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Pitch Wars Team Interviews: Anna Mercier and mentor Lyndsay Ely & Anne Raven and mentor Marty Mayberry

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 . . .

Anna Mercier – Mentee

Website | Twitter


Lyndsay Ely – Mentor

Website | Twitter


Anna, why did you choose to submit to Lyndsay?

It’s cliché, but something truly clicked when I read Lyndsay’s wish list. If The Last Airbender gifs didn’t seal the deal, her request for a Kara Thrace style complicated, complex protagonist did. My MC has all the sharp edges and steadfast loyalty of Starbuck, so it felt like a good fit. I also appreciated her enthusiasm and need for deadlines. I’m very much the type of person who works hard to play hard, and I got the feeling she was too. Then I read about her book Gunslinger Girl and died. She not only wanted complicated, complex characters, but she’d written one I’m craving to read about come 2018. I was sold.

Lyndsay, why did you choose Anna?

ALL OF US STARS gave me exactly what the query promised: a Battlestar Galactica meets Six of Crows vibe. I pretty much knew before I read the first chapter that I’d be asking to see the full. And once I had it, I fell in love with the characters. AoUS was just bursting with possibilities, and I couldn’t wait for the opportunity to work with Anna on it.

Anna, summarize your book in 3 words.

Family. Rebellion. Cybernetics.

Lyndsay, summarize Anna’s book(s) in 3 words.

Pirates. In. Space!

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

ALL OF US STARS is one part heist, one part corrupt government, and two parts friends becoming a family. It focuses on a crew of teens who must find their place in the vast galaxy despite their desires conflicting with the needs of humanity. As a teen, I struggled to find my place with larger issues of the world (politics, war, activism, etc.), so AoUS represents that inner struggle to set aside personal comfort for the sake of others. All of this is told from the POV of teens who survive through their charisma, brute force, wits, and faith.

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

I’m a James Bond aficionado.

And next, we have . . .

Anne Raven – Mentee

Website | Twitter


Marty Mayberry – Mentor

Website | Twitter


Anne, why did you choose to submit to Marty?

Choosing a mentor was so difficult, but luckily there was no wrong answer. The first day the mentor-blog-hop went live, I couldn’t resist diving right into the list. I scanned all of the adult mentors to find my genre, and then set to work narrowing it down to the ideal match. So tough! I could have happily submitted to a dozen mentors, but had to pick a mere four.

My manuscript did a bit of travelling between the mentors behind the scenes, going from a mentor I submitted to, to a mentor I hadn’t, and finally along to Marty. I was thrilled because she was on my shortlist. Not only was her wish list with her co-mentor, Léonie Kelsall, a great match for my MS, but their mentor style sounded right up my alley. They said they were looking for a partnership, and that’s exactly how I imagined the mentor/mentee relationship. I couldn’t be happier. Marty is the perfect mentor-mom for me, and I got a wacky-Australian-Aunt in Léonie, along with three mentee siblings to complete the #TeamFineWine family.

Marty, why did you choose Anne?

Anne’s MS was passed to me from another mentor, which shows that while we mentors might not feel we’re the best fit for a manuscript, we’re happy to share it to someone else. Anne’s query made me eager to read her pages. I love romantic suspense, and Anne’s premise was unusual, something I haven’t read before. A kick-ass heroine who’s eager to revenge her mother’s murder, combined with a cage-fighting hero who’s equally determined to keep the heroine safe. After reading pages, I HAD to have this MS for my Wild Card. And now the clock ticks down until November. Anne is proving herself a dream mentee, and I’m excited to see her revision. Even more, I can’t wait to share her first page and pitch in the agent round.

Anne, summarize your book in 3 words.

Revenge. Romance. Redemption.

Marty, summarize Anne’s book(s) in 3 words.

Revenge, Love, Peace.

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

I’m South African, and I can assure everyone we don’t live in mud huts or have lions roaming wild on the streets—unless you count the feral cat next door. I’m an extreme introvert and the epitome of a good-girl, so of course I wrote about a confident, badass heroine with homicidal tendencies. I took two art subjects in high school—not recommended for the faint at heart—and attempted a career as an artist. I quickly discovered making it in the art world is even more difficult than the publishing industry, believe it or not.

While on the surface my MS is about a young woman seeking vengeance for her mother’s murder, it’s really a love story. The themes explore the love between mother and daughter, the love the MC finds in her surrogate family, and the love between her and the romantic interest. I was also inspired by a Nietzsche quote from Beyond Good and Evil, which explores the ethics of our actions. Given the nature of her intentions, my MC walks a tight moral line and has to fight not to become the very monster she seeks to destroy.

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

When I was sixteen, I was crowned the County Farm Bureau Queen (really, lol)

Our mentors’ latest releases…



Seventeen-year-old Serendipity “Pity” Jones inherited two things from her mother: a pair of six shooters and perfect aim. She’s been offered a life of fame and fortune in Cessation, a glittering city where lawlessness is a way of life. But the price she pays for her freedom may be too great….

Releases on January 2, 2018 from Jimmy Patterson/Little, Brown.




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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