• Hetal Avanee

Another mentee bio


I know this is late coming, and so many do it way better than me, so let me start you with my #pimpmybio entry from 2015. Most of the bullet points still apply, although my love for Benedict Cumberbatch is being threatened by my crushs on Matthew Goode and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Let's be real, tho, I have a crush on anyone with a great smile and an accent.

For other places to get to know my current story out on submission, I'd first like to promote the hash #ownvoicesaesthetics. Recently agented author Claribel Ortega started the hash two days ago and several writers took up the challenge. Go look up some pretty if you like. You won't be disappointed. And *clears throat* here's mine.

There's still my own #amwriting page if you want to get an overview and visuals of RIVEN, but earlier this year I was also a finalist in #PitchMadness! Rebecca Coffindaffer and Marieke Nijkamp chose my pitch and first page out of the contest submission slush. Though it was displayed with love, I got no requests, but I wouldn't take back that experience for anything.

Since February of this year I have queried RIVEN as an Urban Fantasy. I'd read the articles and testimonials saying it's a very hard genre to break into, and now I can say with experience that "the rumors" are true :) I've had some success, however, a little while ago I received revision suggestions that turned my story down a different path.

I spent most of June and half of July clearing up or dialing down the fantasy elements and building up the science elements in Riven. My current work in the technology sector ensured the tech details rang true, and my two "science" sisters (1 - microbiologist & 2 - physician) helped me solidify the science elements.

But I'm still not comfortable labeling it a Science Fiction story, or calling myself a true SFF author. I like "speculative fiction author", but I'm not sure how it plays in the market. The SFF elements are light - at least to me - and they are woven into supernatural elements, because I love the mesh and dichotomy of facts with suppositions.

So is it Soft Sci-fi or Urban Fantasy? Hard for me to say. Would love an expert to weigh-in. ;)

My biggest fear is that my change in direction is a mistake. I need someone to tell me whether I'm right to be afraid. :) I'd love someone to read the first five chapters of the MS pre-revisions and post-revisions, if they had time for those 90 pages, and tell me which version they like better. Or if it should be a mesh. Or, or, or....LOL

Every story I write draws somewhat - and subtly (I hope) - on some aspect of my own Indian-American upbringing. Why don't I write contemporary then about those experiences? Because of my love for everything mythological and anything supernatural. The Ramayana and Bhagavad Gita got me through the nights after horrid days at school. I leave the contemporary tellings of the same prejudices and hardships to better people than me.

Every story is diverse. Not just with Indian MCs, but also my secondary and tertiary players come from all over the world. I'm lucky enough to say that I've traveled wide and to varied places, and each place has left an impression on me. However, my travels are done by a long shot, and I've still got a pinterest board filled with places I want to see before I leave the earth.

Aside from writing, I'm a mom of two wonderful goobers ages 4 and 8.

My daughter is a voracious reader and writer in her own realm and she's my biggest fan. I still blush every time she introduces me to her friends with "My mom is an author!" She's honestly the reason I moved away from writing Paranormal Romances (none of which will see the light of day again) and into the realm of Fantasy. I think my biggest dream after being published is being able to share my books with her.

Oh look how I looped the two back together ;)

I have a BA in English and walked right over to Information Technology with that accolade in hand. The transition sounds odd to some, and I never pictured myself here when I was studying, but it's been a good fit for me and I don't regret it a bit. The environment is fast-paced, my manager supportive, and the work fulfilling. If I'm not writing full-time, this is a good enough way to spend my time during the days.

I can't think of something I didn't already reveal about myself last year...hit me up if you have questions. I'm not shy. Online, that is. In person you'll prob find me reading in a corner.

#pitchwars #amwriting #pimpmybio