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Pitch Wars Team Interview with Melissa Miles and mentor, Bethany Mangle

Monday, 3 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 . . .

Melissa Miles – Mentee

Website | Twitter


Bethany Mangle – Mentor

Website | Twitter

Bethany, why did you choose Melissa?

I was already intrigued by the premise of Melissa’s book before I got to her sample pages, but the first line was amazing. I could feel so much emotion in the narrative already. Even before I decided that Melissa’s book was my final pick, I kept coming back it mentally while I was driving or doing chores. It stuck with me.

Melissa, why did you choose to submit to Bethany?

Bethany’s books are contemporary, but they’re also set to unique backdrops that I’d never seen before. In her wish list, she mentioned being open to dark or gritty contemporary stories as well. The combination of those things, made me hopeful she’d connect to my story. However, what truly put Bethany to the top of my mentor list was her mentoring philosophy, which she described as hands-on. Reading that she liked to keep in touch often felt like a good fit for me.

Bethany, summarize Melissa’s book in 3 words.

Raw, hopeful, stinging

Melissa, summarize your book in 3 words.

Family, Friendship, [overcoming] Fear

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

I didn’t even know pitch contests existed until after I signed with my agent and joined social media. It had never occurred to me that there could be writing opportunities through a platform like Twitter.

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

I’m a huge believer in community. Unlike other jobs I’ve had in the past, writing can feel very solitary. I’ve gotten this manuscript as far as I can without seeking out extra help. Pitch Wars offers the chance to find a supportive community of other writers on the same journey, combined with a mentorship. To be honest, even though the news has had time to sink in, I’m still pinching myself. I’m so excited to be a part of Pitch Wars, and to those who didn’t get in this year, please keep trying. This was my either my 4th or 5th time entering!

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

I had an unusual childhood in a lot of ways, and I draw on those experiences to create stories I wish I’d had growing up. My manuscript is a coming of age story set to the backdrop of a serial killer’s reign of terror. My main character gets sucked into the vortex of the frenzy surrounding the case when she’s subpoenaed to testify in the high profile trials. I’ve been a pediatric nurse and a K-12 educator. I don’t think I’ll ever want a job that doesn’t involve working with kids in some capacity. So writing stories for them is right up my alley!

Check out Bethany’s upcoming release, ALL THE RIGHT REASONS …

The Bachelor meets Gilmore Girls in this laugh-out-loud young adult romance about a girl who joins her mother on a reality dating show for single parents—only to fall for a contestant’s son.

Cara Hawn’s life fell apart after her father cheated on her mother and got remarried to a woman Cara can’t stand. When Cara accidentally posts a rant about her father online, it goes viral—and catches the attention of the TV producers behind a new reality dating show for single parent families.

The next thing Cara and her mother know, they’ve been cast as leads on the show and are whisked away to sunny Key West where they’re asked to narrow a field of suitors and their kids down to one winning pair. All of this is outside of Cara’s comfort zone, from the meddling producers to the camera-hungry contestants, especially as Cara and her mother begin to clash on which suitors are worth keeping around. And then comes Connor.

As the son of a contestant, Connor is decidedly off-limits. Except that he doesn’t fit in with the cutthroat atmosphere in all the same ways as Cara, and she can’t get him out of her head. Now Cara must juggle her growing feelings while dodging the cameras and helping her mom pick a bachelor they both love, or else risk fracturing their family even more for the sake of ratings. Maybe there’s a reason most people don’t date on TV.

Coming February 2022 from Simon & Schuster

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

One Comment
  • Brenda says:

    Very interesting interview! Appears that Melissa really has a great story to tell and I want to read it!

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.

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