Hello! My name is Bethany Hensel and I am a proud (and nervous and excited) first time Pitch Wars hopeful! Info about the book and me are below!

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Quick Pitch

The chance of a lifetime.

The con of the century.

An Anastasia fairytale for a new generation.

The Short Blurb

The most powerful girl in the world is dying, and the only chance for a cure is a risky operation from one blood relative to the next. The problem: she is adopted and has no idea who her birth family is. So she puts out a call: riches beyond imagining to anyone who can find them.

She hopes for an answer.

She never expects the boy.

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Bad Ass Heroine and Girl Soldiers

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Body and Sex Positivity

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Swoon-worthy, Slow Burn Romance

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Diversity

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Immersive, Non-Western World Building

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Life and Death High Stakes

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Anti-heroes and Bad Boy Gentleman

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Unexpected Plot Twists

#OWNVOICES

As an adopted child (1 of 11!!! There are 14 children in my family total) this story is incredibly near and dear to my heart. Both of my parents are Caucasian, though my siblings run the gamut, and people either can’t believe I’m their daughter, or think I’m my father’s mistress! I’ve been yearning for a story where families don’t look like each other but love each other fiercely. Where it’s not questioned, it just is. When I couldn’t find one, I decided to write one. This one.

Diversity

The world is full of people of all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, religions and backgrounds. My own family comes in many colors and makeup. I never considered my life diverse though. It was always just normal. My story certainly reflects that normalcy. Also, GIRLS WITH GLASSES! I never see a heroine with glasses! So guess what? I wrote one! She’s near-sighted.

POC

They’re not the “token black guy”, the “nerdy Asian” or the “fiery Mexican”. My characters are real, smart, talented. They aren’t there for decoration. They are full of drive and agency, not because they are people of color, but because they are just bad ass mothers. Their color is the least interesting thing about them.

Immersive World

Every layer of the world is there for a reason. This story takes place in Bijuteri, the Jewel Domain. Inspired by both the jungles of Central America and Africa, as well as America before it was discovered, it’s full of captivating yet deadly beauty.
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Real World Ecosystems

I took a lot of inspiration from the real world ecosystem we are living with today. Everything is connected and every creature is a vital part of the world’s ecosystem. It’s a delicate balance my characters definitely must navigate.

Man's Relationship to Nature

A big part of this book is man’s relationship to nature. Is he the king, does he have any responsibilities towards it? Does natural evolution play a part in change, or do people cause the most change? These are questions I’ve asked and talked about with friends, and now they are questions my characters ask and live with on the page.

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#girls with whips

#boys with glasses

#thiefs and priests

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  • Chances of you running into me at Target 100%
  • Chances of me crying during a Pixar movie 100%
  • Chances of me reading until 3am 89 (hey, i need my 8 hours)%
  • Chances of me working hard, being diligent, and running that extra mile 100%
  • Chances of me meeting all of my mentor’s deadlines 100%
  • Chances of me listening and learning from my mentor 100%
  • Chances of my mentor never having to ask me something twice? 100%
  • Chances of my mentor and I gushing over musical theater, especially Jeremy Jordan, John Barrowman and Sutton Foster 100%

Quick Look At My Creative Influences

I grew up in the era of Stephanie Zinoni, Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken, Francine Pascal, Christopher Pike, 90s X-Men (previously on X-Men), Aladdin, Newsies and Michelle Pfeiffer’s Cat Woman. Musical theater is my soul food, the MCU is my jam, and I’m in love with CW’s The Flash. I’m a voracious reader of YA and when I find something (or someone) I really love, I can fan girl forever.

Chip N’ Dale Rescue Rangers was my favorite show growing up, and I adored Gadget the mouse. I think that’s where my love of girls who are mechanically-inclined and unafraid to hang with the boys comes from. And thanks to characters like Laia from Ember in the Ashes, Alisa Perne from The Last Vampire and Amani Al’Hiza from Rebel of the Sands, I really like girls with their own hearts and agency, who know that boys are a wonderful addition to their lives, not their actual lives.

As for boys I can’t get enough of, my first crush was Jack Dawson, and somehow my second crush was Michael Corleone. I guess I like a guy who’s not afraid to be complicated or go all out for the people he loves.

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Percentage of me that is Chandler Bing

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Percentage of me that is Phoebe Buffay

I hope you enjoyed this page and it piqued your curiosity. Let me reiterate again that I am an extremely hard working author and am not afraid of big revisions. In fact, I’ve taken this story apart more times than I can count, right down to the studs. I am a proud graduate of Tomi Adeyemi’s online writing course and I feel in my bones that this story, with your help, can be amazing.

If you have any more questions about my book or myself, please don’t hesitate to reach out at bethany.hensel@gmail.com or via twitter @bethanyhensel13.

xoxo

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