I’m delighted to once again be entering the PW whirlwind. I’m sure you’ve got a thousand bios to read, so I’m just going to jump right to it.
So here’s why I’m ready for this challenge:
- This isn’t my first rodeo. I was a PW ’14 alternate, so I know exactly what’s involved. Massive revisions. More massive revisions. Then a few more. I’m ready. Eager in fact, because…
- I heart revisions. I’m not just blowing sunshine up your wazoo. I’m a big believer in going where the revisions take you. Sometimes you don’t find your book until three-quarters of the way in. Why waste time fighting to keep things that just don’t work? I re-wrote my entire manuscript during the last PWs. If I had five original words left, I’ll eat something disgusting. The process was akin to a master-class in fiction writing and absolutely priceless. I’ll be grateful to my beloved mentor, Kate Karyus Quinn, until I rattle out my last breath.
- I know that I don’t know. Last PWs, I thought I was all ready to take the publishing world by storm, with my big-girl panties on. I honestly — this is mortifying — thought that my mentor would go through my manuscript and make a few line edits, and I’d be off to Big-Five glory. Then poor Kate very gently showed me that I knew jack shit about the publishing world, even less about craft. (Again, I love you Kate). Now, I know a little more about the publishing world and a little more about craft. Enough to know how much more I need to learn.
Which brings me to what kind of mentee I am:
- I heart the learning process. Once I realized how little I knew about craft during my first PWs, I immediately dove into studying method, if only so I didn’t sound like a jackass to all my new, knowledgable friends. To my shock, this pantser found herself enraptured. Since then, I’ve made a habit of studying a new method with each book I write. My main focus for PWs would of course be my manuscript, but if you’re someone who loves to talk Truby, I’ll at least understand what you’re saying!
- I respect your opinion. If I trusted you with my words, it’s because I did enough research to know you know what you’re doing. So your thoughts and guidance will be received with respect and gratitude! Whatever you have to say, I’m going to listen because you’re giving me your time. I have two kids and a full-time job. I know the value of that gift.
- If you’ll have me, I’ll be a friend forever. I’d pretty much shank someone for Kate at this point. Her friendship and guidance (along with the host of fellow writers whom I now talk to daily) have been, hands-down, the biggest treasure to come out of PWs. I’m grateful to Brenda every day for bringing all of them into my life. I’d love to have another relationship like that, but if that’s not exactly your bag, don’t worry, I won’t stalk you or send you cat heads in a basket because…
- I’m a big girl. All this time I’ve spent learning and revising and interacting with writers on different points along the publication path has helped me develop my voice and refine my interests. I’ve got a stronger sense of myself as a writer, which gives me more confidence when I have to make tough choices.
So what kind of writer am I? Here’s what I’ve found so far:
- I likes it dark. Like dark, dark. The kind of chocolate almost too bitter to eat, so you need a glass of wine nearby to wash it down. But…
- I need some raspberry jam in the middle, or at least some semi-sweet chips. Though my themes are heavy and my endings sometimes grim, I believe in leavening all those shadows with sweetness. A tiny flash of humor. A moment of beauty and grace. Sweet, sweet language.
- I love pretty words. I’m a lyrical writer, and learning the best place to deploy those skills, and when to get the words the hell out of the way, is a challenge I enjoy every time I sit down at my computer.
- I want it all. Thriller. Spec-twist. Literary themes. Yep, I want them all, and I know it can be done. Here are some of the writers I want to be when I grow up, because they figured out how to keep their readers turning pages and still SAY something important.
- Nova Ren Suma: The Walls Around Us knocked me on my ass. I’m afraid to meet her, because I might embarrass myself with my fawning.
- Jennifer Mason-Black: I’d give a foot if I’d written The Devil and the Bluebird.
- Kate Karyus Quinn: Every single word she’s written is genius. Just pick one. I couldn’t pull one out as a favorite to save my life.
- Mindy McGinnis: Her Not a Drop to Drink cycle is a perfect example of how to use a speculative scenario to explore the human condition. And how to write bad-ass women.
So that’s about it, except for the pic my daughter insists I must end this post with. I vetoed all her other choices, so she get this awesome Pincukitten!