Pitch Wars: Why I Wrote My Book

As part of a fun Pitch Wars 2014 blog hop, a question was asked of all the mentors’ picks: Why did you write this book?

In the spring of 2010 I did something I thought I would be too terrified to do: I studied abroad for four months in London. And it was terrifying. It was one of the most memorable periods of my life peppered with great memories, but the chaos of public transport and the panic-inducing necessity of interacting with strangers ALL THE TIME took its toll.

But there are these little moments I have, snapshots in my memory, that transcend all the anxiety and confusion I felt. One of those moments is seeing Big Ben for the first time, and the handful of times I managed to see it after.

It is absolutely beautiful. Not quite as big as I thought it would be, but still pretty big, and the details in the tower are insane. I don’t know why, but whenever I spotted it in the distance, or stared at it across the Thames when I went to the Embankment, I felt calm. That clock tower centered me. It fascinated the hell out of me.

A few years later, jump to 2013. There was a contest going on at that time for unconventional love stories. So I thought, well, why not? As I was driving to work, I thought about the little golden keychain I have of Big Ben, which I bought when I was in London. And then I got the idea for a book.

What if the world relied on clock towers like Big Ben to run time? What if there are mechanics who have to maintain these towers? And what if one of these mechanics meets the physical embodiment of a clock tower? And–here it is–they fall in love?

Oh yeah, and they’re both boys. In Victorian England.

I couldn’t concentrate on work the entire day. I ran back home and started writing the first scene immediately. It’s a story that was bizarre to me, a category and genre I’ve never written before. But I really, really liked it. And then I loved it.

After some big revisions, I entered TIMEKEEPER into Pitch Wars without much hope. It’s a weird story, and maybe I’m so used to writing adult novels that my YA voice sucks. Then my mentor, Elizabeth Briggs, wrote me and said she loved it. I ended up becoming her alternate, but due to some good news received by her first mentee, I graduated to her mentee instead. Thanks to her, I’ve made some awesome revisions to the book that help make it more well-rounded and complete.

I’m ridiculously excited about this trilogy. My characters get to explore not only the well-trod yet always fascinating Victorian London, but also India during the rule of the British Raj. It’s a diverse YA book with a gay main character, but focusing more on his adventures rather than the fact that he’s gay. Book Three is (slowly) coming along, so while I continuously work on Book One, I’m still chipping out the sculpture of this story. Pitch Wars has been so helpful in that regard, and I’m really proud to be a part of it!

timekeeper banner

Here are the links to the other amazingly talented Pitch Wars participants:

Carleen Karanovic: HOPE ON A FEATHER

Heather Truett: RENASCENCE

Tracie Martin: WILD IS THE WIND

Susan Bickford: FRAMED

Rachel Sarah: RULES FOR RUNNING AWAY

Amanda Rawson Hill: GRIMM AND BEAR IT

Charlotte Gruber: CODE OF SILENCE

Kip Wilson: THE MOST DAZZLING GIRL IN BERLIN

Mary Ann Nicholson: CALAMITY

Nikki Roberti: THE TRUTH ABOUT TWO-SHOES

Anna Patel: EXODUS

A. Reynolds: LE CIRQUE DU LITERATI

Susan Crispell: WISHES TO NOWHERE

Ron Walters: THE GOLEM INITIATIVE

Rosalyn Eves: THE BLOOD ROSE REBELLION

Ashley Poston: HEART OF IRON

Mara Rutherford: WINTERSOUL

Janet Walden-West: Damned If She Do

Kazul Wolf: SUMMER THUNDER

D. Grimm: WITCHER

Kelli Newby: THORNVAAL

Elliah Terry: POCKET FULL OF POPPIES

AlessaHinlo: THE HONEST THIEF

Rachel Horwitz: THE BOOTLEGGER’S BIBLE

Whitney Taylor: DEFINITIONS OF INDEFINABLE THINGS

Lyra Selene: REVERIE

Natalie Williamson: SET IN STONE

Robin Lemke: THE DANCE OF THE PALMS

Stephanie Herman: CLIFF WITH NO EDGE

Shannon Cooley: A FROG, A WHISTLE, AND A VIAL OF SAND

Ruth Anne Snow: THE GIRLS OF MARCH

Elizabeth Dimit: PHOEBE FRANZ’S GUIDE TO PASSPORTS, PAGEANTS, & PARENTAL DISASTERS

Gwen C. Katz: AMONG THE RED STARS

Jennifer Hawkins: FALSE START

Kelly DeVos: THE WHITE LEHUA

Gina Denny: SANDS OF IMMORTALITY

Natasha M. Heck: FOLLOW THE MOON

Esher Hogan – Walking After Midnight

D.A. Mages: THE MEMORY OF OBJECTS

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26 thoughts on “Pitch Wars: Why I Wrote My Book

  1. Rosalyn says:

    I’m with you–learning the background to these stories is fascinating. And I love Victorian England. I’m impressed that you’re already on book three! Book two for me is still only in outline form.

  2. I love everything you said about your book. Every. Last. Thing.

  3. Kip Wilson says:

    Oh, me too! Your concept hooked me back in WriteOnCon, and I’ve been itching to read more since. I’m positive this book is going to make it! Best of luck to you!!!!

  4. Mary Ann Nicholson says:

    I love the premise of your story so much. And the setting. My own book is based on my travels to Paris. The Eiffel Tower grounds my character, and she has a little Eiffel Tower knick knack that your key chain made me think of.

    Good luck in the agent round! I hope this gets picked up.

  5. No joke, your book sounds freaking awesome. The physical embodiment of a clock tower? Sounds like you’re giving China Miéville a run for his New Weird money!

  6. Susan J. Bickford says:

    I love reading how stories evolve and certain things trigger ideas. Best of luck in the agent round – I SO want to read this one!

  7. aellepatel says:

    I love this story! 🙂 What a great idea!

  8. katz says:

    This book is amazing and I hope it does amazingly.

  9. You are a mind reader! My first novel, back in 2010 was about a man embodied in the world clock and time keeping check of all things. Great minds! Can’t wait to read it one day.:)

  10. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: I love everything about this and want to read it ASAP. This is one of the books I would buy in hardcover. At retail. Just saying.

  11. *Grabby hands* Add me to the list of people who want this book. Good luck tomorrow!

  12. Um, this sounds awesome! Gimme! Good luck tomorrow!

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