PitchWars: PimpMyBio, 2017 Edition

Hi, I’m Scott, and this is my fourth year in PitchWars. Or Fifth. Fourth. I can’t remember. Less than sixth. Last year I entered in YA, but this year I’ll go back to MG like the two previous years. So probably fourth, then.

I’m still trying to decide between two stories. One is ready. The other needs to be trimmed by about 15,000 words, now that I’ve completed a major revision. Working on that now.

UPDATE: This year, I am submitting my middle-grade fantasy. The other story I considered got good responses two years ago and is more polished, but this is the one that could benefit most from a mentor’s help. I’m wrapping up a major revision while I wait for PitchWars to open, and I’m happy that it will be ready. I’ve added info about the story to the end of this bio.

ANOTHER UPDATE: I’m feeling good about this story right now. I made the right choice.

I’m from the San Francisco Bay Area, but I’ve been exiled to Utah for more years than I can count. More than six. I try to get back as often as I can, slipping in under cover of night like a bad guy in a Dashiell Hammett novel. Usually in disguise.

 

I’ve also lived in Austria and worked a summer in Germany. That’s why I speak German and Weanarisch.

This is me, the time I decided to try wearing a man bun:

Something doesn’t quite look right. Maybe I should have shaved first.

I’ve been a professional writer and editor since 1988, when I started working for Atari, where my favorite thing was making up stories for the beginnings of game manuals. I’m currently writing for Adobe. I’ve also done a lot of freelance work. On the creative side, I’ve been writing since I was first published at the age of eight.

Last year I published two pieces, a poem and a middle grade short story about alien bugs that turn the junior high basketball and their goat mascot into brain-eating zombies. Because zombie goats rock.

One of my favorite writing accomplishments was the time one of my poems, “Buying Baseball Cards,” was put on display at the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame Library and was featured in a lecture by the Hall of Fame librarian at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it’s really a middle-grade poem.

Most of the time, I work from my Schreibwinkl, my home office.

This has become my favorite place. I’m surrounded by pictures of writers, illustrations, quotes, and other things that inspire me.

Books are, of course, an important part of my hideaway.

I’m also surrounded by maybe too much tech.

Who am I kidding? You can never have too much tech.

Another great PitchWars will add to a pretty great year. I finished my Master of Professional Writing degree in May, and recently hit my target weight after losing close to 80 pounds in two and a half years, putting  me at the weight I was when I graduated from high school back in the Pleistocene.

My favorite part of PitchWars is hanging out with all the writers. I’m looking forward to meeting more hopefuls this year.

About The Loom Of Fate

The Loom of Fate is an upper middle-grade time travel fantasy that draws on my lifelong obsession with mythology and folklore, and decades of reading medieval lit, especially Norse, Anglo Saxon, and German stories. It has Vikings, dragons, ghosts, witches, giants, a faithful dog, a rude horse, and a very special sword. And a lot of derring do. Because you can never have enough derring do.

I wrote the story as a YA book, but realized later it would be better as a MG novel. I revised with that in mind, then eventually shelved it while I wrote two and a half new novels. I considered it a learning experience and moved on, but the story had other ideas and kept calling me back to it.

Much of the inspiration for this story came from my own bookshelves:

When I returned to the manuscript, I wasn’t thrilled with what I found. I’d learned a lot since I wrote it. I’ve put a lot more work into it, and think it’s worth the effort, but I could use the kind of feedback and mentoring this contest offers.

Favorites

I like to read fairly widely, from kidlit to classics to medieval and ancient. But I’m subbing a MG story, so here are some of my favorite MG books I’ve read recently, in no particular order (unless alphabetical is “particular”):

  • Chronicles of Prydain
  • Dead End in Norvelt
  • The Evil Wizard Smallbone
  • Fiendish Deeds
  • Half Magic
  • The Inquisitor’s Tale
  • The Last Boy at St. Edith’s
  • The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary
  • My Seventh-Grade Life In Tights
  • The Nest (the creepy one about the wasps)
  • Odd and the Frost Giants
  • OK For Now
  • Out of the Dust
  • The Riverman
  • Secrets of Selkie Bay
  • A Tale Dark & Grimm
  • The Twits
  • Under the Egg
  • The Wednesday Wars
  • The Westing Game
  • Westmark
  • When You Reach Me