Pitch Wars 2017: #PimpMyBio Post

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This post is part of the #PimpMyBio blog hop for Pitch Wars, a contest by author Brenda Drake where aspiring writers can submit their completed, unpublished manuscripts for a two-month mentorship. Can we get a huge round of applause for Brenda for hosting Pitch Wars and for Lana Pattinson for hosting the #PimpMyBio blog hop? This is all so amazing! (By the way, Lana, I would totally talk booze, books and Scotland with you any day!).

This is my first time entering Pitch Wars and I’m super excited and nervous about this opportunity to connect with the writing community online! I’ve been a lone wolf writer for a long time and I’m really looking forward to making friends, meeting some writer buddies and hopefully some CPs too! Please come connect with me!

Who am I? (AKA am I animal, vegetable or mineral?)

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Mineral. Probably Mineral. (Cue Hank from Breaking Bad yelling, “Jesus Christ, Marie, they’re minerals!!!”)

My name is Marilyn, I was born and raised in Malaysia but have spent the last 14 years or so living in Perth, Western Australia. I’m definitely a Perthling now! My parents raised me and my siblings to be voracious book readers and I’ve also wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. Ever since I was a litte girl, I was always scribbling stories and turning my school exercise books into writing notebooks! I’ve got quite a few unpublished novels under my belt and I definitely feel that I’ve learned a lot from each and every one of them. Even if it’s just about learning how to bounce back from failure and keep writing! Oh, and one thing I’ve definitely learned from each unpublished novel – that no matter what happens, I will always, always keep writing. It’s in the blood!

One day, I will write THE one! Hopefully, it’s THIS one!

Some fun facts about me!

I’m a huge fantasy and scifi fan. Some of my favourite authors? Neil Gaiman, Robin McKinley, China Mieville, Neal Stephenson, Isaac Asimov, Cherie Priest, Gail Carriger, Jacqueline Carey, Scott Lynch and Susanna Clarke.

I’m also a huge fan of Golden Age British mysteries. All hail the Queen of Crime, Her Majesty Agatha Christie!

And in a category all of her own, Lucy Maud Montgomery. I could read her books over and over again. My all-time favourite? The Blue Castle.

I really enjoy reading horror but I’m such a fraidy-cat that I’ll be jumping and looking over my shoulder all night! And, yes, I’m that person that always screams in the cinema at the horror movie. And yet I can’t get enough of spine-tingling thrills…

I work in government media and part of my job involves spending a huge amount of time listening to talkback radio and watching the news. And lots of writing and editing!

When I was a teenager, I wanted to be a manga artist. I spent hours drawing comics, but eventually went back to writing just because I could type a whole lot faster than I could draw. But one day I’d love to go back to drawing comics!

Last year, I did a thing where I read a science book a month for the whole of 2016. It was really fun and I learned so much, and I thought of doing the same thing this year but with philosophy books. Unfortunately, that got away from me and I think I might have to start afresh next year!

I got a Kindle as a birthday present a few years back and it’s been one of my most treasured possessions since. A magic portable library that won’t break my shoulders? Yes, please! Plus, books are so much cheaper on Kindle! Don’t get me wrong, I still love real paper-and-ink books as much as the next reader, but I’m telling you, this Kindle totally changed my life.

Oh, and you can connect with me here on Twitter and on Instagram.

Okay, enough about me!

And onto my book!

The genre is scifi/fantasy with elements of steampunk and the title is THE SCRAPPY RASCALS AND THE GREAT APOCALYPTIC RACE. Some comp titles? WACKY RACES meets MAD MAX or PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN meets RAILSEA.

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Elevator pitch: A group of ragtag misfits enter a race across dangerous terrain to win a starship and escape the apocalypse.

Now a little more about my story – or what they call the query pitch!

Captain Rei Luu-Kaida and the Scrappy Rascals are the brashest, most reckless group of outcasts ever to sail land and sea. They are also the most willing to take on the riskiest, most dangerous jobs transporting goods across the Territories, that loosely-formed cluster of lands that is what’s left of the planet after half a dozen apocalypses and rebirths have ravaged the world.

