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Pitch Wars Team Interview with Francesca Tacchi and mentors, Aty S. Behsam and Maedeh B. Saaina

Monday, 7 February 2022  |  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 . . .

Francesca Tacchi – Mentee

Website | Twitter


Aty S. Behsam – Mentor

Website | Twitter


Maedeh B. Saaina – Mentor

Website | Twitter

Aty & Maedeh why did you choose Francesca?

We read the pages of ASHES TO ASHES and immediately fell in love with Francesca’s MC, Neri. Francesca’s writing is immersive and the voice is just amazing. Neri is funny, smart, and a total joy to read, and we couldn’t wait to read more. I mean, wouldn’t you love a book that opens with the MC making a zombie hamster? Besides, the villain is so well-written, we didn’t know whether to swoon or raise an eyebrow, ha ha!

Francesca, why did you choose to submit to Aty & Maedeh?

Because they love FullMetal Alchemist, LOL! Of course not only for that, but it’s what drew my attention when I was browsing mentors – that manga was (is) so important to me. I read it in my formative years and I can safely say it’s one of the three literary works that mostly shaped me as a storyteller (the others being Discworld – GNU PTerry – and Stroud’s Bartimaeus Sequence). I have to say, trusting my instinct was the right choice, because collaborating with them so far was amazing – their notes on my manuscript were perfect! Not only the points they raised resonate with me 100%, I could also tell from their edit letter that they get what makes my manuscript special and want as fiercely as I do to unleash its full potential. I truly feel blessed to have them guide me in this journey.

Aty & Maedeh, summarize Francesca’s book in 3 words.

Death Doesn’t Sleep!

Francesca, summarize your book in 3 words.

Gods sleep lightly!

Aty & Maedeh, tell us about yourself. Something we may not already know.

Aty is a full-time writing mentor and Maedeh is a university teacher as well as a writing mentor. Aty is studying Ancient Languages of Persia MA in university and Maedeh has a Ph.D. in Water Management. As writers and mentors, we love being a team. We’re working on a manga (DARYAN) and multiple other projects together. We’ve always been a good team because Aty is good with emotions and Maedeh is good with analysis. It’s a rare thing we cherish and love deeply, and will try to use to help others as well. We’re very lucky to be able to help other writers.

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

 What I really hope to gain from this experience is not only a stronger manuscript, but the tools and knowledge to improve my craft. I never got the chance to attend writing workshops or courses, a lot of resources other writers may find easily accessible are not as available to me, for a variety of reasons (like… the Atlantic Ocean). Closely working with mentors and other mentees who are so knowledgeable in the writing craft is something that will – and already is – benefitting me greatly and helping me grow as a writer. I will be eternally grateful for this opportunity, whatever the future may reserve for my writing career!

Also I think I may be the only writer in the world who likes editing so the process itself is just as rewarding ahah.

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

These questions are always so hard! I don’t really feel unique. But I do feel uniquely lucky, I have a loving spouse and friends that put up with me which is not always easy. I feel more genuinely me when I describe myself as a function of my relations to others – my spouse and my friends are all such amazing people, and they chose ME to hang out with! That must count for something. As a writer, though, I know what my unique strengths are: writing lovable losers. And by quoting my spouse, who’s been my alpha reader since I started writing: I have a way to make even the most flawed and whiny main character lovable and funny. That is certainly something I can confidently say I’m super good at.

Check out what’s coming next from Aty & Maedeh…
Aty and Maedeh are working on the upcoming manga DARYAN, the novel DIME A DOZEN, and the comic WHITE SATIN. Head to their Instagrams to see their latest projects.

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. 


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