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Pitch Wars Team Interview with Drema Deòraich and mentor, Anna Kaling

Tuesday, 8 December 2020  |  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 10, 2021, we hope you’ll take a moment during your writing breaks and get to know our 2020 Pitch Wars Mentor and Mentee Teams.

Next up, we have . . .

Drema Deòraich – Mentee

Website | Twitter


Anna Kaling – Mentor

Website | Twitter

Anna, why did you choose Drema?

I’m not saying it’s the most important reason, but she has two beautiful ginger floofs called Fred and George. They’ve contributed some great ideas to our brainstorming sessions.

ENTHEÓPHAGE was one of the first entries I clicked on, because I was so curious about that title. The note I made in my spreadsheet was “A medical scifi? A female scientist kicking butt? Children suffering? All of my favourite things!” I read the first chapter, was immediately hooked, and asked for the full on the very first day.

I could tell from Drema’s writing, and her answers to my ‘Is This Potential Mentee Ready for Pitch Wars’ questions, that she’d be able to take intense revisions in her stride.

Perhaps most importantly, I had a clear idea of where I could help the manuscript be the best version of itself. I adored the fundamental story and had no desire to change it, but I was FULL of ideas on how to make the existing plot and characters shine. I was practically writing the edit letter in my head as I read the MS.

Also, so we could use the hashtag #OneTeamOneDrema. I mean, come on.

And where are the floof pics? We want floof pics, too! OK, Drema, why did you choose to submit to Anna?

Most important, I saw that she was not only representing my genre but had expressed a special love for medical science fiction (even pandemics!).

Second, she seemed knowledgeable about genre fiction, and my genre in particular, so I felt that she would be able to effectively guide me through the process of revisions.

Third, but also high on my list of priorities, I liked the personality she displayed on her mentor page. From the way she expressed herself, her choice of words, her love of cats, and her sense of humor, I felt sure we would get along well. I thought that would be important in a working relationship such as what I expected from Pitch Wars Mentor/Mentee teams. Besides, she promised to be a mentee’s writing lobster. Who wouldn’t want that?

Connection is so important! Now, Anna, summarize Drema’s book in 3 words.

Zeitgeist-y (totally a word), ominous, thrilling.

Yep, totally a word. Drema, summarize your book in 3 words.

Pandemic affecting children.

Yikes! That sounds so timely. So, Anna, tell us about yourself. Something we may not already know.

Despite being an atheist potty mouth who writes books my mum is ashamed of, I was a nun (or at least, the Hindu version) for over a year. I lived in a Hindu temple where I cared for the cows and made butter, ghee, and paneer from their milk. But once a romance author, always a romance author… I had a massive crush on one of the monks. He did not renounce his religion and run off to live in sin with me, but not many people can say they lost in love to a literal god.

This sounds like the makings of a romance novel… OK, Drema, what do you hope to get out of the Pitch Wars experience?

An experienced eye on my words and my story.

Guidance through the process of identifying my manuscript’s strengths and weaknesses, then honing the former and strengthening (or pruning) the latter.

Suggestions on better ways to accomplish my story’s goals, improve my pacing, and get my characters where they need to be at the end.

By the end of this experience, I hope to have a much better understanding of what makes a manuscript shine, so that I can improve my skills and write more effectively in the future.

Great goals! Drema, tell us about yourself. What makes you and your manuscript unique?

On a personal level, I am a legal assistant by day, and slave to two floofy feline rescues. As a writer, I love the research! I don’t think that makes me unique, exactly, in the writing world. But I spent maybe 4-5 months researching the medical science behind my story’s concepts before I ever typed word one on my manuscript. I wanted the science to be real as possible, so that readers would think, “Hey, this could happen!”

As for my manuscript, I wrote the entire first draft in just over 30 days as part of 2019’s NaNoWriMo program, prior to the first outbreaks of COVID-19. The story is timely, not just due to our own ongoing experience with a novel virus pandemic, but because of the environmental threads that weave throughout and the way those two elements link the characters in unexpected ways.

Welcome to the Pitch Wars family! Thank you both for the interview. Check out Anna’s latest release, NOT OK, CUPID.

Love doesn’t always follow the rules…

Ally Rivers has three jobs, a disastrous dating record, and her gran won’t stop talking about sex with eighty-year-old Melvin. Now her best friend Sam confesses his whole family think they’re engaged. The longest relationship she’s ever been in is fabricated, and her intended is gay.

Playing Sam’s besotted lover at a family party, Ally discovers the hot gardener she’s been flirting with is Sam’s dad, Marcus. She even sucks at fake relationships. But Marcus is on to them and embroils Ally in another scheme – encouraging Sam to come out.

Scheming is not Ally’s forte and, worse, she and Marcus are falling for each other. After years in an unhappy marriage, he’s not letting Ally go without a fight, but she’s torn between the best friend she’ll ever have and the only man she’s ever been in love with. Either choice will leave two broken hearts, and Gran will still have a more successful love life than her…

Thank you for supporting our Pitch Wars Teams! The Agent Showcase is February 10-15, 2021. Make sure to stop by then and check out all our mentees’ entries when it opens. 


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