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A Pitch Wars Team Interview with Meryl Wilsner and her mentor, Farah Heron

Wednesday, 26 December 2018  |  Posted by Gwynne Jackson


Our mentors are editing, our mentees are revising, and we hope you’re making progress on your own manuscript! While we’re all working toward the Agent Showcase starting on February 6, 2019, we hope you’ll take a moment during your writing breaks and get to know our 2018 Pitch Wars Teams.

Next up, we have . . .

Meryl Wilsner – Mentee


Farah Heron – Mentor

Website | Twitter


Farah, why did you choose Meryl?

I literally read most of Meryl’s manuscript, Something to Talk About, in one sitting. I just couldn’t put it down! An adorable slow-burn romance, I fell in love with Emma and Jo, and loved watching their feelings for each other grow. Despite the Hollywood celebrity setting, I felt the characters were so grounded and real. This book is sweet and funny, and I think fluffy queer love stories like this one are so needed in the romance genre. Meryl is a complete rock star, and I love that I get the chance to work with her.

Meryl, why did you choose to submit to Farah?

I decided to do Pitch Wars on somewhat of a whim, thinking “What’s the worst they can do, say no?” Within 24 hours I was practically crying over Farah’s wish list and how much I wanted to be her mentee. It fit me and this manuscript so well. Her wish list felt truly inclusive, not like she was emphasizing the importance of diversity because she felt like she was supposed to. She also made it clear she wouldn’t mince words in critique. This was a little terrifying, of course, but a step I felt (mostly) ready to take. I tried to talk myself out of submitting in general and to Farah specifically more than once; I thought my manuscript wasn’t edited enough, found all sorts of ridiculous reasons I shouldn’t submit. Not self-rejecting was the best decision.

Farah, summarize Meryl’s book in 3 words.

Adorable, irresistible, funny.

Meryl, summarize your book in 3 words.

Lesbian Hollywood slowburn

Farah, tell us about yourself. Something we may not already know.

I write romantic women’s fiction and romantic comedies with humour and heart. My debut, The Chai Factor, will be released next year, and centers around second generation Indian-Canadian Muslim woman and her family. I live in Toronto, and love to laugh, bake bread, knit sweaters, and sew. I once sewed a dress a week for months as part of a challenge, and I still sometimes wear those dresses. Also, I am addicted to black licorice and Jane Austen movies.

Meryl, what do you hope to get out of the Pitch Wars experience?

Every step of Pitch Wars feels like it’s enough for me. It was enough just to submit–to get my manuscript, query, and synopsis in order. It was enough just for one mentor to ask for more. It was enough just to have submitted and found a community with others who had. It was enough after my first video chat with Farah, after which I paced my living room and raved about how literally everything I write from now on is going to be better because of what she taught me in under an hour. What I’m trying to say is I’ve already gotten so much more out of Pitch Wars than I could have ever hoped for.

Meryl, tell us about yourself! What makes you and your manuscript unique?

I’m a Michigan kid who’s found homes in Oregon and Mississippi but is very happy to be back in the Midwest. With the support of my wife and more writer friends than I can name, I write stories about women falling in love. I can talk about how queer happy endings are unfortunately revolutionary, or I can just focus on how much I love to write idiots falling in love. The two idiots in this manuscript are loyal and kind and funny and only idiots when it comes to feelings. I’m so grateful Farah loves them as much as I do.

Check out Farah Heron’s upcoming release, THE CHAI FACTOR…

Thirty-year-old engineer Amira Khan has set one rule for herself: no dating until her grad-school thesis is done. Nothing can distract her from completing a paper that is so good her boss will give her the promotion she deserves when she returns to work in the city. Amira leaves campus early, planning to work in the quiet basement apartment of her family’s house. But she arrives home to find that her grandmother has rented the basement to . . . a barbershop quartet. Seriously? The living situation is awkward: Amira needs silence; the quartet needs to rehearse for a competition; and Duncan, the small-town baritone with the flannel shirts, is driving her up the wall.

As Amira and Duncan clash, she is surprised to feel a simmering attraction for him. How can she be interested in someone who doesn’t get her, or her family’s culture? This is not a complication she needs when her future is at stake. But when intolerance rears its ugly head and people who are close to Amira get hurt, she learns that there is more to Duncan than meets the eye. Now she must decide what she is willing to fight for. In the end, it may be that this small-town singer is the only person who sees her at all.

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Chai-Factor-Novel-Farah-Heron/dp/1443457647/
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Chai-Factor-Novel-Farah-Heron/dp/1443457647/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40402362-the-chai-factor

Thank you for supporting our Pitch Wars Teams! The Agent Showcase is February 6 – 11, 2019. We hope you’ll join us to support our teams on the Twitter hashtag #PitchWars.

Filed: Interviews

One Comment
We're thrilled at the different ways those in our Pitch Wars community are giving back—and we encourage them to do so. However, please keep in mind that Pitch Wars is not affiliated with any of these various contests, promotions, etc., including those of our mentors and mentees. Promoting any such opportunities via our social media channels doesn't imply endorsement or affiliation. We encourage you to do your research before participating.

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