Tricia writes steamy contemporary romance with a curvy skew and a filthy mouth. In addition to being part of the Pitch Wars 2016 class, she was also 2017 Pitch Madness finalist, and is a master of dirty innuendo. She is represented by Saritza Hernandez at Corvisiero Literary Agency.
What did you do to prepare for Pitch Wars?
Short answer long. Because I want the new writers to take note! Last year, before Pitch Wars, I was new too, and kind of stumbling through the hashtags trying to find where I fit in. I’d finished my first manuscript and was tweeting the #1linewed tag when I was lucky enough to befriend a mentor who encouraged me to enter.
She told me to stop querying and find a critique partner. And thank you, Michelle Hazen for the encouragement and advice, because it totally changed my interactions with the writing community.
I’m not a shy person, and when I joined the 2016 hopefuls Facebook group, I jumped in with both feet. I came across the best CP in the world in that group (you’re all jelly of how great my CP is). I made friends in my genre, and just as importantly, beyond my genre, and these writers…*fights back tears of affection*. THEY were the real win in Pitch Wars, not the agent requests.
What didn’t you do that you wish you had?
This is going to sound like an echo of Maxym Martineau’s blog post, but I wish I would have found my CP sooner. We clicked in a way I can’t explain. But we were closing in on the Pitch Wars entry window and only got two-thirds of the way through each other’s manuscripts. Yet in the little time we had, she was instrumental in helping me make my entry stronger, and she pushed me to be a better writer.
How did you choose which mentors to send to?
Uh, I stalked them. Like super-spy level stalking. I interacted with them a lot, too, which isn’t everyone’s style, but mentors aren’t scary. They welcome your questions and interactions.
Those exchanges with mentors, where I discovered who was a good fit for my sense of humor, my writing style, my black-belt level sarcasm…It was instrumental in my decision. I read their blogs a million times to be sure their wish list lined-up with my manuscript, and then I set out to get to know them through twitter. I learned who could show me where I needed help the most, but also who I would work best with.
How/Why did you decide to enter Pitch Wars?
Look, it’s scary as F*** to give your writing over for others to criticize, but I decided if I was going to improve, I wasn’t going accomplish that alone. Especially being new to all this, you NEED other writers to look at your work––to guide you and show you where you’re falling short. Pitch Wars provided me with the opportunity to take the next step.
As writers, our manuscripts are our babies, which means we can’t always see the flaws. If I didn’t allow anyone to tear it apart because I loved it so much, I’d never have improved the story or my writing. Also, as authors, if we never let anyone criticize, we’ll never develop the thick skin needed to succeed in this industry.
What was something that surprised you about Pitch Wars?
I was surprised how tight the community is. I’m a competitive person, but I found quickly that Pitch Wars isn’t a competition with the other entrants to land a mentor. It’s a competition with yourself to become the best version of a writer you can be. We support each other, challenge each other to be better than we were, and share our successes and failures with other people who understand the struggles.
Please, please, please, if you take nothing else from this blog post, take this:
Pitch Wars isn’t about landing an agent––it’s about finding a sense of community that will provide an essential support system you’ll need during your publishing journey, while offering the same style of support to your peers.
What was your favorite part of Pitch Wars?
See previous answer.
What is one thing you wish everyone knew about Pitch Wars?
It’s a crash course, not just in writing, plotting, pacing, etc., but in finding the right advocate for your work, and publishing processes beyond signing with an agent. Not everyone gets an agent at the end, but that’s not the point anyway, and as hard as it may be, you can’t compare your journey to that of another writer. Like the “voice” in your manuscript, every journey is unique.
Pitch wars is a treasure trove of information––soak up as much as you can. If you do get selected, and I hope you do, you won’t be gaining just one mentor, you’re gaining over a hundred others in your fellow mentees, and their mentors as well. An entire community of past mentors and mentees. Take the opportunity to learn from your peers and share your knowledge in return.
What would you say to someone thinking about entering Pitch Wars?
Be prepared to put in the work and listen to the people who know more than you. They’ve already been where you are.
Pitch Wars isn’t for the faint of heart, or for writers who believe they have little room to improve their novel. But, if you want to tear the manuscript down, build it back up to make it the best version of itself––and subsequently, go through the same process for your writer-self–– then you’ve found your home in Pitch Wars.
What is one gif that represents your Pitch Wars experience?