So, I’ve decided to throw my hat in the ring and enter PitchWars 2017 for my middle grade coming of age novel, Spill.
Spill is the story of 12-year old Ophelia, who is bullied at school, largely because of her hand-me-down clothes and her tendency to blurt things out without thinking about consequences. The friend, who used to stand up for her, drifted away in an effort to become popular. Her other friend, Nora, comes to school with more hidden cuts on her arms each day. Meanwhile, at home, Ophelia’s dad’s been sent out of town on an extended business trip for his dream job, and her stay-at-home mom has a brand new job and all of the rules are new.
Ophelia is determined to stop snitching to make the bullies leave her alone, but when she learns Nora has been cutting herself and won’t ask for help, Ophelia must decide whether to keep the secret, or to tell someone and lose a friend.
I double majored in Writing and Spanish at Goucher College. The Spanish major led me into a career of customer service, and has kept me employed for my whole career. Until a few years ago, I wasn’t doing much with the writing. I made tons of excuses about why I wasn’t writing, and always planned to start at some point in the distant future.
And then my former college roommate passed away at the age of 43 in 2012. It was completely unexpected, and once I got over the initial grief, I realized I couldn’t keep procrastinating my dreams away.
I signed up for a class called “The Extreme Novelist” at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, MD. The idea was to write the entire first draft of a novel in 8 weeks. I didn’t quite succeed, but by the end of the class I’d written over 100 pages and had developed a driving need to write every day. The book was Poison Pen, which was my 2014 Pitch Wars entry.
About halfway through writing Poison Pen, it occurred to me that it was really the middle book in a trilogy. I set it aside after Pitch Wars to write Spill, it’s prequel.
So, that’s my story.
Thanks for reading.