Welcome 2017…ish

So, the New Year has come and gone and I’m a tad behind on blogging on the reg, but I did want to pop in and give an update on what things I’m currently working on. I’m actively querying my novel, GHOSTBESTIES; so, if any interested agents are reading this – hi there and know that yes, I will accept your special rose for me. Beyond that, I’m currently delving into my next middle grade novel, this one much closer to my heart and vastly different from my earlier work. As mentioned before here on the site, my ethnic heritage is that of Romani (Gypsy – only using this here as an unfortunately better known descriptor) and a contemporary story revolving around an American Romani girl has been pulling at my heart ever since I began to write. Like probably since elementary school. With a few more years of living behind me now, I feel that I am a little better equipped to tell the story. It is hard to do, however, because the Romani are a diasporic people and my American Romanichal (English Romani) story may not and most certainly will not match up to my other Roma cousins’ experiences throughout the world. Here in America, I can easily fall into the category of Caucasian, possibly super Southern Caucasian because for the life of me this accent is impossible to shake; however, no one would look me over and think, “Hmm…I wonder if she can trace her roots back to India?”. Also, aside from “Gypsy laws” that are still on the books here in America which outline crimes ranging from fortune telling to any type of “ripping people off scenarios”, for the most part, I’m not a member of a group consistently discriminated against based on my ethnic identity. Again, that’s not 100% true all of the time. However, for my European counterparts, they make up the largest minority in Europe and although you would think that would make them very visible, sadly it does not. I mean, they are SEEN, only as LESS THAN.  Their plight, their struggles, their fight for basic human rights is more times than not cast aside and dismissed. So, these issues currently weigh heavily on my mind and bring me to my current writing. I look forward to this year. I’m enjoying the journey. Life is wonderful and terrible sometimes all at the same time and God help me, I find that truly delicious.

#PIMPMYBIO #PITCHWARS 2016 MG MENTEE HOPEFUL

Oh my God

Shello and hi there! I’m April. Feel free to follow me @aprilmwall. It’s that time of year again for PitchWars, the brainchild of the incomparable Brenda Drake. For those not in the know, PitchWars is an amazing contest where many, many, many writers compete to get a spot with a writing mentor who will spit shin their manuscript through hard labor and hours of blood, sweat, and tears before unleashing it onto fabulous agents. And this year, I’m trying to pimp myself and get in the game! Well, not pimp myself. That doesn’t sound right. But you know, what? If I had to go that route I would pimp myself because I’m an independent woman and I don’t need a pimp to do my dirty work. Ok, that derailed.

My God what just happened

Get to the good stuff, you say? I hear you loud and clear. I’m obviously a very mature woman who is married with two children who look to me to provide nourishment and wisdom and most days they’re getting at least one of those. I can’t say I’ve been a writer all my life because I let my left brain assure me that I was an accountant or physician trapped in a funny lady’s body. However, when I found myself with a lot of free time on my hands while my husband attended law school, I took up writing to transport myself and my kids to magical worlds and it stuck. A few years ago, I took a step back from writing and Twitter and all my writer peeps because, as with writing, life gets hard. But this year I have returned triumphantly to the world of Twitter and most importantly my writing and I have for you, GHOSTBESTIES!

MY PITCHWARS ENTRY

Eleven-year-old Winnie Birchwood lives for the dead. And if she had her way, everyone else in the world would, too.

When Winnie’s BFF runs off in the middle of a ghost hunt, again, Winnie realizes she needs more reliable help in proving ghosts exist. After a chance run-in with her school’s perkiest cheerleader, Winnie is struck with the idea of starting a ghost hunting club. Her principal agrees, but only for a trial period, giving her a 30-day deadline to get real proof of the beyond or else go back to paranormal obscurity. Spurred on by her guru, Dr. Dugalblerb, Winnie has no doubts she’ll have evidence in no time. After enduring grueling try-outs, only three other girls join Winnie and her bestie, Lillie, in their quest to capture proof of the afterlife.

First up to be investigated is the school’s super haunted basement, at least that’s what all the eighth graders say. When spooky footsteps and cold spots turn out to be nothing more than their gym teacher looking for extra footballs, Winnie is not deterred. They move on to their second location at the local cemetery. But even in a place full of dead people, Winnie and the gang come up empty-handed. Desperate times call for desperate measures and Winnie decides to go rogue, investigating the notorious Monroe Manor with no real plan or teacher adviser.

The girls find themselves in disarray, both equipment and friendships melting down. With the clock ticking, can Winnie convince the girls to try one last time or will it all end up a total ghost bust?

GHOSTBESTIES is what happens when the Ghostbusters meet the Goonies, complete at 43K.

WHY PICK ME?

As someone a little more “seasoned”, I know that this industry calls for hard work and patience. I admire so many of the mentors participating in this contest and I know that their excellence can only serve to help me tighten up not only this manuscript but my writing in general. I’m in it to win it and will work tirelessly to make my mentor proud and hone my craft. This is an excellent opportunity and I definitely wouldn’t waste it. I’m ready to be pushed and take my writing to the next level. Having someone take the time to work with me on my manuscript would be a real gift and not something I would take lightly. Plus, I love all the mentors and think they’re very smart, handsome/beautiful, and wonderful human beings.

suck up kiss

RANDOM FACTOIDS

1. I’m Romani, or more accurately Romanichal, which most people know as Gypsy. I’m proud of my heritage and hope to bring more accurate information about my people to the world to dispel all the stereotypes out there.

2. I’m a huuuuge Elvis fan. Like no one comes close. In my heart, he’s the greatest singer of all time. I mean, the man was a living legend. Ok, time to fan myself.

3. I love the show Supernatural. I will be crushed when it goes off the air. I’m sure I’m one of millions who feel this way.

4. I’ve done ghost investigations all over the country including New Orleans and Colorado where I’ve spent many quality hours inside the Stanley Hotel (a.k.a. the hotel that inspired Stephen King’s The Shining).

5. I’m also a diehard Mumford & Sons fan. I’ve seen them in concert several times and it’s magical every single time. If you squint really hard, you can find me in the crowd of their I Will Wait video filmed at Red Rocks.

Please visit all the other mentee hopefuls on Lana Pattinson’s blog!  Good luck everyone!

Re-emergence!

I’m a writer. I’ve been a writer for the past seven years. Up until that time, I’d considered myself too much of an analytical person to be a “creative-type”. I have a degree in Psychology. I toyed with the idea of going to medical school.

doctor

But then when my husband was in law school and I had a lot of free time on my hands, I tried something new. I began writing a MG fantasy in which I imagined my own children getting to live a life of make-believe. That idea started my journey into believing and knowing that I too was one of the “creative types”.

hello kitty writing

Over the next few years, I took that story and revised and revised and revised it. I actually got an agent and went on submission with that story. Alas, my timing was not great and besides my book sorrows, I encountered some real life setbacks as well. So, in 2013 I stepped back from the entire writing world, Twitter, my blog, and most importantly, my writing altogether. I needed a life time-out.

writing is hard

Since that time, I can say that I’ve grown so much personally and I’m coming back with a thicker skin and a greater understanding of what I want to accomplish as a writer. In April of this year, I went to visit my favorite aunt and she basically looked at me and proclaimed my destiny was to be a published author and when my aunt speaks, I listen.

believe

I’ve now finished my newest manuscript and can’t wait to get started on edits. I’m not sure where this road may lead, but I know it’s different for everyone and now I’m just enjoying the journey.