Me Again 2016

Word is that it’s a good idea to rewrite a bio for the 2016 Pitch Wars mentors who might be interested in learning a little about the mentee hopefuls. So here goes:

I’ve had a few changes since last year. We welcomed a new baby girl into the family *Yay* and I’ve started a brand new manuscript.

I’m a mother of five and grandmother of 13…awe, you went there *little old lady*. Keep reading and maybe I can convince you otherwise.

I love to run marathons, swim, bike, and weight train. Professionally, I’m a licensed counselor and certified hypnotherapist.

My favorite foods are anything not good for you, I mainly dream about them rather than indulge, but that’s only so I don’t start looking like a little old lady. *Cough*

I’m originally from California,  now live in Pennsylvania–what? I know. I still love the beach and travel to the Outer Banks as often as I can, but winters in western PA are gorgeous.

My favorite old movies are White Christmas, Going My Way, and Holiday Inn. I love Bing Crosby–and no I didn’t grow up with him!

My fave tv shows are White Collar, Sherlock, Frasier, Mash and all things Star Trek. Captain Janeway from Voyager is an excellent protagonist.

I love to read. When I was little my absolute favorite book of all times was Little Women. I think I read it every month for a year. I also loved Alice in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass, Detectives in Togas, Robinson Caruso, and Heidi…I wanted to be Meg, Heidi, or one of the detectives in a toga. Currently I’m reading Brenda’s THIEF OF LIES in the spare minutes I get every other day.

I have read every one of the Harry Potter series, and my husband and I know each line of the movies by heart. For Christmas one year I knitted Griffindor scarves for my two youngest daughters who grew up with Harry Potter. They still wear them to the Edinboro University Potterfest.

I enjoy reading anything MG and YA, and all of the J.D. Robb books. I do love a psychological thriller.

Right now I’m working furiously to finish my newest manuscript by August 3rd. It’s a YA fantasy titled FINDING WILLOW, and is the first of a planned three book series. I expect it to be somewhere around 75,000 words when completed. I sent a few chapters to the awesome Kate Foster and her first words back to me were: “Er…wow, just wow!” (My favorite four words).

Why pick me? I’m goal driven. At the age of 36 I decided to go to college and earn a PhD in psychology. Nine years later I achieved my goal, while raising five kids, maintaining a home, caring for two dogs, three fish, and a cockatiel, and teaching a karate class (of course my husband was my teammate).

First time I ran five miles, I decided to train for a marathon. I ran it and qualified for Boston. That was 20 years ago and I’m still running.–I’m dedicated.

Once I earned a white belt in karate, I made up my mind to go the whole way to black belt. When I did that, I worked for fifteen more years to become a great master of our style.–I’m persistent and not afraid to be challenged or work hard.

I’ve set many goals in my life and have achieved, or am working on achieving them all. My writing goal is to become a published author and hand over my private practice to my current intern so I can write full-time–I’m patient and dream big.

FINDING WILLOW used to be a MG novel with a different title, written in 3rd person when I sent it to Kate for editing. Her honest feedback was not what I wanted to hear, but I listened and completely overhauled my manuscript into a YA written in 1st person. I will do whatever it takes to polish this work to a high shine.

Here’s my pitch: Caught in a deadly uprising, fifteen-year-old Willow must use her ability as an empathic seer to stop an evil woman hell bent on wiping out an entire race of people.

This is what FINDING WILLOW is all about:

Fifteen-year-old Willow wishes more than anything that she measured up to the extraordinary people of her parents’ Elven race. But when your name is supposed to hold the very essence of who you are, weak and weepy doesn’t impress. She’d love the chance to prove that the Birthing Wiser responsible for naming her is wrong, but that’s next to impossible when you live on the Common, a whole dimension away from Numinous, and only visit every few years. Luckily this visit will give her the opportunity to prove her worth. She’s finally old enough to begin the Eichen Staff fight training, and her dad believes she’ll master it like he did at her age, but no pressure.

During a trip outside of the Elven territory of Enthrall, Willow and her family get caught in a violent uprising of Purebings against Numikans. Willow and her mother barely escape the bloodbath, but her dad is taken hostage. With the help of two teenagers and a desert creature named Hinge, Willow must use her given empathic seer abilities to stop the rogue female Elf masterminding the revolt. But the journey won’t be easy. They must find ways of evading capture by the Purebings protecting the evil woman and also avoid horrible beasts never before seen on their world. If they fail, Willow not only loses the hard-earned respect of the boy she’s fallen for, but risks never seeing her dad again.

