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 . . .
Regina Black – Mentee
Denise Williams – Mentor
Charish Reid – Mentor
Denise and Charish, why did you choose Regina?
Charish: Regina’s manuscript was dramatic and sexy enough for me to sit up and take interest. Her first paragraph sets up the conflict beautifully. From there, I was treated to compelling characters, high-heat romance, and a well-crafted story.
Sounds like a hot read! Regina, why did you choose to submit to Denise and Charish?
I knew I wanted to submit to Charish and Denise when I read their wishlist and it felt like something I would write myself, even down to some of their favorite authors. They were so passionate about romance and that’s what I wanted in a mentor. Someone who loves the genre as much as I do and would help me craft an exciting and believable love story between these two characters. As a Black woman romance writer, being mentored by two successful Black women writers definitely played a role in that choice as well. My book is about a Black woman approaching forty being confronted with the truth of the life she’s chosen, and I wanted a mentor who would connect with her emotional journey the way I did. They also work in higher education, like me so I felt like I knew what to expect out of their mentorship style. I was right, that their critiques would be targeted and honest, which was exactly what I needed. I’ve learned so much from working with two amazing authors.
I’m so happy you had a great match with awesome mentors! And Denise and Charish, can you summarize Regina’s book in 3 words?
Denise: Heart, Heat, and Resilience
Charish: Sexy, Provocative, and Poignant
Regina, summarize your book in 3 words.
Art, Passion, and Forgiveness
Heat, art, passion, and heart–I’m sold. Sounds like it’s a book that will keep readers up late at night. So Denise and Charish, tell us about yourself. Something we may not already know.
Denise: I am an ordained minister and have performed eight weddings.
Charish: I used to be a fencer in high school.
Ordaining weddings must be an amazing feeling. And I fenced in school. I wasn’t great, but it was fun. I made it a character’s sport in my book. Now Regina, what do you hope to get out of the Pitch Wars experience?
I’ve been writing for years but took a long break after I had my daughter. I came back to it last year, but my confidence was gone. I had no idea if I could even finish a book, nevermind pursue publication. I’ve also never gone through a collaborative editing process before. I applied to Pitch Wars looking for community, guidance, and support during a time when I needed it most. I wanted someone to nudge me out of my comfort zone and challenge me to craft the best story that I could. Being mentored by Denise and Charish has restored my confidence in my ability to tell a story and taught me so much about both writing craft generally, and developing my own process. I can’t imagine going on this journey without their friendship and guidance.
Regina, tell us about yourself. What makes you and your manuscript unique?
I live in Little Rock, Arkansas, and my writing tends to center around communities similar to mine, diverse cities and suburbs in the SE United States. But most of my childhood was spent in a small town of around seven thousand people. I couldn’t go anywhere without being recognized by someone. I always felt like people had this picture of me in their head (athletic, twin, dance team, shy) and I found myself acting in ways that were consistent with everyone’s expectations. I didn’t break out of that role until I went to college in a large city, where I was comfortable being myself. In THE ART OF SCANDAL, my main character Rachel has been playing the perfect mayor’s wife role for so long that when her marriage implodes, she’s desperate to hold on to some piece of that old life. Her journey is about rediscovering the passionate, independent woman she was before and choosing love over the fear of the unknown
I can’t wait to THE ART OF SCANDAL on bookstore shelves! Thank you Denise, Charish, and Regina for the interview!
Check out Denise’s latest release, HOW TO FAIL AT FLIRTING…
When her flailing department lands on the university’s chopping block, Professor Naya Turner’s friends convince her to shed her frumpy cardigan for an evening on the town. For one night her focus will stray from her demanding job and she’ll tackle a new kind of to-do list. When she meets a charming stranger in town on business, Jake presents the perfect opportunity to check off the rest of the items on her list. Let a guy buy her a drink. Check. Try something new. Check. A no-strings-attached hook-up. Check…almost.
Jake makes her laugh and challenges Naya to rebuild her confidence, which was left toppled by her abusive ex-boyfriend. Soon she’s flirting with the chance at a more serious romantic relationship—except nothing can be that easy. The complicated strings around her dating Jake might destroy her career.
Naya has two options. She can protect her professional reputation and return to her old life or she can flirt with the unknown and stay with the person who makes her feel like she’s finally living again.
Check out Charish’s upcoming release, (TRUST) FALLING FOR YOU …
Releasing February 19, 2021!
Yolanda Watson is the “fun professor.”
She makes literature exciting, she brings students donuts for Finals Week, and her colleagues love her. The only thing that will make teaching better is if she can learn how to write a grant and skip those boring committee meetings. In short, a History professor is her problem. He stole her grant and he chairs the most boring committee on campus.
Sure, he’s cute… but he can afford to loosen up.
Samuel Morris is a work-horse.
He puts his head down and proves his worth at Franklin University. That means no inane chit-chat with colleagues, no treating students like friends, and no shenanigans during the Assessment Committee. But a certain English professor happens to be full of shenanigans. She’s late, loud, and disorganized.
Sure, she’s sexy… but she can afford to tighten up.
They’ll both have to compromise.
A university team-building retreat to the woods of Wisconsin will ensure that. After a lodging mix-up, the opposites are forced to share the same cabin for six nights. As Team-Building Buddies, they will: sleep together, eat together, and play embarrassing bonding games together. One of them will have to budge. The sexual tension will get harder to ignore, especially when one Buddy requires rescuing from spiders, grasshoppers, and bears. Oh my…
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.