Pitch Wars 2017 - A Daydream Believer

Will Not Fade Away...

...a women's fiction book about grief, hope, and redemption that follows the journey of a young widow, volcanic eruption, missing son, quirky autistic son, and a mysterious companion.

What’s so special about this book?

This book is my first endeavor outside romance novels and magazine articles.  A.J. Sinclair, a recently widowed mother, embarks on a journey with her 9-year-old autistic son (Will). The journey is both physical (travel across the country in the wake of the Yellowstone super volcano eruption to find her missing family) and emotional (as a special needs parent and widow). The book is told from two points of view, primarily from A.J.’s and with a sprinkling of Will’s. Along the way she meets Reid, a man walking his own road of perdition, with deeply rooted grief and guilt over his past. They weave their way across a chaotic United States in search of A.J.’s missing younger son and her brother. Together, they will find hope. Together, they will find redemption. Together, they WILL NOT FADE AWAY. 

What do I seek in a mentor?

No sugar-coating! I’m eager to see this book reach an agent and publisher’s desk. Not afraid of hard work, I’m now on version 6, after a year and a half of writing, revision, and agent/beta/critique partner feedback. I want to mold this book into the best story it can be. I live by the three P’s: Patience, Perseverance, and Putting in the Time. As a mother to a son with Asperger's Syndrome/high-functioning autism, I am excited to see this story come to life. 

Who am I?

I may not be a newbie to writing, but I am new to Pitch Wars this year! With all the build-up, it’s like the World Series for writers! As part of the contest, we are asked to share a bio, aptly named #PimpMyBio. So a bit more about me…

The short and sweet of it: I’m a writer, educator, scientist, and mom to two amazing sons (one high-functioning autistic/Asperger’s with ADHD). I love words. I’ve been writing on and off for 19 years between college, graduate school, careers, and raising children. My background is science (undergrad: Biology and Marine Science, grad: Microbiology and Immunology), with my first loves (after writing) being sharks and microbes! Life took me off that path a few years ago, and I now write full-time with a part-time position as an educator director for a church children’s program.

What do I write?

I have 3 “practice novels” under my belt (meaning they are shoved in a drawer awaiting resuscitation another day). My first manuscript to make it to the reader’s hands is A Hundred Kisses, recently published by The Wild Rose Press. Four is my magic number apparently! I’m currently working on the prequel and have been enjoying the research (with a recent trip to see the Viking ship Draken Harald Harfagre). I’ve written a women’s fiction manuscript (the one being entered into Pitch Wars), and have a few mainstream, romance, and time travel books in the queue (= my brain).

I also write for Outdoor Families Magazine, with two articles published, two more coming out this summer, and another one next year. I’ve been fortunate to merge all my loves (romance, fictional worlds, travel/outdoors, and my children) into my writing. I look forward to writing more novels and magazine articles. I’m also currently seeking representation for a children’s picture book series about an autistic boy, his brother, and their plush friend Manatee, who makes a habit of getting lost in the national parks...

Olympic-sized fun stacking cairns on Ruby Beach, WA.

Olympic-sized fun stacking cairns on Ruby Beach, WA.

Favorite things:

1.    Nature. Hands down. Lupine, lilies, big mountains, rolling green hills. My goal is to climb all the biggest state peaks in New England; so far I’ve tackled: Washington, Katahdin (“the beast”), Mansfield, Franconia Notch Ridge, and Greylock.

2.    Hobbies: Flower gardening, hiking, traveling, baking, photography.

3.    Music: Ed Sheeran, Shawn Mendes, Coldplay, Scottish folk bands, Glenn Miller Orchestra, Enya.

4.    Books: All of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander books/novellas, and a variety of romance, women’s fiction, time travel, contemporary.

5.    On writing: I love Grammar Girl, The Emotion Thesaurus, and Debra Dixon’s GMC: The Building Blocks of Fiction.

6.    T.V.: The Walking Dead, X-files, LOST, Outlander, The Weather Channel (my son’s obsession).

7.    Movies: The Princess Bride, Titanic, Braveheart (even with its inaccuracies), Lord of the Rings.

8.    New Zealand and Scotland. These two get their own place on my favorites list. To me, they’re the most beautiful places in the world (followed closely by too-many-to-name National Parks in the U.S.A.). We live in a resplendently amazing world. Travel companion: my patient husband who loves nature just as much as me and our kids.

9.    Coffee. Any way, any time. I was fortunate to travel to Guatemala on a mission trip last year and that coffee is hands down the best I’ve had.

10.    Cheese. Ditto #9. Any kind, any time.

11.     Kilts. Need I say more?

And no post would be complete without a word bubble below (I'm obsessed with them).

A few words to describe myself... and some photos from my favorite places and things.

A few words to describe myself... and some photos from my favorite places and things.