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Pitch Wars Interview with Dana Kramaroff and her mentor, Melyssa Mercado

Thursday, 22 September 2016  |  Posted by Nikki Roberti

PW Interviews

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 on November 3rd-9th, we hope you’ll take a moment during your writing breaks and get to know our 2016 Pitch Wars Teams.

And now, we have . . .


Dana Kramaroff- Mentee

Twitter | Blog


Melyssa Mercado – Mentor

Twitter | Blog

Dana: Why did you choose Melyssa?

There were so many things that my MS and I connected with when I read Mel’s wish list, too many to write down so I just wrote FUN next to her name because, well, she sounded so fun! Plus, she loves roller skating and as fate would have it, my book has a roller skating par-TAY in it, so of course we were meant to be!

Melyssa: Why did you choose Dana.?

Wow, the first reason was that I saw potential for a storyline I haven’t yet seen in middle grade, a missing mirror for some very special MG readers. There were some really fun dynamics all throughout the manuscript, cool sub plots, and an adorable and passionate voice just waiting to be heard.

The more I thought about Dana’s story, the more excited I became about getting it out into the world. I was all, ooooh, I can help with this and that and this and that (yup, totally brought out the visionary mentor mama in me). When I hinted at a full re-write to switch a sub plot to the main storyline, Dana didn’t flinch. In fact, I could practically feel the wheels turning in her head, even before she knew how passionate I was about her story.

Great voice, important story, and an enthusiastic and willing writer? What more could a happy mentor ask for? (-:

Dana.: Summarize your book in three words.

Normal is overrated.

Melyssa: Summarize Dana’s book in three words.

Unique. Enlightening. Needed.

Dana.: Tell us about yourself. What makes you and your MS unique?

I was voted Miss Congeniality once and try to live up to that title every day. I want the people around me to feel cared about.

My story is unique because it deals with a juvenile knee condition that keeps twelve-year-old, Natalie, from doing all the things she loves to do—well, her knee pain and the pain of an ex-BFF middle grade Nemesis, which no amount of physical therapy can cure.

My MC’s knee issue is the same one I had, when I was her age. I wanted to tell this story because I felt so alone back then. The feeling of not being able to play sports, be in gym class, jump, run, and roller skate with my classmates was HARD, and I have to believe there are a lot of kids out there who feel alone not being able to participate in “kid things,” too. Nat is the much more confident version of me I wish that I had been!

Melyssa: Tell us about yourself. Something we might not already know.

One of my favorite jobs was writing and recording voice-over commercial radio copy…I still might make up jingles for my cat.

Thank you for supporting our Pitch Wars Teams! And don’t forget to stop by the Agent Showcase starting November 3rd to see how our teams do in the final round.



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