Friday, January 17, 2014

Meet My Pitch Wars Mentee Erin Conley

It's almost time for the agent round of PitchWars and excitement is growing! This week I thought I'd take advantage of the ramping up to introduce everyone to my fabulous mentees (does anyone else think this is just way to much like manatee?) Well unlike lazy, drifting manatees, my crew is a bunch of hard-working, enthusiastic, and generally awesome ladies. See for yourself:
Today, it's Erin Conley's turn. Her story is told in hilarious journal entries that brought me right back to the Greek tragedy that is better known as middle school.

Meet Erin, guys! Isn't she cute??!

Hey Erin! Let's start off with an easy one (actually they're all easy, I promise!) What’s your favorite thing about your main character?
Thanks for having me, Jen! I love Clem's goofiness, her resilience, and her huge capacity for hope.

What inspired this story idea?
The twelve-year-old girl, who is very much alive and kicking inside me. (She’s pretty darn loud. J)

What’s one thing in your book that is lifted from your life?
Clem’s mom comes home from a weekend ski getaway married to her dorky new boyfriend (AKA The Mole Man). Yup, same thing happened to me. Age 14. Not a fun surprise! Luckily, it all turned out OK in real life. (Sorry to throw you under the proverbial bus, Mom. © you!)

Oh wow! I did NOT know that while reading. Yikes! Glad it all turned out well. So, what’s your writing process like?
I love to tinker and tend to edit as I go. So, for that reason, my first draft takes forever but is usually pretty polished. I have a tremendous amount of patience for the process. In terms of plot, I’m kind of a pantser. I like to let the voice of the main character lead the way.

Me too! Describe what your writing space looks like.
It looks like a café—a very nice outdoor café on Hyperion here in Los Angeles. I love the low, lively hum of people chatting and noshing in the background while I write.

What’s the oddest book on your bookshelf?
This Thai children’s book about a baby “Chicky” who eats so many sweets he gets sick. Each scene is an adorable Claymation-like diorama. I’ve never had it translated, but it’s super weird and charming nonetheless. I picked it up about nine years ago at the London Book Fair, hoping to acquire the rights for the publisher I worked for at the time. I’ve hung onto Chicky ever since.

Aw, Chicky! My kids adore an Italian picture book my parents brought home from a trip, despite the fact they can't read a word of it. Along the same lines,  what’s the most well-worn book on your bookshelf?
Ooh, that’s tough! Probably Catcher in the Rye or The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie.

Great picks. What’s your favorite quote?
Hmmm. Seems like I have a new favorite every month! Current pick: “You can't be that kid standing at the top of the waterslide, overthinking it. You have to go down the chute.”  —Tina Fey (in Bossypants)

Loved that entire book. Her open letter to her daughter? Died! Okay, last one and it's just for fun: what current reality show could you be cast on?

The Amazing Race (though I wish it could also be Project Runway)!

Hear, hear. Thanks, Erin! Good luck in Pitch Wars- you know I'll be cheering hard!!!

1 comment:

  1. Aw, fun! Thanks SO much for hosting me on your blog, Jen! You're the best. p.s. Thinking I might have to plan a trip to Portofino to buy that Italian picture book your kiddos covet … Research calls!