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Pitch Wars Team Interview with Janet Jing Martin and mentor, Clay Harmon

Monday, 17 January 2022  |  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 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 . . .

Janet Jing Martin – Mentee



Clay Harmon – Mentor

Website | Twitter

Clay, why did you choose Janet?

I’ve always found stories set in the tech industry interesting, given they often revolve around revolutionary technology that will make me think of all the possibilities the future has in store for the real world, whether good or bad. I also found Janet’s MC Sam compelling very early on, who turns into this sort of underdog that stumbles onto something incredible. I wasn’t even finished with the first act when I knew Janet was a very strong contender to be my mentee, and by the time I finished I had discovered so much more about her story I loved.

We also share a few interests outside writing, like weightlifting and the love for certain authors. That combined with her background in STEM and a manuscript I enjoyed thoroughly made her someone I was very interested in working with.

Janet, why did you choose to submit to Clay?

His mentor profile has Dark Matter by Blake Crouch as one of his favorite books. It’s one of my favorites too, and my manuscript comps Recursion. Despite Blake Crouch’s popularity on Goodreads, no one I talked to before had heard of him, so I was surprised to find a mentor who also likes him.

Also, Twitter research showed that Clay is a seriously proactively kind and thoughtful member of the Pitch Wars and online writing communities. While he has impressive accomplishments, he has also been open about the challenges of getting to a publishing deal from a completed manuscript, and the challenges that come after. I got a sense that we analyze the writing process in a similar way, so we would be able to communicate and work together well.

Clay, summarize Janet’s book in 3 words.

VR gone wrong!

Janet, summarize your book in 3 words.

Body swapping hijinks

Clay, tell us about yourself. Something we may not already know.

I spent almost all of my childhood thinking I was going into the military, but by my senior year of high school I learned I was very much not that type of person. I’ve flown airplanes and my debut novel comes out this year!

Janet, what do you hope to get out of the Pitch Wars experience?

Friendships forged in the fire of major revisions in a short timeframe, a better manuscript, and feeling ready to query.

Janet, tell us about yourself. What makes you and your manuscript unique?

I traveled through applied math, healthcare economics, and software engineering to get to fiction writing. My manuscript is the result of trying to write the exact kind of book I want to read, as both a STEM person who values logical constraints (and getting around them) and a reader who adores when authors play with voice and structure. I love David Mitchell, Ted Chiang, and Blake Crouch so much, so I tried to Frankenstein what I love about their work into one monstrous creation that might have a market size of one (or two–thank you for choosing me, Clay!).

Check out Clay’s upcoming release, FLAMES OF MIRA …

An epic new fantasy in a world of ice, fire and magic!

People like Ig are born from life-threatening trials that bind periodic elements to the human body, forged in the boiling volcanoes and subterranean passages under Mira’s frozen lands. One of the most powerful known elementals, he is forced to work as an enforcer for Magnate Sorrelo Adriann — cursed with a flesh binding — magic that will kill him at the first sign of disobedience.

When Sorrelo is overthrown, Ig quickly learns he can do worse — far worse — than what has been asked from him so far. If he can’t escape the flesh binding in time, Ig will have to kill friend and foe alike as his master seeks to reclaim the throne or sacrifice himself trying.

Coming July 2022

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. 


Filed: Interviews

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