Meet the Mentees: Post #6

We’re so proud of these #TeenPit mentees!

Mentee: Maeeda Khan
Mentor: Kimberly Long
Title: Era of Echoes
Genre: YA Fantasy
Questions:
When did you start writing?  I started writing when I was around six years old. I wrote my first ever incomplete book that was a parody of the Frog Prince. I only seriously began writing in grade 6, after a creative writing project sparked my interest.
What inspired your #TeenPit project? There were a lot of small sources of inspiration, but the main motivator to start writing this story was I just wanted to read a book like it, but couldn’t find anything. I thought it would be compelling for readers to travel to another world, experience joining a guild, and face obstacles that would mirror their own life and world, with the added touch of magic.
Who is your favorite author? I don’t particularly have a favourite.
What is your favorite book? I’m a huge high fantasy nerd. I love all things world building, and the father of great immersive fantasy is Lord of the Rings. I remember being so close to finishing The Return of the King but not wanting to because I didn’t want the journey to end.
Is there a piece of advice you’d like to give other teen writers about revising, working with a mentor, entering a contest, etc? Revising your novel requires an open mind. You’ll never be able to fix mistakes or accept suggestions if you’re stubborn about keeping everything the same. A lot of the time, you won’t notice flaws in your own novel whereas someone else might. Entering a contest and working with a mentor should be a cherished time.
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Mentee: Colin Holmes
Mentor: Jamie “the Joker” Manning
Title: Saracen Blood
Genre: Fantasy
Questions:
1. When did you start writing? My first strides into writing came when I was in first grade, and there is a funny story behind it. The music teacher had gotten nettled by us constantly hitting every instrument we saw, so she decided to give us an actual assignment (gasp!). Needless to say the rest of the class was annoyed when she handed out paper and had us start writing whatever came to mind as she played “Night on Bald Mountain.” But when the first few haunting notes came out, I saw an opportunity to write a story like that my brother’s scout friends would tell. One with monsters and a perilous journey. Of course the writing didn’t go anywhere, lord I don’t even believe I spelled mountain right. But it had lit a spark. From then on I did little things here and there, mainly just writing twice the required amount that my teachers asked for (the story needed to be finished!) Two years ago I took my first step toward a novel, with I completely outlined and even went several chapters into before realizing that I would prefer it to be a visual novel instead. More recently, our dear Mrs.Hopkins made a writing club last year, the LT Novel Project. That’s when I started writing more frequently, and for the purpose of letting out my own thoughts.
2. What inspired your #TeenPit project? The first real inspiration behind Saracen Blood came from a Japanese myth known as “the wolf’s eyebrows.” A strange title, a strong story, but a good one about how people aren’t always what they seem to be, and how the wolf can see people as they truly are. I always loved the concept of traditional ideas being thrown on their side, and the less black and white ideas of good and evil. So stemming from that idea was angels and demons, and how their influence leads to not good and evil, but intellectual progression and creative sparks respectively. The world grew from there, taking from the historical aspects of alchemy, and I developed the idea of a tide between human ideals came from which entities were in power, angels or demons. This world continued to build in my mind until I just had to make the story, to get the world down on paper. And here it is. A mesh of different mythologies influencing the world of monsters, angels, demons, and the mortals who haven’t a clue what exists, all centered around a person who bridges all those gaps.
3. Who is your favorite author? Too many to choose from. Paterson is awesome, Rick Riordan is more the style I write, and MarcyKate Connolly wrote my favorite book.
4. What is your favorite book? MarcyKate Connolly’s Monstrous. Hands down the best book I have ever read. Symbolism, foreshadowing, cutely innocent main character who has been tricked into doing something so horrible. I just love it so much. Every little turn is just perfect.
5. Is there a piece of advice you’d like to give other teen writers about revising, working with a mentor, entering a contest, etc? If you have a chance to enter a contest, do it. There are endless possibilities if you strive for them. If you have a chance to work with an experienced writer, they will never lead you astray and will only be helping you, even if criticisms may hurt. Be open to change, and keep your work clean. Fancy words may be nice, but be clear to your readers so they can hear your voice as you intended.
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