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 . . .
Sian Gilbert – Mentee
E.A. Aymar – Mentor
E.A., why did you choose Sian?
Sometimes you’re fortunate enough to read a book that’s promising from the first pages and, when you finish it, that initial promise has been exceeded. That’s what Sian’s novel, HERE COMES THE BRIDE, accomplishes. It’s truly that good.
Deep editing of a book, as any writer or editor knows, is an exhausting process. But there are those rare books that you enjoy returning to, stories you never tire of. For me, those books examine the complexities of relationships and pair that examination with a tense, surprising plot. HERE COMES THE BRIDE delivers that. I read a lot of books, but this is one of the few that has remained with me.
Once I read it, I went from hoping to finding a novel I loved to hoping Sian agreed to me as a mentor. And I’ve truly loved working with her ever since.
Sian, why did you choose to submit to E.A.?
I liked that he made it clear from the start he wanted to be constructive. It made his approach seem like the sort I would want: realistic, without being mean. I wanted someone that would look at my manuscript and be like—okay, this doesn’t work, this needs improvement and here’s why.
And then when he said he wanted female-driven stories, I was already adding him to my list of mentors to submit to before even finishing reading the rest of his blog! I researched him online and just felt he would be the perfect fit.
E.A., summarize Sian’s book in 3 words.
Friendship, revenge, unforgettable.
Sian, summarize your book in 3 words.
Women, murder, revenge
E.A., tell us about yourself. Something we may not already know.
This happened during PitchWars so I don’t think it’s in my bio, but I recently signed a two-book deal with Thomas and Mercer. My next novel, NO HOME FOR KILLERS, comes out in February of 2023 and is about a Panamanian-American woman who discovers her estranged brother, a troubled and famous jazz singer, has been murdered and searches for the truth with her sister, a vigilante anti-hero known as Three Strikes. I’M SO FREAKIN’ EXCITED!
Sian, what do you hope to get out of the Pitch Wars experience?
Most of all I wanted to get to know the writing community, and have a great relationship with my mentor. I only discovered Pitch Wars a few months before applying, and what stood out for me was the chance to connect with so many people. Working now with E.A. Aymar, I can’t believe how much his guidance has helped me, not only on improving my manuscript but also with advice about everything that comes after. I am really excited to continue asking for his words of wisdom beyond Pitch Wars. (He’s stuck with me forever – sorry!) Not only this, but my fellow mentees have been so encouraging and supportive of everyone’s ideas, so it’s really been everything I could have hoped for.
Sian, tell us about yourself. What makes you and your manuscript unique?
I was a teacher for almost five years before I decided to seriously try and become a writer in January last year, so 2021 was a whirlwind of discovering the joys of editing, querying and Pitch Wars! I’m also obsessed with history, particularly social and gender. My dissertation at university was about Renaissance Gynaecology and it’s still one of my absolute favourite topics.
My manuscript has only women as its lead characters, which was important to me. It explores female friendships and how twisted they can become, from being a teenager to facing the consequences in adulthood. I love a female character that can actually be bad without question, but also ones that are complex and difficult that you ultimately root for. It’s a revenge-fuelled fast paced thriller, but there is a lot of heart to the story that I hope is portrayed well.
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.