If you’re looking for the dry, third person professional sounding bio, it’s on my website and Amazon page, but this is where I’ll dish the real dirt on who I am as a writer, reader, and all-around nerd in my attempts to woo you into considering me as a Pitch Wars mentee. I’ve written enough dating profiles that I ought to be good at this. Then again, I am still single.
- I’m old school. I handwrite my first drafts. I can’t explain why. My process just changes when I sit in front of a screen. I need that first draft on paper. In the long run this method benefits me because by the time I type a manuscript it’s on its second draft; I make significant changes as I type. The downfall to this, of course, is that I carry around notebooks in gallon Ziploc bags, terrified I’ll spill my coffee and lose half a book!
- When it comes to writing, I’m OCD. I write in green Pilot pens. Only green Pilot pens. I hoard them and stash them all over my house, car, and classroom. There is a least one in every purse and book bag I own. I also chew cinnamon gum when I write most nights. It needs to be cinnamon. I got the gum chewing from my Gram, who even at 92 always has a pack of Freedent by her side.
- I hated fantasy as a kid; now it’s my go-to, especially if I can sink my teeth into a series. (Thank you, J. K. Rowling.) My favs include Harry Potter, Twilight, Hunger Games, Black Dagger Brotherhood, Sookie Stackhouse, Matched, Golden Compass, Outlander, and the early Maximum Ride books. These are a mixture of YA and adult, because I read and write both (though my current manuscript is YA).
- The characters come first, always. An author can plot twist and world-build until she’s blue in the face (maybe her characters actually are blue in the face—Avatar? Smurfs?), but if I don’t love the characters, or love to hate the characters, she’s lost me.
- I’m a dialogue whore. At least two members of my book club snorted wine through their noses when I first publicly proclaimed this, but there it is. I adore witty, gritty dialogue. This definitely carries over to my writing. I often write just the dialogue to a scene as it plays out in my head and then go back to fill in the narration later. And I’ve been known to skim long chunks of exposition in books I’m reading to get to the next conversation. (The Outlander series comes to mind here.)
- Continuing the theme from above: I was a hooker my first two years of college. . . . It’s a rugby position. Seriously.
- I teach middle school English, because I enjoy books and body humor as much as any 13 year old.
- I had a teensy *cough* obsession with Harry Potter. I loved the books and characters so much I even named my cat after Dobby the house elf. Only I call her Doby, because hooked on phonics did not work for me, apparently.
- I’ve been known to not only allow, but initiate long debates during my classes about who A is from Pretty Little Liars. Guess the last episode ruined that Wednesday tradition.
- I have a girl crush on Abby from NCIS and turn to my very own Bert the Farting Hippo when life hands me lemons, or gas, or anything unpleasant.
If all of the above hasn’t scared you off, and you’re still considering this weirdo as your mentee, let me give you a few more reasons.
- I’m good with criticism. I give it and take it as a teacher all year long. I even let the little buggers beta read my work. If you’re thinking they’d just be nice about it because I’m their teacher, you need to hang out with middle schoolers more.
- I’m not afraid of hard work. I finish what I start and want to do it well. I earned my black belt. I’ve written four novels, a novella, and countless blogs in the last five years. I’ve also earned my Masters+60, all while teaching fulltime. (If that sounds braggy, I’m sorry. Teachers in my state are required to turn in evidence binders thicker than a Diana Gabaldon book to prove we don’t suck; it’s now become a habit.)
- This ain’t my first rodeo. (And, yes, I’m itching to change that to isn’t. Humor aside, bad grammar irks me.) My first two novels were indie published by a small publisher. They were new. I was new. I’d written a vampire novel when the market was flooded with them. Signing seemed like a good idea at the time. And in a lot of ways it was. I learned a great deal about the process, good and bad. I worked with editors—not as much as those first books needed, but the experience was still great for building a thick skin, learning when and how to politely disagree, and when to just kill my darlings.
But now I’m ready to ride with the big boys (or girls!).
I’m ready to work, learn, and grow—and I hope to do it with a kick-ass mentor like all of those in this competition!