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Pitch Wars Team Interview with RA Black and Mentor, Ian Barnes

Wednesday, 25 November 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 . . .

RA Black – Mentee

Website | Twitter


Ian Barnes – Mentor

Website | Twitter

Ian, why did you choose RA?

Her first chapter was an emotional punch to the gut that sunk its hooks in and wouldn’t let go. The more I read, the more I loved it. THE AMETHYST CITY is an incredibly compelling journey through grief filled with fun banter, eldritch cults, cosmic horrors, and airships! It read like a list of all my favorite tropes wrapped around that stellar emotional core. How could I turn down a chance to help take that story from great to mind-blowing?

Emotional and tropetastic with banter and cosmic horrors, sounds like Ian! And RA, why did you choose to submit to Ian?

Ian’s wishlist ticked off pretty much everything I had in my manuscript, so I knew he’d be a great person to work with on AMETHYST CITY. Plus he’s got great gif game!

His gif game is something to be admired! Now, Ian, summarize RA’s book in 3 words.

Widower punches Cthulhu

What? Now I want to see this! So, RA, summarize your book in 3 words.

Grief, airships, cults

Wow! Sounds awesome. Ian, tell us about yourself. Something we may not already know.

I continue to be unable to neither confirm nor deny that I may or may not be Batman. Please stop asking.

For the record, I can’t comment on that subject. Back to RA! What do you hope to get out of the Pitch Wars experience?

Hoping to get my manuscript to a point where I feel ready and confident with querying, and to make some lifelong friendships on the way. I’ve been out of writing for about four years after dealing with a traumatic birth and post natal depression so knowing I’ve got the Pitch Wars team at my back is a real comfort.

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

I’m a Brit from Bath, mother to one, devourer of cheese and sushi. By day I wrangle computers and by night I look at the stack of books, games, tv shows etc I want to consume and curse my need for sleep. My Pitch Wars entry is UP meets Final Fantasy, about a grieving airship captain who agrees to take one last job to track down his ex, but winds up trapped in a sentient city at the mercy of a cult. It has found family, queer characters, flying sailing ships, and cosmic entities.

UP and Final Fantasy are one heck of a mash up, and I’m sold! Thank you Ian and RA for the interview, it’s always great to get to know the teams!

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. 


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