Blog, Writing

#PitchWars Mentee Bio 2017

Hello! You’re the “jammiest bits of jam” for the taking the time to read my bio. This is my second year competing in #PitchWars (hosted by the lovely Brenda Drake & Co) and I couldn’t be more excited. I met some AMAZING people last year and hope to again this year. For PitchWars, I am submitting an Adult Victorian mystery set in London in 1884, entitled RED SKY AT MORNING. An excerpt from my novel can be found at the bottom of this post! Feel free to follow me @BeatrixConti on Twitter. Check out the rest of the Blog Hop, hosted by Lana Pattinson, here. Best of luck to everyone involved this year!!

As a thank you for visiting, here’s a gif of Harry Styles:

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My Manuscript: RED SKY AT MORNING

As the London Season of 1884 opens, Lady Margaret Savoy wants nothing more than to hide behind the wallflowers and devour “Penny Dreadfuls” to avoid the cruelty of her aunt and cousin. Then, at her first ball, she meets Lord Alexander Rocque and is dragged into a search for the Poisoner, a powerful crime boss who killed her parents. Margaret must uncover his motive and her very identity, as even her own family twists the truth about her Jewish heritage and inheritance for their own gain.

Lord Alexander Rocque had no intention of ever returning to London until ordered home from the Royal Navy to assist his father, a spymaster for the Crown, with the Poisoner case. Using Margaret as a pawn to draw out the crime boss has him examining his moral compass. But if he doesn’t solve the case, he’ll face his father’s disappointment again. A disappointment he won’t admit burdens him.

Searching through the London streets and High Society for clues, together they uncover an international enterprise over which the Crown and criminals fight for dominance. Yet, Alexander becomes reluctant as his father’s dark tactics and his own stake in Margaret’s inheritance surface. Barely staying ahead in the Poisoner’s game, they learn that they must find the key to the dying Opium trade. A key both the Crown and the Poisoner fight to control by any means necessary. A key Margaret doesn’t even know she possesses. If they don’t find it, Margaret will become the Poisoner’s next victim.

About Me:

Currently, I am a Junior at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. I am studying for a double-major in History and English/Creative Writing. The Spanish language is another one of my passions, and I taught ESL to adult learners this past year.

I have been a research assistant to Dr. Kevin Quarmby (bio here) for the past two years, going on three years. Together, we have been working on the play The Cruel Brother by William Davenant. Throughout 2015-2016, I transcribed/edited the eighty-page play, printed in 1630, into contemporary modern English. I will be credited for my work as a Textual Editor at the Digital Renaissance Editions. In addition, I am the Assitant Editorial Coordinator for the academic journal “Scene,” for the Internet Shakespeare Editions. *NERD ALERT*

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“J” did not exist in German printing presses in 17th century so they used “I,” how uniust 😉

 

 

 

 

In essence, I am a “radical bluestocking.”

Though I currently live in the deep South part-time, I am originally from Boulder, Colorado. Both lovingly and condescendingly referred to as the Republic of Boulder, it is the land on Quinoa and the beautiful Rockies. I spend much of my time writing, reading, and embroidering (I am basically a grandma at twenty, no shame).

If you want to check out some of the books I used while writing my novel, click here.

Or if you want to check out what books I like to read —>  GoodReads or look at the sidebar for what I’ve recently read!

My writing style:

I normally can just sit down and force myself to write—as long as I have a cup of tea. In 2011, I began writing my first novel RED SKY AT MORNING. Since then, I have covered seven drafts (with eight beta readers from ages 17-80 + 2 CPs) as well as a professional edit by a Londoner who wasn’t offended by my depiction of British culture *sips PG tips*. Thus, even if it kills me and ruins my sleep schedule, I will be able to work with a mentor to finish all suggested edits.

As for constructive criticism, I am never overly attached to any one piece of writing, and I will not “hem and haw” over suggestions. Please give me a moment to sit on suggestions and, more often than not, I will see the *light*. As a “sweet summer child” to the writing world, I know I have so much to learn and would LOVE to have a mentor through this stressful process.

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Sidenote: Recently, I have been working on a revise and resubmit from a literary agent at the Knight Agency and changed my novel from present tense to past tense.

I’m looking for a mentor who has a passion for history and darker mysteries (did that rhyme?). Also, someone who might be interested in learning about the Opium trade, Jews in Victorian London,  and has a pinning for Cinderella stories (well, kinda). I want my novel’s plot to be tight and my characters to be relatable—even if they are from the stodgy Victorian Era. In all, I want to make my novel the best it can be as well as improve my own writing (duh).

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*Please

Pet Peeves:

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Enough said…

  • Mary Sues (EW)
  • Abusive Romances
  • Contemporary Characters in Historical Fiction
  • Vain characters who are not supposed to be vain
  • Hotness without substance
  • The Chosen One
  • HEA two seconds after meeting
  • Too many adverbs
  • The idea that heroines have to be like Katniss to represent feminist values

Favorites:

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  • Historical Accuracy
  • Love from adversity
  • Sarcasm/Humor
  • Strong women who can still be feminine
  • The Victorian Era
  • MURDER (I watch too much “Criminal Minds”)
  • Handsome chaps that respect women
  • International Politics
  • Diversity in historical fiction
  • Jewish stories that don’t ALL revolve around the Holocaust, immigration to NYC in the ’20s, and marginalization (Sidenote: I have a Sicilian last name, but I have Jewish heritage on both sides of my family (Poland/Bavaria/Hungary/Netherlands))

 

An excerpt from one of my favorite scenes in my novel – RED SKY AT MORNING:

 

“Sir,” I looked around the room for something to say as nerves assaulted me, “what is your opinion on Persian rugs?”

“Persian rugs?” A half-smile tugged at the corner of his lips.

Only the fact that my hand was securely fastened to his arm, stopped me from hitting my own forehead with the palm of my hand.

After wrangling my tongue, I managed a mumbled, “Yes.”

“I don’t believe I have an opinion, though I am quite impartial to the hunting carpet,” he cocked his head in my direction.

“Oh,” I gritted my teeth together.

I had begun to regret my ballroom escape.

***

Thank you so much for taking the time to read!

6 thoughts on “#PitchWars Mentee Bio 2017

  1. Another Atlanta writer! And another Shakespeare nerd!

    Very cool that you’re working on a William Davenant play. I’m not familiar with The Cruel Brother, but I vaguely remember The Platonick Lovers from theatre history in college.

    Good luck with Red Sky At Morning! Sounds like you’ve got an interesting tale on your hands.

    1. Nerds unite! I’d describe The Cruel Brother as Titus Andronicus’s second, better iteration. It takes a super fascinating look at honor killings for its time and actually speaks out against them. Thank you so much! What genre do you write in?

      1. Ooh, nice. I’d be interested in reading that once you get it finished.

        My Pitch Wars entry is YA Fantasy. I’ve got a few other WIPs, all in different genres (YA Horror, YA Contemporary, & Adult Urban Fantasy.) I like to bounce around a lot.

        1. You can read the unedited/Old-spelling transcription of it now, if you’re up for the challenge, haha – http://digitalrenaissance.uvic.ca/doc/CB_Q1/scene/1.1/ It’s easier, at least, than reading from the original document, which is smudged out in spots so you can’t even see the words.

          Wow, I wish I could bounce around. I can as a reader, but not as a writer. Best of luck with your entry this year!

          P.S.: One of my favorite lines from the play –

          Lothario
          [To Borachio] The excrements and mere defects of nature
          Shall be reduced to ornaments in me:
          I’ll feed upon the tongues of nightingales,
          For so each fart I let will be a song —

          (17th-century humor at its finest).

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