We have an abundance of wonderful Pitch Wars mentees this year, and I volunteered to host interviews for a few mentees who didn’t get on Brenda Drake’s site before the glorious agent round began. Enjoy learning about these awesome teams!
This post includes…
Mentee Ashley Leath
Mentor Kim Graff
Ashley, why did you choose Kim?
As soon as I read the words “[Kim] has an undying love for all things murderous, mayhem-y, and mysterious” on Kim’s PW Wish List, I knew I wanted to work with her. Cat’s bio mentioned her experience with plot and pitches, and these are two areas where I felt like I could improve. Add to this the fact that they were seeking LGBTQ characters, and I was really excited. When I examined their game plan for editing and working with their mentee(s), I was sold.
Kim, Why did you choose Ashley’s manuscript?
The characters! Ashley’s story has such vibrant and remarkable characters that hit the mark for me in every sense. Her character Mega is snarky, but it a really unique way that made me love her instantly. Mac is nerd-tastic just like I like my boys. Ren is a badass, leather-jacket wearing boy who loves other boys and Lewis is a sweetheart that does bad things for the right reason. It’s impossible not to love her cast of characters.
Mysterious, intricate, and hopeful.
Kim, summarize your mentee’s book in three words.
Monochromatic, nefarious, and bewitching
Ashley, tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique?
By day I work as a food editor. When I’m not taste-testing and editing recipes, I write YA fiction and print letterpress cards on my antique printing press from 1884.
My Pitch Wars manuscript, WE ARE MULTITUDES, is unique in that it takes place in a black-and-white world that gains color in different ways as the plot progresses. The story explores how four teens navigate a situation without an easy solution, especially as they creep deeper into the mystery surrounding the loss of colors. It’s about what happens when we let pain rule our hearts, the power of found families, and the choices we make—good, bad, and the many shades between—to defend those we love.
Kim, tell us about yourself. Something we might not already know.
I have been working in publishing off and on since 2008 — mostly on. Currently, I work in publishing in NYC by day, do freelance editing on occasion, and write YA/MG stories whenever I can. I’m a lover of ghost stories, so of course I named my dog Boo and because I love nerd-tastic things you can catch my dog wearing bow-ties. Don’t worry, he likes them.