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Pitch Wars Team Interview with Mary Roach and her mentor Luke Hupton

Tuesday, 27 November 2018  |  Posted by Brenda Drake


Our mentors are editing, 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 6, 2019, we hope you’ll take a moment during your writing breaks and get to know our 2018 Pitch Wars Teams.

First up, we have . . .

 Mary Roach– Mentee

Website | Twitter

Luke Hupton – Mentor

Website | Twitter

Luke, why did you choose Mary?

Only weeks before the Pitch Wars submission window opened, my agent and I had been talking about our love for crime thrillers – and how we’d love to see something real and gritty like that in the YA market. When I read the opening pages of Mary’s book, I had to restrain myself from requesting the full immediately. Her diverse characters need no reason to exist. They are real and vivid. Their journey through the shadows of Boston’s underworld left me breathless, and Mary’s deft hand at crafting a very true and real experience of an adolescent experiencing abuse, addiction, neglect and complex trauma is a gift to the reader. They will know what it is to go to the depths and back when you live in a constant state of grief. Mary had the bravery to tell the kind of story many modern youth are living, and I could not find a reason not to choose her.

Mary, why did you choose to submit to Luke?

I chose mentor who I hoped would have an understanding of my characters and the world they inhabit. My mentor works with youth who share experiences my characters do, and I knew his specific expertise would help deepen those elements of my story.

Luke, summarize Mary’s book in 3 words.

Raw, Addictive and Unflinching.

Mary, summarize your book in 3 words.

Queer found families

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

I sleep at night with a handwritten grimoire under my pillow.

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

I am hoping to come to the end of this as a member of a diverse writing community, the author of a polished manuscript, and hopefully obtain an agent!

Mary, tell us about yourself! What makes you and your manuscript unique?

I grew up as a queer teen in a family that didn’t know how to handle that. As a teen I never found that book about what it was like to be young and alone and trying to surive foster care while also reckoning with complex issues of identity.

Now, as an adult, I work at a shelter with youth whose experiences are similar to the ones I survived as a teen. NO VIOLET EYES is my story and it is their story—and it is the story of my heart.


Thank you for supporting our Pitch Wars Teams! The Agent Showcase is February 6 – 11, 2019, and our next #PitMad is December 6, 2018!


Filed: Interviews

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