Wednesday, November 22, 2017

NaNoPITCHMo 22: UNRAVEL

Today's pitch is based entirely on the fact that I love crocheting little critters and dolls. Like this one...


Here's the pitch:

When the Maker finishes crocheting a doll, it comes to life. It dances and plays with the other dolls, but it doesn’t think for itself. It is merely a plaything, fit for amusing the Maker’s guests, and once the wear and tear of play begin to unravel it—only natural for a toy made of string—it is only a matter of time before the magic inside it fades.

The Maker’s favorite doll is a ballerina with a purple tutu. It’s special—it can dance better than any of the others, but it never plays with them. The Maker only brings it out for special occasions. All the same, the yarn is beginning to thin. And unbeknownst to the Maker, this doll is different—this one is Real.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

NaNoPITCHMo 21: THE SWORD OF LAW

Today's pitch is for a book I never imagined until this month. But as I was writing out the pitch I decided I really like the hook here! I may have to consider it for the future...

SWORD OF LAW:

Eristar is the descendant of a noble family who fell into poverty generations ago. She has been searching for the Sword of Law all her life. The person who holds the sword rules the kingdom, but it has been missing for centuries, and in that time the kingdom has come to ruin. At last Eristar has discovered the key to the sword’s hiding place. The moment she puts her fingers on the hilt of the sword the kingdom begins to change.

Magic returns and warring factions find peace. Eristar is set up as Queen and the people prosper. The kingdom thrives.

There’s just one problem: Eristar’s Sword of Law is a fake.

Monday, November 20, 2017

NaNoPITCHMo 20: UNMADE

Today's pitch is for a book I tried writing several years ago and then scrapped a few chapters in because I couldn't get either the magic or the pacing quite right. The failure of this book gave me a (probably irrational) belief that I simply wasn't good at writing contemporary fantasy.

I don't entirely believe that any more, though I'm still vaguely leery of it. And I'm no longer particularly interested in this book, though I think the pitch is alright...

UNMADE:

Thea grants wishes, but never her own and never in the ways she expects. Her ability is beyond her control. On the first day of school, her neighbor wishes for the bus to break down. Immediately a meteor crashes in front of the bus, wrecking it and injuring Thea. She comes back from the hospital in a wheelchair.

But that’s not the worst of her worries. Her power is growing. Soon her town is littered with living gargoyles—yet another unexpected answer to a wish. Thea is frightened of her power and hates the circumstances it puts her in. She wishes with all of her heart for everything she is not, and for once in her life her own wish is granted…

…but in a way she never imagined.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

NaNoPITCHMo 19: FORGOTTEN

Today's book is the sort that I have a strong desire to write, but I fear I'm not capable of doing justice. I started researching it a year or so ago, and the research I was doing was really tough stuff. This idea is gritty, and though it's set in a fantasy world, it digs deep into the myriad of troubles that infect the poorest countries on Earth.

I would like to write this one day. I only hope that when I do I'm really ready to tackle it.

FORGOTTEN:

Marliu knows only three things: she’s the primary suspect in a murder investigation, she’s just broken out of prison, and to gain a burst of magic, she has destroyed all her memories of her life. To clear herself of the charges, she must conduct her own investigation, wading through the corruption of one of the poorest governments on the planet and sacrificing memories for magic any time the police get too close.

Mae is a poor girl working in the mines that feed the corruption of the government. She uses magic however she can to pull her family out of poverty, but despite her efforts a string of misfortunes befalls them, all at the hand of one corrupt official.

Marliu knows nothing of the girl in the mines, but until Mae’s story comes to light, she’ll never know the truth behind the murder, or whether she was guilty after all.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

NaNoPITCHMo 18: OLYMPUS GATE

After a week of hypothetical projects, here's one that I've actually completed. This is the first book I ever queried, and though I got a few request on it, it was (rightfully) never picked up. At the time I was querying it would have been perfect for the market. Now... it's not.

So I don't really have any plans of publishing it, but I have considered cleaning it up a bit and making it available, perhaps on Wattpad.

