Hey' y’all! It’s that time of year again…PITCH WARS! I’m so excited to participate for the third time this year…and to get to know some of you lovely people I don’t know yet! Let’s get the party started, shall we?
This is my third year vying for a Pitch Wars spot. Every year, the contest has pushed me to improve my stories and hone my characters. My debut novel, SHE'S POWERFUL TROUBLE, was published through Parliament House Press this past May. Want to check it out? Head HERE or to Amazon to purchase it! Witches…soft boys…forbidden love…OH MY!
My novel last year, CROSS-COUNTRY THEATRICS, has gone through both a POV shift and a title change. Here’s hoping IT’S ALL GONE WRONG finds a home soon!
I'm a high school English teacher by day and a writer by night. I studied Creative Writing at UNC Chapel Hill and somehow ended up in the Honors Thesis class, which taught me so much about craft (and more importantly, about the importance of community). I'm a FAST reader, an even FASTER worker (I'm so Type A, it hurts), and I love diving into a good story.
Now, onto my adult MS (trying new things this year!) REVENANT CHORUS!
After ten years, siblings Miles and Diana Rex have reforged their bond. Confident in Miles’s renewed strength and terrified their adoptive brother, Declan Duvall, might win a seat in the Georgia House of Representatives, Diana reveals her horrible truth—Declan assaulted her ten years ago. She never imagined her secret would find both men with rifles raised on a bleak Thanksgiving morning. Both weapons fire. Both men fall. And as her brother dies in her arms, Diana knows she killed him.
Days after their deaths, Georgia Governor Clive Duvall—Declan’s father—proclaims Miles a lunatic plagued by addiction and an abhorrent “lifestyle.” His comments threaten the LGBTQ youth shelter Miles founded with his partner. Fighting to defend her brother’s legacy and protect the kids he saved, Diana reluctantly reveals her assault to the press. But in a state controlled by her rapist’s father, Diana’s story rouses a deep-seated anger in fragile, dangerous men determined to silence Diana and the two men left in her life—unless more women come forward to fight beside her.
What Diana will never know is how much the Duvall family tortured Miles, too.
Ten years before Declan shoots him, Miles Rex is finally ready to come out to his parents. Then they perish in a car crash, leaving him and his sister in the care of family friend Clive Duvall, a Georgia state senator determined to climb his way up the political ladder—and infamous for his belief in conversion therapy. Miles, haunted by visions of his mutilated parents, embraces heroin until even Diana abandons him. The only one seemingly determined to rescue Miles from his spiral is Declan. Desperate to survive, Miles clings to him, oblivious to the monster lurking behind the golden mask—and the violent destiny awaiting them both.
Alternating between the past and the present, REVENANT CHORUS follows a brother’s journey to reclaim his light and a sister’s journey to keep that light alive after his death. Complete at 116,000 words, this women’s fiction novel combines the raw imagery of Laurie Halse Anderson’s SHOUT with the family saga of Lydia Fitzpatrick’s LIGHTS ALL NIGHT LONG. Inspired by Sophocles’ ANTIGONE and the MeToo movement, it examines the shattering effects of grief and trauma on the psyche—and how family helps people reclaim their strength and voice, even beyond the grave.
IN THE STORY
Political commentary and critique
Discussions on addiction and recovery
Discussions on trauma and grief
Siblings who love each other more than anything
EVIL MEN DOING EVIL THINGS
Boarding schools and college and protests
STRONG. ASS. WOMEN.
SHOUT by Laurie Halse Anderson
SHARP OBJECTS by Gillian Flynn
AND THEN SHE WAS GONE by Lisa Jewell
MY TWO MC’s
MILES REX is hours away from coming out to his parents—and then they die in a horrible car crash. When his sister begs to see their bodies, Miles is left to look into the smashed face of his mother. Forced to live with a family of bigoted politicians and haunted by visions of his parents’ mutilated corpses, Miles spirals into a world of addiction—until he finds the strength to pull himself out.
DIANA REX wants justice. Ten years ago, Declan Duvall assaulted her. Now, he’s been elected a Georgia Congressman. When Diana reveals her trauma to her brother, she lights the blue touch paper that finds both Miles and Declan dead—leaving Diana to rescue her brother’s legacy when Declan’s father, Clive, accuses Miles of murdering his son in cold blood.
CLIVE DUVALL started his political career as a Georgia state senator. Now, eighteen years later, he’s finally Governor of Georgia. College friends with Oliver Rex, he adopts Miles and Diana after their parents’ untimely death…and he’s determined to bend Miles to his will in whatever way necessary.
DECLAN DUVALL has just been elected as Georgia’s newest Congressman. With violent tendencies and deep-set traditional values instilled by his father, he torments both Diana and Miles for years before the hunting incident that ignites the action of REVENANT CHORUS.
MORE AESTHETICS (I went a little crazy this year)
And now for a few of my favorite things:
THE HANDMAID'S TALE by Margaret Atwood (one of the most beautifully written books of all time)
SHOUT by Laurie Halse Anderson
THE BELLES by Dhonielle Clayton
CARRY ON, FANGIRL, LANDLINE, ELEANOR AND PARK and really anything by Rainbow Rowell
WHITE OLEANDER by Janet Fitch
THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak
SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA by Becky Albertalli
THE FIFTH SEASON by N.K. Jemisin
THE CHAOS WALKING SERIES, A MONSTER CALLS, RELEASE, THE REST OF US JUST LIVE HERE (aka ANYTHING by Patrick Ness)
LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE
US and GET OUT
THE LORD OF THE RINGS
SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING and FAR FROM HOME
BRAVEHEART* (*Mel Gibson is the worst...but that soundtrack is BOMB)
TEN THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU
JANE THE VIRGIN (it is number one forever)
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE
GAME OF THRONES
THE END OF THE F'ING WORLD
DEAR WHITE PEOPLE
PEAKY BLINDERS (CILLIAN MURPHY IS AN ACTING GOD)
Good luck to all you hopefuls out there! This community is so very powerful. Even if you don't make it, know that you've worked hard...and that good things come to those who WORK HARD and PERSEVERE! <3