Hi guys! Welcome to my blog, Pitch Wars mentors, mentees, and random people interested in who I am.
My name is Mary, and this is my second time entering #Pitchwars. By day, I write for a teeny, tiny small town weekly newspaper, and in my spare time, I wrangle cats and a Standard Poodle, chase an adorable 2-year old, and try to spend time with my husband in addition to writing YA contemporary stories. One of my writer friends described my WIPs as “sports boys with issues,” and that’s kind of close to what I do.
I’m currently reading THE SERPENT KING by Jeff Zentner and THE SUMMER OF YOU AND ME by Robin Constantine. Next up is Tim Federle’s THE GREAT AMERICAN WHATEVER. I love, love, love contemporary, but I’m big fan of good writing, so I’ll read almost anything as long as it’s a great story.
My favorite books of the moment include:
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
Simon Versus the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
I’m sure there are many more, but I forget to update my Goodreads shelf and lose track of what I’ve read and what I want to read. Lately, I’ve been roaming the local library trying to figure out how to convince them to add more diverse YA to their shelves, and since there’s a shortage of books I’m excited about there, I tend to grab the ones that stand out to me whenever I go to the bookstore.
Because I have a 2-year old, I read a lot of picture books as well. I love instilling a love of books in my kid. I call him #babybookworm, and my favorite part of the day is when he grabs a book and tells me to sit on the floor in his room so we can read. This is an old picture, but you can see how he gets his nickname.
This is a normal night’s book stack for us:
Well, anyway … back to my WIP and why I’m entering #Pitchwars2016! 🙂
Last year my 2015 #Pitchwars manuscript was like this:
I’m entering with a new manuscript this time, and it’s more like this:
I’m working on finalizing my pitch, but here’s a portion of my query:
STILL BREATHING is an LGBT+ YA contemporary, complete at 82,000 words. It brings together the literary style of Rainbow Rowell’s CARRY ON and the haunting suspense and twists of E. Lockhart’s WE WERE LIARS.
Nine months ago, seventeen-year-old Jordan Erickson killed his best friend Taylor in a car crash. Returning to school, he longs for a chance to start over, but learning to navigate life as a quadriplegic is exhausting, especially while dealing with panic attacks, memory loss, awkward friends, and an overbearing girlfriend.
Strange events follow Jordan as he tries to readjust. From an apparition in the mirror to a disembodied voice in the hall, Jordan can’t shake the feeling that the uncanny incidents are reminders that things weren’t exactly right between him and Taylor before the wreck. Or maybe Taylor isn’t entirely gone.
I tend to focus a lot on mental illness in my writing. It’s an issue that’s close to my heart, and my MC struggles with anxiety, depression, and hallucinations throughout the WIP. I majored in psychology in college, and while I didn’t make it my career, I’ve always wanted to help others have the representation and resources I never found for myself growing up with anxiety and depression.
A little more about me:
I write to music. Each of my WIPs has an unofficial play list that I add to frequently as I work.
I’m a cat person.
I’m not super into TV or movies. I’m currently working through the most recent Game of Thrones season, but I’d rather have a book or my computer to write.
I love to travel and don’t get to do that nearly enough.
I’ve always wanted to be a writer and publish books. I started writing novels in sixth grade, but I quit in college because I let people in my creative writing program convince me that YA wasn’t a serious category to write.
It took years and my high school best friend/writing buddy to start questioning me about why I hadn’t published anything or kept up with my stories in any way, shape, or form for me to get serious about pursuing my writing dreams again. I’ve been back at it for about three years, and I want to make up for lost time.
I’m entering #Pitchwars because I want to make my manuscript the best it can be. I want to share my stories with other people, and I want to prove to myself and my family that I am a serious writer.
I’m anxious to take on the task of revising and preparing my story for agents to look at. It has been read (or is still being read) by several betas and CPs, and by the time the entry day for #Pitchwars arrives, it will be polished and shiny and ready for mentors to show me what I need to do to have the best manuscript possible!
“Once more unto the breach, dear friends!” (Random fact: Yes, I love Shakespeare. I was a graduate assistant for the Shakespeare professor in grad school, and those were my favorite classes to teach.)
Thanks to Lana Pattinson for hosting #PimpMyBio this year! Go check out all the other #Pitchwars hopefuls on her blog hop.