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Pitch Wars Team Interviews: Jennifer L. Brown and mentors Tara Creel and Jenna Lehne & Mimi Powell and mentor Stephanie Faris

Thursday, 19 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 . . .

Jennifer L. Brown – Mentee

Website | Twitter


Tara Creel – Mentor

Website | Twitter


Jenna Lehne – Mentor

Website | Twitter


Jennifer, why did you choose to submit to Tara and Jenna?

Tara and Jenna’s wishlist hit so many sweet spots for me. They gushed about titles that I absolutely love—the ones I shove into people’s hands any chance I get. LISA PIZZA’S PERNICIOUS CURSE opens with a séance, which works perfectly with Jenna and Tara’s passion for all things creepy and magical. They also requested a plot with twists and turns, and my MS fits the bill on that account too. But more than anything, their knowledge about the craft of writing and enthusiasm for the stories they love totally won me over. I am so jazzed to be with working with both of them!

Tara and Jenna, why did you choose Jennifer?

We couldn’t NOT choose her. Jennifer’s voice is outstanding. Her story had so much heart and twists and Italian food and everything we had never even realized we wanted in a book. It felt like Jenn had written this just for us. We fell in love after the first few chapters and started fighting for it the moment we finished.

Jennifer, summarize your book in 3 words.

Curses. Puzzles. Pizza.

Tara and Jenna, summarize Jennifer’s book in 3 words.

Pernicious Curses, Family, Redemption.

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

When I was in middle school, we conducted séances, summoned spirits with Ouija boards, and watched The Craft at nearly every sleepover I attended. Although I was never saddled with a curse after these events, LISA PIZZA’S PERNICIOUS CURSE would not be the same book without those memories. My MC and I also share an intense love of garlic knots, games, and beautifully crafted insults.

LISA PIZZA’S PERNICIOUS CURSE is about two 12-year-old best friends who attend a séance, get cursed, and struggle with some pretty disastrous consequences. But there’s a lot of humor, heart, a life-sized board game, and oodles of Italian food.

Sadly, I have not attended a séance in years. I live in NYC, where I sometimes act in plays and always write in coffee shops.

Tara and Jenna, tell us about yourself. Something we may not already know.

Tara: I’ve recently become a Zumba addict and entertain my boys by dancing around the house all day long.

Jenna: Something about me no one knows: I’m super jealous of mediums and their skills. If the thought of exploring the unknown wasn’t so terrifying, I’d have my own TLC show by now.

And next, we have  . . .

Mimi Powell – Mentee

Website | Twitter


Stephanie Faris – Mentor

Website | Twitter


Mimi, why did you choose to submit to Stephanie?

I actually submitted to all of the middle grade mentors who were looking for spooky or ghost stories, but Stephanie was one of the few mentors whose book was in my local library. I really loved the voice of the book and the humor. So, I was hoping that she’d choose me, but it seemed like a long shot, given that her favorite books were mostly girly contemporaries. I was so stoked when I got her email asking for the full.

Stephanie, why did you choose Mimi?

Her first chapter grabbed me in a way that few books have in my life. Once arrived at the end of Chapter One, I had to go back to the beginning and read the chapter over again–it was that compelling!

Mimi, summarize your book in 3 words.

Spooky, Fun, Moms.

Stephanie, summarize Mimi’s book(s) in 3 words.

Rocks your world!

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

I have a picture book published, Gwendolyn the Library Fairy, which is based on my experience as a public library intern. I spent a lot of time looking for missing items, but now, I am a collection development librarian with eighteen years experience.

Ghost Hunter was inspired by my mom who taught me a love of writing and spooky stories. She hated the tropes of orphaned children. So, I decided to turn that trope on its head. Ultimately, Ghost Hunter is about a girl’s relationship with her mom and how she navigates that while coming into her own.

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

I went to the same high school as Taylor Swift–twenty or so years before she went there.

Our mentors’ latest releases…

Pizza My Heart Pizzathology Book by Jenna Lehne (contributor)


Gooey cheese and warm pepperoni, with a side of kissing and murder. A Pizza My Heart is a quirky and fun anthology that crosses all genres. Fifteen extraordinary authors have united to tell stories of mystery, mayhem, romance, danger, deceit…and pizza. Sometimes spicy, sometimes cheesy, but always delicious, A Pizza My Heart invites you to explore life, happiness, and the pursuit of pizza.





Best. Night. Ever. By Stephanie Faris (Co-author)


Love Actually meets Adventures in Babysitting in this hilarious novel written by seven authors about seven classmates who are preparing for a crazy night at their middle school dance.

Lynnfield Middle School is prepped and ready for a dance to remember, including an awesome performance from Heart Grenade, the all-girl band who recently won a Battle of the Bands contest. Seven classmates—Carmen, Genevieve, Tess, Ryan, Ellie, Ashlyn, and Jade—intend to make the most of the night…or at least the five of them who are able to attend do. The other two would sacrifice almost anything to be there.

One thing’s for sure—this entire crew is in for one epic night! Gail Nall, Dee Romito, Rachele Alpine, Ronni Arno, Alison Cherry, Stephanie Faris, and Jen Malone have created a charming, hilarious, and relatable novel that’s perfect for anyone who can’t wait to dance the night away.

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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