For my regular blog subscribers, this post is for the Pitch Wars community. But you might decide it’s worth the read anyway…. 😉
Hi Pitch Wars people, I’m Melissa and I would need about 20 lifetimes to experience everything that I want to! My bucket list could stretch from New York to California. Luckily my husband, kids and extended family just roll with it. My family is pretty cool and we were lucky enough to spend three years living in Europe where we traveled during basically every spare minute we had.
I’ve had a hard time deciding on a career because I want to do so many different things, but I’ve narrowed it down to 3. My undergrad degree is in Nursing and I’ve been a pediatric nurse for about 25 years, but I also love to teach so I went ahead and got a Masters in Education and taught fourth grade for a few years. Finally, I write books– which is incredibly fun and has brought some fabulous people into my life. However, when it comes to how to find an agent and enter into the traditional publishing world, I feel about like this:
My mom didn’t name me Grace for an excellent reason. I’m a complete klutz, and growing up in the south, I heard, “Bless your heart!” quite a bit. I’m pretty sure I have nine lives though because I’ve almost died about that many times–for real. I sledded under a barbed-wire fence, jumped from a thirty foot cliff into a small pool of water and missed all the rocks, was drug by the ankle under a horse running to the barn, spared by seconds from an inferno caused by a Sterno can flung into my Girl Scout tent at camp….I think you get the idea! It was probably Karma for teaching my kid brother how to fake unconsciousness to scare our teenage babysitters. My mom never could figure out why no one wanted to come back.
The book I’m entering into Pitch Wars is my first MG book. I wrote it during NaNoWriMo this past November and have been revising/editing and getting feedback from CPs on it ever since. The title of the novel is SPARE PARTS, which comes from a cruel nickname that my MC is labeled with by a bully. Here’s a little snippet.
During her older sister’s Quinceañera, eleven year old Esperanza (Espy) overhears a conversation that makes her wonder if her parents are keeping secrets from her. When her sister is diagnosed with an aggressive leukemia, Espy finally learns the truth: this is not the first time her sister Valerie has been sick. In fact, she had been conceived to save her sister’s life. Espy is filled with doubts, but knows she must be courageous and resourceful to help her family survive their latest crisis. She faces down judgmental critics of her parents’ decision, school and Internet bullies, her fears of medical procedures involving huge needles and plunges herself into doing whatever it takes to save Valerie’s life a second time. If she fails, she might lose her sister forever.
My years of Pediatric ICU nursing combined with my years of teaching elementary school give me a unique background to write Espy’s story. If a mentor picks me, he or she should know that I have thick skin (think crocodile thick!) and am not afraid of criticism. In every job I seek out mentors, and writing is no different. I welcome the expertise! I’m a member of SCBWI and recently attended a writer’s intensive on writing middle grade literature. I entered a YA Contemporary manuscript last year during Pitch Wars and did get one request for a full. It was a great experience and I’m excited to get back into it this year with a shiny new manuscript.
There’s no point in telling you what I like to read, because I read basically everything. 🙂 If anyone took the time to read this entire post..THANK YOU!! 🙂 I’ll include you in my will. You might want to read some other cool bios too! Click HERE to do that.
Follow me on Twitter: @MelissaJMiles