And our final round of mentee interviews from the #TeenPit Class of 2017
Mentee: Kirsten Van Goethem
Mentor: Carrie Callaghan
Title: The Mysterious Hauntings of Chloe Hart
Genre: Paranormal YA
- When did you start writing? I’ve written a lot of my life, for school we wrote short narratives. My writing usually found its way onto a wall or teachers applauded my writing or even read it out loud to my class. It wasn’t until a few years ago I really found my own love for writing. I’ve written a lot of poetry as an outlet and countless short stories, but never a novel until now.
- What inspired your #TeenPit project? The challenge. My amazing mom got into Pitch Wars last year and said I should go for teen pit, so you know what, here I am! What inspired the writing was my own personal experiences. A lot of my book is just what I’ve been through in life, and an outlet for me to see how amazing life can really be, which is what I wanted for my character, but I wanted her to go through how hard it can be sometimes too. It was so surreal creating a story and characters and being in charge of a whole story. I love it.
- Who is your favorite author? Oh my, this is a hard one. Am I allowed to say my mom?
- What is your favorite book? Favourite**. I would easily say for a series of books, Divergent has always been a HUGE favourite of mine, but so has the Shiver series, A Great and Terrible Beauty, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children… ugh you can’t ask me to pick just one! For one book alone, I would probably say Salt to the Sea. AMAZING book.
- Is there a piece of advice you’d like to give other teen writers about revising, working with a mentor, entering a contest, etc? Just make sure you have time for it! It’s an amazing experience but a lot of work, so if you’re in school stay on top of your game so you have plenty of time to fully work on your edits and really get an understanding of it all. Carrie was ABSOLUTELY amazing and I don’t think I couldn’t have gotten luckier with my mentor. She was super helpful and I learned so much throughout this experience. I would recommend this to anyone, you meet a lot of amazing people, and guess what… you are one of those amazing people too!
Mentee: Cameron Eldridge
Mentor: J.R. Yates
Genre: YA Psychological Suspense
- I’ve been writing ever since I learned how. I started out in kindergarten making little books out of stapled loose leaf paper, and I would design my own book covers. I wrote my first full-length novel in sixth grade.
- At the time, I was interested in lucid dreaming, and when I was walking to class one day, I saw a group of students wearing their school uniforms, which gave me the idea for a lucid dreaming club that started in a boarding school.
- Some of my favorite authors (currently) are Tahereh Mafi, V.E. Schwab, and Donna Tartt.
- Right now, I think it’s The Secret History by Donna Tartt, although without the Harry Potter series, I don’t know if I ever would’ve written my first book.
- My advice would just be to read a lot in your genre and write as much as you can. Give yourself time between revisions, and follow your favorite agents/editors/authors on Twitter. Pay attention to their advice; it can be invaluable, and it’s free! Also, don’t be too hard on yourself. Never let discouragement stop you from trying to improve.