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Basic Pitches

Basic Pitches

By Anna Mercier and Emily Thiede
Anna and Emily offer angst, tips, and laughter for your writing journey.
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19: A Pitch Wars Journey with Lyssa Smith

Basic Pitches

Author Interview: Twisting Rom-Com Tropes with Meredith Schorr
Anna chats with rom-com writer Meredith Schorr, AS SEEN ON TV, about twisting rom-com tropes, dealing with feedback when a book hits the shelves, and... GASP sex scenes. Somehow, Anna stays entirely mature through most of it. Meredith Schorr's Website AS SEEN ON TV
August 11, 2022
53: FINDING THE JOY: When the Words Won't Flow
So you've stopped comparing yourself to others, you've made healthy goals, and you're ready to write. Except... the words aren't flowing! What do you do? Anna and Lyssa chat about reasons why the writing isn't happening plus ways to help encourage them to start! Lyssa Mia Smith Website
July 26, 2022
Author Interview: The Journey with Susan Crispell
Anna chats with Susan Bishop Crispell about the winding journey to publication, the necessity of following your heart, and ways to keep yourself going with the going gets tough. Susan Bishop Crispell Website THE HOLLOWAY GIRLS
July 21, 2022
52: FINDING THE JOY: Broken Goals
Today, Anna and Lyssa dive deep into one main joy thief: broken goals. They discuss the differences between goals and dreams and why it's important to distinguish the two for a long, healthy, and happy writing career. "Broken Goals" blog post by Lyssa Mia Smith Jessica Lewis Query REVELLE on GoodReads
July 19, 2022
Author Interview: Nostalgic Settings with Erik Jon Slangerup
Anna chats with debut middle grade author Erik Jon Slangerup about nostalgic settings, the helpful necessity of genre, and... dare we say, author age in publishing?! It's heartwarming and funny just like MOLLY AND THE MACHINE, his new 80s adventure middle grade book. Erik Jon Slangerup Website Buy Molly and the Machine
July 14, 2022
51: FINDING THE JOY: Joy Thieves
Anna and and Lyssa Mia Smith continue their exploration of the balance between mental health and writing by looking at things in the publishing industry that try to steal your happiness: comparison, doubt, guilt, and more! Lyssa Mia Smith Website Mary Oliver Quote BIG MAGIC by Elizabeth Gilbert THE PRACTICE by Seth Godin
July 11, 2022
50: FINDING THE JOY: Deliberate Practice
While Emily is away doing debut events with THIS VICIOUS GRACE, Anna chats with future-debut author and podcast veteran Lyssa Smith. This episode marks the start of their special segment: Finding the Joy. Today, they chat all about deliberate practice, how to make the most out of every ounce of feedback, and how to study the pros in the most effective ways. **REMEMBER** Leave a review for THIS VICIOUS GRACE on GoodReads or Amazon! Emily Thiede Linktree Lyssa Smith Website REVELLE on GoodReads
July 05, 2022
49: Q&A with Emily Thiede
Anna chats with Emily about her debut book THIS VICIOUS GRACE. Out now and available for purchase wherever books are sold! Emily Thiede Linktree THIS VICIOUS GRACE
June 28, 2022
48: Building in Breaks with Tracy Badua
Anna chats with Tracy Badua, author FREDDIE vs. THE FAMILY CURSE, about studying comedy, how to keep MG (and all audiences) turning the page, as well as how to use emotions to dive deep into character. Plus, she gives excellent advice on how to build in time for yourself when schedules get hectic! Tracy Badua Linktree Buy Freddie vs. The Family Curse
June 21, 2022
47: 5 Writing Myths Debunked
