Interview with Elesha Teskey

Our interview today is with Elesha Teskey, a Fantasy and Speculative Fiction writer, and member of the Pitch Wars Class of 2016. You can find her on her website and on twitter, if you want to learn more! 

Hey! I’m Elesha Teskey and I was lucky enough that Nazarea Andrews picked me out of her pile to be her mentee in Pitch Wars 2016. I can’t wait to take part in #menteeshelpingmentees (and manatees if there’s any out there that need my help). I’ll be taking fantasy (contemporary, UF, paranormal), spec fic, and anything dark and creepy. Before your entries start pouring in, we’re doing a series of blog posts so you can get to know us and hear about our Pitch Wars experiences.

What did you do to prepare for Pitch Wars?

To prepare I gave my manuscript another round of revisions. I’d already been working on it for over a year at different times, it had been CP-ed and beta-ed by so many people that I hoped it was ready to fly.

What didn’t you do that you wish you had?

In preparation, I think I did everything I could. One thing I wish I’d done after, and should be done during, was connect with the mentees. My edits were delayed and I had a lot of life things going on so I wasn’t connecting with others who got in. Because of that I missed out on forming those solid connections with my group. The biggest things about these contests is connecting with people, before and during, whether you get in or not. I’ve met some great people and CPs during contests.

How did you choose which mentors to send to?

I agonized over this. I drove my husband crazy. There were two I knew for sure I wanted to sub to, the rest I researched intensively. I poured over their profiles, checked out their Twitter feeds, read bits of their works. Since I was subbing a contemporary fantasy I didn’t have as many to choose from as others, but it was still hard. I paid for the two extra entries because I really wanted to sub to the additional two mentors.

My advice on subbing is: don’t self reject. The mentor that chose me I almost didn’t sub to. I hit a few things on her wish list but I thought she was more interested in romance. I was shocked when she chose me based on the partial she’d requested.

How/Why did you decide to enter Pitch Wars?

I entered Pitch Wars because I’d taken my manuscript as far as I could and wanted that extra help to get to where it needed to be.

What is one thing you wish everyone knew about Pitch Wars?

This has already been said but should be repeated…getting into Pitch Wars is not a guarantee that you will be agented or published. This is an opportunity to better your manuscript and meet some fantastic people. If you miss out on Pitch Wars, it’s not a reflection on you or your manuscript. It just means that the mentors didn’t connect with your work. This business is so subjective and, as frustrating as that is, we need to keep that in mind.

What would you say to someone thinking about entering Pitch Wars?

Do it! Enter. Have fun. Meet people. Be prepared to work though if you do get in because I saw many mentees doing extensive edits and working their tails off.

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