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Pitch Wars Team Interviews with Manju Soni and Her Mentors, Mia P. Manansala & Kellye Garrett

Thursday, 16 January 2020  |  Posted by Annette Christie


Our mentors are editing, 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 5, 2020, we hope you’ll take a moment during your writing breaks and get to know our 2019 Pitch Wars Mentor and Mentee Teams.

Next up, we have . . .

Manju Soni – Mentee

Website | Twitter

Mia P. Manansala – Mentor

Website | Twitter

Kellye Garrett – Mentor


Mia and Kellye, why did you choose Manju?

Our wishlist asked for “crime fiction that combines a great voice with a strong main character, doses of humor/wit and some amazing plot twists” that was “especially from writers who are part of a marginalized community.” And Manju’s manuscript about an Indian American doctor looking into how our her husband’s recent death tied into the brutal murder of the town’s richest couple felt like our wishlist in 300 amazing pages.

Manju, why did you choose to submit to Mia and Kellye?

That’s an easy question. Firstly, I followed Kellye on Twitter and knew she was a huge supporter of diversity in mysteries through organizations like Crime Writers of Color. Secondly, her past mentees thank her so glowingly in their books. And lastly, with Mia, I knew she had been through the trenches as a past mentee and mentor, so I felt doubly lucky when they said yes.

Mia and Kellye, summarize Manju’s book in 3 words.

Mia: Grief, Conspiracies, and Obsession
Kellye: #Ownvoices Domestic Suspense

Manju, summarize your book in 3 words.

Widow, children, murder

Mia and Kellye, tell us about yourself. Something we may not already know.

Kellye: I was a seat filler for the Emmy Awards where I got to eavesdrop on Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner at the beginning of their relationship. I remember him explaining to her that we were “the seatfillers.”

Mia: I believe there’s a Simpsons quote for every occasion and have yet to be proven wrong.

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

Prior to Pitch Wars I submitted to an agent who said my manuscript began strong but then ‘got sleepy.’ I was hoping to wake it up. What I was not expecting was to rewrite my entire book, and do an incredible crash course in writing with the best teachers I could ask for.

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

I’m a career shapeshifter, starting life off as an eye surgeon, and then drug developer (of the legal kind), and now an author. My manuscript reflects all these various experiences captured in this plethora of hashtags: #mystery #thriller #psychsusp #POC #OWN.

It’s about a family doctor and part-time coroner who, while trying to solve her husband’s hit and run death, finds herself shadowed by a sinister patient who threatens her children when she uncovers a dangerous conspiracy.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank Kellye, Mia, Brenda Drake and everyone at Pitch Wars for this amazing and absolutely transformative experience.

Check out Kellye’s latest releases.

Kellye Garrett: My award-winning Detective by Day series starring a mega broke, semi-famous black actress solving crime while trying not to get killed will out be in audiobook format!

Pre-order links (or wherever Audible audiobooks are sold):
Hollywood Homicide
Hollywood Ending

Thank you for supporting our Pitch Wars Teams! The Agent Showcase is February 5 – 10, 2020, and our next Twitter Pitch Party on #PitMad is March 5, 2020! Want to know more about #PitMad? Go here


Filed: Interviews

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