Here's the pitch for OLYMPUS GATE:

Annie always believed she was just another girl orphaned by the nuclear wars... until the anonymous package arrived on her doorstep. Piecing together the clues inside reveals that she was born thousands of years before in ancient Rome, and that time travel is possible. She discovers that she had a twin sister, who was murdered in 83 BCE.

When she learns of her sister's death, she realizes she has a choice: stay with the people she has known all her life or return to ancient Rome in the hope of saving her twin. What's more, Annie believes that by changing the past she could create a new future, one not destroyed by war, but that in doing so she would erase the lives of everyone she loves. Uncertain whether she is making the right choice, Annie travels back to Rome.

Now she's stuck in the past, hiding her true identity and falling for the guy who loves her twin. She can't find her sister. She can't figure out how to change the world. And as the ancient superstitions that led to her sister's death close in, she fears that she may run out of time for both.

Friday, November 17, 2017

NaNoPITCHMo 17: THE MISTS OF ETROIA

I'm going to cheat just a little bit with today's pitch. It isn't for a book but for a Doctor Who episode I'd love to see made. There's so much possible when playing with time, but I don't think I've ever seen an episode where the Doctor and companion have to solve a problem together while moving in opposite directions in time. (Granted I haven't seen every episode of the show, so it's possible it has happened before.)

Pitch:

The Doctor and [companion] have come to planet Etroia to visit the ancient, wise species that lives there, but when they arrive they find the planet empty and covered in mist. Upon landing they lose the Tardis and find themselves repeating the same hour over and over—but in reverse order of one another. As [companion] remembers more and more of their time there, the Doctor remembers less and less.

Now it is up to [companion] to sift through the clues the Doctor has been dropping in order to retrieve the Tardis and find the device causing their temporal misalignment. If [companion] can’t fix the misalignment before the Doctor forgets everything, they’ll both disappear into the mist, just like the former inhabitants of Etroia.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

NaNoPITCHMo 16: SUPERTHINK

Today's pitch comes out of some of the reading I've done lately on artificial superintelligence, as well as my own fears about connecting everything in our lives (cars, refrigerators, thermostats...) to systems we don't control. I think these ideas should be explored in fiction, though I worry I'm not the right person to present them. Nevertheless, here's an idea for a book I'd like to see, whether I'm the one to write it or not:

Dillon is on his way to school in a self-driving car when a world-wide automotive security hack causes crashes around the globe. Dillon’s car swerves into a tree, and he loses consciousness. When he wakes up, his body is dead. Thanks to a new, cutting edge technology, his brain has been copied digitally into a computer housed in an android body.

Plagued by questions of his own humanity, Dillon struggles to come to terms with the role he must now play in the world. His “resurrection” was a gift, but not a free one. The researchers want to enhance his processing power, hoping he’ll be the link between human thought and digital superintelligence.

Only slowly does Dillon come to understand that he’s meant to be no more than a tool. He’ll have to fight to have any autonomy at all, for he who controls the greatest intelligence controls the future.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

NaNoPITCHMo 15: I'LL BE DANCING

I've always had the idea of writing a book called I'LL BE DANCING. I was in ballet all through grade school, and dance was such a big part of my childhood. I'd love to pay tribute to my experience in ballet, and to the instructor I had for so long.

But I never really had a plot... until I sat down to come up with something and this one fell right onto the page. I think it would be pretty cool, though it's a big departure from the sort of thing I usually write.

Here's the third sci fi pitch of the week:

Mara was dancing when the news hit that They had made first contact. Suddenly her dreams of teaching dance for as long as her body allows were replaced with worry over what intelligent alien life might mean for humanity as a whole.

Mara was dancing when They landed their ships on Earth… and picked her to have the first direct communication with a life form from another world.

And Mara will continue dancing with all her strength, until the disease eating through her body kills her. She’ll dance for the peace it brings her. She’ll dance to leave her mark on a rapidly-changing world.

