A Love Letter to Pitch Wars

First off I must thank the generous Brenda Drake for creating this event. Contests make my palms and pits sweaty but this one…this one made my heart bigger.

From the get go the community of writers were supportive, creative and funny. I made new friends and even experienced my first troll (boo troll).

I spent a few days combing the mentor list trying to find who may be right for my MS DEAR DEAD DRUNK GIRL. It’s tricky, because mentors have distinct likes and dislikes and although some say they like a certain theme they may not like some of the darker elements of my story. So I did my due diligence and found people I really liked.

I hit submit. And then the waiting began. I bought books. PW turned me on to new YA writers and I am gobbling up their work now.


Instead of completely freaking out about letting my baby into the world, I made friends. Lots of Twitter friends who are GIF-tastic, fun and helped make the time and days go faster. A few even live nearby and we hope to meet up soon.

I was psyched to receive an email from a mentor until I read it and she informed my chapter did not attach. YIKES! Thankfully she asked that I send it and told me she’d pass it along to the others I submitted to.

Even better, a few days later she asked that I send my full MS to her. ***happy dance, happy dance oh, the happy dance.


This is really when I started losing my mind. I couldn’t tell anyone what was going on. So again, I chatted with my new friends. I chatted with my CP. I started building my query letter spreadsheet and plotting which agents I’ll submit to.

Last night rolled slowly into town and Brenda Drake once again helped us all breathe a sigh of relief, as well as crash her website, when she released the names of the 2015 Pitch Wars Mentees. My new friend Monica was there as well as Tracey and a few other people I trade tweets with.


I am over the moon happy for them. No joke, not making this up- I’m thrilled they got picked.


And I’m not crushed. I’m not crying in my early morning coffee. I’m the opposite. I’m invigorated about my book. I feel good about the journey and hope one day to participate as a mentor. I’ll be added to the list of mentors who didn’t get into Pitch Wars themselves but went on to be successful.

Writing is a long journey. I’ve got stamina. See you in the bookstore!


daughter of addiction

Addiction is a dirty secret.

The addiction itself is a dark presence in the lives of all those affected. The addict and the people who love the addict see shadows and endure the oppression created by it.

Mia Michaels choreographed this beautiful piece of art on So You Think You Can Dance and I can’t watch it without getting goosebumps and tears.

I don’t want to share the pain of addiction but I want you to see it, recognize the darkness and run from its temptaions.

Kayla Radomski and Kupono Aweau dance Contemporary to “Gravity” by Sara Bareilles.

Click here to watch, please.

What my characters look like

When I first started working on my YA Manuscript I knew what everyone looked like. This is the best representation I can find to share with you.

Mary: Blake Lively from The Town

dive bar happy maryBlake-Lively1_Header
asking for help mary blake-lively-town-420x0distraut mary

Blake+Lively+Leighton+Meester+Ed+Westwick+NK77URG5ix1lsad Mary Blake-Lively-in-The-Town-blake-lively-18612575-1050-592
regret maryBlake-Lively-in-The-Town-blake-lively-18612587-1050-592



















Young Anjuli:young anjuli images


Anjuli @ 16:

Anjuli 600full-sonalee-kulkarni sonalee-kulkarni-wallpaper-01-715612


Robert: Josh Halloway





















Hannah: Mia Wasikowska

Hannah MV5BMTM1NjcxNDg4OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTc4MTMwMg@@._V1_SX640_SY720_






Jennifer: Jena Malone

Jennifer MV5BMTU0NDM5OTE0N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMzMzNjM0Nw@@._V1_SY317_CR21,0,214,317_


or alternative Jennifer is Zoe Kravitz:











Cody: Xavier Samuel

Xavier+Samuel+Cody Cody

A Dear Dead Drunk Girl Playlist

This is the music Mary and I want to share with you to get you in the mood to read her story. It’s a little bit of this and that. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to add.

I don’t own any rights to these songs so I’ll link to clips and videos.

