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Pitch Wars Team Interviews with Thais Vitorelli and Her Mentors, Sonia Hartl & Annette Christie

Thursday, 23 January 2020  |  Posted by Annette Christie


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 . . .

Thais Vitorelli – Mentee

Website | Twitter

Sonia Hartl – Mentor

Website | Twitter

Annette Christie – Mentor

Website | Twitter


Sonia & Annette, why did you choose Thais?

Sonia: Her voice hooked us right away, it was so funny and charming and we fell in love with her MC almost immediately. She’s vulnerable and flawed and fun and all the things we love best in characters.

Annette: Definitely her voice! Thais has this incredible way of making readers laugh while making their hearts ache. It was her unique brand of cleverness mixed with poignancy that drew us in. We knew we wanted to work with her.

Thais, why did you choose to submit to Sonia & Annette?

Narrowing down the list of potential mentors was my pre-Pitch Wars obsession. I read all the advice available on the Pitch Wars blog on how to choose a mentor and watched Sarah Nicholas’ video on the subject as well. When I had a list of 10 names, I created a spreadsheet with potential mentors’ info and categories such as Editing Style and how much my work related to their Wish List. It was wild (lol).

Some YA mentors mentioned Sonia’s book Have a Little Faith in Me in their Wish List, so I bought myself a copy. I really connected with her story and her writing style and I knew I should submit to her and Annette but, to be honest, I didn’t think I had a chance of being selected by them. They seemed to be very experienced as writers and as PW mentors and I had a feeling they were going to get a lot of submissions. But I just couldn’t get over how much I identified with their style. They seemed to understand how vulnerable writing can be, and how important it is to have someone that gives you their honest opinion but is also there to celebrate your writing and your achievements as a writer. That kind of supportive environment was exactly what I was looking for.

Sonia & Annette, summarize Thais’ book in 3 words.

Sonia: Sweet, funny, timeless

Annette: vulnerable brave delight

Thais, summarize your book in 3 words.

Summer, Bets & Banter.

Sonia & Annette, tell us about yourself. Something we may not already know.

Sonia: When I was young I lived on a small farm and we used to raise rabbits.

Annette: I was obsessed with professional wrestling until I was eleven or twelve years old. My room was covered with posters of wrestlers (I had a thing for Brutus the Barber Beefcake in particular), I had a rock album put out by professional wrestlers, action figures, and even got to see some live matches.

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

Of course, I would love to see my manuscript finding a way out into the world, but I discovered that the opportunity for community-building that Pitch Wars offers is really unparalleled and it is, without a doubt, the most rewarding part. MFA programs and writing workshops can get very competitive, which can often make writing a lonely task. I truly believe that the experience of having my mentors and fellow mentees – even other mentors, sometimes – helping me just because they believe in my story and my potential had a profound impact on how I see myself as a writer and how much I enjoy creating.

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

I am originally from Brazil, so I’ve written this book in English, my second language. Although that’s not at all unique and it was a huge obstacle at first, I think it’s inevitable to infuse my manuscript with a fresh perspective and give my protagonist a voice that stands out because of it. Also, I fell in love with storytelling by majoring in Film Studies and writing screenplays, which makes my manuscript feel a bit movieish at times.

Check out Sonia’s latest release, HAVE A LITTLE FAITH IN ME.

When CeCe’s born-again ex-boyfriend dumps her after they have sex, she follows him to Jesus camp in order to win him back. Problem: She knows nothing about Jesus. But her best friend Paul does. He accompanies CeCe to camp, and the plan―God’s or CeCe’s―goes immediately awry when her ex shows up with a new girlfriend, a True Believer at that.

Scrambling to save face, CeCe ropes Paul into faking a relationship. But as deceptions stack up, she questions whether her ex is really the nice guy he seemed. And what about her strange new feelings for Paul―is this love, lust, or an illusion born of heartbreak? To figure it out, she’ll have to confront the reasons she chased her ex to camp in the first place, including the truth about the night she lost her virginity.

Amazon | IndieBound


You can also add Sonia’s upcoming release, NOT YOUR #LOVESTORY, 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

Filed: Interviews

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