She’ll dance, because when she does, They speak to her.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

NaNoPITCHMo 14: A SINGLE BREATH

So I've had today's pitch in mind for a while now, but since it's more sci fi than fantasy I haven't really done anything with it.

The more I think about it, though, the more it seems like a good short story or maybe novella, so perhaps being shorter, I might get to it.

A SINGLE BREATH

Kindra has the crosshairs of her gun on Delfrank’s heart. She is going to pull the trigger. She has to. That was her whole purpose in coming back to this time—kill Delfrank to silence a secret, to end a war, to prevent a genocide.

She didn’t anticipate falling in love with him.

But she didn’t know who he would be, and by the time she learned his identity, she was already smitten. Now in the span of a single breath she considers everything: a hundred stolen kisses and ten thousand lost souls, the sound of Delfrank’s laugh and her brother’s tears as he held his wife, the life she wants and the choice she is forced to make.

She must pull the trigger. She must! But how many lifetimes can she live in a single breath before she makes her final choice?

Monday, November 13, 2017

NaNoPITCHMo 13: OLYMPUS MONS

I think it's pretty clear from most of the pitches I've written that my genre is YA Fantasy. But I do enjoy stories that branch out from that genre, and I have some ideas of my own that fall into other categories--mainly Sci Fi.

This week I'll be posting some of those. The first--OLYMPUS MONS--is thanks to my love of all things having to do with Mars...

Hope was the first child born on Mars. Twenty-two years later she’s still the face of the Mars Inspiration Colony, simply for having been born. She feels like an impostor, taking credit for someone else’s achievement. So when she wakes up in the middle of the night from a dream of being the first to scale Olympus Mons, she knows she has to turn the dream into reality.

Jared is an extreme Earth survivalist. He’s conquered every challenge from the heights of Everest to the depths of the sea. But he’s never been able to claim the title “first.” For that he’ll have to travel to a new planet, ripe for records. If he can get to the top of Olympus Mons before Hope, he’ll finally have his title.

Two explorers. Two harrowing journeys. One mountain. But before either of them can claim victory at the top, they’ll have to survive the climb.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

NaNoPITCHMo 12: TRUE SIGHT

Looks like this weekend is all about completed books. I wrote TRUE SIGHT back about... seven or eight years ago. It was the first thing I'd written that I was really proud of. I had managed to make the words do basically what I was trying to make them do, and I had some interesting ideas in the book.

Of course my prose was still a bit of a disaster, and my plotting wasn't that sharp. I've learned a whole lot in seven (or eight?) years.

But there may still be some salvageable concepts in this novel, and maybe I'll reuse them sometime.

Pitch:

Kierr and Deisa have lived all their lives in the Athaani caverns. They’ve never seen the sun, never faced the harsh snows on the mountains overhead. But Kierr is determined to see the stars, so with Deisa’s grudging help, she steals Fireweed, a military drug that allows the all-female corps to survive on the surface.

When Deisa takes the drug, she goes into shock. Upon waking, she finds she can see a second, illusory face on everyone she meets—a face that shows their true self. But when Deisa is kidnapped by a visiting diplomat eager to use her gift, Kierr follows after, braving the stark world and the blinding sunlight to bring back her best friend.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

NaNoPITCHMo 11: THE CURATOR

Four years ago I had a new baby, and nothing was as it had been before. I was over the moon... but overwhelmed. Mesmerized with my new little person... but a nervous wreck.

So when I started writing again, I had to write something lighthearted and fun for my own peace of mine. I saw the new book as "if Rick Riordan wrote a fantasy Doctor Who." I called it THE CURATOR.

That book went through lots of ups and downs, notably the challenge of finding sensitivity readers who would commit to the whole thing. But I finished it. Hopefully one day something will happen with it.

Here's the pitch:

Maximilian is the Curator of Earth. Rather a lofty title for one of the lowliest positions in the Museum of Worlds—Earth doesn’t even have magic! So maybe he sneaks a few magical artifacts into Earth from time to time. There’s nothing wrong with a harmless prank. Or ten. Except he’s not the only one sneaking them in, and some of the new ones popping up everywhere are downright dangerous.

