Have questions about submitting to Pitch Wars or just want to know what it is? Start here!


Pitch Wars Team Interview with Lyssa Mia Smith and mentor, Emily Thiede

Wednesday, 9 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 . . .

Lyssa Mia Smith – Mentee



Emily Thiede – Mentor

Website | Twitter

Emily, why did you choose Lyssa?

REVELLE REVELLE has everything I love in a YA Fantasy: immersive world-building, life-or-death stakes, humor, banter, dazzling magic, and a captivating romance. But just as importantly, Lyssa showed a fierce determination to learn as much as possible and make her story the best it can be, and I had so many ideas for how we could take the book to the next level that I couldn’t wait to dive in!

What a great combo of elements! So, Lyssa, why did you choose to submit to Emily?

I wasn’t planning on submitting to Pitch Wars until I saw Emily’s blog post. She outlined the skills she’d bring to the mentorship and why she was qualified to do so. Her strengths fit my weaknesses like a puzzle, and the experience she’d garnered with her (amazing) forthcoming debut was exactly what I needed. I knew I had to throw my hat in the ring for the chance to work with her!

Wow! That’s a great PW story. Now, Emily, summarize Lyssa’s book in 3 words.

Enchanting, romantic, decadent

OK, Lyssa, summarize your book in 3 words.

Magical, lavish, romantic

Magic and romance? Sign me up! And, Emily, tell us about yourself. Something we may not already know.

I love home improvement projects! I know my way around a table saw, and I’m a champ with a caulk gun!

Power tools for the win! OK, Lyssa, what do you hope to get out of the Pitch Wars experience?

I hope to squeeze every bit of knowledge I can out of Emily so I can take my fantasy writing to the next level. I was fortunate enough to be a part of Pitch Wars’ class of 2018, so I know firsthand that the community is the true prize in this program. I’m also excited to expand my writing friendships and support network, especially with other YA fantasy writers.

Growth and community are the big gains here! So, Lyssa, tell us about yourself. What makes you and your manuscript unique?

I’m an adolescent psychologist with a practice in the greater New York area. I have two little boys who spend most of their time collecting bugs and making homes for them (never open a Tupperware container in my house). My manuscript started as a wild love letter to Moulin Rouge. After seeing the Broadway show, my teenage obsession with the soundtrack returned, and I found myself thinking, “What if Satine had magic? What if her entire family was counting on her, and she seduced the wrong guy?” The idea seemed completely preposterous, especially while I was attempting to draft something contemporary, but my CP encouraged me to write it anyways, so I did!

Never a dull day with bug-lovers in residence! It’s always fun getting to know the teams. Thank you both for the interview.

Check out Emily’s upcoming release, THE LAST FINESTRA.

Three weddings.
Three funerals.
Her divine “gift” is supposed to magnify a partner’s magic, not kill everyone she touches.
With only weeks before she has to protect her island home from an apocalyptic invasion, Alessa is running out of time —and suitors. And when a powerful priest convinces the faithful that killing Alessa is their only hope, her own soldiers turn against her. With mutiny growing inside the Citadel and rebellion erupting beyond the walls, Alessa coaxes a cynical outcast marked as a killer to become her personal bodyguard as she tries one last time to find a compatible partner.
But Dante has dark secrets of his own.
He might be the one person who can help her master her gift… or destroy her once and for all.
Set on an island inspired by Italy’s colorful, lemon-soaked Amalfi coast, THE LAST FINESTRA is a high-stakes Young Adult fantasy full of intrigue, excitement, humor, and romance.

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

Comments are closed.
We're thrilled at the different ways those in our Pitch Wars community are giving back—and we encourage them to do so. However, please keep in mind that Pitch Wars is not affiliated with any of these various contests, promotions, etc., including those of our mentors and mentees. Promoting any such opportunities via our social media channels doesn't imply endorsement or affiliation. We encourage you to do your research before participating.

Pitch Wars takes a stand. ANTI-BULLYING. Click here to review our policy

Pitch Wars 2021

Blog Archives

Blog Categories

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.