Hello beautiful people. It’s Pitch Wars time. I’ll be entering this year with my YA fantasy, Night Witches. And as part of the Pimp My Bio program, I humbly offer this blog post for your amusement.
I’m Claire. I’m a U.S. citizen living in Copenhagen, and I make my living telling stories as a tour guide. I live just outside of the city with my tall Danish husband. As our apartment building does not allow pets, we often make ridiculous cat noises at each other to fill the void. There are no ridiculous cat noises in my novel. Make of that what you will.
Some things about me:
- I left the US ten years ago and I haven’t lived there since (though I’ve visited my family often)
- I can read 4 out of 5 phases of the Ancient Egyptian language. Yes, hieroglyphs. I also speak Danish. Useful languages are for suckers.
- DC over Marvel. Sorry, but comic book Batman and the Sandman stole my heart when I was 16.
- Having said that, my favorite television show is Agent Carter. Still bitter over its cancellation.
What I like to write:
- Fantasy. Particularly with some historical influence (not historical fantasy like Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, as much as I love it, but history-inspired fantasy a lot like the work of Guy Gavriel Kay). I have very rarely written anything not fantasy.
- YA. I love the rawness that comes with YA. I don’t write YA exclusively but from the time I was about 8 to now, it’s been the section I gravitate toward in the bookstore.
- 3rd person, past tense. Nothing’s wrong with 1st person present tense, but I feel like 3rd person is missing some love in the YA section right now.
My recent favorites:
- Uprooted by Naomi Novik
- Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
- Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
- Star-touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
The best compliment my manuscript ever received was during the 1st 5 pages workshop for June, in which it was called a cross between Code Name Verity and the Grisha series. Yassssssssss!
So…what will I bring to the table?
As your mentee, I will:
- Provide you with a polished manuscript. It’s been through 4 CPs so far. This doesn’t mean that I think it’s perfect! But it’s not a first draft anymore.
- Work hard. I am a borderline workaholic, and I want to make writing my full-time job. That’s only going to happen if I go for it, and go for it now. Give me an assignment and deadline, and it’ll be back in your inbox before the due date.
- Be clear with my goals and reasons. If I’ve done something in my MS and you don’t think it works, I will want to chat with you about what I was trying to do and how I can achieve that in a better way. But, at the same time, I will…
- Be willing to change. I’m not here for validation. This might sound arrogant, but I already know I’m good. I also know that I can be better, and that’s why I’m here. At the same time, I will…
- Be open to any and all criticism and feedback. I don’t care if it’s tough love. I don’t care if it’s just tough. If you’re working hard to make me a better writer, I’m so grateful and I respect your dedication. I want your honest input, no matter what form that takes.
- Work on a lifelong friendship with you. I want to engage in the writing community and I want to be in this for the long haul. I want to chat with you about the Princess Bride, Mulan (many Disney films actually, but Mulan more than most), writing troubles, awesome novels by beautiful people, and, of course, Agent Carter. And other things. But those things are always a good starting point.
Still with me?
You may enjoy my manuscript if you like the following:
- The story of the actual Night Witches. (Haven’t heard of them yet? You’re welcome.)
- High fantasy/dieselpunk YA
- Strong female characters
- Heavy focus on female friendships
- Little to no romance. Like blink-and-you’ll-miss-it romance.
If you’re a mentor and you got this far, then I hope you read something you liked. I’m on the twits at bartlebett if you have any questions or comments. Or you can immortalize them here.
And remember the amazing other potential mentees, linked at the top of the blog!