Emmy knows everything there is to know about having adventures—be kind to beggars since they’re probably kings in disguise; if you meet a talking animal, take it as a sidekick because it’s likely to save your life later; don’t eat the food in Faerie. If only a proper adventure would present itself! Too bad the closest she can come to magic is a summer job at the library.

When Maximilian literally falls into her lap on her way to the interview, Emmy gets the very adventure she’s been longing for. And she might just be exactly what he needs to solve the case of the artifacts and restore Earth to its cozy magic-less existence.

Friday, November 10, 2017

NaNoPITCHMo 10: SLEIGHT OF HAND

For the final pitch in this week's sub-series, we go to Xavier, the descendant of the characters in the previous four pitches:

By day, Xavier is a student at UNLV, living in a frat and studying econ. By night, he’s a magician on whichever Vegas stage will have him, working his way up to bigger and better shows. His best act, the one that is bound to get him noticed any day now, isn’t sleight of hand at all. Xavier can vanish and reappear somewhere else, but doing so causes him physical harm.

Fortunately Xavier has a secret weapon—a bottle of whiskey from his great grandmother that can heal any hurt. It only takes a sip to bring back full health, but the bottle won’t last forever. It doesn’t have to. It only needs to last until he makes it on the big stage.

But when a series of near-deadly pranks on campus puts Xavier in repeated danger, he must use his ability—and the whiskey—to save himself. Unless Xavier can figure out who is behind the vicious pranks, the whiskey—and thus his life—may come to an end.

*

And that concludes the series of the week!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

NaNoPITCHMo 9: DANDELION WINE

Of the five pitches I'm doing in this series, this and the first are my favorites. I would love to research and write this book. So... continuing with the family from the past three pitches, I move forward now to Prohibition Era rural Virginia:

Ruth Carter is a teenage moonshiner in 1920s rural Virginia, and her whisky is unlike any other—one sip can heal anyone of any disease… for a price. The person who commissions the moonshine must give up their most prized possession or the magic won’t work.

It’s the height of Prohibition, and moonshine is illegal, but it’s not the only thing Ruth is hiding. She’s in love with Roy Bolling, but he’s engaged to Helen Graves, and the Graves and Carter families have a long history of feuding.

When a bad batch of whiskey disguised in one of Ruth’s bottles kills Helen Graves, Ruth goes on the run—from the law, from anyone by the name of Graves, and even from the people she thought she trusted most. If she can’t figure out who framed her she’ll lose everything, but doing so will require she give up her own most prized possession: the silver locket that makes her magic possible.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

NaNoPITCHMo 8: FICKLE SILVER

The third pitch in this week's series is about Marguerite's descendant Sam:

Sam Carter is a silversmith in Frederick, Maryland, during the Civil War. He smiths buttons for the army and donates any extra income he makes to the war effort. When he stumbles upon an old bottle of perfume among his late grandmother’s belongings, he makes a startling discovery: by adding a drop of the perfume to the silver he smiths, the object he creates has a chance of granting its owner their greatest desire.

But only a chance. Sometimes the silver brings them to ruin instead.

When Anna, the girl Sam loves, asks him to make her a locket, Sam debates adding the perfume. Anna’s greatest desire could only be for the war to end and bring her brother home. Against his better judgment he puts a drop into the locket. But the moment he gives it to Anna, she receives word her brother has died. Now, to protect Anna from further tragedy, Sam must find a way to reverse the luck on the locket and destroy its influence for good.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

NaNoPITCHMo 7: ROSEMARY LIES

Today is pitch #2 of the 5-part sub-series. Yesterday's pitch was about Jacoba and the tulips. The next one is about Jacoba's descendant:

In 1693, news of the Salem Witch Trials has made its way to Marguerite, a perfumer living in Providence, Rhode Island. Marguerite fears the hysteria will infect her own town, particularly if word spreads about what she can do. Though she learned her art from her father, it was from her mother’s side that she received the secret ingredient she uses in her perfumes: a crushed tulip. The tulip has no scent. Instead it serves another purpose. Any perfume made with a pinch of tulip powder and a hint of rosemary can make its wearer tell only the truth. But first the person buying the perfume must betray someone they love.

