#PimpMyBio for #PitchWars

Hey there!

It’s that time of year when #PitchWars kicks off and my social media will be given over to meeting people, picking up writing tips, and sharing some of the things that have helped me along the way. PitchWars is a writing contest held by the ever wonderful Brenda Drake and made possible by fantastic writers who give their time and knowledge to selected writers with unpublished manuscripts. This post is for the #PimpMyBio tag that’s used to share a bit about myself and my project.

Please check out all the AWESOME #PimpMyBio posts HERE.


This will be my third year attempting PitchWars. The first two years I submitted a YA paranormal that will linger in the far reaches of my laptop for the rest of forever. It was my first completed manuscript and taught me a lot of lessons. I took what I learned from it and poured it into the project I’ll be submitting this year.

ALL OF US STARS is a YA sci-fi that combines technology of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA with the dodgy cast of SIX OF CROWS and swirls in a bit of humor from FIREFLY.

It tells the story of seventeen-year-old Solitude Pierce, space pirate of theΒ Vasilisa who is haunted by Earth Prime music, and her mission to find her sister and seek revenge for the kidnapping that ripped them from their family. When a devious senator explodes a local club and blackmails the remnants of the Vasilisa’s crew to steal a weapon that will prevent war, Sol agrees against better judgement. Especially when the senator offers the one thing to convince her: her sister.

Together, the three remaining crew members pull together a scheme to complete a near impossible heist. Their success depends on the help of old-flames and unlikely allies. But their plans wake a dormant rebellion that unveils secrets from the crew’s pasts and they are swept into a mission bigger than any of them intended. In order to get out of this alive and free, they must all determine where they stand in the Maw even if it takes destroying what it means to be human.

It’s told from four diverse POVs and offers four different views of family, honor, and duty.

I’m absolute garbage at aesthetic collages, but I attempted one just for you all!


I always think of Tina Fey from MEAN GIRLS when it comes to how I handle writing, teaching,Β  and anything else that requires effort.

I think my students and CPs would agree that’s how I operate. I want people to achieve their best and I can be the biggest cheerleader. This means that if I’m pushing other people, I am pushing myself twice as hard. I won’t stop when it comes to polishing my work and getting it to shine. Even when I’m exhausted and knee deep in student papers, I carve out time for writing.

And I don’t take criticism personally. Being a teacher and having been in arts programs (dance, theatre, and colorguard), I know criticism isn’t meant to bring you down; it’s to lift you up. I process everything I’m told (maybe in spreadsheets) and then make a plan of attack (still in spreadsheets).


  1. I’m married to a wonderful man who was my middle and high school crush. Sometimes I wake up and wonder what I did to deserve a partner who plays video games, enjoys nerd culture, tolerates my love of true crime, and goes on adventures with me.
  2. TV used to not be my thing, but somewhere along the way I started to like LOVE it. I obsess hard when I find a show I like. Examples? DOCTOR WHO, HANNIBAL, BROADCHURCH, GRAVITY FALLS, THE BLACKLIST, GAME OF THRONES, AMERICAN GODS, THE EXPANSE, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, FIREFLY, and… I’m going to stop now.
  3. I hike. I haven’t done it as much as I would’ve liked this summer, but I get out as often as I can. Thankfully I live in Western North Carolina, so I can take ten steps out my door and be surrounded by mountains, trees, and rivers.

