Hey there #PitchWars 2015 mentors & fellow mentee-hopefuls–I’m excited to get to know all of you!
I’ll kick things off with five super-basic facts:
1) I write contemporary realistic YA. The manuscript I’m entering into #PitchWars combines literary, character-driven prose with a tension-filled, dual-timeline narrative. I’m entering #PitchWars in hopes of working hard with an awesome mentor to whip my book into its best possible shape before it sees agent eyes. Yeah!
2) I’m originally from Pittsburgh, PA (go Pirates!) and currently live in Brooklyn, NY with my scholar-husband and two literary felines, Katie and Francie (from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn). More on them further down.
3) I’m also a poet! I have two chapbooks published with small presses, and I hold an MFA in creative writing from Syracuse University. The poetry I write is for adults, but I write YA with a poet’s attention to language and craft, so there’s a nice symbiosis there.
4) When I’m not writing, I’m editing poetry and short fiction for the indie publisher Black Lawrence Press, where I’m a Senior Editor and curate our nationally-distributed Chapbook Series. I also have a little old thing called a day job at NYU.
5) Five authors doing things I really admire in contemporary YA (because I’ve decided all things on this mentee bio post will be done in fives): E. Lockhart, Lauren Oliver, Tess Sharpe, Courtney Summers, and Gayle Forman. Yikes, that was hard to limit to five! And yes, they are all kick-ass women. Sorry, dudes. Maybe I’ll do another list for you later.
Now, on to the fun stuff! Here’s a bit about me in the form of my favorite personality quiz:
ARE YOU AN INTROVERT, AN EXTROVERT,
OR A SEA MONSTER?
(Which you can take right here if you so desire. Thanks, Clickhole.)
1) What’s your signature look?
a) Bright and flashy.
b) Muted and professional.
c) A rippling shadow below the surface.
Where’s the option for seahorse-print pj shorts and my Spin Doctors Pocket Full of Kryptonite 20th Anniversary tour t-shirt?
Because that’s definitely my Grown-Up and Career-Oriented signature look when I #amwriting at home. Oh, and don’t forget the light dusting of cat hair. What’s that thing about dressing for the job you want?
Oh right. Nailed it.
So, okay, I’m gonna go with option b) Muted and professional on that one. Obv.
2) In the workplace, you:
a) Seek out new responsibilities with gusto!
b) Wait to be assigned tasks.
c) Weave silently through the inky blackness.
Let’s talk about my favorite day job ever, the one I was born to rock: video store clerk extraordinaire at the (now-defunct) Phar-Mor drug store chain in suburban Pittsburgh, PA the summer after I graduated high school.
We’re talking no customers, mainly VHS tapes in the dawn of the DVD era, and unlimited access to all the My So-Called Life a girl could watch in a four-hour shift. In fairness, I did do my fair share of shelf-dusting, tape-rewinding, and flirting with the cute pharmacist-in-training. Books I read cover-to-cover while keeping an eagle eye on the store: Girl, Interrupted; The Princess Bride; and The Virgin Suicides.
Did I answer the question? Let me put it this way: did anyone notice when the video store went quietly out of business at the end of the summer? Pretty sure it’s c) Weave silently through the inky blackness for the win.
3) When you’ve got a new crush, you:
a) Make the first move. Somebody’s got to!
b) Wait for your crush to say something. You don’t want to embarrass yourself.
c) Conceal yourself behind a sunken freighter and wait.
I’ve been in a happy state of perma-crush with my husby for the past six+ years, but when I was a wee lass, I made some serious first moves. My best was with the cute lifeguard the summer I worked on the boardwalk on the Jersey Shore. (That’s a whole other story involving ear piercing and creepy bosses–shudder.) Anyway, Cute Lifeguard and I had chatted a couple times but things weren’t going anywhere, so I called the post to find out where he was stationed on my day off and rolled up to his guard station during his shift to ask him out. He was like Oscar-winning-Sally Field-level surprised.
Score! Obviously, we are now married and living happily ever…nope, not even close. But it was fun while it lasted for six sweet weeks down the shore. Hmm…maybe there’s a YA novel in that…
Okay, right, so a) Make the first move. Somebody’s got to! is the clear winner there. Easy one.
4) You’ve been waiting at the DMV for more than an hour and they haven’t called your number yet; you:
a) Storm up and get their attention. They’ve obviously made a mistake.
b) Hang tight. They’ll get to you eventually.
c) Live undisturbed for decades in a secluded cove untouched by man or time.
So this one, time thirteen years ago, a Verizon customer service specialist made me cry over a double-billing error that was So Their Fault. To this day, I will never switch back to Verizon from AT&T.
Confrontation? Hard pass. I will hands down c) Live undisturbed for decades in a secluded cove untouched by man or time before tussling with anyone from Verizon, ever again.
5) On an average Friday night, you’re:
a) Steaming up the dance floor until your friends drag you home.
b) Cuddling up to Netflix with a bottle of wine.
c) Brushing against the underside of a Portuguese fishing trawler.
All right, I’m going to go all metaphorical on this one. Laptop? Check. Take-out volcano roll, green river roll, and spicy miso soup? Check. Total emersion in WIP, all senses muted to the outside world? Check. Two friendly, only slightly frightening sea monster companions? Check.
Clearly, it’s a shining metaphoric win for c) Brushing against the underside of a Portuguese fishing trawler on that one.
The final tally: one for introvert, one for extrovert, and a whopping three for SEA MONSTER!
On that note, I’ll be not-so-patiently waiting over on twitter @kitfrick until September 2nd. In the mean time, looking forward to getting to know many of you fellow #PitchWarriors in the weeks to come!
Thanks for stopping by! (And you can get to know more awesome mentee-hopefuls right here!)