Have questions about submitting to Pitch Wars or just want to know what it is? Start here!


Pitch Wars Team Interviews with Megan Van Dyke and her mentor, Maxym M. Matineau

Friday, 22 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 . . .

Megan Van Dyke – Mentee

Website | Twitter


Maxym M. Matineau – Mentor

Website | Twitter


Maxym, why did you choose Megan?

ILYA’S GAMBIT has two of my all-time favorite catnip tropes: enemies-to-lovers and slow burn. The tension! The conflict! I can’t get enough of it. Not to mention, Megan is such a talented writer. The way she crafted her main character, Ilya, was so wonderful I couldn’t help but root for her every step of the way. I love how she’s trying to take down the oppressive ruler from within, sleuthing through his castle and sourcing information from his most trusted captain, Lucien. And of course, Lucien gives Ilya all the feels, and the turmoil that develops as she falls for him is just delicious. And Lucien is delicious. It’s all delicious!

Megan, why did you choose to submit to Maxym?

I first learned of Maxym through the All The Kissing community, where she is one of the co-founders. We write the same sub-genre, and she’s an author that I look up to. I was on the fence about whether or not to enter Pitch Wars this year, but when she was announced as a mentor, I knew I had to enter. That decision was further solidified when the mentor wish lists went live. A mentor who I admire, who writes in a similar style to me, and loves the same kind of stories? Yes, please!

Maxym, summarize Megan’s book in 3 words.

Cloak-and-dagger magical romance.

Megan, summarize your book in 3 words.

Sexy. Magical. Rebellion.

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

I am, without a doubt, the biggest klutz in the world. I’m constantly running into stuff, breaking bones, bruising my body – it’s any wonder I’m still standing! And, apparently because I appreciate irony, I end up hurting myself in the most ridiculous ways. I once broke my arm while riding my bike because I ran into a yield sign. I broke my other arm in the same year running track (not even for the sport, just for a PE requirement) because I tripped over the finish line (it was just a line in the dirt) and landed on my forearm wrong. I’ve ran face-first into a cactus. Been impaled in the stomach by a rose bush. This list goes on!

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

My number one goal is to make this book of my heart as good as it can be. If an agent falls in love with it, even better. Also, Pitch Wars is a great way to network and meet even more incredible writers. I wouldn’t have made it this far in my journey without all the wonderful writers I’ve come to know who cheer me on and encourage me every day, and I would like to keep expanding that circle of friends.

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

I’m a new mom and former IT risk and security executive with way too many stories in her head. I dabbled in writing on and off throughout my life but didn’t take it seriously until a little over two years ago. My husband asked me what I would do if time, money, skill, etc. weren’t a factor. I told him I’d be a writer. He stared back at me for a moment and then asked, “So why don’t you become one?” I would love to say I started that day, but I didn’t. It took a few more weeks before I found myself repeatedly putting down a great book by an author I love because I was too distracted by the stories in my head. That’s when I knew I had to tell my stories, and I haven’t looked back.

The first seed of an idea for ILYA’S GAMBIT took root almost a decade ago. I’d revisit it often in daydreams, getting to know the characters and their world. Eight years ago, I wrote the outline for the novel and detailed out notes about the various characters. I planned to write it then, but I didn’t. There wasn’t time. I wasn’t good enough. No one would like my crazy ideas. Those were just a few of the excuses I told myself for years. ILYA’S GAMBIT wasn’t my first manuscript when I started writing seriously either. I knew I couldn’t do it justice yet, so I waited until the time was right and wrote other stories first. I’m so glad I did. That journey has led me to where I am today. At the heart of ILYA’S GAMBIT is two characters whose role in life has consumed them. They’ve lost touch with themselves, and it takes the most unlikely of people (their enemy, a.k.a. each other) to help them realize that. It’s something that I’ve struggled with, and I believe many others do too. Hopefully, this sexy fantasy adventure leaves readers with the courage to find those people who value them for who they are, not what they are.

Check out Maxym’s upcoming release, KINGDOM OF EXILES.

Coming December 26

Fantastic Beasts meets Assassin’s Creed in this epic, gripping fantasy romance from debut author Maxym M. Martineau.

Exiled beast charmer Leena Edenfrell is in deep trouble. Empty pockets forced her to sell her beloved magical beasts on the black market—an offense punishable by death—and now there’s a price on her head. With the realm’s most talented murderer-for-hire nipping at her heels, Leena makes him an offer he can’t refuse: powerful mythical creatures in exchange for her life.

If only it were that simple. Unbeknownst to Leena, the undying ones are bound by magic to complete their contracts, and Noc cannot risk his brotherhood of assassins…not even to save the woman he can no longer live without.

Barnes & Noble

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

Comments are closed.
We're thrilled at the different ways those in our Pitch Wars community are giving back—and we encourage them to do so. However, please keep in mind that Pitch Wars is not affiliated with any of these various contests, promotions, etc., including those of our mentors and mentees. Promoting any such opportunities via our social media channels doesn't imply endorsement or affiliation. We encourage you to do your research before participating.

Pitch Wars takes a stand. ANTI-BULLYING. Click here to review our policy

Pitch Wars 2021

Blog Archives

Blog Categories

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.