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Pitch Wars Team Interview with Sophie Bianca Clark and mentors, Emily Thiede and Lauren Blackwood

Friday, 14 January 2022  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

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 . . .

Sophie Bianca Clark – Mentee

Website | Twitter


Emily Thiede – Mentor

Website | Twitter


Lauren Blackwood – Mentor

Website | Twitter

Emily and Lauren, why did you choose Sophie?

Sophie’s book combines many of our favorite story elements—magic, banter, romance, action, humor, a dash of horror, and some very cool world building—so it hooked our interest right away, and we had exciting ideas for how to turn up the volume and make it really shine!

Sophie, why did you choose to submit to Emily and Lauren?

I submitted to Emily for PitchWars ’20 and knew I absolutely had to submit to her again—and when I saw Lauren had joined the ticket, I was sold. Two fabulous mentors! Not only did my manuscript fit their wishlist—they wanted excitement, tension, romance and humor—they fit me! So many of their strengths were in areas I hoped to hone in my own writing. I’m excited for our planned revisions, learning directly from my mentors has definitely made my book sparkle.

I was also drawn to Emily and Lauren because their debuts were two of my most anticipated upcoming reads. As a bonus, Emily used her upcoming debut as a teaching tool on romantic arcs, and I’ve never enjoyed learning more! Now my goal is to imbue my manuscript with even a fraction of the delicious romantic tension she packs into her debut.

Emily and Lauren, summarize Sophie’s book in 3 words.

romance, rivalry, suspense

Sophie, summarize your book in 3 words.

romance, danger, magic

Emily and Lauren, tell us about yourself. Something we may not already know.

Emily has a lifelong phobia of sunken things, anything from sunken ships to sunken trees, and Lauren is a twin!

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

I already have much of what I hoped for; brilliant mentors I can bounce ideas off—from small things to complex character building thoughts. Sometimes I get voice memos from Emily, and they’re such a joy because she packs so much wisdom into every sentence. I’ll never get enough of listening to her talk about my characters, their motivations, and what can make them hurt so good! I went into PitchWars wanting to learn, and I’m already a better writer. I intend to soak up every drop of knowledge they share! Finally, I’ve made brilliant new friends—the PitchWars community is really special.

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

I studied International Relations and worked in politics for a while, then I decided enough was enough and have not looked back. I lived in Germany for a year, so I would argue my degree is not completely wasted. When I’m not writing, I spend the majority of my life adoring my dog—Indy’s all border collie and all trouble, all the time (but only the best kind!) My manuscript began to take shape when I decided to create characters who were opposites in every way that counts—I wanted all the delicious tension of different origins and opportunities—an orphan soldier and an exorcist elite—and to lean into that with dual POV, told through Selene and Jules. After that I tried to squeeze everything into it that I love; romantic tension, push-pull dynamics, enemies to lovers, dangerous magic, lamplit European cities and political intrigue.

Check out Emily’s upcoming debut releasing June 28, 2022, THE VICIOUS GRACE

Pre-order and add it to Goodreads here: https://linktr.ee/EmilyThiede

Three weddings. Three funerals. Alessa’s gift from the gods is supposed to magnify a partner’s magic, not kill every suitor she touches.

Now, with only weeks left until a hungry swarm of demons devours everything on her island home, Alessa is running out of time to find a partner and stop the invasion. When a powerful priest convinces the faithful that killing Alessa is the island’s only hope, her own soldiers try to assassinate her.

Desperate to survive, Alessa hires Dante, a cynical outcast marked as a killer, to become her personal bodyguard. But as rebellion explodes outside the gates, Dante’s dark secrets may be the biggest betrayal. He holds the key to her survival and her heart, but is he the one person who can help her master her gift or destroy her once and for all?

Emily Thiede’s exciting fantasy debut, This Vicious Grace, will keep readers turning the pages until the devastating conclusion and leave them primed for more!

Lauren’s debut, WITHIN THESE WICKED WALLS, a NYT/Indie Bestseller and Reese’s Book Club pick, is in stores now!

What the heart desires, the house destroys.

Kiersten White meets Tomi Adeyemi in this Ethiopian-inspired debut fantasy retelling of Jane Eyre.

Andromeda is a debtera—an exorcist hired to cleanse households of the Evil Eye. When a handsome young heir named Magnus Rochester reaches out to hire her, Andromeda quickly realizes this is a job like no other, with horrifying manifestations at every turn, and that Magnus is hiding far more than she has been trained for. Death is the most likely outcome if she stays, but leaving Magnus to live out his curse alone isn’t an option. Evil may roam the castle’s halls, but so does a burning desire.

Available wherever books are sold:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Bookshop | IndieBound | Audible | Libro.fm | Prince Books


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. 


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