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Pitch Wars Team Interviews with Briana Miano and her mentors, Raquel Vasquez Gilliland and Sandra Proudman

Wednesday, 13 November 2019  |  Posted by Rochelle Karina


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 starting on February 5, 2020, we hope you’ll take a moment during your writing breaks and get to know our 2019 Pitch Wars Mentor and Mentee Teams.

Next up, we have . . .

Briana Miano – Mentee



Raquel Vasquez Gilliland – Mentor

Website | Twitter


Sandra Proudman – Mentor

Insta | Twitter

Raquel and Sandra, why did you choose Briana?

Raquel: I was hooked from the first sentence of THE MANY WORLDS OF SOPHIE RUIZ. Briana’s clean prose and depth of emotional writing gave me chills as I continued to read the manuscript. I could tell that this was a book of her heart because there’s so much resonance in the story. I also had a clear vision of the kind of revisions the manuscript could use to strengthen it.

Sandra: There was so much to love in THE MANY WORLD OF SOPHIE RUIZ. The sisterly bond. The romance. The portal world. And the writing itself. Beyond that, I could feel Briana’s emotions come alive on page, and I could tell this was a personal and important story to her. I was also attracted to the story thematically, and knew that it was a story we need in the world for all of the teens coping with the loss of a loved one today.

Briana, why did you choose to submit to Raquel and Sandra?

I chose to submit my MS to Raquel and Sandra because I was up for the challenge of doing a big revision and knew my story needed it. Their strengths were also on things I felt I needed help with the most, so that was really important to me. On a more personal level, I thought it’d be wonderful to work on my #OwnVoices Latinx manuscript with mentors who were passionate about promoting Latinx writers and could help when it came to making sure my identity shone after revisions! I also just really loved their introduction and wishlist blog post. I felt like we shared a lot in common and thought being their mentee would be fun (and I was right!).

Raquel and Sandra, summarize Briana’s book in 3 words.

Raquel: Grief, Portal, Love

Sandra: Authentic, Dreamlike, Family

Briana, summarize your book in 3 words.

Healing, Hopeful, Magical

Raquel and Sandra, tell us about yourself. Something we may not already know.

Raquel: I just moved to Eastern Tennessee and I love it!

Sandra: I love photography and have actually sold nature prints world-wide!

Briana, what do you hope to get out of the Pitch Wars experience?

To learn as much as possible from Sandra and Raquel! Whether that’s figuring out how to query and everything that comes with it, learning how to revise and edit on a deadline, or discovering ways to hone my craft. I hope to come away from Pitch Wars having a better feel for what it takes to be a writer wanting to publish traditionally.

Briana, tell us about yourself! What makes you and your manuscript unique?

I’ve always wanted to disappear into books since the moment I was able to read. There was something about stories that I couldn’t get enough of. If I ran out of books in a series, I’d try to write up continuations of my own, or create worlds and recruit my sister and friends and have them follow my script. That need for stories only grew as I got older and started to deal with tougher things. My manuscript is very much a look in on what I tried so hard to do as a kid dealing with my grandparent’s deaths and then my mom’s cancer diagnosis. I think everyone at some point wants to escape into a story world. I know I did because stories were a place I could heal and find ways to face the real world. That’s exactly what my MC does, but with the bonus of some magic I’m SUPER jealous of! Basing the rest of the story in my hometown of San Antonio, Texas–and including the culture and foods of growing up half-Colombian–just made it even more of a physical representation of my heart. I’m so proud of it and who I am and where I come from!


Coming August 4th, 2020! Check out the pre-order links here.

Thank you for supporting our Pitch Wars Teams! The Agent Showcase is February 5 – 10, 2020, and our next Twitter Pitch Party on #PitMad is December 5, 2019! Want to know more about #PitMad? Go here


Filed: Interviews

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