 

So there it is, my bio. Thanks for stopping by and remember to support #PitchWars and thank Brenda for everything she does.

So This is Me

Word is that it’s a good idea to write a bio for Pitch Wars mentors who might be interested in learning a little about the mentee hopefuls. So here goes:

I’m a mother of five and grandmother of 12…awe, you went there *little old lady*. Keep reading and maybe I can convince you otherwise.

My handsome husband and I teach karate–I’m a great master, he’s the grand master of our style. I love to run marathons, swim, bike, and weight train. Professionally, I’m a licensed counselor and certified hypnotherapist.

My favorite foods are anything not good for you, but I mainly dream about them rather than indulge, but that’s only so I don’t start looking like a little old lady. *Cough*

I’m originally from California, but now live in Pennsylvania–what? I know. I still love the beach and travel to the Outer Banks as often as I can.

My favorite old movies are White Christmas, Going My Way, and Holiday Inn. I love Bing Crosby–and no I didn’t grow up with him!

My fave tv shows are White Collar, Sherlock, Frasier, and Mash…don’t say it!

I love to read. When I was little my absolute favorite book of all times was Little Women. I think I read it every month for a year. I also loved Alice in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass, Detectives in Togas, Robinson Caruso, and Heidi…I wanted to be Meg, Heidi, or one of the detectives in a toga.

I have read every one of the Harry Potter series, and my husband and I know each line of the movies by heart. For Christmas one year I knitted Griffindor scarves for my two youngest daughters who grew up with Harry Potter. They still wear them to the Edinboro University Potterfest. I enjoy reading anything MG and YA, and all of the J.D. Robb books. I do love a psychological thriller.

The book I’ll be submitting for Pitch Wars is called Willow Marshe and the Traveling Stones. It’s an upper MG fantasy, roughly 74,000 words. My wonderful editor Nicole Tone, tells me I’m ready for this and I finally have the confidence to believe her.

So there it is, my bio. Still think of me as a little old lady? Please, for the love of all that is holy, tell me you don’t.

Which mentors to choose for pitchwars?

confused

So I’ve been reviewing the bios of all mentors for MG and I think I have them narrowed down to six, but we’re only allowed to submit to five and it’s so hard to choose.

Which one do I eliminate?

Every time I reread them, instead of narrowing down, I want to pick more!

I’M SO CONFUSED!

One thing is for certain though. My query and manuscript are sparkling! See you all at the wars.

PROGRESS

,mirror

OMG! Pitchwars is coming up so fast. I feel like I was viewing August 17th in the side mirror of my Rav4 and then this morning I turned around and looked out of my back window. Geeze, objects really are closer than they appear. Progress so far… I’ve renamed my novel: “Willow Marshe and the Traveling Stones.” I’ve changed the entire opening. No more *waking up* scenes for me. I’ve got the fantastic Nicole Tone line editing for me…and she is magic! With her help I’ve cut, revised, removed, replaced and just completely overhauled my manuscript. I’ve learned much and am so proud of myself every time she tells me how well I’m doing. She’s told me several times that my world-building skills have improved, and I’m taking that to the bank…well at least to pitchwars. I hope to see many of my fellow writers engaged in the friendly battle. Will keep you posted!

KT Hanna–Chameleon: the Domino Project

Hey fellow readers of YA novels:

Chameleon: The Domino Project will be out this month on Amazon, and if you’re a fan of apocalypse-type novels, you’re going to want to read this one. KT Hanna shows a great understanding on how to draw a reader in with a well-structured novel that makes you want to keep turning the pages (or in my case, swiping my kindle).

Chameleon is fast-paced and riddled with tons of emotion.  It put me in mind of The Hunger Games and The Divergent series. Hanna understands how to create story arcs, goals, conflicts, and satisfying conflict resolution. She developed her characters so well, I wanted to meet them for myself.

This is definitely a good read, and I’m glad I got to be one of the first to do so–thanks for the opportunity KT.

