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 . . .
Erinn Salge – Mentee
Andrea Contos – Mentor
Andrea, why did you choose Erinn?
I absolutely loved Erinn’s book, SAFE HEX. I was immediately drawn in by the pitch, which started with a description of the book as Teen Witch for the #MeToo era.
I loved the humor in the manuscript, which was a perfect balance for the more serious topics it tackles.
And then the witchcraft element made for such a fun twist and added such a fresh layer to the entire book!
You had me at the title, and then Teen Witch really hooked me! And Erinn, why did you choose to submit to Andrea?
I submitted to Andrea because she very explicitly writes about girls seeking means of justice that may be unconventional, which resonated with what I’m trying to do with SAFE HEX. Her mentor profile was really appealing to me overall, I loved that she had been a mentee herself, and also as a working, writing mom I liked that she knew the juggling act that parenting and writing can be sometimes! While the tone of my book is light overall there are some dark moments and motivations that I knew Andrea would be open to.
Past mentees can really give new ones tips on handling all the stress that comes with Pitch Wars. I’m glad you two matched up! So Andrea, can you summarize Erinn’s book in 3 words?
Magic, Ambition, Justice
Erinn, summarize your book in 3 words.
Witty, Witchy, Wonderful
That’s the three W’s I’d want in a story! Now Erin, can you tell us about yourself? Something we may not already know.
I have a book coming out with Scholastic in October of this year! It’s called OUT OF THE FIRE and I am so excited for the world to meet the characters I love so much. Bonus random Andrea fact: I’ve never been stung by a bee.
The book looks intriguing and I can’t wait for the release! And I hope you never get stung by a bee. I stepped on one once and it was not fun. Anyway, back to Erinn. What do you hope to get out of the Pitch Wars experience?
I’ve been through the drafting and querying process alone before and what was really appealing about PW was having someone in my corner to illuminate both things I couldn’t see on my own about the manuscript, as well as the business as a whole. I had the most fun writing this book out of any and I think the message is important, so I want to see it out in the world some day. Of course there are no guarantees but I felt with a mentor’s help I’d come closer to my lifelong goal of publishing with this program. And to do it with such an interesting cohort of people is another reward!
Publishing takes perseverance, and looks like you have that in spades. I’m crossing my fingers that you have many successes! And finally, Erinn can you tell us about yourself? What makes you and your manuscript unique?
I’ve been a librarian for the past ten years working in independent schools, and I’m passionate about diverse and inclusive collections and curriculum in schools. I’m also a working parent and will have my second kid in May, so between that and Pitch Wars 2021 is going to be a very exciting year! SAFE HEX is a unique take on witchcraft in the way Charlotte, the mc, practices, and also the reactions to it. Setting it in a Catholic school was fun as I worked in one for many years, and it’s a naturally risky place to dabble in anything occult-related. It also deals with mental health but this is the first time I’ve written a main character who does not deal with mental health issues themselves, rather it’s a member of their family. Lastly, my perennial fun fact is that I once appeared on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and am forever chasing down that Jeopardy appearance.
A baby! 2021 does sound like an exciting year for you. Congratulations!! Thank you Andrea and Erinn for the interview!
Coming from Andrea on October 19, 2021…
Sadie meets One of Us is Lying in a mind-blowingly twisty, feminist thriller that will grab you from the very first page and keep your heart pounding until the shocking conclusion.
We were like fire, the four of us. Catching each other’s sparks until the flames grew, spread, raged beyond our control.
We’ll give them back the damage they left us with, burden them with the weight of our pain.
We may be temporarily broken, but we will leave them forever charred.
Ashes to ashes.
It wasn’t the kidnapping that ruined Cass Adams’s life. It was the letters that came after. The pink envelopes that appear in her car, her locker, her bedroom. Notes from the man she escaped, telling her that he’s always there, always watching.
And that someday, he’ll be back for her.
The police say there’s nothing they can do, and Cass resigns herself to live in fear until she reconnects with three old friends-three girls ready to exact vengeance on those who wronged them.
But the deeper Cass digs, the more shocking the truth becomes, especially when she discovers that the p
Check out Andrea’s latest release, THROWAWAY GIRLS…
A timely edge-of-your-seat thriller from a debut writer to watch.
Caroline Lawson is three months away from freedom, otherwise known as graduation day. That’s when she’ll finally escape her rigid prep school and the parents who thought they could convert her to being straight.
Until then, Caroline is keeping her head down, pretending to be the perfect student even though she is crushed by her family and heartbroken over the girlfriend who left for California.
But when her best friend Madison disappears, Caroline feels compelled to get involved in the investigation. She has her own reasons not to trust the police, and she owes Madison — big time.
Suddenly Caroline realizes how little she knew of what her friend was up to. Caroline has some uncomfortable secrets about the hours before Madison disappeared, but they’re nothing compared to the secrets Madison has been hiding. And why does Mr. McCormack, their teacher, seem to know so much about them?
It’s only when Caroline discovers other missing girls that she begins to close in on the truth. Unlike Madison, the other girls are from the wrong side of the tracks. Unlike Madison’s, their disappearances haven’t received much attention. Caroline is determined to find out what happened to them and why no one seems to notice. But as every new discovery leads Caroline closer to the connection between these girls and Madison, she faces an unsettling truth.
There’s only one common denominator between the disappearances: Caroline herself.
Andrea Contos’s debut is an edge-of-your-seat thriller. The suspense never lets up, even as the story raises important questions about class differences and how they are reflected in law enforcement. And the multilayered plot unfolds from two alternating points of view, making for dramatic changes in tone and pace throughout.
With its unforeseeable twists involving an intriguing and intertwined cast of characters, this dark and moody story will keep readers guessing till the very end.
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.