Write every day! Kill your darlings! Don't you dare think about a sequel! Anna and Emily debunk these writing myths and so much more. Also, they talk about zombies and serotonin. THIS VICIOUS GRACE SIGNED PRE-ORDER
May 31, 2022
46: An Evolving Process with Sonora Reyes
Anna chats with Sonora Reyes, debut author of THE LESBIANA'S GUIDE TO CATHOLIC SCHOOL, about how our writing process evolves for the better, how to make scenes irreplaceable, how there's power in finding people who believe in YOU, and how revision is truthfully the key to unlocking a book's true potential. Sora Reyes Website THE LESBIANA'S GUIDE TO CATHOLIC SCHOOL Info on #QPOCChat
May 24, 2022
45: Taking Chances with Maggie Giles
Anna chats with Maggie Giles, debut author of THE THINGS WE LOST. They discuss women's fiction, taking chances on independent presses, and the importance of a supportive community. Maggie Giles Website THE THINGS WE LOST on Barnes and Noble
May 17, 2022
44: Using Character to Create Plot with Catherine Bakewell
Anna chats with Catherine Bakewell, debut author of WE ARE THE SONG. Together they chat about coping with a long writing journey, using character arcs as a method for plotting, how musicals are perfect examples of character beats, and... garlic bread with god. Buy WE ARE THE SONG now Catherine Bakewell's Website Catherine Bakewell on Instagram
May 03, 2022
43: Q&A with Emily and Anna
Anna and Emily answer listener questions about whether to think about sequels, how to move onto another project when you're querying, and... why we are so cute???? Basic Pitches on Twitter Basic Pitches on Instagram Basic Pitches on Anchor
April 26, 2022
42: Updating Retellings for a Modern World with Lillie Lainoff
Anna chats with debut author Lillie Lainoff about bringing modern themes to retellings, changing up the pacing of novels to represent chronic illness, and the importance of research! Lillie Lainoff's Website ONE FOR ALL on Goodreads
April 19, 2022
41: Memoirs with Taylor Harris
Emily has an insightful chat with Taylor Harris about memoirs, the crossover of fiction to non-fiction writing, and the power of telling personal stories. Taylor Harris Website
April 05, 2022
40: The Power of Beat Sheets
Anna and Emily discuss how beat sheets can really help when you're stuck-- especially if you draw from all different types of beat sheets!
March 29, 2022
39: When to Let Go with Alexandria Rogers
Anna sits down with Alexandria Rogers to talk about her MG debut THE WITCH, THE SWORD, AND THE CURSED KNIGHTS as well as how to use worldbuilding as more than a backdrop and when to let go of a project that doesn't resonate anymore. Alexandria on Twitter Alexandria on LinkTree Buy THE WITCH, THE SWORD, AND THE CURSED KNIGHTS
March 22, 2022
38: Pitch Wars Wrap Up and Catching Up
Anna and Emily spend time talking about Pitch Wars and their latest projects. Info About Pitch Decks Anna's Instagram
March 15, 2022
37: Middle Grade Mysteries with Katryn Bury
Emily chats with debut middle grade author Katryn Bury about her book DREW LECLAIR GETS A CLUE, out March 1st! Katryn Bury's Website Drew Leclair Gets a Clue on Goodreads
March 08, 2022
36: Sci-Fi with Meg Long
Welcome to season 2, Pitches! Anna and Emily sit down with Meg Long, debut author of COLD THE NIGHT, FAST THE WOLVES, and chat about sci-fi, adventure stories, and where ideas come from! Meg Long LinkTree Meg Long on Instagram Emily Thiede LinkTree Anna Mercier on Instagram Basic Pitches on Twitter Basic Pitches on Instagram
January 04, 2022
35: Season One Wrap-Up
Anna and Emily wrap-up season one with reflections on the past, brainstorming for the future, and plenty of shout outs and thanks to listeners! We'd like to dedicate this episode to our friend K.L. Burd who will always be a member of this family.