As hidden truths come to light and relationships are darkened by betrayal across Providence, Marguerite finds that she herself is not immune to betrayal, and her own truths are not as protected as she would like to believe.

Monday, November 6, 2017

NaNoPITCHMo 6: TULIP SECRETS

So this week for my pitches I'll be doing a group of five that could easily be put together in a loosely-connected series. The first of them is called TULIP SECRETS.

I actually tried writing this book a few years ago, and I had some major problems with the three acts of the novel not coming together at all. I think I could rewrite it with much better results if I go about it a bit differently and change some of the plot elements.

And I'd really love to do that. Tulip Mania absolutely fascinates me, and I love the potential of the magic in this one. Hopefully one day I'll get my act together and write it the way it was meant to be written.

Pitch:

In the mid-1630s, Tulip Mania gripped the city of Amsterdam. Buyers and sellers gathered in taverns auctioning the bulbs for extraordinary prices—sometimes as high as the cost of a house. But none was more valued than the Semper Augustus, a rare red-and-white-striped flower.

Jacoba is the tavern-keeper’s daughter responsible for the mania. Those who bring her a tulip can ask for anyone to fall in love with them—the more rare and valuable the tulip, the stronger the effect. But the magic comes at a cost—the bearer must divulge their deepest secret or the magic won’t take hold.

Jacoba has secrets of her own: the truth of her parentage, the bargains she has made, the name of her true love. When a Semper Augustus is stolen and brought to her to use, she finds herself drawn into a web of secrets that threaten to unmask everything she wishes to keep hidden.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

NaNoPITCHMo 5: THE NEVER SILENT

Today's pitch is for one of my two favorite novels I've ever worked on. (The other is the one I'm editing now!) I put all of my favorite plot elements into this one, and I loved the result. Unfortunately it was never published, but I'm still hoping one day--maybe after a bit of updating--it will be.

THE NEVER SILENT:

Henry Thorp is a seventeen-year-old con artist working the Manhattan streets in 1847. Along with Thomas and Mary Doyle, his best friends and partners in crime, Henry swindles na├»ve travelers fresh from the docks—old, young and beautiful alike. But when Thomas is murdered, the only clue to his death is a ticket to board The Never Silent, a ship with a covert destination. Henry impersonates Thomas to take his place on the ship in the hope of finding his killer.

But Henry soon learns that Thomas kept one vital secret from him—he was part of an ancient society descended from the Norse who gained magic through the sea, and Thomas himself could hear other people's thoughts. Now Henry must use every confidence trick he knows to convince an entire crew of magicians that he too is no ordinary human but instead a powerful reader. Between the risk of discovery, the peril of a murderer walking about the ship and the looming threat of pirates roaming the Atlantic, the next life lost could be Henry's. He'll need all his wits to solve Thomas's murder and return home... to the streets he knows and to Mary, the girl he just might love.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

NaNoPITCHMo 4: DUD

I came up with the idea for today's pitch in the shower a couple nights ago. It hits a bunch of my sweet spots: mistaken identity, political intrigue, illusion magic, getting to know people through their words. It would be fun to write. Maybe I will at some point!

Pitch:

Sarla is one of the Populus, a “Dud” like most of the population, who never showed signs of giftedness as a child to be whisked away into the Senate. But when Sarla’s gift manifests at age sixteen—far later than any gift in recorded history—she’s smuggled into the Populus underground and given a task to complete on pain of death. Sarla must use her powerful illusion gift to take the place of a kidnapped Senator named Joelle and dig up dirt on the Senate to publish among the Populus.

Caught between fear of discovery and the demands of the underground, Sarla worries that any action could lead to disaster. But she has no choice—she must wade into the politics of the scheming Senators while leading on Joelle’s charming suitor and fending off barbed replies to her articles in the Populus magazine. But the greatest danger of all could come from the stubborn demands of her own heart.

