1. What is your name/pen name?
2. What do you write? Genre?
3. Tell us about yourself?
I became a writer at the age of six when my parents bought me a child’s typewriter for Christmas and agreed to pay me a penny per page for any stories I churned out. When I got older, I realized that I needed to make (much) more money from my writing so I first turned to the corporate world (where I learned that I am spectacularly unsuited to cubicle life) and ultimately to freelancing where I now write everything from technical manuals to articles on personal finance and European-style board games.
I live in North Carolina and can often be found reading anything I can get my hands on, playing board games, watching sports, camping, running marathons, and playing with my dog.
4. What prompted you to pitch your book in #Pit2Pub?
I really wish I had a better answer to this question, but the honest truth is that I did it on a lark.
I’d only been on Twitter for about two months before #Pit2Pub. That I found #Pit2Pub was more of an accident than a plan. I saw it trending one day and said, “What’s this?” and took a look. I’d never even heard of pitch parties. I looked into it, read the rules at the official website, and watched a few tweets go by. It looked like fun and I figured if nothing else, maybe I could get a sense of where I stood. If I received zero likes, then maybe something was wrong with the project. But if I received some feedback, then that would be a bonus and far more valuable than the form responses I’d been receiving up to that point through the traditional submission process.
5. Tell about your #Pit2Pub experience.
Again, I wish I had a better answer, but since I honestly had no expectations, no clue what I was doing, and I still harbored some doubts as to the legitimacy or usefulness of the whole thing, everything seemed great to me! I was like the Oscar nominee running around saying, “It was an honor just to be nominated,” every time someone liked my pitch because I never expected anything to come of it.
That I got any favorites at all was something of a miracle. I didn’t craft my tweet in advance. I went through maybe three drafts of a tweet and hit Tweet, thinking nothing would happen. It was supposed to be an experiment, not a serious effort. I figured I’d try this one pitch party, see what happened, observe how it all worked, and then make a serious plan to really work the next party.
Instead, in the end, I had three serious likes on my tweet. Clean Teen Publishing was one of them. They asked for the full manuscript and after that everything moved incredibly fast. I had an offer by the end of July and by mid-August the contract was signed. Broken Fate was released this spring and I’ve just delivered the second book in the series. As they say in the Lego Movie, “Everything is awesome!”
In other words, I did everything wrong and still got a publishing offer. I think that either speaks to fate or to the capricious nature of a universe that just likes to mess with your head sometimes.
6. Which publisher did you sign with?
Clean Teen Publishing
7. Tell us about your upcoming book.
Broken Fate is a modern twist on the Greek myth of the Three Fates, but it specifically focuses on the story of Atropos, the Fate who cuts human lifelines:
Zeus gave her one simple job: Kill every human. Atropos―daughter of Zeus and the third goddess of Fate from Greek mythology ―spends her eternal life snipping human lifelines when their mortal lives are over. As if being a killer doesn't make life miserable enough, she and her Fate-wielding sisters must live amongst the humans on Earth thanks to a long-running feud between their mother and Zeus. Living on Earth means they must mingle with the mortals, attend the local high school, and attempt to fit in―or at least not stand out too much.
Killing and mingling don't mix, which is why Atropos' number-one rule is to avoid all relationships with the humans. Caring for the people she has to kill is a fast track to insanity. However, when Alex Morgan walks into her first-period English class, she knows she's in for trouble. He's the worst kind of human for her to like―one with a rapidly approaching expiration date. And he makes Atropos want to break all the rules.
8. When is your book scheduled to be released?
It was released on April 18th, 2016.
9. What is at the top of your bucket list?
I really want to go to Bhutan. The Tiger’s Nest Monastery is something I’ve always wanted to see. How they built it into the mountain the way they did is amazing and beautiful. The rest of the country looks awesome, too, but I’d be happy if I could just see the monastery.
10. Parting words for other authors?
If you want to participate in #Pit2Pub, here’s my advice:
1. Craft your pitch in advance so you have time to get it right. Don’t be a bonehead like me and just blunder into it.
2. Follow the rules (and learn them in advance). Make sure you tweet according to the rules, use the correct hashtags, and that you understand what to do if you are contacted. Figure all this out in advance so that your party experience goes smoothly and you’re not like me, trying to figure out what is going on while simultaneously trying to participate in the party.
3. #Pit2Pub does work, it is legitimate, and there really are people on the other side reading and responding to your tweets. It’s not a joke! It’s a fantastic opportunity for writers (and you really should take it more seriously than I did).
If nothing else, #Pit2Pub can be a great way to get some feedback on your project and do a little networking. It’s fun, too. I can lose a whole day watching other people’s tweets scroll by. The creativity on display is amazing. It certainly can’t hurt anything to submit and you may even end up published.