Founder and Chief Alchemist
Part skills lesson, part confession, part peptalk: this is my brand new radio interview on Your Book is Your Hook radio program, hosted by Jennifer Wilkov.  You'll recognize her as an expert-in-resident here at Pitch U!
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Pitch U is Powered by Minions, Dedicated to Awesomeness

Minion Saytchyn - Proofing Minion

Saytchyn Maddux-Creech earned her MFA in Fiction at Colorado State University, where she did not fit in.

Under her former name of Sandra, she has published over a dozen short stories that blur the line between literary and genre.

She has recently stopped adding several years to her characters’ ages and has admitted that she writes YA.

I believe that pitching is in some ways a crap shoot. What you're pitching might be exactly what an agent is looking for, something they know they can sell to a specific editor, or it might be something they'd love to read but know they can never sell. The trick is to do as few things wrong as possible, because often, the things you're doing "right" are things you have no control over. Pitch U will help you with the things that are in your control.

Minion Heather - PitchFest PLUS Minion & Henchman

Heather is a historical fiction writer, but dabbles occasionally in YA. When she’s not writing by the glow of her coffee pot light, she’s chasing her gremlins, ogling kitchen gadgets, sampling wine, or on an airplane to her next destination. Her “real” job is the Executive Director of New England Virtual High School, an online school for teens.

After discovering Pitch U, Heather became hooked to its invaluable columns and wonderfully supportive staff.  When asked to become part of the team, she was thrilled! This is THE PLACE to be. You can also find her on the web at her BLOG for writing tips, recipes, and pop culture rants or follow her on Twitter @msheatherwebb.

 

Minion Sloane - Comma Faerie & Newsletter Architect

 
Sloane Archer dwells in an enchanted sanctuary of beauty and pleasure, where she rules with an iron fist. In her earthly existence, Sloane is a marketer turned interior designer turned writer, indefatigably revising her vision of Pride & Prejudice meets the Matrix with haz-surfers, aircars, ethereal fashion, and espresso, of course.

In the near future, Sloane will pitch EMERGENCE for the very first time at Pitch U. She fears failure and ridicule, but she will risk it all to complete her character arc.

Minion Taylor - PitchFest Henchman and Forums Minion Extraordinaire

 

After spending 17 years going to school (kindergarten through graduation from Southwestern University), Taylor Lunsford is stepping out into the real world. She is a bookworm. From the time she was old enough to turn over the storybook tape in her little Playschool tape player that would lull her to sleep, she’s loved books. She’s constantly devouring them. While other kids were playing at recess, she went on adventures with Anne Shirley and Laura Ingalls. Her current adventures range from Nora Roberts’ contemporary romances to the lush historicals of Stephanie Laurens and Gaelan Foley.

That love of reading grew into a love of writing that refuses to be stopped. Taking the best skills from her journalist father and artist mother, Taylor writes the happy-ever-after stories that have enchanted her since she first saw The Little Mermaid. Her philosophy is that the world has enough sadness- books should show the best that people can be because of and in spite of their flaws. She's still searching for Prince Charming, so her heroes act as good substitutes for now

Minion Tina -   Comments Samurai

 

 Tina lives and works in the big city of NYC. She teaches English, runs a college tutoring center, co-teaches a Women's Self Defense class at a karate dojo and designs websites for friends and family. When she can take a deep breath, she enjoys spending time with her corgi puppy and husband. And oh yeah, in between all that, she writes.

Her writing interests tend to be all over the place, but she tries to stick with Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and some YA. Back in her college days, she tinkered with children's stories too.

She is the newest minion at Pitch University, code name, Comments Samurai. She believes that pitching can be thrilling but also intimidating. Having gone through the conference circuit with her children's stories, she is no stranger to pitching books. Yet, the adult market is a whole new world for her. Being a natural ham, she *gulp* actually enjoys pitching and networking. She is excited to read your comments at Pitch University and submit video pitches too!

 

Minion Stacey - Office Ninja

 

Stacey Purcell earned her bachelor degrees in French (specializing in 19th century lit.) and Education. She followed that up with a masters in Early Childhood Development (specializing in social isolates).

All that being said, she could always be found with a good book in her hand. Victoria Holt, Barbara Cartland, and Kathleen Woodiwiss were early heroes for her. She then wrote her first romance on hotel stationary in London when she was fifteen and continued dabbling for the next twenty years.

She never lived in the United States until her mother dropped her off at her dorm for college. (Talk about culture shock!) It’s not surprising that her first real novel takes place in Malaysia where she spent a huge chunk of her childhood. It will always remain the home of her heart and she travels back as often as she can. Her second book will take place in Costa Rica complete with hidden treasure, drug cartels and portable nuclear weapons. It seems she can’t keep exotic countries out of her story telling.

 

Minion Yelena - Social Media Budo Geisha

Yelena Casale is a double graduate of New York University and lives in New York City with her husband and the last of their three amazing cats.  Originally, a lifetime ago, she hails from Ukraine. She has always been, still is and always will be an avid reader because she can’t live without books. She has also loved writing for as long as she can remember and in her dream world she would be a full time writer (and reader)!

But the dream world state not being reached yet, she splits her time between her day job, teaching (and training) at her husband’s karate school and her writing. And yes, she desperately needs a vacation!

Yelena also adores animals and is a supporter of organizations for animal cruelty prevention, as well as conservation of wild animals, especially big cats and wolves.

While her strength lie more in the written communication form, she has been working on strengthening her face-to-face communication skills. She hasn’t pitched yet but is looking forward to learning how to and posting a pitch along with her writing partner, Tina Moss, as well as doing one at a conference.  Her writing focus at this point is on urban fantasy and paranormal romance.

 

Minion Robin - Proofing Minion

After ten years on Wall Street, Robin hosted for Moms Online, wrote weekly columns and managed site content. Her award winning article, "Giftedness and Ostracism" appeared on Oxygen.com and Oprah.com. Many of her columns have been featured in parenting newsletters around the country. 

Her first completed action/adventure/urban fantasy romance finaled in 6 contests.  Her next book finaled in 8 contests.  And her current book, a Young Adult novel, took first place in the prestigious Emily contest.

Robin actually loves to pitch (and is pretty darn good at it based on the requests she gets.)