Deeba is a YA fantasy and sci-fi writer who spends most of her time dreaming up villains that look a lot like heroes. When she’s not writing, she’s editing for the day job.
I started to write my first manuscript in between classes during undergrad. I didn’t realize it then when I put the story on hold that it would be the first novel I’d seriously try to pursue in my writing career. I finished it in late 2015 and began querying in 2016. I queried and revised (6 revisions!) for about 10 months. I saw a lot of interest, a lot of fulls, and an equally large amount of R&Rs. That book was definitely my learning book and at the beginning of 2017, I decided to put it on hold again and write my second manuscript. During that year, I entered #PitMad and ended up with a flurry of requests and ended up signing with an agent two weeks later! It’s crazy to think how everything seems to work out (and how vastly different the time lines were for each novel). I’m now in the revision process!
In addition to writing, I’ve worked as a literary agent assistant for multiple literary agencies! I was also an editorial assistant at Disney-Hyperion/Freeform/RRP! I’ve juggled a lot of hats from submissions to editorial work to intellectual property creation. You name it, I’ve probably done it. On the freelance side, I’ve worked with best selling authors and writers that are still in the querying trenches, as well as sensitivity read for multiple major houses.
As a former AMM mentee, I really wanted to give back. I entered AMM with my second MS in it’s first draft state and I believe without my mentor’s sharp eye, I wouldn’t have gotten the results that I did. I wanted to give back, and help my future mentee hopefully get the same results! I’m in it for the long haul!
I’m really excited to see what lands in my inbox, but for quick reference I’m really looking forward to seeing YA fantasy and sci-fi submissions! Anything non-Western based, with lush language, gorgeous scenery and a unique magic system to die for is for me! Add in some morally grey villains (that could really be the heroes) and I will probably die. If what you have isn’t on my list, or you’re just not sure, always feel free to message me! 🙂
Good luck AMM hopefuls!
- Magical Realism/Fabulism
- Urban/Contemporary Fantasy
THINGS I ADORE: villains, antiheroes, ice queens, culture clashes, grey morality, non-happy endings that make you go BUT WHY, creepy things, family relationships, folklore, retellings that feel FRESH, history told from a non-popular perspective, war stories.
THINGS I HATE: romance as the major plot (I’m SO SORRY but I’m not the mentor for that), instalove, classic fantasy ending (protagonist ends up escaping as an on the run/on the hunt fugitive; it’s been done entirely TOO MUCH.)
I WILL PROVIDE:
- Edit Letter (Big Picture developmental feedback)
- Line edit (dropping notes into a Word Document)
- Skype or phone call
- Freestyle in chat
My mentoring style is pretty simple. I’ll do a read through, send out a big ol’ edit letter, let you have time to read through it and digest (a week usually), prepare all your questions, Skype it out, get a clear revision deadline going, and then I’ll let you fly! I really like to focus on that first big edit on a developmental stand point. I won’t pick at line edits until we’re in a good place with the overall plot. 🙂
I’m entirely open to Skype, Google Hang outs, Slack, Whatsapp, texting, Google Docs, whatever you need, I like to think of myself as super tech savvy in communicating. Communication is #1, above all for me. Good communication = amazing working relationship. Always!
My ideal mentee is a self-starter who doesn’t need hand holding and can get down to work. I’m not a gushy type of mentor and I need a mentee that gets that. I’ll hooray for everything that works and hone in on everything that needs tightening. I’d like a mentee that has revised before (but it’s okay if this is your first ms too!) and has a clear vision of what they want and isn’t afraid to voice their opinions! Communication is key!! Collaboration between edits is really the best type of environment and bouncing ideas off each other usually produces the best results!
Islamic mythology, JINN, anything WW1 or WW2 (bonus from unheard perspectives), original fairytales, retellings, Central Asian stories, refugee stories, non-Western fantasy settings, villains, alternate realities, parallel worlds, anything sci-fi, anti-heroes,time travel, lush microsettings, unique magic systems. I’m open to a bunch of things! If it’s not in my anti-MSWL, send it!
DO NOT SEND ME:
Fae, romance as main plot, anything in space (sorry not your mentor for that!), aliens, vampires, happily ever after, witches, genies (please no), Shakespeare, princesses.
MOVIES: Spirited Away, Fight Club, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Mulan, Moana, It, Dunkirk
BOOKS: Everless, The Young Elites, One of Us is Lying, The Hazel Wood, The School for Good and Evil, All the Light We Cannot See, Six of Crows, The Belles, The Darkest Minds, This is Not a Love Letter, Prosper Redding, Children of Blood and Bone, And the Mountains Echoed
TV Series: The Expanse, The 100, Stranger Things, The Bold Type, Broad City, Friends, This is Us