I know. I used pimpin’ in the title. The teacher in me has already assigned detention. But the author in me is like fa sho fa sho.
It’s that time of year where aspiring authors who are taking part in PitchWars get to share details about themselves and the book they’ve been crying over, erm, working on. You can find more of these fab authors here on Lana Pattinson’s blog.
And be forewarned. PitchWars peeps LOVE GIFs. Seriously, it’s practically an art form.
So let’s move on, shall we?
Part One: All About the Book
A long, long time ago, this YA book started as a story about what would happen to a shy girl if her BFF moved away (based on my daughter and her best friend, and pretty sure there’s a MG plot in there, still). And while it’s kept the very basic premise, this story has evolved into what happens when girls don’t have the vocabulary or the self-confidence to take care of themselves when things like dealing with boys, parents, and social expectations get tricky. Take a look at the aesthetic for Within and Without:
Yes, it looks country, but it’s Northern California country, where food is grown and wine is made, but Target and the mall is, like, 20 minutes away.
Within and Without is a YA contemporary that shows girls what can happen when they choose themselves. Granted, Wren doesn’t fire an arrow into any roasted pig’s mouths, but she can be just as bad ass as Katniss. Once she figures out how, anyway…
And while there isn’t a cool Roman/13 American colonies thing happening, I did manage to work in more than a few Great Gatsby allusions for all you literary fans out there…
Here’s the pitch-in-progress:
Sixteen-year-old Wren believes her bulimia helped attract her long-time crush. But when he pushes her into a physical relationship she’s not ready for, she must decide if the illusion of love is worth her health.
Part Two: A Bit About Me
My parents tell me I am an only child, but I’m pretty sure my siblings live in books. From the time I read The Monster at the End of This Book until the binding gave way to the hundreds of Danielle Steele romances I read in high school to the time I laid (that’s the right tense, right?) in the middle of the deserted, midnight streets of my college-town, contemplating the way Anne Rice uses “vermillion” in her Interview with a Vampire Series with my weirdest and closest friend, I knew I belonged where the stories lived.
I tried being “normal,” whatever that is, by working at a bank. I did pretty well, managing to promote to vice-president and the private bank in a short time. I managed hundreds of millions of dollars in assets for my clients.
But I wasn’t happy.
Then a bunch of things happened. The housing market tanked. My daughter started having seizures (This is the basis of my next WIP). I was spending more time with her than making my sales goals- DUH. I would help out in her class as “room mom,” and her teacher-at-the-time kept telling me I should be a teacher.
Truthfully, I always wanted to be one. Even had the old school desk I’d sit my stuffed animals in when I was young and “teach” them about spelling and grammar.
The idea embedded itself in my psyche and I eventually went back to school to get a degree and started teaching English. Ten years later, not only do I have a BS in Business Administration, but I also have a BA and MA in English. I’m also working through a PhD program of Mythological Studies with an emphasis in Depth Psychology. Basically, that’s a lot of words to say I LOVE WORDS and the stories they make.
And now I want to create my own written pictures so the world can see a little of what I see in it. And how beautiful it can be.
When I was finishing my master’s degree, I had to write a ten-page paper once a month for ten months, not to mention all the extra written assignments in the program. And then there was the 37-page annotated bibliography and 40-page master’s thesis I completed in three months. I say this to show I’m not afraid of work, and I can do “butt-in-chair” very well.
Fun… no, interesting story: my last master’s class was ENG 666 (I KNOW!), Silent Film as Literature. My instructor, retired from NYU and teaching part-time, returned my first assignment claiming it was un-gradeable because I had no idea how to write. I took a day cursing him and his cows, but then returned to DO THE WORK. I ended up with a 96.7% in the class (An A- because he required a 97% to get an A).
This shows I’m not afraid of criticism and can “Rise Up” when needed. (Insert Hamilton because #WERK).
Also, I’ve recently managed 10k words on my new project in two and a half days. My arms and shoulders may be sore, but like Hamilton, I write like I’m running out of time…
Part Three: All the Extras
I have two amazing kids. My daughter, mentioned above, is now 20 and has survived a TBI at birth, epilepsy, brain surgery and subsequent partial paralysis, and now migraines. She managed to graduate high school ON TIME, and now works proudly at TJ Maxx. She’s recently been given a raise and a chance to work the registers.
My son is 18 and just graduated high school. He is on his way to college to study music production, although he’s been told multiple times he should be acting or a model. Seriously, his sense of humor just isn’t fair.
Also, I can’t leave out my daughter’s semi-retired service dog. Her name is Lady, and she is just as weird as her girl.
She’s the one on the left…(And just for the record, she prefers Pluto to Goofy.)
Part Four: Okay, So…
I have loved the way the 26 characters of the English alphabet can be rearranged to connote emotion and love and bittersweetness since I could listen to stories. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the way people see and feel things.
I’m hoping to write more stories and make people feel all of the feels as they read them.
More than anything, I’m SUPER grateful to the PitchWars community for making me feel welcome and that my stories are relevant.
Please leave a comment on why you write or read. And feel free to share!