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Pitch Wars Team Interview with Gabriella Buba and mentor, Michella S. Domenici

Wednesday, 22 December 2021  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

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 . . .

Gabriella Buba – Mentee

Website | Twitter


Michella S. Domenici – Mentor

Website | Twitter


Michella, why did you choose Gabriella?

I chose Gabriella as my mentee because I loved her manuscript, and I saw concrete ways I could help her revise. From the moment I read her query and saw “dual-POV Adult Romantic Fantasy set in a secondary world based on the Philippines heavily influenced the shaman lead rebellions against early Spanish colonial rule. It features a biracial and bisexual #OwnVoices Filipina MC,” I did a fist pump and couldn’t wait to read more. This felt like exactly the kind of story I needed to read. Furthermore, it was the kind of story I’d needed to read for many, many years.

Gabriella, why did you choose to submit to Michella?

I got really excited to submit to Michella when I saw she specifically wanted Filipino Mythology inspired stories in her wishlist. Then when I saw she was also a biracial, bisexual Filipina who showcases that in her writing I couldn’t think of a better mentoring fit for Saints of Storm and Sorrow which is at its heart a love letter to biracial bisexual Filipinas trying to find their place in the world. Saints of Storm and Sorrow’s magic system was inspired by the Tagalog creation myth my grandmother used to tell me. There’s a poetic retelling of the creation myth in my manuscript.

Michella, summarize Gabriella’s book in 3 words.

Powerful, beautiful, unapologetic

Gabriella, summarize your book in 3 words.

Embrace the Storm

Michella, tell us about yourself. Something we may not already know.

Hmm… something you may not know about me is that I’m obsessed with old motion picture studio research libraries. I did a semester of grad school this year (rip masters of library science) and inadvertently stumbled across their existence; I was instantly in love. Another thing to know about me is I am an All or Nothing kind of person. For one of my classes, our final assignment was to build a collection and catalog it, and so I created my own motion picture studio research library and named it Alligator Films. If anyone is wondering, I made this assignment ten million times harder for myself since these kinds of libraries normally contain research materials, but also scripts, video, photography, and more, so I just had a massive collection to catalog and organize instead of just doing a collection of children’s books. Sadly, nearly all of these collections have been bought out by other studios and eventually sold off to different institutions when their film studios decide to no longer maintain them.

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

I am hoping to improve my craft in a way that I haven’t been able to on my own/with my circle of querying peers. I have always really struggled with revisions and I’m hoping to train some new tools for looking at and thinking about revisions that I can apply to future work and other manuscripts. I also hope Pitch Wars will help me to really plug into the community of amazing peers and valuable mentors and make connections with people that will help me grow as a writer.

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

I’m a biracial Filipina chemical engineer who likes to keep explosive pyrophoric materials safely contained in pressure vessels or between the covers of my books. I write stories of bold, brown, bi women, like me. The idea for Saints of Storm and Sorrow was sparked by the history of the oldest extant black Madonna in the Philippines, which is a statue of a pre-colonial goddess the Spaniards stole and installed in a church in Manila. The statues original name and origin has been lost, and I couldn’t stop thinking about that goddess who’s name was erased and forgotten, like so much of the Philippines pre-colonial history.

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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