Friday, November 3, 2017

NaNoPITCHMo 3: THE LIES OF LOCHAN DUVH

Always, no matter what I am working on, there's a perpetual question in the back of my mind: "What will I write next?" I'm usually excited to move on to a new project, but there's always a bit of fear that maybe the next thing won't be as good as something I've written in the past.

I certainly have that fear for my next project. Though I'm in the middle of editing a novel called The Neverwas right now, I've already written a few chapters on something new. And it's a lot different from anything I've ever written before. It's slower and more atmospheric, and the character is someone I identify with more than anyone else I've created. While the plot isn't as twisty and flashy as some of my previous plots, it's deeper and drawn more out of my experience.

Today's pitch is for this book:

Sorsca is a cartographer in a world where maps don’t describe new lands, they create them. With the stroke of her brush she can scoop out a valley or pull a hill up from the mist. She dreams of traveling to the very edges of the world to carve new land out of the Empty like the heroes of her guild. But when she is finally invited to do precisely that, she finds the Empty to be more dangerous than she ever imagined.

Dark things lurk in the mists. One of them has taken a keen interest in Sorsca, haunting her and telling her lies that burrow deep into her psyche. She isn’t good enough, he insists. She’s unwanted. She’s guilty. He makes her draw harsh lines on a map, bleeding ink onto the vellum and pulling more darkness into the land she creates. If Sorsca can’t learn to admit to his influence and accept help, he’ll use her up until she’s little more than a shell fit for his purposes.

THE LIES OF LOCHAN DUVH is a fantasy metaphor for the very real darkness of depression. Having faced that darkness myself and having helped others through their own depression, this is a compelling topic for me. I'm passionate about writing this story.

I hope that one day it can make a difference for someone who needs it.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

NaNoPITCHMo 2: MAGIC RED AND WILD

Today's pitch is for a novel I worked on a year or two ago and shelved temporarily after the first draft. I felt that I needed some distance from the narrative in order to come back with fresh eyes at a later time. I also had a new idea that I was desperate to write, and which has since turned into one of my favorite projects ever.

But I still hope to get back to this one at some point. I really enjoyed writing the voice in this story, and it was fun to explore the different magics as well. And I can certainly say I've spent enough time doing other things that the book will feel new again!

Pitch:

Mudge is a red mage living in hiding—with her three adoptive aunts—from the blue mages who want them dead. Every night she watches the stars and dreams of going to Cobalt City to study astronomy at the university—against her aunts’ wishes—even though she’d be killed if anyone caught her doing red magic there. When her Aunt Buld is stolen into the shadow world while helping Mudge create a golem, Mudge is left with no choice—her only chance of getting her aunt back is to go to the city and learn as much as she can about blue magic.

Once in Cobalt she discovers that creating a blue magic spell to save her aunt might be possible. But the only way to do it requires breaking into the most secure building in the city. She enlists the help of a sympathetic blue mage named Joon who has his own reasons for wanting to break in. But when rebel red mages bomb the city, Mudge’s assumptions about who is good and who is bad begin to crumble. Why do the blue mages hate her aunts so much? And why did her aunts never tell her about her blue mage family? As tension between the two sides heats up, Mudge must decide: is she red or is she blue?

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

NaNoPITCHMo 1: VISIONS OF JEN

Happy NaNoWriMo friends! To those of you diving into your 50k words, good luck! It's an intense experience, and even years after doing my last NaNo, I still get a tingle of excitement every November 1st.

But as usual these days, I'm not at the right place in the writing/editing process to start a new book in November. Instead, this year I'll be doing NaNoPITCHMo--writing one book pitch a day (or maybe bringing back some old ones from previous books on days I can't get to the computer, because sometimes life needs wiggle room, right?) and posting them here.

