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Pitch Wars Team Interviews: Amy Kathryn Jones and mentors Mary Ann Marlowe and Kelli Newby & Angela Wang and mentor Sheena Boekweg

Thursday, 21 September 2017  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

Our mentors are editing, our mentees are revising, and we hope you’re making progress on your own manuscript! While we’re all working toward the Agent Showcase on November 1st-7th, we hope you’ll take a moment during your writing breaks and get to know our 2017 Pitch Wars Teams.

And now, we have . . .

Amy Kathryn Jones – Mentee

Website | Twitter


Mary Ann Marlowe – Mentor

Website | Twitter


Kelli Newby – Mentor

Website | Twitter


Amy, why did you choose to submit to your Mary Ann and Kelli?

There were many mentors willing to consider contemporary romance, and more than six who sounded like they might like my plot and characters. What ultimately put Mary Ann and Kelli into my top four (out of six–I attacked that drop down list very randomly on the submission site) was their plan of attack, their enthusiasm, and their experience, both in writing and in their professional lives.

Their wish list was a perfect match for my novel, and their bios made me want to be BFFs with both of them. So funny and GIF-y. Also, Mary Ann’s favorite book list read a lot like my Kindle library. They both had tons of experience both with PitchWars and other competitions, and their game plan for revisions sounded like something that could really help get my book into tip-top shape. In addition, they said they would be in “constant contact” with their chosen mentee. It was really important to me to have a mentor who was available and approachable. I think I won the jackpot. I could not be luckier to have been chosen by them. I still can’t believe my book was the one they were looking for.

Mary Ann and Kelli, why did you choose Amy?

Amy’s MS was an easy pick for us. We’re suckers for beta heroes to begin with, but wrap that up in a bad ass martial arts fighter? Swoons galore. What sealed the deal was the fluidity of Amy’s writing and the way she used the heroine’s job to poetically reframe her inner conflicts. Oh, and the cat.

Amy, summarize your book in 3 words.

Surrender, Cage Fighter.

Mary Ann and Kelli, summarize Amy’s book in 3 words.

Nursing broken fighter.

Amy, tell us about yourself! What makes you and your MS unique?

I’m your basic writing, working wife and mom. I have a daughter and son, and a husband with a man bun. I’m an extroverted introvert with a passion for competitive reality TV, and full-on series binges. I love music for the lyrics and the voice, and I’m a sucker for a great love story. I cry at the end of pretty much every movie. If I had to name one gift I was born with, I’d say it’s empathy. That being said…

I’ve been a labor and delivery nurse for fourteen years. My heroine is my first fictional L&D nurse. She was inspired by a friend and co-worker of mine. As a nurse I’ve been witness to a wide range of human experiences, and with that, I got to use what I’ve seen and learned in my career to add depth to my character and the narrative–the kind I like to find when I read, but isn’t always part of a romance novel. If anyone can do labor as a metaphor for falling in love–it’s me.

My hero is a kung fu world champion turned MMA fighter. For him, I was inspired by my nine-year old son’s experience training in kung fu at a very traditional school by a legendary Grandmaster of the martial art. My hero’s loyalty, humility, and general beta-ness make him a great, swoon-worthy character.

Based on my research and personal experience, this novel aims to show how having a baby, becoming a champion, and falling in love aren’t really all that different.

Mary Ann tell us about yourself. Something we may not already know.

I share something in common with Amy’s MC Gabe in that I’ve spent many years in a martial arts setting, and we both own a sword and nunchucks. Like him, I also have a second degree black belt, but I don’t think I had to work as hard for it as he did. Also, I collect foreign languages and just started re-learning Spanish, so I super happy to come across a super hot Puerto Rican in Gabe.

Kelli tell us about yourself. Something we may not already know.

I spent most of high school and college fighting with foam swords as a live action role player (LARPer). It’s way easier on the body than MMA.

And next, we have . . .

Angela Wang – Mentee



Sheena Boekweg – Mentor

Website | Twitter


Angela, why did you choose to submit to your Sheena?

I’m a teenpit mentee, so I was fortunate enough to skip the submission process! (If I could, though, I’d definitely submit to Sheena a hundred times over).

Sheena, why did you choose Angela?

I fell in love with her lyric prose back when the first 100 was posted for Teen Pit, and I’m so glad to be working with her. She’s an incredible writer, super nice, and a hard worker.

Angela, summarize your book in 3 words.

Time. Identity. Technology.

Sheena, summarize Angela’s book in 3 words.

Canadian Time Wanderers.

Angela, tell us about yourself! What makes you and your MS unique?

I’m proud to be a teen writer! I just graduated high school this past June (and hopefully gave a decent valedictorian speech), and now I’m settling into my first year of Engineering. I love science and technology just as much as I love writing, and that’s reflected a lot in the world of my manuscript (genetic enhancements! Future cars! Maglev trains!). My characters also draw a lot from my own experiences, both as a Chinese-Canadian trying to maintain a balance between my roots and the society around me, and as a teenager coming of age. Alongside time-travel shenanigans, my characters are also trying to answer the deep existential questions I’m pretty sure all us teenagers have: who are we, and who do we want to become? (And also: is it possible to swim with one arm?)

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

I’ve listened to the new Kesha album 50+ times, and I’m obsessed with Lourde’s Liability and Perfect Places video. I have really strong opinions on the boys who were once One Direction and their hair… especially their hair. I have a vintage typewriter, and polka dot glasses and I think it’s important to cheer people on because I’m dark and twisty inside (thanks Serotonin!) Also I’m a mom of three, I’m writing my tenth book (woo!) and I’m represented by Jessica Sinsheimer.

Our mentors’ latest releases…

SOME KIND OF MAGIC by Mary Ann Marlowe

Amazon | Goodreads

Biochemist Eden Sinclair has no idea that the scent she spritzed on herself before leaving the lab is designed to enhance pheromones. Or that the cute, grungy-looking guy she meets at a gig that evening is Adam Copeland. As in the Adam Copeland international rock god and object of lust for a million women. Make that a million and one. By the time she learns the truth, she s already spent the (amazing, incredible) night in his bed.

Suddenly Eden, who’s more accustomed to being set up on disastrous dates by her mom, is going out with a gorgeous celebrity who loves how down-to-earth and honest she is. But for once, Eden isn’t being honest. She can’t bear to reveal that this overpowering attraction could be nothing more than seduction by science. And the only way to know how Adam truly feels is to ditch the perfume—and risk being ditched in turn.

Smart, witty, and sexy, Some Kind of Magic is an irresistibly engaging look at modern relationships why we fall, how we connect, and the courage it takes to trust in something as mysterious and unpredictable as love.

Thank you for supporting our Pitch Wars Teams! The Agent Showcase is November 1st-7th, and our next #PitMad is December 7, 2017!



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