Tuesday, 21 January 2014
Why did I choose my #Pitch Wars winners?
As it's going to go LIVE in not so many hours away, I thought it was about time I did a recap of why I choose the people I did for #Pitch Wars!
Can I just start though, by saying just how amazingly lucky I was to receive so many wonderful entries (ya'll made it a tough choice)! In the end, I could only pick three. And these are who (and why) I did.
My #1 choice - Jordan Teos with her YA sci-fi MERLIN'S FLIGHT
Ironically, sci fi was one of the genres that was lower down on my pick list. I am notoriously choosy over which sci-fi books grace my shelves and I am tough to impress. And then I saw the pages for Merlin's Flight. Wow. Talk about knock my socks off! The query intrigued me enough to read on. And then BAM! I fell in love. As a huge fan of Mortal Engines by Phillip Reeves, I literally air-punched when I read a wonderful fresh concept that followed the same style as one of my favourite authors. Added to that, the kick-ass heroine and fabulous aviation background (and this is done so well, I swear I know how to fly now!) and you get an amazing MS.
So how did we get on? Well, Jordan will have her side. But as for mine - I really hit gold with such a wonderful writer to work with. Skype, email, a gazillion comments in Word. She took it all. And she revised like a demon. Even when we talked major revisions of the arc down to small niggly word choice, she was in it to win it. All while keeping a positive attitude and a razor sharp edit pen.
My alternate - Rachel Horwitz with her YA sci-fi IF SKYSCRAPERS HAD SECRETS
Did I mention I'm choosy with sci-fi? No really, I am. But hot dang, another one came and smacked me upside the head. This one grabbed with with superb world-building and a mystery. I love me a mystery. Rachel is a diamond at creating plausible mysteries where you can't resist following along for the ride. "Just one more page" whispered in the middle of the night...and before you know it, it's morning and you've finished the whole damn book.
I was super excited to work with Rachel too, as talk about a whizz kid on edits. She can turn them around on a dime. She was also very open to working on tricky issues such as theme and plot and character arcs. And she dug in, first time and every time. I sincerely believe an agent or editor would be DELIGHTED to work with her. She's a pleasure!
My alternate - Jocelyn Rish with her YA Mystery The Drama Queen Who Cried Wolf
OMG. OMG this had voice, voice, voice in the inbox. I knew this was one of my top three the moment I read it. It grabbed me, it pulled me in, and it made me laugh. So hard. The main character is amazingly funny and the pages effortless to read. Seriously. You can do this in one sitting and then flip immediately back to the start to go again.
In lucky strike number three, it turned out that Jocelyn is a kick ass writer to work with. I didn't pull my punches, going straight for those "I hope the reader doesn't notice" niggly bits. And Jocelyn took it like a boss. And edited the living daylights out of them! I have every faith this is going to be a HUGE success. You can't help but love Brea (the MC!) and Jocelyn in equal measures!).
And so, in Pitch Wars, I fell in love....
...... Three times!
Now, all that is to come is the agent round! Check out my wonderful mentee on Brenda Drake's website (oh come on, you all know where it is, you don't need the link!). And my wonderful alternates on http://dcmorin.blogspot.com/ - and big thanks to Dannie for hosting my girls!
Wish us luck!