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Pitch Wars Team Interview with Hope Ebel and mentors, Heather Van Fleet and Jessica Calla

Monday, 14 December 2020  |  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 . . .

Hope Ebel – Mentee

Website | Twitter


Heather Van Fleet

Heather Van Fleet – Mentor

Website | Twitter


Jessica Calla

Jessica Calla – Mentor

Website | Twitter

Heather and Jessica, why did you choose Hope?

Heather and Jess: We loved the concept of WILL DANCE FOR FOOD the moment we read the query! Hope pitched her story as Pretty Woman meets Dancing with the Stars–how could we resist? Tessa and Max won our hearts from the first chapters, and we know that readers will be excited to journey with them to their happily ever after.

Pretty Woman meets Dancing with the Stars sounds so fun! And, Hope, why did you choose to submit to Heather and Jessica?

First of all, I think everyone would probably want to submit to these ladies after reading through their Pitch Wars Wishlist blog post! They jumped out to me as happy, positive, and encouraging people. In addition to having so much combined experience between the two of them, they also had a crystal clear vision of how they would help their mentee. I was already a huge fan, and after I read through their list of favorites (that was all the best things!), I highlighted them in pink on my Pitch Wars Mentor Selection spreadsheet and marked them with a – Definitely YES!!!!!

Spreadsheets for the win. Now, Heather and Jessica, summarize Hope’s book in 3 words.

Dancing, Perseverance, Passion

Hope, summarize your book in 3 words.

Dreams, Dance, Romance

Dancing and romance and passion? Sign me up. OK, Heather and Jessica, tell us about yourself. Something we may not already know.

Jess: Heather and I met years ago when she edited my book for a small press, and we’ve been inseparable ever since. We finally got to meet in person in Denver at the RWA conference in 2018!

Heather: Sometimes I think that Jess and I share a brain! We are honorary aunties to each other’s kids.

Aw, y’all are so sweet! OK, Hope, what do you hope to get out of the Pitch Wars experience?

I’m thrilled I soon get to forever be a PitchWars alumni, and I have already gotten more out of this experience than I ever thought possible! I’m hoping this mentorship will bring me a better book, more writer friends/connections, and more confidence in my writing to propel me to one day achieve my dream of being a published author.

Welcome to the family! Now, Hope, tell us about yourself. What makes you and your manuscript unique?

I’m a lifelong educator, counselor, wife, and boy mom. I taught math for eight years before becoming a middle school counselor, and I’m a mom of three boys (all under six!) who keep me on my toes.

I have a pretty good love story myself with my wonderful husband of ten years. Because nothing makes me happier than a good romance, I’ve written a passionate love story between two very different people who are perfect for each other though it doesn’t seem that way at first.

My novel features a young woman’s dream to become a professional dancer and break free of a world of constraint and people who are holding her back to become a vibrant, self-fulfilled woman. Growing up in an ultra conservative world with strict constraints, I drew much inspiration for this work from my own journey to embrace my authentic self without fear of other people’s judgments and opinions.

Wow, sounds like a must read! Thank you all for sharing a little about yourselves. It’s great getting to know the teams!

Check out Heather and Jessica’s co-written release, LOVE IN THE AISLES (and be sure to check their websites for their individual books, we just couldn’t resist highlighting this team effort).

Love in the AislesOn a scale from one to ten on the epic failure charts, Charlotte Dawson’s day just passed an eleven.
The last thing Charlotte wants to do is go to the supermarket, but with a four-year-old to feed, she doesn’t have a choice. Just when she thinks she’s free and clear of marketplace drama, Charlotte finds herself in the throes of a hide-and-seek game with the nosiest woman in town. And if that wasn’t enough to add to her bad day, the hot new bag guy catches her hiding out…in the liquor section…on a Sunday in the South. But she can’t formulate the words to tell him to get lost. In fact, she can’t speak at all once she gazes into those hazel eyes.
Having been ditched at the altar by his long-term girlfriend, Hollywood sensation Ian ‘Cleary’ Tate escapes to Sunrise Valley for one reason—peace. Serving as a temporary apprentice under his stepfather at Adler’s Market is the perfect cover—nothing says redefining his life like a little manual labor. Until he runs into a problem…Charlotte Dawson, the widow of the town’s biggest hero. He in no way expected to develop a fascination with the bumbling, yet refreshing, young mom, who just so happens to have the grace of a one-legged chimpanzee.
In a series of unexpected encounters between the aisles of the supermarket and the gossip-filled streets of Sunrise Valley, Charlotte and Ian get to know one another, Georgia style—all under the watchful eyes of a group of meddling old women known as the GOLs (Gossiping Old Ladies).
It’s not easy falling in love after heartbreak, but Ian and Charlotte have a chance at exactly that…if Ian’s secret Hollywood fame and Charlotte’s former life don’t get in the way first.

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. 


Filed: Interviews

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