Some Facts About Me:
I share many traits with other writers: I’m an introvert. I’m an avid reader. I’ve been writing stories since I was five. But here are a few other facts about me:
1. I was a mental health therapist for twelve years. That’s probably one of the reasons I like to write character driven novels about people who are going through serious, life changing issues.
2. I was also a horse trainer long before I was a therapist. The horse world is like a crazy, wonderful, drama-filled alternate universe.
4. I’m happiest when I’m in nature, whether it’s in the Iowa countryside or the mountains in Colorado.
5. I’m also an animal lover, a singer/songwriter wannabe, a mom to two teens, a foster mom to homeless animals, and a servant to two dogs, three cats, two gerbils, and one awesome hamster.
My Pitch Wars project is a women's fiction manuscript titled THE BROKEN ROAD. This novel has been a labor of love. I started it almost three years ago and nothing went as planned. Two of my side characters hijacked the manuscript and became the main characters halfway through novel. They gave me a much richer story than the one I’d originally planned to write. But I was left with a big problem—how to rewrite the first half of the book so these two characters would be the main characters from the beginning of the novel. It took almost two years, but thanks to some great beta readers and fantastic critique partners, I rewrote the first half and fine-tuned the second half.
THE BROKEN ROAD is about Dana Cooper, who is one of the best horse trainers in the country until an accident leaves her paralyzed. Now she spends her days in physical rehabilitation, angry at the world. What’s the point of rehab when she’ll never walk again, never train another horse? The only thing she wants is to save her horse, who was also injured in the accident. When Dana meets Matt Ross, a veterinarian for a local horse rescue, she has no idea that that Matt’s brash exterior hides his own pain, his own broken life.
Dana tries to convince herself that she hates Matt and his ego. But he’s the first person who gets her back on a horse, showing her she can still ride, and she’s impressed by the bond he develops with her horse. When Dana’s family abandons her after she’s released from inpatient physical rehab, she feels like her life is over. So when Matt asks her to go to Wyoming because his granddad is gravely ill, she takes a chance and says yes. As they come together in the vast and wild ranch lands of Wyoming, they’ll both have to make a choice between hanging on to the past or forging a new present together.
THE BROKEN ROAD is an epic novel that can best be described as Me Before You meets The Horse Whisperer.
If I'm Picked as a Mentee:
I'm not afraid of feedback and I'm not afraid of rewrites.
After that conference and critique group, I attended as many conferences and workshops as I could. Because there wasn’t an intensive critique group or workshop in my area, I started The Des Moines Writer’s Workshop in the fall of 2013. The workshop continues to grow and I’ve found some amazing critique partners who push me to keep growing and getting stronger as a writer. One of my critique partners was chosen as a mentee in Pitch Wars last year and signed with an agent.
I’d be thrilled to get to work with one of the mentors, to learn from her or him, and do the hard work to make my manuscript the best it can be.
Click here to check out the bios of other people who are entering Pitch Wars this year.