Jan 16, 2014

One on One Interview with Pooja Menon

Edit: So everyone is probably wondering what happened with the agent interview. Well, it's kind of a funny story. Pooja lives on the West Coast while Natasha and I live on the East Coast. Between Pooja and I, neither of us thought to bring up the little issue of time zones. Noon here is 9am there. 

So, I finally got in touch with her when she was on her way to the office. Being the awesome person she is, Pooja was going to do the interview at 12:30pm EST (9:30am her time) BUT Natasha was driving somewhere and I couldn't get it touch with her. On top of that, Pooja couldn't seem to leave a comment on my blog so even if everyone showed on time, things would have still been chaotic. 

To remedy the situation, Pooja offered to do the interview over the phone. After dozens of emails (with me acting as the middle man) the interview finally happened over the phone. Natasha recorded it and is transcribing it now. She'll send me the transcription and I will post it on the blog for all to read.

Now, on a personal note, I want to say how utterly awesome both Pooja and Natasha were during this entire ordeal. I've had several dealings with Pooja (through contests) and every time we've worked together I am left stunned how nice, friendly, willing, and approachable she's been. She truly is a class act.

Natasha. Things got a little crazy for a while. Thank you for keeping your head and being amazing about the technical and non-technical difficulties we faced. I'm glad everything worked out. Good luck with your request!

Entrants, check you email. Pooja made some requests. 

Natasha and Pooja, please conduct your one on one time in the comments section of this post. If you have any questions for me, don't hesitate to ask.

Good luck!

Winning Query:

Dear Pooja Menon:

Lexi Ripley doesn’t do bloodshed. She’s co-president of her high school PAW Club, loves all things animal, and hates anything that brings people or creatures harm. When the family secret turns out to be a heritage of monster slaying, her birthright goes against her beliefs.

Her family’s legacy was forged centuries ago, when the Brotherhood swore to defend mankind from rogue paranormals. From that moment, sons of the eight bloodlines have answered the call with pride. Now, with the death of her Uncle Lucas, a daughter is Marked. It’s unprecedented and unacceptable. She’s not the chosen one; she’s an accident.

Lexi is plagued by visions of bloody battles, despairing dreams of loves lost, and stuck with a few jerks who refuse to take the “No Girls Allowed” sign off the entrance to their secret hideout. Worse, she senses danger watching, looming in wait, but the warriors won’t listen to her. The Brotherhood’s patriarchal practices may deem her unworthy, but this…thing, whatever it is, doesn’t care about their judgments. It’s closing in, and with it, the evil that killed her predecessor.

MARKED, a YA urban fantasy with series potential, is complete at 70,000.


  1. First, I’d like to thank Mike for hosting this contest, everyone who voted for my query, and Pooja Menon for agreeing to this 30 minute interview!

    Mike took the first step by reading through submissions and narrowing the queries down to the ones he posted on Writer’s Outworld. Congrats to the Top 10 and everyone else brave enough to submit! :)

    What are key attributes you like to see in a query that compel you to make a request for additional pages?

    1. Natasha, there may have been a time zone issue with our scheduling (I am so so so sorry). I just email Pooja. Give me a bit and I'll get back to you. Again, I'm really really sorry *headdesk*

    2. Okay. No problem. Keep me posted.

  2. *sigh* I'm looking over our email and neither of us thought to include time zone. If I can't get her on now would you be able to make it back at three? Again. I'm so sorry. I know this is a huge inconvenience.

    1. Yes, I can do 3 p.m. EST. Thanks and no problem.

    2. Awesome. Awesomeawesomeawesome. Thanks for being so flexible. This one is going in my book of greatest blog screw ups. To make it up to you, how about I offer a query and first chapter critique? And can be for Marked or a WIP down the road. All you have to do is shoot me an email.

    3. Pooja can be on in about 25 minutes. Is that okay?

  3. Okay. Interview will officially be at 3pm EST. Unless you two meet up while I'm away.

  4. Awww. So glad it worked out. Great job Natasha! Thanks for persevering Mike. Looking forward to seeing the interview.

  5. Thanks again, Mike. You've definitely earned your 'pay it forward' badge. Now go rest. :)