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 . . .
Elora Ditton – Mentee
Andrea Contos – Mentor
Andrea, why did you choose Elora?
I fell in love with Elora’s voice immediately. It was so honest and refreshing–not to mention, absolutely hilarious.
I thought the concept–a girl forced to work for her extremely-demanding mom on mega yacht along the Italian coast–was so fun and unique. Not to mention the love triangle that shows so much about all the characters.
But what I really connected with, more than anything, was the heart of the story. And I think there are so many of us who can relate to having to find who we are, despite what others might have decided for us.
It’s such a rare talent to be able to combine such a light-hearted, humorous story, with something with so much depth and so many layers–something that can be related to so deeply, while also making you literally laugh out loud throughout the book!
Elora, why did you choose to submit to Andrea?
So, my manuscript was actually passed on to Andrea, which I’m beyond grateful for because she understands my book better than I do. Like, truly. She’s remarkable. As soon as I found out Andrea might be interested in working with me, after hyperventilating at the gym for a bit, I visited her wishlist, specifically looking at her mentorship style, and then I did what any good hopeful does: trolled her twitter, website, and instagram.
I think being on the same page is so important, in terms of vision of the book and communication style. Post-research, I was pretty hopeful that we’d be compatible. Seeing the LOLs and the Tormund and Kylo Ren references sprinkled throughout the inline comments of my ms, along with her thoughtful, spot-on suggestions, it was confirmed that I am the absolute luckiest to be mentored by her.
Andrea, summarize Elora’s book in 3 words.
Hilarious. Heartfelt. Honest.
Elora, summarize your book in 3 words.
Self-deprecation, self-discovery, self-respect.
Andrea, tell us about yourself. Something we may not already know.
I found skydiving to be one of the most peaceful things I’ve ever done!
Elora, what do you hope to get out of the Pitch Wars experience?
To improve my craft and to learn!
It’s really amazing that there’s someone out there who gets my book, like the meaty stuff, the real heart and soul of it (and also the humor), who has layered industry experience, and who’s willing to share their wisdom with me to help improve my story and the way it’s told. I want to milk all of that. I want to learn as much as I can, and I want a story that does my characters, and all of the other people out there who might relate to it, justice.
Elora, tell us about yourself! What makes you and your manuscript unique?
Family relationships can be complicated (understatement of the century), especially mother-daughter relationships. My goal is to create a story that opens up some of these complex, gray relationships in an honest way, that validates all of the emotions that come with them, but that’s also light and funny at times (and who are we kidding – is full of food references because food is my love language).
I’ve never worked on a mega yacht, but I loved the idea of a yacht cruising the turquoise Adriatic as a setting. As a loyal consumer of Bravo’s Below Deck, I saw parallels between being a stew on a yacht and working in a bar or restaurant. Starting in my young adult years, I worked in the service industry (as a server, a bartender, catering waitstaff, a burger on the side of the road…) and it taught me a lot. It pushed me to connect with people, all people, to listen to their stories, and to self-reflect. I don’t think I’d be where I am today, a writer, without it.
Living through the aftermath of a difficult divorce in my teenage years, earning myself a few too many run-ins with the cops and one laughably tragic mugshot, I’m eager to share a story for those who haven’t always made the right decisions or followed the beaten path. It’s okay to need time to find yourself and it’s okay to find wisdom and personal growth in moments outside of traditional post-high school experiences.
Add Andrea’s upcoming release, THROWAWAY GIRLS, on Goodreads!
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 March 5, 2020! Want to know more about #PitMad? Go here.