My Unofficial Offical #PitchWars Mentee Bio

11:16 AM

Well, here goes.

I've been struggling with writing this bio for the past couple of days. This is partially due to family being in town, and partially because I was overwhelmed by everyone else's awesome-ness that I was swept away! If you don't know what #PitchWars is-- please read about it here. It's an amazing opportunity/contest where you get to pitch your book to mentors, and if you're selected you get to work with someone awesome that will help you whip your manuscript into shape for the agent round.

This is my first time entering the contest, and I know it's just as tough on the mentors as it is on everyone entering the contest. I mean, there are 75 mentors and hundreds of authors. So, guys, just remember....

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I'm hoping that my manuscript, MISSING, a YA Contemporary with suspense will speak to you so you don't feel like doing this to me after that (possibly embarrassing) moment.

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So. For real. This is me.


And here are some things about me.

1. I'm a SAHM, Writer, and Editor.

I am a blessed twenty-something who gets to stay home and take care of my just about three-year-old son. My husband climbs towers for a living (I don't envy him, but he loves it), and I work weekly for Engagement 101 Magazine. You can follow the link to check out some cool posts if you're in the market for getting engaged/married. I also blog on her and share tons of things from recipes to stories about my life.

2. My life changed in inexplicable ways at the ages of 15 and 18.

When I was 15 years old, my best friend went missing. This is the basis for my manuscript. I feel like there are very few stories that deal with this topic, and it's one that-- sadly-- is very real to many people. I was shoved into the adult world much earlier than I wanted to be, though I don't pretend that I simply became an adult because I went through the process of being part of a missing person's case-- nor do I claim I'm the only one at the time who felt the way I did. But, this is part of what made me start thinking of my book, although ten years ago I never would have imagined it would bring me to where I am.

My friend and me about a month before she went missing.

When I was 18 years old I was dating my high school sweetheart and we were already engaged just a couple weeks into college away from home. My parents had moved to Germany with the Army and I was looking forward to so many things-- as most 18 year olds do. Then I got a late-night phone call : my friend's remains had been found. Three years of no clues and no trace, and a random search on a somewhat deserted road lead to her discovery. When that happened, my now-husband and I decided we weren't going to wait until others would approve of us getting married, because we knew what we wanted and we had a first-hand experience of how little time one can be allotted. We walked down to the courthouse one week later and told our parents via email that we were married.

Yeah. We did.

My hubby and I the day we got married. Our seven-year anniversary is coming up! I am also working on another project MARRIED IN COLLEGE. Can't imagine where I got the inspiration, can you?


3. I've always been a writer.

While I have my "officials" ranging from having the most-read column for REALITY Check Girl Magazine and writing for Engagement 101, my writing started in about fourth grade. My teacher told me that she'd give me an extra day to get my homework in, which had been left at home, if I wrote her a story. I don't even remember what the story was about-- I think it had something to do with Sir Francis Drake and a sea monster-- but needless to say she wasn't disappointed. I was told from then on that I had to dedicate my first book to her. I still intend to keep that promise.

My writer's blood comes honestly. My grandfather was an English teacher and my mother was a Creative Writing major that has had a ridiculous amount of experience. When I got to college, I had two choices-- be responsible and major in English Education, or major in Creative Writing. Guess which I chose?

For a very long time, I knew what I wanted to write but I was still "too close" to many of the subjects. Turning my own missing-person's experience into a novel seemed like a wonderful idea... but actually making it fiction meant that I had to give it as much time as needed. If you ask my editor from Stark Contrast Editing or my wonderful CP Nikki -- they'll tell you that even in the beginning it was a little hard to give me feedback or ideas because I'd get defensive. BUT please don't let that scare you off! I promise that I have now acquired an amazingly tough skin and I'm open to suggestions and edits (as long as you're the kind of mentor that will talk it out with me-- and I don't mean you have to be nice about it, either).



Random Facts About Me

- I will read just about everything. Truly. When I was younger I had that "too cool for school" attitude and wanted to read all the classics before I read contemporaries. I am now catching up with contemporaries, putting the classics on hold. My favorite books are still Jane Eyre, Captain From Castille, The Harry Potter books, and THE FACE ON THE MILK CARTON series.

- My favorite "inspiration" movies are: Under the Tuscan Sun, Julie & Julia, Finding Forrester, Miss Potter, and The Help. (The only one I'm uncertain of being a book is Finding Forrester-- all others I've also read or researched.)

- I play two instruments. I started playing piano when I was seven and started playing flute when I was nine. In high school I was all-county/district and my senior year I was lead-marching-band-dork, otherwise known as drum major. Despite my desires and attempts to get just as involved in theatre as I could, I was essentially shunned by the teacher (though not by the peers) because of my band loyalties. I still pick them up so my three-year-old will dance, or we'll have jam-sessions with my husband on the guitar. We are a very musically-focused family in our spare time, and it makes for wonderful memories.