November 30, 2021
34: YALLFest Wrap-Up
While there weren't any interviews during the event, Anna sat down and chatted with several writers after YALLFest. There are plenty of great pieces of information throughout including advice from Lyssa Smith about not comparing yourself to others, finding joy in reader experience from Lauren Blackwood, information about a writing workshop from Jamye Smith, and do's and don'ts from fellow podcaster Jenna Devillier. Writing with the Soul workshop by Adrienne Young Jamye Smith on Instragram From Spark to Shelf with Jenna Devillier REVELLE on Goodreads by Lyssa Smith Lauren Blackwood Linktree Emily Thiede Linktree
November 23, 2021
33: Writing Cookies
What's with these titles lately? Are Anna and Emily hungry? Stressed? Both?! Whatever the reason, they chat about ways to keep yourself motivated and going when things get tough.
November 02, 2021
32: Prepping for NaNoWriMo
Anna and Emily discuss all things Nation Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), how to prep, how to "win", and ways to make it a successful writing. Also, they dish on author heights.
October 26, 2021
31: Promise of the Premise
Anna and Emily talk about the promises we make in a first act and query letter and how making good on those promises make your book sparkle! Basic Pitches on Instagram Basic Pitches on Twitter Emily Thiede LinkTree
October 12, 2021
30: You are the Snack!
Anna and Emily talk about... snacks??? Yes, but we also talk about the truths of submitting to writing contests which is basically a giant pep-talk! Pitch Wars Author Mentor Match
September 27, 2021
29: Effective Dialogue
Anna and Emily discuss dialogue and all the ways it can help pacing, character development, and even scene setting. Parker Peevyhouse Instagram about dialogue Emily Thiede Linktree THIS VICIOUS GRACE on Goodreads
September 20, 2021
28: Gothic Romance with Lyndall Clipstone
Anna and Emily chat with debut author Lyndall Clipstone about her gothic romance LAKESEDGE, writing romance beats, and how to craft an aesthetically gorgeous gothic setting. Lyndall Clipstone LAKESEDGE website LAKESEDGE on Goodreads
September 13, 2021
27: Multiple Points of View
Anna and Emily tackle the benefits and tricks to writing multiple points of view. Basic Pitches on Twitter Basic Pitches on Instagram THIS VICIOUS GRACE on Goodreads
August 23, 2021
26: Break Down Structure: Act Four
Anna and Emily discuss the essential ingredients for a stellar act four as well as how to go about crafting one. Basic Pitches on Twitter Basic Pitches on Instagram This Vicious Grace on Goodreads Sweet, Bittersweet, Semisweet, and Bitter Endings
August 16, 2021
25: Breaking Down Story Structure: Messy Middles
Using the four act structure, Anna and Emily break down the basic components of those messy middles. Basic Pitches on Twitter Basic Pitches on Instagram THIS VICIOUS GRACE on Goodreads
August 09, 2021
24: Breaking Down Structure: First Chapters
Anna and Emily discuss how to write and revise a gripping opening chapter, and they came prepared with examples! Basic Pitches on Twitter THIS VICIOUS GRACE on GoodReads
July 26, 2021
23: Breaking Down Structure: Act One
Anna and Emily start breaking down basic novel structures and discuss what they think are essential ingredients to a great first act! Jami Gold's Beat Sheets THIS VICIOUS GRACE on Goodreads Basic Pitches on Twitter
July 19, 2021
22: Publishing Process- Part One
Anna and Emily chat about what the publishing process is like after you sell a book. THIS VICIOUS GRACE on GoodReads
July 12, 2021
21: Retellings with Lauren Blackwood
Anna and Emily chat with Lauren Blackwood about her Ethiopian inspired retelling of Jane Eyre, WITHIN THESE WICKED WALLS (2021). Preorder it now! Lauren Blackwood's Linktree Preorder WITHIN THESE WICKED WALLS Add WITHIN THESE WICKED WALLS on GoodReads
July 05, 2021
20: Tropes, Tropes, Tropes
Anna and Emily discuss how tropes are not something to avoid but something to embrace because they're unavoidable, like an inn with only one bed or an arctic cave in which you have to huddle for warmth.  THIS VICIOUS GRACE on GoodReads Basic Pitches on Twitter
June 28, 2021
19: A Pitch Wars Journey with Lyssa Smith
Anna and Emily chat about Lyssa Smith's journey as a returning Pitch Wars mentee. She shares advice about conscious practice with writing as well as getting the most out of the Pitch Wars experience. Lyssa Smith on Twitter. Pitch Wars Website. This Vicious Grace on GoodReads.