    Pinnacle Park in Sylva, NC
  4. I act in my local community theatre. I’m almost always cast as old women. I think I’m Sophie from HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE in reverse. (P.S. I have pictures of these characters if you want… Oh boy.)
  5. I’m obsessed with anything true crime related. I don’t know why I waited so long, but I started the podcast MY FAVORITE MURDER recently, and I feel like I’ve found home. Their personalities are so similar to mine (excessive cursing included) and they aren’t afraid to share their interest in the macabre and sometimes depressing. I’m here for it all. Give me your weird crimes, gruesome murders, or hometown folklore.
  6. In the last two/three years I’ve lost fifty pounds. Aside from fluctuating five pounds up or down, I’ve kept it off, too.Β  I feel better now that I respect my body by eating healthy and exercising (though I still don’t do that as often as I should).
  7. When my husband and I first started dating, I’d never played a video game. Fast forward a couple of years and I play ALL the video games. We played DOTA 2 for years. Lately we’ve dropped that so I can write and he can crush out some online college courses. We still play and my current video game crushes are PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS, OVERWATCH, DISHONORED series, and the ASSASSIN’S CREED series.
  8. I have a pretty severe case of plaque psoriasis ( an autoimmune disorder that causes itchy, flaky patches of skin). It started in college and worsened for a few years until I went to a dermatologist to get help. I’m a bit stubborn when it comes to seeking medical attention for anything, and I want to kick myself for how long I waited. Basically? Don’t be afraid to reach out for help! You’ll feel so much better.
  9. I have two adorable cats named after video game characters. Caius from MORROWIND and Mirana from DOTA 2. Caius acts more like a dog and Mirana sleeps in chairs if she’s not hiding in a room.
  10. I think my one true purpose in life is to find and eat the world’s best macaroni and cheese. Everywhere we go, I order the mac and cheese and judge it hard core. If you’ve got a stellar local place that sells bomb mac and cheese, you let me know and I’ll visit with my notepad and ascot made of paper napkins.

Thanks for stopping by and reading this far! Feel free to say hello in the comments, on Twitter, Instagram, snail mail… Wait… Just the first three, please!*

*I love snail mail. Do people still do it anymore? I feel like I’m alone.



  • Adelle Yeung

    Hi Anna! Since this is your third year, do you have any advice you’d like to share with noobs like me? πŸ˜€

    Also, I think you did a cool job with your aesthetics. I did mine for the first time for PimpMyBio too ahaha.

    High five fellow gamer/writer! And great job on keeping the weight off, too. Best of luck in Pitch Wars!

    • admin

      Hey Adelle!

      The best advice I can really give is make friend/connections, find CPs, and take up as much as you can from the mentors. The PitchWars tag can get a little overwhelming at times, but it’s a goldmine of free advice. Mentors really are selfless in all the tips/tricks/info they provide.

      I would tell past me to really take a look at the advice/info about polishing your MS before you submit it. The things like cutting adverbs, showing vs. telling, condensing characters, and reviewing the pacing of scenes/chapters is beyond helpful. The mentors aren’t looking for perfection, they’re looking for potential. That helps to not feel overwhelmed as you buff out your MS.

      And heck yeah for video games! I came from a family that believed, whole-heartedly, that they’ll rot your brain out. Screw that noise– they are the bomb! Any games you like?

      P.S. Your MS sounds AMAZING. It’s everything I love. 1920s, paranormal/magical vibes. Love, love, love.

      • Adelle Yeung

        Thanks, that’s great advice πŸ˜€ I’ve been lurking #PitchWars, and there’s sooo much, but it’s really exciting to see everyone getting involved and supporting each other.

        I can’t help but feel that mentors would be just as ruthless reading a manuscript as an agent. Like they see one wrong thing and they’re like, “Meehh, I’ll pass.” That’s making me nervous, but another mentee hopeful told me that they’re mostly looking for potential, too.

        Fortunately, I grew up on video games and my parents encouraged it, ahaha. I didn’t get into Zelda until college, but it’s one of my favorite franchises now. I used to think that JRPGs were THE BEST GENRE EVER, but I’ve come to enjoy more snappy Western titles that focus more on skill rather than hours spent leveling up. Like Bioshock, Dishonored, Uncharted… I’m there more for the story and the cool skills/weapons. I’m not very competitive so I don’t like PvP, but I do enjoy a good co-op once in a while πŸ˜€

        • admin

          It is daunting, but they really are looking for potential. The big thing is to make sure that your MS isn’t riddled with typos and things that show you might not care about polishing. What I did last year was I made GoogleDoc and filled it with all the tips and tricks I found from Twitter and used that to help with my final pass of the book. (It was still terrible because of premise and pacing, but that’s another story!)

