’ve been critique partners for years and doing this mentorship together just made so much sense. It’s been a dream. Fun fact—I also met my business partner, Rachel May on Twitter. We started as critique partners, then we launched Golden May Editing, a book coaching and developmental editing business, before we ever met in person! Despite how chaotic the little bird app can be, the #writingcommunity has completely changed my life.
All writers should lean into it! You’ll find your people with time. I’m forever grateful for finding mine.

Finding your people is so important, too. And, Danielle, what do you hope to get out of the Pitch Wars experience?

In one word: community. I was drawn to Pitch Wars because of the supportive, genuine, and caring networks that writers were building on and offline. I know that the power of community is what sustains us in any type of work. I want to be able to have a long, joyful writing career, and I know I want to do that with others. We need one another in this work and this world.

Welcome to the Pitch Wars family, Danielle? Now, tell us about yourself. What makes you and your manuscript unique?

For the last decade I’ve had the privilege of working in Los Angeles as a high school English teacher. I wrote this story with my students in mind. Specifically, I wanted to tell a story about Black brilliance and what that can look like navigating school systems and familial pressures. And love. Messy, silly, life-changing love. Because really, what moves us more?

So true! Thank you all for sharing with us and letting us all get to know you a bit better!

Check out J.Elle’s latest release, WINGS OF EBONY.

In this riveting, keenly emotional debut fantasy, a Black teen from Houston has her world upended when she learns about her godly ancestry–and with evil sinking its claws into humans and gods alike, she’ll have to unearth the magic of her true identity to save both her worlds. Perfect for fans of Angie Thomas, Tomi Adeyemi, and The Hunger Games. The entire first printing of this novel will be signed!

“Make a way out of no way” is just the way of life for Rue. But when her mother is shot dead on her doorstep, life for her and her younger sister changes forever. Rue’s taken from her neighborhood by the father she never knew, forced to leave her little sister behind, and whisked away to Ghizon–a hidden island of magic wielders.

Rue is the only half-god, half-human there, where leaders protect their magical powers at all costs and thrive on human suffering. Miserable and desperate to see her sister on the anniversary of their mother’s death, Rue breaks Ghizon’s sacred Do Not Leave Law and returns to Houston, only to discover that Black kids are being forced into crime and violence. And her sister, Tasha, is in danger of falling sway to the very forces that claimed their mother’s life.

Worse still, evidence mounts that the evil plaguing East Row is the same one that lurks in Ghizon–an evil that will stop at nothing until it has stolen everything from her and everyone she loves. Rue must embrace her true identity and wield the full magnitude of her ancestors’ power to save her neighborhood before the gods burn it to the ground.

Books-a-Million | Amazon | BookShop | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Indigo

Emily Golden’s editing services, books, and blogs can be found on her website.

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. 


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