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Pitch Wars Team Interview with Basil AlRabee and mentors, Emily Grey and Rosiee Thor

Friday, 31 December 2021  |  Posted by Rochelle Karina

Our mentors are mentoring, 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 9, 2021, we hope you’ll take a moment during your writing breaks and get to know our 2021 Pitch Wars Mentor and Mentee Teams.

Next up, we have . . .

Basil AlRabee – Mentee

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A white woman with long curly brown hair

Emily Grey – Mentor

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A white woman with pink hair and glasses

Rosiee Thor – Mentor

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Emily and Rosiee, why did you choose Basil?

We were immediately hooked by Basil’s writing from the first sentence. He’s an incredible writer and we both agreed right from the start that he has that special X factor that makes a book impossible to put down. From there, we fell in love with the two main characters, Kareem and Yasir, and their wonderfully magical love story.

Basil, why did you choose to submit to Emily and Rosiee?

As soon as I had decided to apply to Pitch Wars, I knew that Rosiee and Emily were a team I needed to submit to. Their love for all things queer stood out to me, and their overall experience and expertise is impressive to the say the least. But if I’m being honest, it was the smaller things which really pushed me to apply to them. Things like their love for animals and Emily’s pin-collecting (an interest she shares with my husband.) And when I read through their wishlist, I felt my book could’ve been the right fit for them. I’m happy to report, I couldn’t be happier with my choice.

Emily and Rosiee, summarize Basil’s book in 3 words.

Romance, magic, bread

Basil, summarize your book in 3 words.

Dunes. Murder. Baking.

Emily and Rosiee, tell us about yourself. Something we may not already know.

Emily: I really love to cook but I’m a terrible baker.

Rosiee: I also really love to cook but I’m terrible at cooking and baking. Doesn’t stop me, though!

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

When I started writing, it was a completely solitary activity, done in the comfort of simply exploring the craft with no expectations. But as it grew into something more serious, I wanted more people to read it. Pitch Wars was one of the first opportunities I’ve applied to, and am ecstatic to even be a part of it.

There’s a few things I’m hoping to get out of Pitch Wars (And have already gotten, if I’m being honest.) I’m excited to meet new writers, and bond over our shared experience. I’m over-the-moon at having not just one, but two mentors who both love and understand my manuscript. And I’m most excited to work on creating a better, stronger book.

Basil, tell us about yourself. What makes you and your manuscript unique?

I was born and raised in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia, entrenched in a culture I rarely—if ever—got to see in media. Throw in my queer identity, and the chances of seeing anyone remotely similar to me goes out the window. Over the years, as I moved to the United States for college, I’d grown more and more disappointed with how Arabian culture had been represented.

My book is a perspective to an environment and culture people often in the west despise or demonize. When people think of the Middle East and North Africa, queerness is often never brought up. And when it is, it’s often just thrown to excuse the atrocities done to the people. It’s not uncommon to see someone bringing up the “fun fact” that their identity would get them killed within countries exactly like Saudi Arabia. What those people tend to forget is the very real queer people who live there, survive there, and even flourish there. They don’t notice the people who fight for their rights. They don’t pay attention to the communities of love that band together.

If I can accomplish anything with THE SAND-BORN DIVINITY, I hope it’s to bring awareness to queer Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) people. To show that our identity and culture are as intertwined as any other.

Check out Rosiee’s upcoming release, FIRE BECOMES HER …

Flare is power.

With only a drop of flare, one can light the night sky with fireworks . . . or burn a building to the ground — and seventeen-year-old Ingrid Ellis wants her fair share.

Ingrid doesn’t have a family fortune, monetary or magical, but at least she has a plan: Rise to the top on the arm of Linden Holt, heir to a hefty political legacy and the largest fortune of flare in all of Candesce. Her only obstacle is Linden’s father who refuses to acknowledge her.

So when Senator Holt announces his run for president, Ingrid uses the situation to her advantage. She strikes a deal to spy on the senator’s opposition in exchange for his approval and the status she so desperately craves. But the longer Ingrid wears two masks, the more she questions where her true allegiances lie.

Will she stand with the Holts, or will she forge her own path?

Coming February 2022 from Scholastic

Thank you for supporting our Pitch Wars Teams! The Agent Showcase is February 9-14, 2022. Make sure to stop by then and check out all our mentees’ entries when it opens. 

 

Filed: Interviews

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