Hi there, fellow writers! I’m delighted to announce the third annual PitchWars mentee blog hop, affectionately known on Twitter by the hashtag #PimpMyBio. Dannie Morin, 2015 mentor and host in our first two years, asked me to take over this year, and I couldn’t be more excited.
First and foremost, one point must be made explicit:
** This is not an official Pitchwars event and is in no way required. **
This is something fun, a way for contestants to show some personality, get to know one another, and cheer each other on. As it happens, I know some mentors take the time to read contestant bios, but you do not have to write a bio to compete in PitchWars.
Is that all clear? Good, then let’s proceed.
1. So how does this work?
It’s pretty simple. No doubt you’ve already read the mentor bios [All of them, right? I thought so.] and now you have a chance to write your own. If you want examples, you can look back at my bios from PitchWars 2013 and PitchWars 2014, or look at any of the 136 other examples from last year. Then follow these simple instructions:
1. At the bottom of this entry you’ll find a link widget. Enter your name (as you are identified in your PitchWars queries) and a link directly to your PitchWars bio (ie, not to your blog’s front page).
2. In your bio, please link back to this post (again, directly to this post! Not to my front page, which on any given day may or may not have anything to do with PitchWars!)
3. Share a link to your bio on Twitter and other social media [rumor has it there are social media sites other than Twitter] using the hashtag #PimpMyBio.
4. Please do poke around and read other contestant bios! Cheer each other on, follow other writers on their blogs and on Twitter, and just generally be a font of positive energy! This is supposed to be fun, after all.
2. Do I have to write and share a contestant bio?
I think we covered this already, didn’t we?
No, you don’t. But you may want to consider this feedback from 2015 mentor Dannie Morin:
…even though the hop is NOT official, it does help us as mentors. Reviewing my bio probably tells writers I’m sort of a weirdo and smartass and some people might not be looking for that in their mentor (though I cannot for the life of me fathom why!) Your bio, even though it is primarily just for fun, is a reflection of you. Don’t ever put anything on the internet that’s not! Once it’s online you can’t take it back, guys!
For me, a writer’s social media presence is important. Are you blowing up at people, being rude, sharing inappropriately personal details in a public forum? For me, that tells me we might not be a good match. Do you handle adversity well, have a great sense of humor, and take writing seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously? For me, that IS a good match. It might not be for another mentor, but it works for me.
On that note, I am also going to plug three pieces from author and past PitchWars mentor Rae Chang, “The Art of Killing Your Chances,” “The Science of Appearing Unrepresentable,” and “Don’t Be This Person.” You’ll find invaluable advice on how to behave, not only during PitchWars, but in general when navigating the series of complex tubes that make up the Internet.
3. What if I don’t have a blog or social media presence?
Then you’re not prepared to enter the publishing industry in 2015. Go create a Tumblr.
4. What if I’m afraid of criticism?
Okay, I totally just included that question as an excuse to drop that Lucille GIF.
5. Chris, why aren’t you participating?
I don’t have a manuscript ready. I’m still querying the manuscript that I entered in PitchWars 2014 [which one mentor told me she didn’t select because it was “as ready as it was ever going to be”], and I’m about a quarter of the way through writing a new one. That’s why I’m putting my bio-writing energy into composing this overly-long, GIF-laden blog hop intro.
6. How’s that query process going?
7. Just kidding, there is no #7. On with the blog hop!
**AND HERE’S THE LIST**
(and the widget to add yourself)
[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. Continue Reading
A few days remain to pre-order Black Chaos, the new zombie anthology from Big Pulp! Black Chaos includes 25 new zombie tales from indie and small-press authors, including my brand-new story The Graveyard Slot.
As an incentive, I’m sharing the first few pages below. If you’d like to read the whole story, pre-order Black Chaos from Big Pulp. Note that the pre-order page is an Indigogo campaign, but the book is not contingent on reaching any financial goal. You’ll get whatever you order, no matter who else signs up.
Also note that my usual policies apply: I’m happy to sign anything you want me to sign, as long as you find a way to get it in front of me, and if you buy the book and tweet a photo of it (with or without you) at me, @keeltyc, I’ll reward you with some yet-to-be-determined prize. I’ve been thinking a drawing of your choice, but no one has yet taken me up on this offer so who really knows?
So that’s it for now. Enjoy!
The Graveyard Slot
By Christopher Keelty
Richie’s TV was on the fritz, and Mom was parked in the living room watching her American Idol or The Apprentice or So You Think You Can Castrate a Dachshund or some other bullshit. He had to pull the old Magnavox from the back closet of the basement, its plastic belly bulging with tubes and capacitors. It was hidden behind three dusty boxes of old magazines that Richie relocated, swearing under his breath. When he wrapped his arms around the Magnavox, strands of sticky spider web clung to his hands like a mummy’s wrappings. They tore free with a sound like Velcro, and Richie swore he felt hairy legs scramble across the backs of his fingers. Continue Reading
Sorry to be an absentee around here the last week or two. I’ve gone back into the writing process, this time revising the novel I finished drafting in March, Tsar Bomb. The good news is I’m almost halfway through my first read-through, and it’s the cleanest first draft I think I’ve ever written.
It still needs major work, of course, but I might be sold on the particular writing process I used on this one. Maybe I’ll share that process here at some point.
In the meantime, the video above contains a couple of announcements, about the Jersey Devil Press Sampler that went out at the Asbury Park Comicon a few weeks ago, and about the Black Chaos zombie anthology from Big Pulp that drops next month. You know, the one I’m in, that you can pre-order until June 1? That one?
Being buried in revisions, I may be posting less frequently for a while, but I’ll try to keep up. The videos and cartoons take a lot of time to create, so those particularly may be less frequent. Fiction is my first priority.
It’s pretty awesome having a hand in creating something that finds a life of its own. That’s kind of the ultimate aspiration for most creative-types (well, and finding a way to earn a living from that creativity) and I feel like I’ve had more than my share this year.
I’m participating in this year’s Pitch Wars, a writing contest hosted by the fabulous and kind Brenda Drake, and last week I put together my own “Mentee Bio,” inspired by the various participating mentors. A couple other authors (specifically, Phil Stamper and Keely Hutton) did the same, and today the concept took off, with nearly 50 writers participating at last count. There’s even a Twitter hashtag: #PimpMyBio. Continue Reading