God of Wine by Third Eye Blind

Zombie by the Cranberries

Haunted by Poe

Chandelier by Sia

Beautiul by Joydrop

Wish You Were Here by Incubus

Nice to Know You by Incubus

Hate Me by Blue October

Not Ready to Make Nice by The Dixie Chicks

Stay by Sugarland

Semi-Charmed by Thrid Eye Blind

Elastic Heart feat. Shia LaBeouf & Maddie Ziegler by Sia

Somebody That I Used To Know (feat. Kimbra) by Goyte 

Stay by Rihanna -ft. Mikky Ekko

Trouble by Iggy Azalea – Trouble ft. Jennifer Hudson

Problem by Ariana Grande – Problem ft. Iggy Azalea

Shake It Off by Taylor Swift 

I Love It by Icona Pop

Fireball  by Willow Smith – Fireball ft. Nicki Minaj

Fireall by Pitbull ft. John Ryan

Times of Our Lives  by Pitbull, Ne-Yo

Feel this Moment by Pitbull ft. Christina Aguilera

Locked Out Of Heaven  by Bruno Mars

Love The Way You Lie by Eminem  ft. Rihanna

The Monster by Eminem – Explicit) ft. Rihanna

Just Give Me A Reason by P!nk -ft. Nate Ruess

Hurricane by Halsey

I Bet My Life by Imagine Dragons

Demons by Imagine Dragons

We Are Young by Fun ft. Janelle Monáe

Forever Young by Alphaville

With or Without You by U2

Cryin‘ by Aerosmith

Behind the Wheel by Depeche Mode remastered

Immortals (From “Big Hero 6”) by Fall Out Boy

Promises, Promises by Incubus

Love Hurts by Incubus

Stronger by Kanye West

Maps by Yeah Yeah Yeahs

When You Were Young by The Killers

Mercy by Duffy

Gravity by Sarah Bareilles

Tubthumping by Chumbawamba

Can’t Feel My Face by The Weeknd

Scream by Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson

Dear Sobriety by The Pistol Annies

Fly Away by Lenny Kravitz

I hit send

PitchWars submissions are now open. Click here.

I hit submit. Now, I think I’m gonna puke.

Not literally, well, maybe. The thing is I’m happy I put on my big girl panties and went for it. You know- actually entered instead of thinking about doing something because I’m a doer. There is so much talent in the submission pool I’m grateful to be part of it. And that’s no joke.

Pitchwars made me rethink parts of my manuscript and catch all sorts of embarrassing typos. So even if I’m not picked (although I really, really, really hope I am) I’ve made my book better. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Also, I met cool new writers. And I bought more books. All of that is good.

Hope you’re striving to manifest your dreams too.

I gotta go puke…becasue now the waiting game begins.

Dear Instagram Models by Nicole Arbour

I’m getting ready to enter PitchWars in a few weeks and it’s making me incredibly excited about my YA MS Dear Dead Drunk Girl.  My MC, Mary, would so be down with Nicole Arbour. Telling like it is- no holds barred in this YouTube video: Dear Instagram Models.

Girls, don’t give it away for free. Don’t post naked pictures. Self respect is sexy!

Take it away Nicole:

Book Giveaway


The BOUNCE #Giveaway is LIVE NOW!!!

To enter, click here http://gvwy.io/6x67qiq for a chance to win:
1) One of five Signed Advance Reader Copies of BOUNCE (A Boomerang Novel)
2) One BOUNCE Prize Pack, which includes a Signed Advance Reader Copy of BOUNCE, a set of custom BOUNCE coaster, and a $50 Sephora gift card.

Find out how to enter by clicking here: http://gvwy.io/6x67qiq

Pitch War is here! #PitchWar 2015 is here!

This blog of mine has been neglected for a while– sorry blog. But my words, imagination, blood, sweat, love, tears, some pulled hair and many mental hours of my life were poured  in my YA MS Dear Dead Drunk Girl. the story had to be written and it had to be the best I’ve ever done.

I started my last read through, before sending it out to my Beta readers, and saw it’s time for #PitchWars.

The timing couldn’t be more perfect so I’m going to suck up my neurosis and fear of being rejected and submit to some of the amazing mentors listed here:

Pitch War Mentor Blog Hop

I made my wish list and will now work on the pitch- why are those words the hardest to write? There are amazing people out there helping other writers. If your MS is complete you should check it out too. Categories are MG, YA, NA and Adult.

