2015 #PitchWars Mentee Bio

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I’m a 35-year-old single mom who spends a great deal of time screwing around on the internet. Fortunately, a lot of that time is work-related.

I’m a graduate of the University of Florida with an English major and a minor in education. After having my second son and spending six years freelance writing and editing for various editorial sites, I went back to agency work in a content strategy and inbound marketing role. I love it. On any given day I might be writing about luxury weddings or interventional pain management. It keeps me on my toes.

Do I get burned out writing for work and writing for fun? Sometimes. But after being sidelined by divorce and life shenanigans for a bit, I love having my voice back. My imagination has always been an escape. As a little kid, I figured it would just stop at some point. But it never did. (Phew.)

Now I just stay up even further past my bedtime telling stories.

I’ve been blogging since 2002 and writing since third grade or so. My first book was about a very special magical girl with very special glowing eyes that made her very different and incredibly awesome. She also had a cute ginger guy friend with an owl named Orly so yes, I invented it.

Fun facts

  • My second high school job was selling sausages as the Renaissance Festival.
  • I am known to paste enormous blocks of text into unsuspecting chat boxes.
  • I cosplayed for Naruto and One Piece before they were popular. *puts on hipster glasses*
  • My dogs (rescue terrier mixes) don’t help me write at all, but they’re cute.
  • I am 5’9″.
  • Nymbler is my favorite character-naming tool.
  • I write fiction in Scrivener and anything else in Google Docs. I edit in Word while cursing Word.
  • I have tweeted over 71,000 times.
  • I recently got a writing tattoo. It’s kind of a quill peacock thing with quotation marks and it stopped itching three days ago. It was my 5th tattoo.

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Hey, I didn’t get a divorce tattoo. So this was my big cliche moment. (I adore it.)

The book

I am submitting GATHOS, a young adult speculative fiction novel. I first started writing Gathos three years ago. The current incarnation of this manuscript is the fifth revision and I look forward to attacking it again with the cutthroat (yet loving?) assistance of a Pitch Wars mentor. Pitch Wars comes at a good time for me. I’m committed to doing the work, and I won’t stop doing the work if I’m not selected as a mentee this year.

GATHOS features a diverse cast of characters. Recently, a friend asked why so many of the characters in GATHOS are queer. The answer isn’t simple, but this was the best I could give:

Growing up bisexual, I didn’t think anyone else felt the way I did. I didn’t know if other girls liked boys and girls or if there was something broken and wrong about me. The books I read and shows I watched were always about heterosexual relationships, and I was wondered if I was abnormal—or worse, just plain wrong.

Then there’s this:

The other day my 6-year-old son, who loves wearing nail polish but is usually too shy to wear it at school, asked me to paint his nails electric blue before camp. Why? He’d seen another boy wearing nail polish. Seeing that one kid made it OK.

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Kids are listening.

Young readers are listening. Connecting to just one character who looks the same or loves the same or faces the same challenges can be such an enormous comfort.

You’re awesome

I’d like to thank everyone participating in #PitchWars for being so positive and enthusiastic and so willing to share advice and experiences. For being a competition, this hasn’t felt competitive at all. It’s been about lifting each other up, and that’s pretty freaking inspiring.

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