I’ve been putting off this post because I’m honestly not sure what to say and was, at first, slightly afraid it was a mistake. During the Pitch Wars application process, I got to meet so many cool and talented authors whose books are AMAZING. When close to 1250 authors applied with only 75 getting a main slot, I knew my chances were slim.
And when three of the four mentors I applied to requested full versions of my manuscript, I started getting extra nervous. I really didn’t want to get my hopes up. I had my eye on this contest since I learned about it last year, so naturally, like all 1250 authors who applied, I REALLY wanted to make it. But I kept convincing myself I wouldn’t make it and that all my other cool author friends would so I’d be ready to cheer them on instead of crying in a corner while eating Ben & Jerry’s with my mouth open.
It’s a terrible visual, I know. But I own the fact that I’m an ugly cryer
But Tuesday night at midnight (I guess technically Wednesday morning), I found out live on the unofficial Pitch Wars show that I had made the list. Originally I was going on the show to co-host with the show creators, the talented authors Natasha Raulerson and Tiffany Rosenthal, to discuss editing vs. critique partnering vs. beta reading/critiques (kinda like when I presented at the International Writing Center Conference in 2011 on direct vs. indirect mentoring strategies). But when we found out that the mentee selections were being announced at midnight, we switched gears to make it a countdown show with fun games and superlatives. I had a blast. Mentors and even the contest creator, the lovely author Brenda Drake, came on the show– and we had a hat contest. Don’t judge me for wearing panda ears, y’all. And I was like wickedly nervous.
But while we were waiting for the results, Brenda’s site crashed from all 1250 authors scrambling to find out.
Somehow, the hubs was able to check the site downstairs while watching the show live with the neighbors and ran up to our house, tapped on the window and said, “YOU GOT RACHEL!”
I told him to go away and stop lying to me.
Then I realized I had the results emailed to me because I subscribe to Brenda’s blog, and there it was—-my name was on the list. And Rachel Lynn Solomon was my mentor. I was so excited, I may have smacked my head on the coffee table by accident. I tend to be a flailer.
I’m caught between two very strong emotions that can be summed up in this Broadway show tune:
And of course, a Jennifer Lawrence gif:
For those of you who are still a little confused on what Pitch Wars is, my new mentor Rachel will help me get my book to where it needs to be so that it’ll be super duper extra awesome and publishable (God willing!). I’m already beyond inspired by her notes and am ready to rip my book apart, gut it, and make it super polished and shiny.
One big revision— for those Beta readers out there who have read THE TRUTH ABOUT TWO SHOES– will be combining two characters, Julie and Francis Grace. I already rewrote one scene with the new improved Francis Grace and I’m all like…why didn’t I do this before?
Oh and the best part? Rachel is from Seattle. When writing a book set in a certain region (mine is in Mississippi), its easy to fall victim to thinking “well everyone in the South knows this.” It’s so refreshing to be pushed to explain things in new ways that make something come across more effectively to those who aren’t familiar with certain things.
It’s going to be an awesome two months filled with blood, sweat, and tears. And I’m so grateful for the experience to meet all these awesome authors and get to work with Rachel. And I’m so flabbergastedly (yes, I made up a new word) humbled beyond belief.
So, I know I’ve neglected my blog a bit lately (especially the healthy aspect…I tend to eat like a fat kid when I’m in creative author mode), but I promise I’ll keep updates on my revision process. I’ve been contemplating sharing my other mood boards for characters, like I did for Mack.
But thanks everyone for the support and for those who read my first couple of drafts THE TRUTH ABOUT TWO SHOES. I hope I can do you all proud.
Love getting the play-by-play of your reaction. 🙂 I only had my dogs around to stare in befuddlement at my squeaks of excitement. Best of luck to you as you revise!
Nikki, I did read your first five and, as I told you, was not all surprised that you were selected. It’s been fun to watch your journey and excitement on the Twitter feed for PitchWars. I’m glad I’ll be able to keep up with you through FB, too. One of your most endearing qualities is your genuine humility as expressed in this blog post. I know you’ll have your book in print soon!