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Pitch Wars Team Interviews: Jessica Gibson with mentors K.T. Hanna and Jami Nord and Julie M. Mulligan and her mentor Laura Heffernan

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 . . .

Jessica Gibson – Mentee

Website | Twitter

K.T. Hanna – Mentor

Website | Twitter

Jami Nord – Mentor

Website | Twitter

Jessica, why did you choose to submit to K.T. and Jami?

Simply, they wanted “Adult Romance–PLUS”, as well as all the dark. I felt Through the Inferno qualified, especially since they were actively looking for diverse manuscripts. How well we fit together was an unexpected twist, and surprising plot points are a particular fondness!

K.T., why did you and Jami choose Jessie?

Inferno is a strong ownvoices story, with a great plot. Throughout our communication, we knew Jessi would be good to work with, and that we could definitely help the manuscript within the time frame. And, we really loved the story. Voila!

Jessica, summarize your book in 3 words.

Wrenching. Fiery. Hopeful.

K.T., summarize Jessica’s book in 3 words.

Ownvoices, Betrayal, Love

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

As a trans woman and former professional firefighter, I’ve walked in the shoes of each of the MC’s. The kernel of the book came about after musing that a firefighter injured in the line of duty, dealing with scars (physical and psychological) and going into the world with a ‘new face’, was on a journey that shared similarities with trans people’s. Realizing the plotframe of Beauty and the Beast spoke to this really helped unlock the story I wanted to share, and informs the narrative without being a literal retelling.

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

I love to sing, and I play four instruments and write my own songs. TADAAAAA

And next, we have . . .

Julie M. Mulligan – Mentee

Website | Twitter

Laura Heffernan – Mentor

Website | Twitter

Julie, why did you choose to submit to Laura?

I knew immediately that I wanted to submit to Laura because we a shared interest in humorous, light-hearted stories. I love how active she is in the writing community, and you can tell she really cares about helping up-and-coming authors. Since my MS straddles the line between WF and romance, I knew she would be able to help me find where it fits. She also loves STEM, and all my protagonists have careers in some kind of STEM field. However, the biggest draw for me was that she “tends to prefer to laugh rather than to cry”, which is me any day of the week.

Laura, why did you choose Julie?

I spotted Julie’s book in QueryKombat, and had to do a lot of negotiating with Michelle to get her on my team. One of the things that jumped out at me was how Julie’d revised her submission packet based on the judge’s feedback. The result was even better than the original entry, and seeing that she was willing to do the work immediately put Julie in my Top 5. Then I read the book, and it was completely hilarious. I almost hurt myself reading at the gym because I couldn’t stop laughing. I knew early on that it was one of the entries to beat. Light, fun women’s fiction with a romantic subplot is my kryptonite.

Julie, summarize your book in 3 words.

Humorous. Friendship. Self-Discovery.

Laura, summarize ’s book(s) in 3 words.

Wacky actuary fun

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

I was born and raised in Texas, but left when I was twenty-five. I would move every year if I could, because I love learning about new places beyond just vacationing there. I lived in Minneapolis, MN for a while, where my MS is set, and settled in South Florida with my husband, three kids, and cat. My MS is about an actuary, which is a career not written about often and is only about 35% female. While my MS is about a serious mathematician, the story itself is fun and lighthearted, which provides an interesting contrast.

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

My upcoming GAMER GIRL series blends elements of my two mentees’ books in some ways, so it’s not a huge shock that I loved them.

Our mentors’ latest releases…

Chameleon (The Domino Project Book 1) by [Hanna, K.T.]Chameleon (The Domino Project Book 1) by K.T. Hanna


“… dystopian gold.” Kirkus Reviews

When Sai’s newly awoken psionic powers accidentally destroy her apartment complex, she’s thrown into an intensive training program. Her only options are pass or die.

Surviving means proving her continued existence isn’t a mistake–a task her new mentor, Bastian, takes personally. Her abilities place her in the GNW Enforcer division, and partners her with Domino 12, who is eerily human for an alien-parasite psionic hybrid.

After eliminating an Exiled scientist, she discovers someone is manipulating both sides of the conflict. With each mission more perilous, Sai must figure out who to trust before her next assignment becomes her last.

Sweet Reality (Reality Star) by [Heffernan, Laura]

Sweet Reality by Laura Heffernan


Jen Reid’s life after walking off a reality show has been great–she’s gone from being a broke twenty-four-year-old Seattleite with no love life and no job to the twenty-five-year-old who got the guy, moved to Miami, and is starting a bakery with her best friend. She thinks her showmance love might be about to propose. And with mouthwatering goodies based on everyone’s favorite shows, her business, Sweet Reality, is destined for success.

That is, until a killer competitor opens right across the street. If she’s going to save Sweet Reality, Jen has to come up with a secret ingredient–like the recipe that won Totally 80s Bake-Off. Jen can get it–if she steps back into the spotlight. Soon she and her boyfriend are out to sea on a cruise ship full of reality stars, including her nemesis, Ariana; her lying, cheating ex; and some wicked producers looking to bring the drama. Separate cabins, “surprises” from her past, and scenarios tailor-made to spark fights are just the beginning. But with her self-respect, her business, and her future on the line, the fallout from this made-for-TV plotline will be all too real . . .

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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