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Pitch Wars Team Interviews: Cassandra Frances with mentor Cole Gibson and Adrianna Cuevas with mentor Jessica Bayliss

Saturday, 28 October 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 . . .

Cassandra Frances – Mentee

Website | Twitter

Cole Gibsen – Mentor

Website | Twitter

Cassandra, why did you choose to submit to Cole?

The mentors I submitted to had wishlists that closely matched my work, and/or we had favourite books in common.

Cole, why did you choose Cassandra?

Cassandra has written an incredibly dark, immersive gothic tale chock full of emotional and character depth. I was hooked from the first line.

Cassandra, summarize your book in 3 words.

ghostly toxic sisters

Cole, summarize Cassandra’s book in 3 words.

Australian ghost gothic

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

I like oxford commas, but I love semi-colons.
I come from country Victoria in Australia but I now live in Melbourne, a UNESCO City of Literature, and it is filled to the brim with terrific books and writers, and ghosts, probably.
I love the weird and the macabre and the things that happen just at the edge of our world. So I write about ghosts, creepy sisters and friends, what happens ‘out there,’ what we won’t talk about, and bad love with some good kissing.

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

My latest YA novel, RISEN, will be released early 2018. It’s pitched at TWILIGHT meets GAME OF THRONES.

And next, we have  . . .

Adrianna Cuevas – Mentee


Jessica Bayliss – Mentor

Website | Twitter

Adrianna, why did you choose to submit to Jessica?

I knew my mentor’s background in psychology would help me strengthen the characters and their motivations in my manuscript. Also, her experience in pitch contests showed me she understood the process and could empathize with what I was going through. Finally, her blog hop post showed that she had a great sense of humor and was someone I could definitely get along with and have fun with as we worked together on my manuscript.

Jessica, why did you choose Adrianna?

Adrianna’s book, originally submitted as THE HYBRIDS OF NEW HAVEN, had me laughing literally on page one. I had some fabulous submissions–many thrilling adventures, spooky stories, and more laughs than I expected–and there were a few strong contenders. But her story stayed on my mind, and I found myself looking forward to getting back to it as I moved from submission to submission. Finally, I thought it was such a great book as it was, and I was dying to talk to the author to share some things I felt confident could make it even better.

Adrianna, summarize your book in 3 words.

Animals. Magic. Sarcasm.

Jessica, summarize Adrianna’s book in 3 words.

Laughs. Thrills. Heart.

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

I am an educator with 15 years experience teaching English, Spanish, and ESOL. As a middle grade author, my heart is set on reaching reluctant readers and those who feel they aren’t represented in children’s literature.
My book draws on experiences from each member of my family. I chose to reflect my own Cuban-American heritage in the culture represented by my main character and his family. My husband’s experiences as an Army veteran informed my main character’s relationship with his deployed father. Finally, my son’s obsession with zoology inspired the creation of the animal-human morphs in the book.

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

I’ve sung in choirs since high school. I joined a community choir in 2006, but I quit in around 2013 so I’d have more time to write.


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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