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Pitch Wars Team Interviews with Sophia Mortensen and her mentor, Ian Barnes

Tuesday, 3 December 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 . . .

Sophia Mortensen – Mentee



Ian Barnes – Mentor

Website | Twitter

Ian, why did you choose Sophia?

Sophia’s story grabbed my attention immediately. She crafted this amazing weird west-inspired fantasy world, populated with a ton of fascinating elements. Plus an awesome pair of main characters. A reporter who causes the scandals he writes about, and a snarky sheriff who’ll do (almost) anything to protect her town? Sign me up! Combine that with a frontier murder mystery leading to a world-shaking conspiracy plot that had me zooming through the pages, and I knew this was something special.

Sophia, why did you choose to submit to Ian?

I was reading through the mentor wishlists, and Ian’s sense of humor (and GIFs) hooked me right off the bat. After seeing the kinds of things he was looking for and other stories he enjoyed, I had a gut-feeling he would really get my book. Plus he had been through Pitch Wars before as both a mentee and mentor, so I wasn’t about to pass on that level of expertise!

Ian, summarize Sophia’s book in 3 words.

Contractually binding mayhem

Sophia, summarize your book in 3 words.

Frontier. Community. Weirdness.

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

I can neither confirm nor deny that I may or may not be Batman.

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

I want to bring my book and my writing to the next level. Before submitting, I felt stuck with a vague feeling that this story could be better, but I didn’t know where to start improving it. Then Ian came along with his amazing guidance, and within days I was brimming with ideas and enthusiasm again. I know it’s going to be challenging (so, so challenging), but that’s what I signed up for! Thankfully, Pitch Wars has such a supportive community around it. If I can come out of Pitch Wars with a better book and a group of new writer-friends, I’ll be happy.

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

I’m a classically trained singer, and I’ve been obsessed with opera since I was a kid. That definitely influences my storytelling. Opera has all these deep emotions and crazy plot turns that seem ridiculous out of context, but they’re “real” to the characters. In my opinion, the best operas and performers are the ones that recognize the truth within the melodrama. I try to do that for my own characters, especially as they make their own wild and terrible decisions!

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


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