#PitchWars 2014: My Mentee Bio

CKBW[UPDATE: There’s a full list of this year’s mentee bios over at Dannie Morin’s site.] 

It’s been less than a year since my first Pitch Wars, but the contest is back and so am I, with a new novel and a new blog bio. Last year’s bio is still up if you’d like to read it–it includes both a snarky Joe Biden and my very favorite GIF of all time, Taylor Lautner’s sassy left hand. Being that this is my second year, and my second bio, I went Google-surfing in search of inspiration…

…and landed on the contestant survey for The Bachelor (Girl Questionnaire). Which, two things: (1) Yes, that’s really what they call it, and (2) it’s surprisingly boring.

As a proud member of the LGBT community, it seems only appropriate that I respond to the Girl Questionnaire, with select modifications to make it appropriate for a would-be Pitch Wars mentee.

Have you ever applied for the show before? If so, when?

I entered Pitch Wars in November 2013 with an adult sci-fi novel, Andromedan Sons. I didn’t come away with a mentor, but I got some awesome feedback from the mentors I queried, and even from one I didn’t [I won’t name anyone without permission]. I’m planning a revision of the book, but had to put that on the back burner while I wrote this year’s book:

Tsar Bomb is an adult thriller about a detective tracking a serial killer while carrying on a love affair with a ghost who may have been one of his victims. It’s complete, it’s a little over 80,000 words long, and you’ll get to know more if you’re one of my four chosen mentees–or if the concept sounds enticing and you tweet me. I’m always happy to talk about my book.

Have you ever had a temporary restraining order issued against someone or had one issued against you?

No, I’m a very sane and reasonable person with whom any mentee (and/or agent) would be happy to work. But isn’t it great this question is on the Bachelor questionnaire?

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Do you drink alcoholic beverages? 

Does a novelist shit in the woods? Is the bear Catholic?

I’m a whiskey man, though recently I’m discovering the glory of gin, and I’m a huge fan of craft beer. I’m always happy to share recommendations, both for beers and for places in NYC to obtain said beers. I’m also an ace quizzo partner, thanks to my love of trivia. Nobody took me up on that last year, so I’m hoping this year will be magic in more ways than one.

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Please describe your ideal mate in terms of physical attraction and in terms of personality attraction.

I’m going to use “mate” to mean “Pitch Wars mentee.” Physically, I’m picturing someone human. In my experience, animals don’t know the first thing about writing. I mean come on. “SOME PIG?” It’s derivative. Beyond that, I don’t have a lot of physical criteria.

In terms of personality, I’m looking for someone fun and open-minded, who loves my book and wants to be brutally honest about how I can make it better, who won’t hold back on critique for fear of hurting my feelings. Someone who appreciates both the art and the craft of writing. Someone who shares my interest in social justice and LGBT issues would be great, but I don’t think it’s vital, especially with this particular manuscript.

What are your hobbies and interests? 

I’m really into politics and current events, as you’ll see if you poke around this blog. I’m pretty lefty myself, but I believe in fostering an open and respectful dialogue between people of different perspectives. I enjoy cooking–my specialty is New Orleans-style Creole, but I’m told I’m pretty good with German food too. I’ve played ice hockey for about 15 years (I’m a goalie) and this year I took up softball–my girlfriend and I joined an LGBT league here in New York City. We went winless, but we had a great time. Oh, and I started running a couple of years ago, and have logged almost 3,500 miles so far. Mostly I do it to keep in shape, but races can be pretty fun.

 

Do you have any pets?

Over the years I’ve had a dog, several cats, a couple of snakes, a bird, and a crayfish. Right now my girlfriend and I have two cats. Both are adorable, though their personalities couldn’t be more different. We had a third, but she moved in with my parents because she’s elderly and appreciated a slower, quieter life outside the big city.

Do you have any special talents? Tell us!

Okay, okay! Jeez, The Bachelor, simmer down!

Aside from my wealth of useless trivia (especially relating to animals) I can still do a full split–the benefit of being a hockey goalie for years. I’m a pretty okay artist (you may have seen one of my cartoons floating around the web) and can butcher several well-known songs on the acoustic guitar. Oh, and I do a mean smoky eye–owing mostly to my club-kid days back in Pittsburgh.

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List 3 adjectives that would surprise people about you: 

I think a lot of people get the wrong impression about me, because I’ve learned over the years to act like a confident, extroverted person. Three adjectives I think would surprise people would be: Intoverted, sensitive, and anxious.

Do you have any tattoos? If yes, what are they? And where are they located on your body?

I have one, on my back between my shoulder blades. It’s two Tengwar characters from Tolkein’s Elvish alphabet (an ore and an umbar), and essentially means “heart (or will) over fate.” This is probably not the kind of sexy-sexy answer The Bachelor folks are seeking, but as an aspiring author I think it gives me just the right amount of nerd-cred.

I’ve sworn not to get another tattoo until I get a novel published, and then I’m considering getting one for each book. I haven’t decided what the actual tattoo would be, though. I imagine that’s the kind of thing a Pitch Wars mentor would have rights to suggest.

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What accomplishment are you most proud of?

(Seriously, The Bachelor, ending a sentence in a preposition? Do you even want this query read?)

Yep, an actual insightful question, from The Bachelor “Girl Questionnaire.” And it’s a good one, too. I have a few things I’m pretty proud of, from finishing a marathon in under four hours to convincing my amazing girlfriend to move in together to that Breaking Bad cartoon that went viral and got me on the Huffington Post (not to mention convincing Michael Moore to follow me on Twitter).

But Tsar Bomb, the book I’m submitting for Pitch Wars, is probably the thing I take the most pride in, because it’s the first novel I’ve finished in under a year. It’s a concept I’ve been toying with for years, sure, but I started the manuscript in August of 2013, and had it with my beta readers (who have universally really enjoyed it) in June. I used to regard the need to turn out novels quickly as a major obstacle to making a career as an author, and this book showed me I can do it.

Now I just need a partner who can help me be at my best, so I can find an audience and hopefully become a Pitch Wars mentor myself. If you’re one of my would-be mentors, I hope it will be you!

 

16 COMMENTS

  1. Hilarious! And I love that restraining orders and alcohol intake come before interests and talents on The Girl Questionnaire. Best of luck in PitchWars!

  2. This is truly hilarious!! Not only are your responses to the questions too funny, the questions themselves are surprising. These are the top things producers need to know?? Hope Tsar Bomb does great and you find the mentor you are looking for. Unless it’s the same mentor I want. Just kidding!! Best of luck 🙂

  3. Yep. You’re definitely prettier than me. That 7 hours is doing wonders. I was just saying to my husband today that Pitchwars feels like being a contestant on the Bachelor. Stalking, drinking — those questions are extremely apt and you responded with the poise of a seasoned rose ceremony survivor.

    • Hahaha… That’s hilarious. Hopefully Brenda and the mentors aren’t as manipulative as the Bachelor folks. Thanks for the comment (and the compliment), and good luck with your book!

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