Friday, August 8, 2014

Pitch Wars Mentee Bio!

Welcome, one and all, to my Pitch Wars Mentee Bio! If you don't know what Pitch Wars is, head here for all the deets. And go here for the bios of all the other awesome mentee hopefuls!

And now on to the aforementioned bio:

Hi, I'm Joanna, and I'm overly fond of semi-colons and em-dashes, as well as a staunch defender of the Oxford comma (Oxford commas save lives you guys).

I've been writing since I was about seven years old. For proof, here's my first ever story, complete with amazing illustrations like this one:

You can clearly see why I decided not to pursue a career in art.

At 13, I was published in the children's magazine Stone Soup. I submitted tons of stuff before getting this story accepted—I didn't give up until they said yes!

That's me in the top photo. My bangs are pretty sweet, I know.

Since 2005, I've written six full novels and parts of three others, and revised (and revised and reVISED) several of them. I think I'm getting pretty good at this whole revising thing. Death to unnecessary words! Long live proper pacing and character development!

My six completed drafts plus one unfinished one.

My Pitch Wars novel was first drafted during NaNoWriMo 2006, and was inspired by the myths in Megan Whalen Turner's Queen's Thief series, the British India time period in M. M. Kaye's The Far Pavilions and Shadow of the Moon, Tolkien's Silmarilion, the mood of Keane's album Under the Iron Sea, and a single frame from the first Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movie.

Incidentally, the name of my blog also comes from this album!

Interesting novel fact: I invented nearly all of the names for this book, and realized I'd accidentally given brothers (same father, different mothers) two different last names. Instead of making them the same, I decided that in my society children take their mother's surname, not their father's. (Okay I thought it was interesting.)

I'm a musician, specifically a pianist, and the cadence and flow of words and sentences and paragraphs are extremely important to me. I love the lyrical, flowing writing styles of Ursula K. LeGuin, Robin McKinley, Tanith Lee, and Erin Bow.

My favorite book of all time is probably The Return of the King. But I'm also madly in love with the aforementioned Queen's Thief series (seriously, I need the next book NOW), George Eliot's Middlemarch, Diana Wynne Jones' Fire and Hemlock, Susannah Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel, pretty much anything Jane Austen ever wrote (but especially Emma and Persuasion), and Sherwood Smith's Crown Duel.

Possibly my favorite wedding pic.
Bert likes revising, too.
I daylight as a piano teacher, and have been happily married to the love of my life for almost two years now (seriously my hubs is the best!!!). We live in Gilbert, AZ, where we share an apartment with our stripey feline Bertie and an enormous grand piano. I'm obsessed with looseleaf tea, ice cream, the color green, and Doctor Who.


Leandra Wallace said...

That is an awesome wedding pic, I can see why you like it so much! It was fun learning more about you, and I wish you all the best in Pitch Wars!

Joanna Ruth Meyer said...

Thank you so much, Leandra! Glad you like the pic! It was just after the "kiss the bride" moment, and if ever pure joy was caught on film… :-)

Virginia said...

Hey, I'm thinking about trying out pitch wars this year (I have a ms all pretty and ready to submit) but I'm not clear on the details of what we're supposed to do. I get that we submit a form on the 18th that includes a pitch and a sample chapter, but what's the deal with Mentee bios? Do we have to have one? What are the requirements for them? I don't see anything about mentee bios under the submissions guidelines. Am I missing something?

Joanna Ruth Meyer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joanna Ruth Meyer said...

Hey Virginia!

Thanks for stopping by! The mentee bios are totally an optional thing that a lot of people are just doing for fun. There's also no personalization in the queries this year, so it gives mentors a chance to check us out if they want to know more about us when they're deciding who to pick!

Virginia said...

Gotcha! Thanks for the info. Best of luck with your pitch!

Jeanmarie Anaya said...

That is honestly the best wedding pic I've ever seen! Such joy and you can see how much you two adore each other.

Best of luck in Pitch Wars!!!

Kip Wilson said...

So nice to meet you! I love all your binders full of manuscripts!! Ahhhh! Best of luck in PitchWars!

Chris said...

I totally think I'm going to start putting my finished MSs into binders on a bookshelf. It just makes it look like an accomplishment!

BTW, I do think your fact about naming conventions is interesting. It's always fun when good ideas crop up as solutions to unexpected problems.

Congrats, and best of luck with Pitch Wars!

Lise Fracalossi said...

Wow, we sound like we have a lot in common! I too listed Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell as one of my favorite books, too (although now it's been a few years, I should go back and re-read it). And you're currently reading Ruin & Rising, too :)

I can understand what you mean about music inspiring a book.... not this one, but one of my novels will always remind me of Rasputina's Oh Perilous World, which I listened to on a constant loop while NaNo-ing it.

Good to meet you, and best of luck!

Joanna Ruth Meyer said...

Oh thanks so much Jeanmarie!! We definitely do. And good luck to you as well!

Joanna Ruth Meyer said...

Nice to meet you, too! And yeah I love my binders. :) Good luck to you as well!!

Joanna Ruth Meyer said...

You should! Binders are the best. And glad you found the name thing interesting! Best of luck to you, too!!

Joanna Ruth Meyer said...

Nice! I love meeting other people who have good taste in books. :) And yeah, music can be so inspiring! Good luck to you, too!

Jamie Krakover said...

I admire your use of semicolons... they scare me!

Best of luck in Pitch Wars!

Joanna Ruth Meyer said...

Thanks for stopping by, Jamie! Good luck to you as well! :-)

Elliah A. Terry said...

I'm not so fond of semi-colons, but oh, how I adore the em dash.

Emily McKeon said...

Yay musicians! (Clarinetist here.)

Beautiful wedding picture. Best of luck in Pitch Wars!!

Joanna Ruth Meyer said...

Aw, no semi-colon love, Elliah? At least we can bond over em-dash adoration. :-) Thanks for stopping by!

Best of luck to you, too, Emily! Hoorah for musicians! Thanks for the comment! :-)

Alessa Hinlo said...

I love, love Tanith Lee. She has such gorgeous, almost drunk prose. I read Erin Bow's SORROW'S KNOT and I really liked it. I agree about her prose as well.

Good luck & happy writing!

Joanna Ruth Meyer said...

Thanks for stopping by, Alessa! Hooray for another gorgeous prose lover! Erin Bow's "Plain Kate" is fantastic as well.