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Pitch Wars Team Interviews: Jason Franz with mentor Kevin A. Springer & Jason Hine with mentor Michelle Hauck

Monday, 9 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 . . .

Jason Franz – Mentee



Kevin A. Springer – Mentor

Website | Twitter


Jason, why did you choose to submit to Kevin?

Based on who he is on Twitter and his book, EXTRAORDINARY SAM: AND THE ADVENTURER’S GUILD, Kevin seemed like a really fun guy who would be a good choice for the humor and pacing in my work. I read and re-read his blog to really understand what he was looking for–a quirky character who is not part of the cool kids. That sounded like my MC, Abraham Truman, all over.

Kevin was also looking for a fast-paced story, and, while I believed mine met that criteria as it takes place in a span of 4 days, I knew it still needed to be tighter, and that Kevin could help me with that.

Kevin was also looking for a mentee we who could take criticism. I was fortunate enough to have also been in a few similar events earlier in the year such as sunvsnow, pitchmadness, and the 1st 5 pages workshop. These events taught me a lot about taking criticism and running with it. Take advantage of these types of amazing, free events, they’ll teach you have to have an open mind as they did me. Publishers may want to change your title, character names, and many other things. It’s important to embrace change now, in this safer environment, to avoid conflicts in the future when working with your publisher. I knew I’d be prepared to make any change necessary because of my willingness to do so in the past, and because I have come to a point where I’m willing to kill which ever of my little darlings is holding me back.

Kevin, why did you choose Jason?

There were several submissions that really grabbed me, but Jason’s story (SIXTH GRADE SECRET SERVICE) was different. It was already a well thought out and well written, but I saw there was a next level potential there. The things I felt it needed to get over the top were things I could address and help him get there. Come agent round, this one will be one to watch.

Jason, summarize your book in 3 words.

Family history rewritten.

Kevin, summarize Jason’s book(s) in 3 words.

Intrigue, Growth, Redemption

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

I think what makes Sixth Grade Secret Service unique is that it’s one part comedy, one part caper, with some history mixed in, in what I hope is a fun way. It’s led by the grandson of history’s most inept secret service agents. Blamed for some of history’s biggest blunders, Abraham’s family has been the laughing stock of the secret service crop. Because he seems to share his ancestor’s bad luck, Abraham thinks he’ s destined to be just like grandfathers. When Abe’s best friend, and crush, the sixth grade class president, goes missing, Abe must do the impossible to get her back…believe in himself.

I think what is unique about me is that I hated reading when I was kid. I could read in 1st and 2nd grade but the only way I could comprehend what I read was if I read out loud. This obviously disrupted other kids, so I was exiled to read alone in the hall. My mom was a librarian so she was always trying to get me to read. By sixth grade I could read alright. Very slowly, but alright, so I only did it when I had to.

But then I discovered K.A. Applegate’s ANIMORPHS series. I got book #2 from the school book order and I was hooked. Mom, bless her heart, was allowed to order books for for herself through the library book order and eventually got me the whole series, which I still proudly display in my office today.

I write my books with the reluctant reader in mind because if my books could get published and help some kids like me get into reading, it will have all been worth it.

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

I want the rebellion to win, but I still root for the Stormtroopers!


And next, we have  . . .

Jason Hine – Mentee

Website | Twitter


Michelle Hauck – Mentor

Website | Twitter


Jason, why did you choose to submit to Michelle?

I based my mentor picks off of the books they liked to read. I figured mentors who enjoyed books from a similar style to what I write in would have an understanding of the story I’m striving to tell.

In Michelle’s case, I’d read her blog before I’d even thought about signing up for PitchWars, so I recognized her from it. I also loved the confidence of Wishlist post, and that it made me laugh. She also mentioned she was looking for an antihero, and well, I had one of those to share.

Michelle, why did you choose Jason?

I choose Nightmare Ink because it’s fast-paced and full of twists. The characters explode off the page with personality, while the unique elements of a curse buster main character gives this urban fantasy something new. Plus it’s damn funny on top of all the other positive elements.

Jason, summarize your book in 3 words.

Cursed Tattoos Vegas

Michelle, summarize Jason’s book(s) in 3 words.

Hexjammer in Vegas

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

Nightmare Ink came about because I wanted to write a protagonist who I thought would be fun to hang out with, but was completely unlike me. In real life, I’m a small business owner and an ex-psych professor, so I try and be pretty thoughtful, analytical, and well, boring.

Wayne is none of those things.

That’s not to say he can’t be clever, but it’s a “”shoot from the hip kind”” of clever. He’s always dealing with things bigger and nastier than he is, and he’s usually a step behind. But he is relentless, which is one of the things I admire about him most. That at least, we share.

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

My favorite place in the world is Wrigley Field.


Our mentors’ latest releases…


Extraordinary Sam & the Adventurers’ Guild by Kevin A. Springer


Sam Miller believes he is just an ordinary 12 year-old-boy, but he feels he was destined for more. The discovery of a mysterious box, left for him be his missing grandfather, changes his life forever. He finds himself in a strange world full of adventure and magic where he must battle pirates, giant spiders, and an evil, fire-throwing tyrant. To survive, Sam must overcome his fears, solve the riddles, and most of all, be EXTRAORDINARY!


STEADFAST (Book 3 in the Birth of Saints Series) by Michelle Hauck (Release Date: December 5, 2017)


Against an angry god whose only desire is to wipe out all life, what hope is there to survive?

The army from the north has left a trail of burned and captured cities. In trying to stop them, Claire and Ramiro unleashed the northern god, Dal, but now they face two monstrosities and no amount of honor or hope can stop the killing as Dal grows in power.

Searching for a miracle, Claire finds the elders of the Women of the Song, who might teach her a thing or two about using her voice magic to fight back—if they can put aside their own problems first—while Ramiro searches for truth in his dreams, leading him to the northern priestess Santabe, the only one who could share her knowledge of Dal and the mysterious magical Diviners.

Claire must unite the Women of the Song in the face of utter destruction, and Ramiro must decide how far he will go to get the answers he needs to defeat the rampaging god.

It will take nothing less than a saint to rise and face the leviathan before they all become martyrs.


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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