June 21, 2021
18: When to Let Go... of Drafts
*WARNING* This week's episode contains drowsiness, lots of good advice, and some audio glitches. As such, it's not a "normal" episode. But what IS normal anyway? This week, Anna and Emily discuss when to gauge when to release projects into the hands of trusted CPs, the query trenches, and/or beta readers. THIS VICIOUS GRACE on GoodReads BASIC PITCHES on Twitter
June 15, 2021
17: Building Author Platform with E.J. Wenstrom
Anna and Emily talk with author E.J. Wenstrom about her new dystopian book coming in August as well as how to build an author platform. Bonus content: ADHD bumpers and a guest dog appearance! E.J. Wenstrom on Twitter E.J. Wenstrom LinkTree Fantasy + Girls Podcast
June 07, 2021
16: Writing Resources
Anna and Emily destroy their friendship... Wait. No. They ALMOST destroy their friendship while talking about writing resources that have helped them explore their craft. Scrivener Plottr Helping Writers Become Authors Structuring Your Novel by K.M. Weiland Jami Gold Worksheets
May 24, 2021
15: Managing Professional Jealousy with Jessica James
Anna and Emily chat with author Jessica James about surviving the querying trenches, navigating the winding round of publishing, and turning your professional jealousy (yes, we all have it) into something good for everyone! Jessica James on Twitter Basic Pitches on Twitter THE LAST FINESTRA on GoodReads
May 17, 2021
14: Worldbuilding
Between giggle fits and "pew pew pew" attacks, Anna and Emily share their thoughts, tips, and perspectives on worldbuilding for all genres. Add THE LAST FINESTRA on GoodReads. Follow Basic Pitches on Twitter.
May 10, 2021
13: Work, Life, ... Video Games? Chatting with Lyndsay Ely
Anna and Emily chat with Lyndsay Ely about balancing work, life, and all the side hustles and pressures that come with being a writer. Plus, you get to hear some behind the scenes info about her new book OVERWATCH DEADLOCK REBELS out June 1st, 2021! Lyndsay Ely's Website DEADLOCK REBELS preorder THE LAST FINESTRA on GoodReads
May 03, 2021
12: Finding the Right Agent for You
Uh, oh. Anna and Emily have their first Happy Hour episode. They talk about finding the right agent as well as red flags to be aware of when searching for someone to query. Also, they laugh... A lot... About pasta. THE LAST FINESTRA on GoodReads. Basic Pitches on Twitter.
April 19, 2021
11: A Conversation with KL Burd
Anna and Emily chat with KL Burd about his writing journey, his positive spin to the querying process, and the new podcast he's apart of. KL Burd on Twitter The Afronauts Podcast on Twitter The Snowflake Method by Randy Ingermason Story Grid OPPOSITE OF ALWAYS by Justin A. Reynolds THE COST OF KNOWING by Brittney Morris
April 12, 2021
10: Narrative Closeness
Anna and Emily answer a reader question about how to achieve narrative closeness. Add THE LAST FINESTRA on GoodReads ( Add Basic Pitches on Twitter ( BOOKS MENTIONED: THIS SAVAGE SONG by V.E. Schwab THROWAWAY GIRLS by Andrea Contos GUNSLINGER GIRL by Lyndsay Ely RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE by Casey McQuinston
April 05, 2021
09: The Spark with Jade Loren
Anna and Emily talk with special guest Jade Loren about ways to start new projects! Find Jade Loren on Twitter! ( Jade Loren's editing service! ( Add THE LAST FINESTRA on GoodReads! ( JellyNell on Etsy. (
March 29, 2021
08: Crafting Character Arcs
After discussing the new SHADOW AND BONE trailer, Anna and Emily discuss some clever ways to craft memorable character arcs. Add THE LAST FINESTRA on GoodReads. ( Buy from JellyNell's Etsy shop. ( Follow Basic Pitches on Twitter. (
March 22, 2021
07: Morally Gray Characters with Sam Taylor
Anna and Emily talk with debut author Sam Taylor about morally gray characters and complex villains, all of which can be found in her book WE ARE THE FIRE-- out now! Buy WE ARE THE FIRE by Sam Taylor and follow her on all social media platforms. ( Add THE LAST FINESTRA on GoodReads. ( Follow Basic Pitches Podcast on Twitter. (
March 08, 2021
06: Wrestling with Revisions
Anna and Emily discuss all things revision from what revision is to tips and tricks on how to tackle it! Add THE LAST FINESTRA on GoodReads. ( Check out JellyNell's Etsy shop. She made our cover! ( Add us on Twitter! ( Have writerly questions? E-mail us at!
