#PimpMyBio is an optional blog hop hosted by Lana Pattinson. It’s a way for mentees to give a little preview into the work they’ll be submitting to #PitchWars. And for those of you that don’t know, PitchWars is an annual contest where generous mentors donate their time helping mentees spend two months getting their manuscripts polished. Then the writer’s pitch is showcased to literary agents in the hopes of getting representation and ultimately a book deal. Not everyone can get a mentor, but it’s a great opportunity, and you can learn more here. If you’re going to be participating in #PitchWars and want to do your own #PimpMyBio you can read about it here.
Hello, possibly for the second time! This is my second time participating in #PitchWars and #PimpMyBio with my novel. My name is Liselle (liz-elle) and I live in Ontario, Canada, sort of in the north. It’s pretty north, but it’s not Thunder Bay. That will mean something to Canadians, maybe.
I moved last summer and started a brand new job in a new field, I’m now a Social Media Strategist at a marketing company. Which is an awesome job and has been a great career change for me, and I’ve been able to maintain time for writing. Less time for blogging but that’s something else altogether
5 Somewhat Random Things About Me
- I am a recent exercise/nutrition junkie. Meaning that I workout pretty much every morning and am forever reading about something nutrition related. But don’t worry, I still love pizza, I’m not a monster.
- My first and only tattoo is an ‘Always’ with a little lightning bolt on the ‘a’ and I designed it myself.
- I still cannot swim! But I’m working on it, I have some classes scheduled and am determined to learn and therefore avoid a Titanic-like death in a much shallower body of water.
- Chewing Gum is the best show on Netflix (with the exception of Misfits) and I will fight to defend that
- I am super excited about two things this summer: Black Panther and Spider-Man (mic drop)
About My Book – The Light Witch
When seventeen-year-old Nick stumbles on a girl collapsed by a pit, the last thing he expects is for her to give him magic. For witch disciple Simran, Nick is the perfect place to hide her powers away from the grasp of her drug lord. But when Nick’s inability to control his new magic lands his mom in the hospital, he’s determined to make Simran take it back—if he can find her.
Pinterest Inspo Board
The Run Down
Nick ends up in a new world where he sets off on a mission to find Simran, a witch that gave him magic that he can’t control, and accidentally hurt his Mom with. He ends joining with a witch hunter, former servant turned resistance leader, twin acrobats, a disgraced magic student, and magic addict. Ultimately, as Nick uses the magic he becomes addicted to it and wrestles with giving magic back to Simran, as he originally intended, or keeping it.
Things I Love About It
- Nick, who is my MC and deeply adorable, and forever telling bad jokes, and wants to find a group of friends where he belongs
- How much Nick makes me think of insecure me when I was younger
- I adore all of my grumpy and tsundere characters. Tsundere as according to wiki (this is very scientific) is a Japanese term for a character development process that describes a person who is initially cold and even hostile towards another person before gradually showing a warmer side over time.
- My twins, who initially seem similar but get comfortable enough to express their real selves later. One is prickly and the other is more dreamy, but both have a sharp edge to them.
- The diversity. I’m really happy about all the different characters that are in there. I didn’t read a lot of fantasy books growing up, or even now, where there was more than one character of colour, ability, sexual orientation, etc.
- And of course, all my villains, I love in some ways. I think when you know your characters and what drives them, it’s easier to sympathize with them while still understanding how objectively terrible they are.
Research and Becker’s Muscular Dystrophy
Research for this has been a combination of looking at medical websites so I could be accurate about Nick’s disability, and also a lot of Youtube videos and reading blogs and articles written by people with Becker’s and other types of muscular dystrophy. I wanted to look into things that were personal rather than medical journals.
Becker’s Muscular Dystrophy is known as a milder form of MD, but it has widespread effects. Muscular dystrophy at its core is the weakening of muscles, and Becker’s most often affects the muscles in the legs and hips, but can, in some cases, also affect the upper body muscles including the heart. It’s a genetic disease, mostly affects boys, and has no cure. For some people, they walk well into adulthood (but may tire quickly, or have trouble running) and others may require a wheelchair.
I was extremely, super, super lucky to get a sensitivity reader on my manuscript this time around. I didn’t have the budget at the time to pay and she graciously read for me free of charge. I’m, of course, hoping to eventually get more sensitivity readers on it including some for the other diversity representation in the novel.
Blogs that helped me:
- My Becker’s Story – detailed life story
- My Life with Muscular Dystrophy – has a TON of posts
- Disability in Kidlit – great for book recs and discussions
- Kayla Whaley – read her articles!
- And disability activists I follow on Twitter: @Imani_Barbarin, @annieelainey, @DisVisibility, and obviously @PunkinOnWheels
Revisions aka What’s Changed Since Last Year
I’ve had a lot of changes and a few rewrites since last year and in case you checked out my previous #PimpMyBio, this is what’s changed.
- Nick’s disability is NOT tied to plot. The more I worked on my novel, the more ableist the narrative felt to me, and I’m very thankful for a mentor I subbed to last year sharing a similar sentiment. The absolute last thing I want is to hurt someone with my story, because I know how that feels, and I’ve changed things to avoid doing that.
- I made a switch from third person to first person to help with the voice
- I worked on creating a tighter plot and faster pacing
What I’m Hoping My Mentor (or Mentors) Will Help With
- Helping me strengthen the relationships between characters. I’ve gotten feedback from agents that this didn’t feel strong enough for them, so I would like to improve it
- Feedback on the voice. I’m seriously terrible at telling if the voice of the characters is coming through and would love help here
- Working through any pesky plot holes or slow areas
- Cutting down! It’s such a struggle for me to get this at 100k words, and I want to get to at least 99k and stick to that number
- And any other feedback or suggestions my mentor(s) have I’m 100% ready to listen and work on it. I’m ready and willing to do what it takes to get this MS in shape, because it’s my baby, and I want to see it succeed