Saturday, July 23, 2016

2016 Pitch Wars Bio!

I'm pulling this website out of retirement for the purposes of Pitch Wars! When you only have a few hours every day to write, the blog falls by the side of the road pretty fast. Apologies to the two people who follow it, and I can't promise consistent posting just yet. Hopefully soon!

My Pitch:

When her young son spirals deep into crisis, a geneticist must risk her career to help him find his donor father. THE ONES WE CHOOSE weaves the science of genetics with the story of a mother desperate to help her son find his place in the world. It will appeal to readers of upmarket women's fiction, blending the high-concept emotional themes of Jodi Picoult with the scientific eye of Lisa Genova. An excerpt from THE ONES WE CHOOSE recently won honorable mention accolades from Glimmer Train's Short Story Award for New Writers.

About Me:

I am a Santa Monica native, single mother to two amazing boys, and a fifth grade teacher for nearly twenty years. I'm one of those writers who does their best work in the early hours of the morning, before the rest of the world wakes up. It's also the only stretch of real time I have when a child isn't needing something.

Last summer, I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. I took a semester off from teaching and focused on my treatment and recovery. I was also able to devote some serious time to my writing. I am now happily cancer-free, and can look back on the experience as one of the most positive and transformative of my life.

I am a serious introvert. I like the *idea* of socializing, but actually doing it requires herculean effort to get out the door.

Some of My Favorite Authors:

Shilpi Somaya Gowda
Barbara Kingsolver
Jodi Picoult
Liane Moriarty
Audrey Niffenegger (THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE is my all-time favorite book. Ever.)
Anna Quindlen
Michael Connelly (it's a guilty pleasure, this guy really knows how to pace a book)
Allison Winn Scotch
Natashia Deon
Phaedra Patrick
Ann Leary
Marisa Silver
Jhumpa Lahiri
Maria Semple (Bernadette is my fictional BFF)
Sara Gruen
Curtis Sittenfeld (have you read her newest, ELIGIBLE? It's amazing)
Sarah McCoy
Celeste Ng
Anne Lamott
Kristin Hannah
Kate Morton...

This is just a partial list. My reading partner (think writing partner, but just for reading - it's a 5th grade thing) could probably add more. We both struggle with Literary Amnesia (a condition that afflicts voracious readers, often resulting in purchasing books we've already read) so I know I'm forgetting some very important favorites.

What You'll Get if you Choose Me as a Mentee:

My working style is highly collaborative. I love it when my critique partners suggest something I've never considered, and I could happily talk through plot points forever. I'm not afraid to tackle major revisions, if it will make my writing and manuscript stronger. Bring it.

I subscribe to the following writing philosophy:
To get published you must
1) Think of yourself as a worker
2) Show up at the job

If you're looking for someone who will put in the time and effort, someone who won't let life get in the way, that's me. I'm up five days a week at 4:00 AM (sometimes on weekends too, depending on where I am in revisions or drafting). I get at least two hours of writing in before going to work. I will also sneak time in the evenings while my kids do homework or watch TV.

True Confession: Sometimes, when I'm noodling through a particularly troubling plot point, I plug in my earphones and go for a walk, pretending I've got someone on the other end of the phone helping me work through it. There's just something about talking something through out loud that helps me figure things out a lot faster than keeping it in. But don't tell anyone. I'm really not crazy. Really.

Finally, a huge THANK YOU to all the amazing mentors out there who are taking the time to pull another writer up. This is a huge time that will take away from your own writing, your family, your day job...and we are all so very grateful for the opportunity to submit. Good luck to all my fellow applicants out there - there's plenty of room on the shelf for us all.