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 . . .
Kate Dylan – Mentee
Kat Dunn – Mentor
Kat, why did you choose Kate?
Kate’s entire submission package just blew me away from start to finish. I made almost no notes about it because I was franticly reading, desperate to know more. Looking back at my big submissions spreadsheet all I put was a wall of swearing in all caps and the word ‘yes’.
So it was pretty clear I was on board with MINDWALKER.
I requested the full, and gobbled it all down in two days. Sil is one of my all time favourite characters – smart but flawed, sarcastic and emotionally tangled up, determined and vulnerable. I fell in love.
Kate’s writing is so taut, her plot so sharp, I almost felt disappointed because I thought there was nowhere I could add value. Luckily for me, a twisty plot is difficult to pull off first try, so there ended up being obvious places I could help make the manuscript shine and find a place in the market.
Also we have almost the same name, which seems like some sort of weird destiny.
Kate, why did you choose to submit to Kat?
Funny story, but I almost didn’t!
When I was doing my mentor research, Kat came out at the very top of my spreadsheet (yes, there was a spreadsheet. No, I’m not ashamed).
I loved everything about her vibe, I loved the sound of her upcoming novel (DANGEROUS REMEDY – go look it up!), I loved the example critique she did on the site, and I was pretty sure I hit, like, 80% of the things on her wishlist.
But there was one item on her ‘not for me’ list that I thought might apply to my book (plot twist: it didn’t), and I was so worried about it being an automatic ‘no’ that I took her off my shortlist.
But over the next week, I kept going back to her blog because she just seemed like such a good fit for both me and MINDWALKER (and London based too!)
In the end, I decided to go with that feeling and take a shot.
So trust your gut, kids. If it feels like the right choice, it probably is.
Kat, summarize Kate’s book in 3 words.
Badass. Twisty. Action.
Kate, summarize your book in 3 words.
SARCASTIC FUTURE SCIENCE
Kat, tell us about yourself. Something we may not already know.
I am a huge nerd about learning languages! I’ve talked about spending a lot of my childhood in France, and my family who’ll switch between French and English (mostly when they want to keep secrets). But not everyone knows I also speak fluent Japanese. And that I ran away to Japan when I was 18!
I had a less than happy home life, and took the first opportunity to leg it halfway around the world. I ended up working in a rural hospital, doing lots of gross and fascinating things, and learning a lot of medical Japanese. A few years later, I ended up translating for Japanese TV at Wimbledon, and had to learn about tennis fast. These days I mostly use my skills to watch Terrace House episodes early and read a truly amazing and terrible supernatural mystery novel series, Psychic Detective Yakumo.
I also studied Latin for 6 years, and picked up some German, Norwegian, Italian, Dutch, Mandarin and Spanish – I’m planning to study Korean and Welsh next!
Kate, what do you hope to get out of the Pitch Wars experience?
A better book.
This manuscript is me on a plate and I want to give it the best possible chance, not just so it’ll sell (though GOALS, obviously), but because I want you all to love it as much as I do.
For that to happen, I need someone to push me, and challenge me, and question my decisions.
And having seen Kat’s vision for MINDWALKER, I know that I’ll be walking away from PW with a book I’m truly proud of.
Kate, tell us about yourself! What makes you and your manuscript unique?
All you really need to know about me is that I make custom LEGO minifigs of my characters and spray my own book edges. I also make excellent cakes.
What makes MINDWALKER unique is the voice, I think. Sil sort of just… exploded onto the page. I don’t know where she came from, and I sure as hell don’t know how to reign her in. She is the soul of this book, and telling this story through her eyes has allowed me to put a fun spin on a lot of tried and tested tropes.
This book is also a combination of all my favourite things in sci-fi and near-future narratives: cool tech, a ruined world, and hair styles I would kill for – all underscored by the question I think a lot of science fiction aims to answer: what happens when technology goes too far?
Check out Kat’s upcoming release, DANGEROUS REMEDY.
Camille, a revolutionary’s daughter, leads a band of outcasts – a runaway girl, a deserter, an aristocrat in hiding. As the Battalion des Mortes they cheat death, saving those about to meet a bloody end at the blade of Madame La Guillotine. But their latest rescue is not what she seems. The girl’s no aristocrat, but her dark and disturbing powers means both the Royalists and the Revolutionaries want her. But who and what is she?
In these dangerous days, no one can be trusted, everyone is to be feared. As Camille learns the truth, she’s forced to choose between loyalty to those she loves and the future.
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.