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Please excuse me if I'm using too many GIFs-- I might have just learned how to use them and it's super exciting.

- My father is a minister and former Army Chaplain. I spent my childhood moving from place to place and was the only one of my sisters (I have two) who got to go to the same high school for four straight years. My older sister went to three, and my younger sister has the record of four. I absolutely loved military life, though now that I'm older I'm not so sure I want to spend our time moving around. My husband also grew up in a military family (Marines), and is a Marine Reservist himself.

- We just moved from NC to AZ... and I'm not exactly lovin' it. I spent most of my time in the Midwest and on the East Coast, though I was born in Idaho. This is my first experience with the South West and while I love getting to tell my friends it's sunny and 75 when it's 30 and snowing where they are-- really I miss the snow. This will be my first fall without the leaves and the cooler weather and I have to admit I might already be slightly bitter. However, I'm super excited about the adventure, and know that it's just another step in the right direction for our family.

- My husband and I have a bucket list that mostly involves traveling. Ever since we were first married and got to visit Germany and Paris, we've been aching to go more places. Things from "Rent a cabin in Scotland so Emily can write" to "Hike in New Zealand" to "Climb Mount Everest" are on there. (OK... Clark wants to climb Mount Everest, but I will cheer him on from the base camp if I can!) This bucket list only grows as our family does, because obviously "Take our kids to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" is on there.


So, that's me. Regardless of if you select me or not, it's been awesome browsing the mentors and mentees pieces and getting to know everyone. Thanks for considering me, and I hope you enjoy my YA Contemp, MISSING.

PSSST-- pick me.
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Check out other mentees bios by going here!

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20 comments

  1. Your book sounds very interesting! Good luck in the competition from a fellow PitchWars hopeful. :-)

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    1. Thank you so much, Anna! If you have a link for a mentee profile I'd love to check it out :).

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  2. Your book sounds awesome! Nice to e-meet you :)

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    1. Thank you, Ru! Nice to e-meet you, too :). LOVED your GIF's ;).

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  3. Wow, I'm so sorry to hear you lost a friend. And the circumstances, that's terrible. It's one thing to watch those crime shows where someone is missing or dead at the start of every episode, but when it's your friend...

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    1. Thank you, Stephanie. It still is surreal sometimes to think about-- it definitely shaped my life.

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  4. Super awesome to get to know you! Good luck in pitchwars!

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    1. Thank you, Emily! Good luck to you as well!

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  5. Wow, what a story. I'm so, so sorry about your friend. Sounds like your ms going to be a heavy emotional read, so kudos to you on writing it and getting it out there. Best of luck with this, truly.

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    1. Thank you so much, Kip. It definitely took a lot to push through the first draft, but it got easier :).

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  6. We had a murderer arrested on campus when I was in high school. I'd actually set my friend up on a date with him. The child he killed was missing for an entire summer before he was arrested, and I remember that so vividly… I cannot imagine if the missing person had been my friend. Instead, it was my friend's little cousin.

    I got married at 19. We're going on 13 years now.

    I also got carried away with gifs in my bio b/c I just learned how to use them. :)

    Nice to "meet" you.

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    1. Nice to "meet" you, Heather!

      I'm so thankful the murderer was caught. I'm sure that was a scary experience to go through, and your poor cousin. Going through a missing person's case/murder is no easy feat for anyone involved.

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  7. I want to read your book. <3 Great bio! Good luck in Pitch Wars. :)

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    1. Thank you, Jennifer! Your book sounds interesting, too! Good luck :).

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  8. Love the bucket list! I went to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter last year and loved it! Hopefully one day I'll be able to go back with my kids.
    Good luck in PitchWars!

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    1. Lucky, Melanie! I love your bio. Weren't you selected for New Agent? I remember the retelling of Les Mis-- I was drooling over it! Good luck to you, too!

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  9. What a great bucket list. Good luck in the contest!

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    1. Thank you, Elliah! I loved your post. I'm starting to plot a new YA Historical Fiction after this Contemporary. Kindred writers ;). Good luck!

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  10. So sorry you lost your friend that way. I applaud you for being able to write about it, I don't know if I'd ever be able to.

    Love your wedding picture!! It's so sweet and beautiful.
    Best of luck in Pitch Wars!!!

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    1. Thank you, Emily. It took a very long time for me to move away from the actual facts to turn it into fiction.

      And thank you, again! We were lucky to have a friend to take some pictures for us, haha. Good luck to you as well! I didn't see your PitchWars Bio. If you did one, share the link so I can check it out!

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