For today's pitch, since yesterday was Halloween, I went a little creepy. I love the premise of this pitch, but honestly I have no clue what the rest of the book would look like. Maybe one day I'll write it. Until then, I do love the spooky feeling I get thinking about it.

VISIONS OF JEN:

Ellie sees visions of the past when she walks into an empty room. They are silent, like 3D soap operas on mute. The more dramatic memories are brighter, the rest dim or faded to nothing.

When Jen, the most popular girl in Ellie's school, goes missing, Ellie is the only one who knows where to start looking. There's a new memory of Jen in the girls' locker room, and it's the brightest one Ellie has ever seen. Finding Jen becomes an obsession.

The more secrets Ellie uncovers about Jen, the more important the locker room vision becomes. But this memory is different from all the others.


This memory keeps changing.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

this is me

Hi and welcome to Pitch Wars folks and anyone else who might be stumbling by. My blogging has been only sporadic the past four years. (You know what's been around four years? My oldest kid. Coincidence? Not a bit.) But I'm glad to have you here.

Some tidbits about me:

-I'm married with two kids, both boys. They're fun kids and get along well, but they've got very different personalities. Give the older one a craft and he'll be happy for hours while the younger one says hi to everyone in the room, finds hidden outlets and colors on the door.

-I love to crochet amigurumi dolls. I've got several original designs I've come up with over the past year. Here are a few:

 



[Clockwise: baby dinosaur, phoenix, mouse, weeping angel, little boy blue.]











-I'm also into chocolate making, and I think in another life I would be a chocolatier. I love making truffles. And of course I love eating them too! But only the dark chocolate.

[Square, heart, star and shell shape chocolates.]

Ok, so what about my writing?

I write fantasy only and always, mostly of the YA variety. Here are a few of my past projects:

The Never Silent: A 17-year-old con artist from 1840s Manhattan impersonates his best friend to board an old sailing ship in order to find his friend’s killer. (YA)

The Curator: Someone from the Museum of Worlds is littering Earth with magical artifacts. But not to worry! The Curator of Earth is on the case. (Lower YA/Upper MG)

And my current book:

The Neverwas: A gladiator discovers rot at the heart of this magical world, where memories are not what they seem. (YA)

With this book I've given myself an added challenge of making all of the characters gender-ambiguous. Why?

Well, to begin with I couldn't decide whether I wanted to write a "girl" book or a "boy" book. And I thought to myself, "Why do I have to do either?" So early on I knew I would be writing a first person story with a protagonist that was never outed as male or female or nonbinary.

But of course, since there is a love interest, once you decide for yourself whether the protagonist is a particular gender, there becomes an assumption about the sexuality of the protagonist based on the love interest's gender.

So I wrote a few scenes between the two, attempting to keep the love interest's gender ambiguous as well. And I found that to my surprise, it wasn't as hard as I expected.

So I decided to go for it with all the characters. It's been an interesting experiment and taught me a lot about my own assumptions when it comes to gender. I hope the reader has the opportunity to think through some of those things too.

Alright, but those of you who've known me a while might be thinking, "But don't you already have an agent?"

I did, yes. We parted a year ago on totally friendly terms. If you have any questions about that, just ask me.

For now I'm excited to be submitting to Pitch Wars. Good luck to everyone involved!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Poetry Month

It's poetry month, and so for our most recent session my local writing group brought in a poet, who gave us some instruction and prompts for writing a Haiku. Though we weren't actually required to come up with one right then, I did have mine come together pretty quickly. It was based on a picture of a dragonfly sparkling in sunlight:


points of light on wings
sliding over thin membrane
dropping into air


And in fact, I was so into the whole poetry mood while I was there that I came up with an entirely different poem as well. I'd had a murky idea for it in the week leading up to the group, and I was happy that talking about poetry spurred me into getting it all down. Here it is:


I have collected light
in jewels on a string
in glints off tall metal towers
and champagne in sparkling glasses

But you have gathered light
in beads of dew on a flower
and in children's laughter
and from the eyes of those you've saved

And while my collection gathers dust
Yours propagates and never rusts



Happy Poetry Month!