Make That Query Shine

Fellow writers. This is really good stuff to help you polish that query.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve spent quite a bit of time judging the entries for this year’s Query Kombat, which is hosted by the wonderful Michelle Hauck (@Michelle4laughs), Michael Anthony (@Ravenous Rushing), and SC (@SC_Author). In case you’re not familiar with the contest, 64 entries were chosen based on their query and first 250 words and then battled it out tournament style until one query was left standing. (Missed Query Kombat, but still interested in participating in a contest? Check out Michelle’s upcoming contest, New Agent. Details here.)

So, after reviewing a good chunk of those 64 entries, here are some of the common pitfalls I stumbled across.

1. The Rule of Three

In almost all instances, your query should never have more than three named characters. What you need to remember here is that the reader (agents) will just be familiarizing themselves with your story, so it’s…

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Submit your MG #pg70pit entry

Get your best creative words together for this contest!

Lara Willard

THIS IS SUBMISSION FORM IS FOR MIDDLE GRADE NOVELS ONLY. ANY TEEN OR ADULT NOVELS ENTERED BEFORE THEIR APPOINTED DATES WILL BE DISQUALIFIED.

Form will be removed no earlier than 7pm Central on 7/1/15. If there are fewer than 70 entries received by 7pm, the form will remain open until 70 have been received. No limit to entries received before 7pm.

What you need to enter:

  • Your e-mail address (this is private and used only to verify entries)
  • Your code name (This contest is anonymous—choose something unique and difficult to trace back to you.
    This year entrants will chose lines from songs. Up to 7 words)
  • Your novel’s intended audience—Middle Grade, Teen, or Adult (Adult is 20+)
  • Your novel’s word count, rounded to the nearest thousand
  • Your novel’s genre (I have a guide to major genres here and the sub-genres of science fiction and fantasyhere)
  • Seven words…

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KT Hanna’s Cover Reveal

I’m thrilled to post this for KT Hanna. This has to be so exciting for her!

Chameleon (The Domino Project #1) is a YA futuristic science fiction story. It’s set in the wasteland of earth after a meteor shower devastates landmasses, makes seas rise, introduces the psionic gene into the human race, damages the atmosphere, and gives the gift of an alien parasite to the world.

The goodreads blurb is as follows:

After Sai’s newly awoken psionic power accidentally destroys her apartment complex, she’s thrown into an intensive training program. The only grades are pass or die.

Surviving means proving her continued existence isn’t a mistake–a task her new mentor, Bastian, takes personally. Her abilities place her in the GNW Enforcer division, which partners her with Domino 12, who is eerily human for an alien-parasite and psionic hybrid. When her assassination duties are revealed, Sai understands the real reason for her training.

On a mission to dispatch a dangerous Exiled scientist, she uncovers truths she never thought possible. Sai is unsure who to trust as her next mission might be her last, and a double agent seems to be manipulating both sides.

Without further ado – here is the cover, by the amazingly talented S.P. McConnell.

It’s finally here

CHAMELEON Domino Project Front with Text 2

Isn’t it GORGEOUS!?!?!

Sit back and bask in this for a moment.

It’s available for preorder for a special price of $2.99 from

Amazon Link

It will be available on release from B&N, Kobo, iBooks – pretty much any platform I can findIt will also be available in print via CreateSpace, Amazon, and *fingers crossed* my siteLast but not least – it will be available via iTunes, Audible, and Amazon in audiobook form close to release date. My lovely friend Margaret Krohn will be narrating, and I’m so grateful to her and excited for you all to hear it. Check out her posthere.About the AuthorMe

KT Hanna has a love for words so extreme, a single word can spark entire worlds.

Born in Australia, she met her husband in a computer game, moved to the U.S.A. and went into culture shock. Bonus? Not as many creatures specifically out to kill you.

When she’s not writing, she freelance edits for Chimera Editing, interns for a NYC Agency, and chases her daughter, husband, corgi, and cat. No, she doesn’t sleep. She is entirely powered by the number 2, caffeine, and beef jerky.

Note: Still searching for her Tardis

Celebration!

To celebrate, we’re giving away 2 x $10 Amazon e-gift cards (open to anyone who can receive and use an Amazon e-card) Just click on as many options as you like and enter!

Winners will be announced on Monday June 22!