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Pitch Wars Team Interviews: Andrea Contos with her mentors Sonia Hartl and Annette Christie & Carrie Pulkinen and her mentor Caitlin Sinead

Monday, 25 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 . . .

Andrea Contos – Mentee

Website | Twitter


 Annette Christie – Mentor

Website | Twitter

 Sonia Hartl – Mentor

Website | Twitter


Andrea, why did you choose to submit to Sonia and Annette?

I had Sonia and Annette (celeb mashup name: Soniette) on my tentative mentor list well before the wishlists came out. I suspected, given the age and genre of the books they write, that their wishlist might match my manuscript, and I loved how friendly, welcoming, smart, and hilarious they were on the Pitch Wars feed. Then the wishlists came out, and so many of their “wants”—from girls that champion each other and f/f romance, to mysteries with blackmail and revenge—were a perfect fit for my book. And maybe even more importantly, I felt like our values and personalities would be a great match, which, I think, can make a huge difference in a contest and revision process like Pitch Wars.

Annette, why did you and Sonia choose Andrea?

Andrea’s writing is gorgeous and the themes of her book, THROWAWAY GIRLS, resonated so strongly with us. Sonia and I both sobbed while reading about the missing girls who were overlooked and the ones who weren’t, and we suffered pretty terrible book hangovers once we finished the full manuscript. When we brainstormed together and figured out how to sharpen and tighten this already incredible story, we knew we had to have it.

Andrea, summarize your book in 3 words.

Regrets. Revenge. Redemption.

Annette, summarize Andrea’s book(s) in 3 words.

Heart-wrenching, stunning, powerful

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

I used to be an adult fantasy writer! I’d been told that my voice would be a great fit for YA, but this manuscript was actually my very first attempt at both Young Adult and a contemporary/non-fantasy concept—though having a good mystery at the core has always been a constant in my books.

I actually tried to make this book a fantasy at first, but this voice in my head (that later turned out to be my MC) gave that a hard pass, and when I finally stopped resisting, the entire story fell into place. I think it’s unique because I tried to take the idea of missing girls and tell the story from an angle that focused on not only our fascination with teen girls as victims, but also the ways we empower young girls in society–and the ways we fail to. But amidst all that there’s also tons of mystery and suspense, laughs and heartbreak. And maybe an explosion.

Random fun facts!
I have a POV that’s unnamed.
The two POVs are told in different tenses, but no one ever notices.
There’s a huge clue to one of the book’s biggest mysteries on the first page!

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

I once worked out with Richard Simmons. He was the most glorious, effervescent human I’ve ever been around.


And next, we have  . . .

Carrie Pulkinen – Mentee

Website | Twitter

Caitlin Sinead – Mentor

Website| Twitter


Carrie, why did you choose to submit to Jessica?

With Caitlin’s requirements that submissions have both speculative elements and romance, my manuscript seemed like a perfect fit. She has a master’s degree in writing, has been through the query trenches, and has come out on the other side with an agent. Plus she made an adorable infographic to illustrate her wish list! So cute!

Caitlin, why did you choose Carrie?

I love ghost stories and ghost tours, so I was interested right away. Then I was blown away by the well crafted romance.

Carrie, summarize your book in 3 words.

romantic ghost story

Caitlin summarize ’s book(s) in 3 words.

Spooky. Kissing. New Orleans. (Cities count as one word, right?)

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

My manuscript is a ghost story set in New Orleans, which is my favorite city in the world. The hero runs a haunted history tour company, and while I can’t say I’ve been on EVERY ghost tour in New Orleans, I’ve probably been on most of them. I’ve even done a little ghost hunting myself, so I have first-hand experience with some of the events that happen in the story.

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

My city, Alexandria, VA, has great ghost tours.


Our mentors’ latest releases…


Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Eighteen-year-old Peyton Arthur is about to start college. Oh…and she’s the daughter of a U.S. vice presidential candidate.“Ruthless campaign machinations in a race to the U.S. presidential election set the background for this endearing New Adult romance about the daughter of the vice presidential candidate….Red Blooded is a slow burn, and you can look forward to that escalating, sizzling sexual tension culminating in a hot love scene during the conclusion of the novel.” –  USA TODAYThe author’s portrayal of a young girl’s struggle between personal need and social duty will have readers dying to know if her father was her father, if her mother will win the election, and if Dylan and Peyton are meant to be.” – Library Journal

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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