Monday, August 11, 2014

Pitch Wars is Here!!!!!

Part of the fun of any contest is getting to know the fellow contestants, judges, and contest coordinators. With the submission date for Brenda Drake's Pitch Wars around the corner, it's time for a "Get to know me" post for my fellow participants. And, hopefully it doesn't turn out to be a "Wow, that woman is strange" post -- "I better stay away!"

1) I was born a troublemaker

Like most of our favorite YA and MG protagonists, I've faced conflict since birth. The trouble started with my name. That's right, the obviously-controversial name of Kimberly was not met with "Awww, how cute," or, "great name!" with my relatives. Turns out Kimberly, Wisconsin was a huge rival of my father's hometown.


Apparently, the father's side of my family was very upset when my parents' advised Kimberly would be my name. They seemed, however, to get over it until . . .

2) The doll incident: 

I hate dolls. Always have, always will. They're creepy.

(As an aside, an image search of "creepy doll" produces disturbing results.) ANYWAY, when I was four, and I still remember this, my great aunt (may she rest in peace) on my father's side (of course) gave me a doll for Christmas. I recall opening the box with enthusiasm, seeing it was a doll, and then tossing it aside while saying, "I hate dolls." Yes, that's right. Tons of tact there. But it's really not my fault. I mean, c'mon.

The funny thing is my younger sister feels the exact same way. There was never a doll in our house. Alas, we've come to learn this trait isn't genetic. I have two nieces who, much to my and my sister's chagrin, love dolls and keep asking for dolls for presents no matter how much we try to steer them toward other, better obsessions, like stuffed animals and board games.

3) I was writing fan fiction before I knew what fan fiction was:

And what wonderful mash-ups they were! Laura Ingalls meets the A-Team. CHiPS meets Dukes of Hazzard. Star Trek and anything. My third-grade "essays" were based on any combination of the above. Yep. That's right, peeps. I created fan fiction!

4) I have a favorite game designer

I cannot describe the brilliance of Stefan Feld any better than fellow game nerd Nicholas Shayko. I am a big fan of European board/strategy games, and Feld's are the best. So not only am I a gamer geek, but I am a gamer geek with a favorite designer. Shhh.

Some of Feld's greatest games (not my collection, but awesome!!).

5) I like things with the letter "S"

I have no idea why, but Stephen King, Star Wars, Seinfeld, (Stefan Feld), Springsteen . . . the list goes on, and it's really kind of freaky. Even my MG protag's name (truly coicidentally) is a double S!

6) I love to write

Always have, always will. I lost my way a bit after college. I, like many others, had no idea what I wanted to do and writing for a living didn't seem possible. So I went to law school, and since then I spend my days telling judges and juries my clients' (absolutely true, of course) stories. Fast forward to a couple years ago when I started (again) a novel. But this time it was different. I fell in love with the idea (YA fantasy) and couldn't stop. It was then I made the decision to switch to being a part-time lawyer so I could focus on writing.

After an unsuccessful round of querying that YA fantasy, I shelved it to work on an MG story I simply couldn't get out of my mind. I finished it in a few months, right in time for Query Kombat in May, where I won a few rounds and received great feedback. Now, a few revisions later, it's ready for Pitch Wars as I work on a new manuscript. Switching to part-time and giving myself permission to write was truly one of the best decisions I've ever made. To any other forty-year-olds out there: it's never to late to start doing what you love.

Thanks for stopping by, and best wishes and good luck to all!

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