#PitchWars: Pimp My Bio

Every August, Brenda Drake and her team hosts a fabulous writing contest: PitchWars. It’s a chance for unagented writers to work with mentors for two months to shine their manuscripts and present them in an agent round.

This will be my third year participating, and my first year ‘Pimping my Bio’.

The first year I participated I subbed my MG mystery and nabbed a few requests. Nothing came of it, and to be honest, I’m not super surprised.  My CP only told me about PitchWars two days before the submission window opened and my manuscript was far from ready. I queried for a bit, then shelved the project.

Last year I came to PitchWars prepared and subbed an earlier version of Stalking Death, then named The Survivors. It had been written, edited, proofed, revised and critted several times prior to PitchWars. Turns out all my hard work paid off, and I ended up with three requests for more material from mentors and, as I later found out, was the second choice for mentors Megan Lally and Katie Bucklein.  (So close!)

Undeterred, I worked with some new CPs and some old CPs to turn out the new and improved Stalking Death. I began the query journey a few months later, and landed some great agent feedback. Which led me back to the drafting table. Just in time for PitchWars.

So why should you chose me as your mentee?

  1. I work *hard* at everything I do, whether it’s my day job; hobbies, my passions; or anything between.
  2. If I believe in something, I won’t give up: I *love* Stalking Death so much that this is the second time I am entering the MS in #PitchWars. I believe in it and I know down to my core that it is something wonderful. It just may need a little help getting it there.
  3. I want to learn. I’m here because I want to soak up the knowledge of those who are more experienced than I; who can teach to become better; and then go out and teach others so they can benefit. Don’t just tell me ‘do this’; tell me what I’m doing wrong, and how to fix it. Because otherwise I don’t learn. And what’s the point of that?
  4. I’m not a one and done kinda gal. Whatever relationships I get out of #PitchWars, I want to last. I had a hard time maintaining CP relationships after last year, and I don’t want a repeat of that. I have trouble maintaining solid relationships with those I don’t know IRL (working on that!), but once we click, I want to make it work.
  5. I will put my heart and soul into #PitchWars. Because my story already has those things.

So that’s what you’ll get from me.

Now, a little about me. If I were super GIF savvy, you’d get some great ones, but I’m not. At least not on my blog, so…

I am a *HUGE* fan of all things Joss Whedon and Supernatural. I’m sure there are several other shows or movies, but those two have my heart.

I’ve been a paralegal for fifteen years (at the same law firm: see, dedication!), and I have a Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology.  I wrote my thesis on husband-wife serial killer teams, leading me to an unabashed love for serial killers.

I wrote my first book when I was in third grade, detailing the exploits of Big Foot, the possibility of the Loch Ness Monster and the mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle. The book also serves as my first bucket list, and I am proud to say I will be exploring the mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle next week. Watch out Nessie and Big Foot!

While I have always been a huge fan of mysteries (reading, writing and watching them), my writing tends to always take on a supernatural or speculative twist. Growing up my idol was Nancy Drew and I read a lot of Stephen King, so this makes perfect sense to me.

When not writing or delving into the unknown, you can find me training at the gym: I am terrible at Jiu Jitsu and only slightly better at kickboxing, but I’m still there getting my ass handed to me several times a week.

Weekends are generally reserved for family and friends. I’m involved in a living history group and yes, I have been known to occasionally don armor, pick up a bow and (padded) arrows and kick some ass out on the battle field. I’m also the co-editor of the group’s quarterly newsletter.

As most writers, I love to read and my tastes vary widely. My current favorites are Six of Crows, Stalking Jack the Ripper, Harry Potter, I Hunt Killers and Throne of Glass.

Somehow with all of the above, my husband puts up with me, I am still my kids’ favorite mom and there’s always time for snuggling with my cat.

That’s me, take it or leave it! But I promise if you take it, I will kick it’s ass and make you proud!

 

 

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Current Project: STALKING DEATH

STALKING DEATH, a 70,000 word YA thriller with supernatural elements, is SUPERNATURAL meets I HUNT KILLERS where the only person standing between the vengeful spirits of serial killer victims and the rest of society is a damaged teenaged girl battling her own ghosts.

Seventeen-year-old Danielle Burke will never regret the first time she killed someone. It’s all the other ones that haunt her: their only crime was being murdered by a serial killer before meeting Dani. But that’s the price all Survivors pay: Survive a serial killer; hunt down the vengeful ghosts of those who don’t.

Dani’s new ‘life’ working alongside her fellow Survivor and mentor, Megan Watson, is a waking nightmare, following serial killers from city to city only to chase down the vengeful spirits of their victims. Between Megan, her emotional walls, and whiskey, Dani can function. Sometimes.

Then the Survivor working the Butcher of Baltimore case is killed, and Dani is forced to step in. Alone. Now Dani must face off against four dead girls in the city she once called home—and the site of her own near-murder. Hindered by Kylie Jensen, a high school senior who thinks she’s an investigative journalist, Dani fights to keep her own demons at bay while using every one of the tricks Megan taught her to stay alive.

But between the appearance of a mystery ghost and the discovery of a new victim, Dani is in way over her head. The closer Dani gets to the truth, the faster the people she cares about start disappearing, forcing Dani to make an impossible decision: which one will she save?