          My husband and I JUST played through Breath of the Wild and it was my first full Zelda game. I made it through most of Wind Waker though.

          And I am absolutely in love with the Dishonored franchise. Beat those games so fast. I’m also proud I made it through Bioshock 1 by myself. Is the rest of the franchise worth it?

          • Adelle Yeung

            Thanks for the advice! Is that Google Doc shared anywhere?

            I only played Breath of the Wild for a few minutes on my friend’s Switch, ’cause I don’t have one myself. Dishonored is so fun πŸ˜€ Have you played the second game? Bioshock 2 and Bioshock Infinite are TOTALLY worth it. The story of the second game might’ve been subpar, but the gameplay was fun. Gameplay and story in Infinite were amazeballs :O You also should check out its DLC, Burial at Sea.

            Speaking of DLC, have you played The Last of Us? I’ve yet to play Left Behind.

          • admin

            It was my personal doc I made last year. I’ll dig and see what I can find and share it with you. Feel free to add me on Twitter so we can communicate easier if you want.

            Breath of the Wild is amazing. Totally worth every hour I sank into it. And now I’ll have to dive into Bioshock. I own all the games, just haven’t carved out enough time to play them.

            My husband and I swapped off playing Last of Us together and it was AMAZING. Such a good experience. It was one of those games that I wished I could forget all about it, so I could experience it for the first time again! I haven’t done the DLC yet either! I forgot it came out. Oh man. And that’d be a heck of a way to gear up for the second one coming! AH!

  • Rachelwrites007

    Your book sounds great and I love that you love Doctor Who, too. Me, too. (my MC names her cat Tennant ;)) And agh I always wanted to watch Gravity Falls but I can’t find it anywhere – not at the library and not really online? May have to see if its on ITunes seems like its my jam. Good luck entering PW!!!

    • admin

      YAS for being Doctor Who fans. Tennant is, by far, the most supreme of the doctors. Although Capaldi crept up on my heart. πŸ™ My husband is a computer/internet wiz, so he just “found” Gravity Falls online. I can tell you that when you find it, it will be worth it. Oh. Man.

      And your book sounds ABSOLUTELY fantastic. Like, it sounds like everything I would ever love ever. Princess Diaries debates? Yes, please. STEM girls? Yes, please.

      Best of luck to you too!

  • Jade hemming

    I love this book, and the characters. Who’s the face bottom right of your collage? Is it Klim?!
    Also I didn’t realise we shared a love for true crime! I ADORE true crime! <3
    You got this my love!

    • admin

      We need to carve out a chunk of day to talk true crime. I’ve opened the door this past year and have found some GOOD stuff. Popcorn worthy. And yes, bottom right is Klim. Major heart eyes there, girl. <3

  • Marilyn

    Hi Anna! Your story pitch sounds great – space pirates and heists will always be a yes with me πŸ™‚ Also cats and mac and cheese! Best of luck with Pitch Wars this year πŸ™‚ I’m a Pitch Wars newbie and it’s been opening up lots of amazing doors to me just in terms of making writer friends and connecting over shared experiences! I’m wishing I got more involved with the Twitter writing community earlier!

    • admin

      Hey Marilyn! Thank you so much for the compliment. I’m excited about this project and to throw it in the ring for PitchWars.

      I’m also really glad that you’re deciding to go for it! It’s such a wonderful opportunity to meet people and learn about the craft. Definitely jump into the Twitter hype-train and meet some folks. Feel free to add me over there.

      Also, YOUR BOOK SOUNDS AMAZING. The fact that your comps are WACKY RACES, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, and MAD MAX astounds me. I’m hooked!

      Best of luck to you as well!

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