And now they are about to undertake their most dangerous mission yet, competing in an eccentric prince’s race. It is a race that would draw crowds from all over the Territories, that would pit wartrains against fortress ships, airships against walking castles, and winged warriors against wolfhounds. It is a race that purports to name the greatest transporter of all time and proffers the ultimate prize – a starship, that would enable the winner to leave this world before it is torn apart yet again by the mysterious time-warp portals appearing across the Territories.

Rei has always dreamed of flying to the stars. For her, the starship isn’t just a way to escape the impending apocalypse, but also the key to discovering the secrets of her past. But when she discovers the race isn’t just a race, but something far more sinister, she must make a choice – abandon this dying world to achieve her dream, or try to save it and lose her chance of ever reaching the stars.

Scrappy Rascals, Apocalyptic Race, novel aesthetics, pitch wars, steampunk, scifi, fantasy, world building, pimpmybio, characters

What else is in this story?

Strong female characters (Bechdel test = tick!)

Also, diversity!

Some really fun world-building (hello, desert with poisonous winds, lake with mysterious monster, waterfall canyon guarded by cannibalistic tribes, and cities with stairs to nowhere!)

Folks who fail, but never give up. (scrappy is the name of the game!)

Combat rounds where anything goes. (the more blood, the better)

Laugh-out-loud humour (I hope!)

And just a tad bit of romance to spice things up (winky wink, nudge, nudge!)

And just for fun, here’s a drawing board of my cast! (I might have spent a few hours falling down the rabbit hole of Google image search for this.)

Scrappy Rascals, Apocalyptic Race, novel aesthetics, pitch wars, steampunk, scifi, fantasy, world building, pimpmybio, characters, cast

What I’ll bring to the table as a mentee:

I’m a hard worker and a dedicated writer. In fact, when it comes to writing, I like to think I’m super disciplined as well as fiercely protective of my writing time. I’m used to working under pressure and meeting deadlines in my day job and will bring that to my writing desk too! I will honour and respect the time you’re kindly giving up to teach and mentor me and help me in all things writing – I promise you, I shall not waste it! I’m eager to learn and improve, and in you, I shall place my trust! I haven’t actually shown my manuscript to anyone and so I’m eager to get feedback and a new pair of eyes on my work!

Also, I will talk books, movies, music, musicals, and have cocktails with you anytime!

Thanks again to Brenda and Lana for this opportunity 🙂 And good luck to all entering the contest!


  1. Hi Marilyn! Ahh, I love the aesthetics of your MS! It sounds like such a cool, rich world. Do you have any sketches of your characters lying around? Best of luck in Pitch Wars 😀

    • MarilynChin

      Aw, thank you, Adelle! I’ve been loving the look of yours too! It sounds like a great story! I love anything 1920s 🙂 No sketches as yet though I might attempt one or two soon! Good luck with Pitch Wars too 🙂 Let’s keep in touch on Twitter!

  2. Katherine Fleet

    Marilyn! So glad you are entering Pitch Wars. I am mentoring for the first time:) I’m a bit nervous, but also excited. Best of luck with your story. It sounds like a real adventure!

    • MarilynChin

      Thanks, Katherine! 🙂 I’m pretty excited about Pitch Wars and making lots of cool new writer friends! It’s been so much fun! And good luck with your mentoring! I know you’ll do a great job!

  3. Ohmigosh, I’m from Perth too! How come we’ve never met? I am missing out.

    Your book sounds so awesome. I want to read it regardless of what happens in the Wars. Good luck to you. Hope you find a mentor.

    • MarilynChin

      A fellow Perth writer! And a fantasy writer too! So nice to meet you, Heidi! 🙂 And thank you for the lovely compliment about my MS! If you ever want to do a meet-up in person to talk books and writing, do give me a shout! 🙂

  4. Marilyn!!!! Mad Max Fury Road is my LOVE and your manuscript sounds awesome!!! I’m crossing my fingers Kit Grant and I get to see it in our inbox, this is exactly the type of manuscript we would love!!!

    • MarilynChin

      Hi Tomi! Thank you so, so much for your kind words – you totally made my day with this!! 🙂 🙂 And yes I would love it if you are thinking of considering me! I’ll be putting in my pitch! 🙂

  5. Lana Storey

    Marilyn, your book sounds SO good! Love the visuals, too! Good luck!!

    • MarilynChin

      Aww, Lana, thank you!!! And best of luck to you too! :):)


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