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Pitch Wars Team Interview with Sulagna Hati and mentor, AM Kvita

Tuesday, 21 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 . . .

Sulagna Hati – Mentee

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AM Kvita – Mentor

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Kvita, why did you choose Sulagna?

Sulagna’s prologue had me shaking in my boots. Seriously, goosebumps; it is masterful in its use of language. I was really truly swept away by Sulagna’s prose, these beautiful sentences that live at the service of the book without being overwhelming, but I mostly admired the scope of the story. It’s an epic fantasy that shifts locations several times to follow Maya (who is so earnest and generous as a character) as she investigates all the things going wrong in her world, from natural disasters to murders to magic to a complicated and very pretty prince. I’m always drawn to stories that are ambitious with strong line-level writing, and I had a clear vision on how to help Sulagna really nail the execution. Plus, she’s just great as a person, so hard-working, so brilliant, and so so nice.

Sulagna, why did you choose to submit to Kvita?

When I read Kvita’s manuscript wishlist, it felt like it was crafted for me. Inherited conflict? Check. Ancient gods? Check. Loose retelling/mythology inspired? Also check.

This would have been enough for me to submit to them, but what sealed the deal was their highlighted editorial strengths. My manuscript had so much going on and she said, “Give me your grandest stories and I’ll help you walk the razor wire between ‘so much is happening it’s confusing’ and ‘so much happening it’s amazing’”; since I definitely fell into camp one, I knew Kvita was the mentor who could help me level up. It helps that we’re both pantsers with similar communication styles as well!

Kvita, summarize Sulagna’s book in 3 words.

Immersive love story

Sulagna, summarize your book in 3 words.

Feminist Ramayana reimagination

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

I’m a SFF Adult and YA writer who tends to explore inherited conflict and social responsibility in ways that I hope are rather pretty. You may not know that I pick up hobbies only slightly faster than I put them down and am currently invested in amateur carpentry. I’m planning a new TV stand. I am absolutely not equipped for such a thing.

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

I hit a point with my manuscript where I knew it needed a lot of work, but I didn’t know where to begin. My goal for Pitch Wars is to learn as much as I can about editing in addition to developing my own revision style and process. It’s incredible to see this already at play; Kvita has been invaluable in providing me with a fresh perspective on my work and offering me both guidance and space to be able to streamline my chaotic draft into a cohesive story.

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

While I was born in India, I’ve spent more than half of my life as a diaspora, an experience that has given me a unique perspective on its mythology and epics. Growing up in a fairly agnostic household, my mother and I often discussed these narratives through a critical lens; as with mythos from around the world, I’ve always been struck by the misogynistic themes underlying widely revered stories. I thought it would be fun to take Ramayana, an epic that has not been retold as much as others, and challenge its more problematic moments. I’ve taken a lot of creative liberty with it and borrowed other elements of South Asian mythology while also developing themes around coming-of-age as an adult—a mishmash that I hope will be appealing.

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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