March 01, 2021
05: Pitches with Ayana Gray
Anna and Emily welcome their very first, very special guest: the fabulous Ayana Gray, author of BEASTS OF PREY coming September 2021. Ayana talks about writing pitches, taking chances, and even gives us a peek into her upcoming debut BEASTS OF PREY. You don't want to miss this episode! Add BEASTS OF PREY by Ayana Gray on GoodReads. ( Preorder BEASTS OF PREY by Ayana Gray. ( Follow Ayana Gray on Twitter. ( Add THE LAST FINESTRA by Emily Thiede on GoodReads. (
February 17, 2021
04: Making Your Query Stand Out
Agent inboxes are busy, and your book deserves the best! That's why Anna and Emily are digging into into a few ways to make your query letter stand out. Add THE LAST FINESTRA on GoodReads ( Cover art by @JellyNellArt on Instagram. ( Add Basic Pitches on Twitter. ( RESOURCES USED IN THE SHOW: "Queries? Must We?" by Emily Thiede (
February 15, 2021
03: Pantsing? Plotting? Why not both?
Anna and Emily talk about the pros and cons of pantsing (writing without a plan) and plotting. Spoiler: they're both valuable, and we think you should learn to utilize both! Add THE LAST FINESTRA on GoodReads. ( Cover art by @JellyNellArt on Instagram. ( Add Basic Pitches on Twitter. ( RESOURCES DISCUSSED IN THE SHOW: "Story Corpse" talk by V.E. Schwab ( "How to Plan Your Novel Using the Three-Act Structure" by Emma Johnson (
February 01, 2021
02: Finding Critique Partners
Anna and Emily discuss where to find critique partners. Thank you to Alyssa for our WONDERFUL cover art. Please go support her on Instagram @jellynellart. She's got an Etsy shop that will soon be up as well as tons of great art for you to feast your eyes upon! Thanks, Alyssa! Make sure to add Emily's book THE LAST FINESTRA on GoodReads.  ( You can find us on Twitter at... @AnnaRaeWrites @ethiedee @2basicpitches If you liked what you heard, make sure to subscribe and give us a rating! We'd appreciate it!
January 18, 2021
01: Introductions and Critique Partners
Anna and Emily talk about where the idea for the podcast originated plus how to build strong critique partner relationships. Twitter: @AnnaRaeWrites  &  @ethiedee
January 04, 2021
Anna & Emily Make a Podcast Trailer
For months, Anna and Emily swapped voice messages about writerly angst. Now they're sharing their angst with you in a brand new podcast! Join them for writing tips, wandering analogies, and plenty of giggle fits. As you wait for our new episode, help us decide on a podcast name. Take our Survey Monkey below! Find us on Twitter! Anna Mercier: @AnnaRaeWrites Emily Thiede: @ethiedee While you're at it, go ahead and add Emily's upcoming debut The Last Finestra on GoodReads. Special thanks to Josh Woodward for his use of the song "Invisible Light" off the album The Wake.
November 16, 2020