The amazing Brenda Drake organizes this event. If you don’t know about it – here you go straight from Brenda’s blog:

We’re so excited for Pitch Wars 2015! For those unfamiliar with Pitch Wars, it’s a contest where published/agented authors, editors, or interns choose one writer each, read their entire manuscript, and offer critiques on how to make the manuscript shine. The mentor also critiques his/her writer’s pitch to get it ready for the agent round. Those entering Pitch Wars submit applications (query plus first chapter of manuscript) to our mentors. The mentors then read all their applications and choose the writer they want to mentor for two months to get them ready for the agent round. Writers can pick up to four mentors to submit to. How will you decide what mentors to submit to?

Come back August 3 for our Mentor Wishlist Blog Hop. The mentors’ bios and wish lists will be posted to their blogs and linked from a post on my blog, and you can hop around and find the right matches for you. And visit the Twitter hashtag #PitchWars to get to know the mentors personally (virtually). The hop will go on until 8/17, which is submission day!!

This year, we won’t have alternates. Instead, I’ve added more mentors and there will be 92 mentee spots up for grabs. Applications will be sent through an easy submission form. The form will go live just after midnight (EDT – New York time) August 17 and remain open for 24 hours. What will you need to enter in the form? Your top four (max – you don’t have to pick 4, but you are limited to 4) mentors, your email address, title of the manuscript, category and genre, your query letter (sorry no personalized queries this year), and the first chapter of your completed manuscript (Word .doc or .docx format).  The sample chapter should be manuscript formatted pages (12pt, double-spaced). All of this will be fill-in-the-blank on the form.

Submission Guidelines:

  • Only Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult, or Adult manuscripts will be accepted.
  • This is open to completed, full-length, fiction manuscripts only.
  • You may only enter one manuscript.
  • Only the genres requested by each mentor will be considered for the contest.
  • Writers may only apply to 4 mentors max.
  • Mentors will only consider the categories they’ve signed up for. (The mentors’ categories – MG, YA, NA, or Adult – are set.)
  • Writers cannot apply for a mentor that is not in their category or the application will be deleted.
  • No nonfiction, picture books, chapter books, or previously published works. (If you’re an unagented author and have self-published before, you may enter the contest with a never-before-published manuscript.)

WARNING: Just like an agent, mentors may request more pages or a synopsis of your manuscript to help them make their final decision, so get them ready! Mentors may also pass your application on to another mentor they feel would be a better match. If a mentor you didn’t apply to picks you invites you to be his/her mentee, you have the right to pass on said invite.

Please note: Being kind to one another is mandatory in this contest. Should I find someone isn’t being kind and respecting others, I will remove you from the contest. Also, if you are difficult with your mentor or if you aren’t working well as a team or if you don’t take any of your mentor’s advice, your mentor will have the option to opt out of being your mentor. Remember your mentor has other obligations like deadlines, book promotions, and family life, please be mindful of their time. They are only required to read your manuscript once and give an edit letter. They aren’t required to do line edits. Our mentors are very generous with their time, so please be patient. We’ve had close to forty successes from last year’s Pitch Wars and it’s because of our mentors and the care they take with their mentees that it’s been such a great success.

If you were a mentee in Pitch Wars 2014 you may not enter Pitch Wars 2015. If you were a mentee in 2012-2013, you may enter with a new manuscript. If you were an alternate in any of the previous Pitch Wars, you may enter the same or a new manuscript for Pitch Wars 2015.

!!!! If you make it into Pitch Wars, you may not enter any contests or query during the mentoring period and until after the agent round, which is November 3-5. If you are currently in a contest (such as Pitch to Publish running at the same time as Pitch Wars), you may not enter Pitch Wars. When in doubt, ask.

For those who do not make it into Pitch Wars (and those who want to join in), we’ll hold a Twitter Pitch Party on #PitMad September 10 from 8AM to 8PM EST. If you make it into Pitch Wars, you may not pitch in #PitMad.

There will be an “Ask the Mentors” event on the Twitter hashtag, #AskMentor and on #PitchWars, on August 10 from 12:01AM to 11:59PM EDT. Stop by and ask mentors questions as you see them join the hashtag.

Some our Pitch Wars mentors will be chatting live with the Whiskey, Wine, & Writing gang at 8PM EDT. Make sure to watch and get to know the mentors. Here’s the schedule:

  • August 4 and 11: Middle Grade mentors
  • August 5 and 12: Young Adult mentors
  • August 6: New Adult mentors (Mentors who are mentoring either YA/NA or NA/A)
  • August 7: Adult mentors