Interview with Helen Hoang

Our interview today is with Helen Hoang, a Romance writer, and member of the Pitch Wars Class of 2016. You can find her on her facebook page and on twitter, if you want to learn more! 

What did you do to prepare for Pitch Wars?

I did a major revision on the first half of my book because my CP said it was boring, and I stalked the mentors like mad on Twitter. Pretty sure I was a plague upon the hashtag.

How did you choose which mentors to send to?

I read their blog posts repeatedly, looking for any hint that they might like my book (basically, did they want ROMANCE), watched all the video feeds, and read their books to see if I could learn from them. One of the most important things, however, was actual interaction on the #PitchWars hashtag. This is where my mentor, Brighton Walsh, really stuck out to me. She was so funny and cool but also a really caring, welcoming person. I felt like she was completely out of my league, but I liked her so much I sent to her anyway. (Lesson: Don’t self reject.)

How/Why did you decide to enter Pitch Wars?

I’d been writing for nearly ten years, kind of stumbling along blindly, wishing someone could help me, when I heard about Pitch Wars, a contest where an experienced writer in your genre actually reads your entire manuscript and works with you to make it better. I was sold immediately. This was precisely what I needed to become a better writer.

What was your favorite part of Pitch Wars?

Hands down, the people. This is such a great community.

My mentor is a beautiful person, inside and out, and had a major impact on my life through her generosity and kindness. I aspire to be like her and give back to the writing community one day. (I HEART YOU, BRIGHTON!)

Additionally, I was lucky enough to have a mentee sister, Jen DeLuca, who went with me step by step through the Pitch Wars process. The three of us were in constant communication throughout the revision period, the agent round, querying, and more.

Beyond our circle of three, other mentees have and continue to offer priceless support when it comes to commiserating over rejections or cheering for successes. We read each other’s manuscripts, do writing sprints together, and offer encouragement/tough love when needed. Basically, we’ve become pretty awesome friends, and I feel so lucky to know them. These are my people.

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

Just do it. Even if you don’t get in, your preparations will have improved your MS, and you’ll have acquired new friends and CPs through interactions on the hashtag. You can’t lose.

What is one gif that represents your Pitch Wars experience?



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