EDIT: This post now comes with added Blog Hop action! Check out Dannie Morin’s Left to Write blog for links to other Pitch Wars Contender bios!
This is me:
See the additional people in this shot? That’s how I roll. Surrounded by kids. Mine. The neighbors’. Kids I tutor. You get it. Kids. (Mine are actually taller and sillier now. I need a new photo!)
I’ve been a teacher in one form or another for my entire adult life. I’ve lived everywhere from the Outer Banks to the Adirondacks to the Great Plains. I read, sing along to, and grow basically everything: I’m a variety pack kind of girl! In addition to my many nerdgrrl fandoms, I love watching shows that are the Pitch Wars of someone else’s field, like Project Runway and Top Chef. I’m an attendee and devotee of Midwest Writers Workshop. I also belong to a writers’ group called Working Title, based out of my local indie bookstore (I know, I am the actual luckiest. Come visit! I take all my twitter friends there eventually!)
Sci-fi and fantasy have always been my sweet spots. I seem to write mostly sci-fi, though. After all, the sheer pace of scientific discovery feels like a kind of magic, doesn’t it? I latch on to a concept, find the most interesting place where it intersects community, and then make a big, fingerpainty mess RIGHT THERE.
I also do my best to write a variety of diverse, fully-realized characters. Being the new kid in eight states SUCKS. Books saved me. And now I have kids, and my kids have friends, and the lives of all these terrific kids are only going to get more complex as they move toward adulthood… It’s imperative to me that every kid be able to pick up a book and find a reflection of self.
I’m a hard worker. Ask Jaye Robin Brown, the mentor who chose me as a Pitch Wars alternate last year. I’m not afraid to shred my work and truly re-vision, not just revise. I also value community. During Pitch Wars 2013, I found four new critique partners (my team, and another alternate I made friends with because we admired each other’s work). I love them. They love me.
Pitch Wars helped me tighten my pacing. And lo and behold, in less than a year I’ve put out a new, shiny, tightly-paced MG manuscript with loads of voice! Pitch Wars (and Jaye) built my muscles! I think you’ll love ODDITY. It’s a strange (and sometimes creepy) laugh-out-loud story that is, at its heart, about loving your family and hometown– because they may be weird, but they’re yours. If you like THE TRUE MEANING OF SMEKDAY, M.T. Anderson’s Pals in Peril series, Gravity Falls, and the Welcome to Night Vale podcast, you’ll eat ODDITY up with a spoon. My writing soundtrack is here, and my inspiration board is here.
What I want mentors to know, more than anything, is that I’m motivated and ready– ready to be a primary mentee. Ready to work. Ready to put this manuscript out into the world.