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A Pitch Wars Team Interview with Nam Patel and her mentor, Farah Heron

Wednesday, 19 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 . . .

Nam Patel – Mentee

Website | Twitter

Farah Heron – Mentor

Website | Twitter


Farah, why did you choose Nam?

I adored Nam’s book. A delicious second chance romance, First Comes Marriage has compelling, beautifully illustrated characters that leap right off the page. Nam’s take on a close-knit Gujarati American community felt both familiar to me, and fresh and unique at the same time. I was rooting for Nirav and Maya from the first chapter, and I know others will love them, too. Nam is a fantastic writer, and I can’t get enough of her words. I feel lucky to have the chance to work with her on this manuscript.

Nam, why did you choose to submit to Farah?

I felt like my novel was in Farah’s wheelhouse based on her wish list, primarily around romance, large family stories, and diverse voices.

Farah, summarize Nam’s book in 3 words.

Swoony, traditional, passionate.

Nam, summarize your book in 3 words.

Second Chance Love

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.

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

A few things. One, it’s a rare opportunity for unpublished authors to work with an author who engages with your work this deeply. Farah’s read of my novel and the details she captured in her edit letter are invaluable. Writing is such a solitary experience and more often the critique and feedback is very structured and brief. Farah’s openness and availability in terms of reaching out with questions or thoughts while revising is great for check points to see if something is working or not. This experience will make me be a better writer and, more importantly, a better revisor. Of course, the hope is that my novel will be in great shape to achieve the end goal of having my book agented, eventually sold, and out in the world.

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

I love reading and write novels that invite people into the Indian American world. I want to show readers the nuances of first generation Indians and the vast and varied experiences we all have while living full lives. Just as Asians aren’t a monolith, neither are Indians. There are a some books in the market that explore Indians living in America and my book adds to that cannon by showing off the Gujarati community that is not often represented.

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

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