Pitch Wars Pimp My Bio

Publishing news and updates by K.A. Wiggins

23 Jul 2017

So this is apparently a tradition within Pitch Wars, an awesome online contest to connect with publishing industry peeps and get a manuscript query-ready.

I’ve been resisting making one of these because, really, who likes talking about themselves? But then I had to write an author paragraph for my query anyways, and… Here goes:

I’ve been a crusader against the evils of corporate entropy, a mercenary word-weaver and a guardian of empty spaces. I convinced my classmates there were witches in the back wood of our elementary and my sister that faeries lived in the snow melt (‘cause they do…) and dreamed of growing up to be Martin of Redwall (because small animals with swords and battlecries), Frodo of the Shire (because heroes can be small and still do great things), a Fantasy or Manga Editor (because languages are magic), and a rock star (done).

Still waiting for a wardrobe to open, but in the meantime I create my own magical worlds as (mostly) YA fiction and journal about it here.

I read an insane amount and post to Goodreads & Instagram. Spectacular books I’ve read recently that I can’t shut up about are:

  • Laini Taylor’s STRANGE THE DREAMER. Seriously, there’s nothing closer to a perfect book.

  • Unless it’s Brianna Yovanoff’s equally amazing but totally different PLACES NO ONE KNOWS. Her MC is me, basically. SO, so jealous I didn’t write it first.

  • & Kendare Blake’s work is amazing, particularly the masterpiece that is THREE DARK CROWNS…

…and I could go on like this all day, but to summarize, I wish I wrote thrillers as tight and creepy as Kelley Armstrong, dark fantasy as twisty as Holly Black and Melissa Marr, and worlds as big as Cassandra Clare and Scott Westerfeld. But instead I write like me, which means a lot of stuff about edges and boundaries and borders and about being not quite one thing or the other.

I write Pacific Northwest stories. And Canadian stories. And magical crossover stories, because where I’m from, most people aren’t that clear about where they’ve come from or where they’re going. And sometimes moving forward is less about understanding it all, and more about just accepting it.

So BLIND THE EYES is a Canadian story, and a Pacific Northwestern story, and a Vancouver story, and a blended-people-with-missing-identities story and a dark, broken future Urban Fantasy story that doesn’t know it’s any of these things (yet.)

And at the heart of it is Cole, who still hasn’t really learned who she is or what she needs to do, but is scared to death of getting it all wrong. She’s part of a generation who have been taught not to want, instead of being taught how to understand what they want. She’s not a great hero, or even a strong female protagonist, because she’s more about avoiding difficult things and hiding from herself and everything around her than she is about confronting injustice and defeating evil. But she’s not alone, and she’s not as helpless as she thinks she is, and she’s about to find out that her fears and flaws and failure don’t define her, they fuel her.

BLIND THE EYES has been about three years in the making, and for at least two of those I planned to release it as an indie publication, so it’s been through three rounds of editing and painful, painful rewrites to date. It’s not the first book I’ve written, but it is the first I’ve written properly and produced completely.

Other stuff I do/love:

  • music. Specifically playing music in bands, ‘cause why just listen when you can do?

  • making craft gin. And, of course, drinking said gin. BTW, best group activity ever (premake half so you have something to drink, then let everyone make their own mix!)

  • Scotch. Drinking, not making. That’s not a DIY sort of activity. But mmm. This was totally my MS fuel of choice. My one regret in Scotland was that I didn’t live near any distilleries. Oh, and Islay fantatic, all the way. Talisker’s ok too.

  • thrift shopping, vintage fashion & hats. Not necessarily all together. Actually, I hate shopping, but I love that you can get cheap clothes and put together unique, functional outfits while protecting the environment and contributing toward something good. Plus I love history, museums and other times/places so it’s fun to use styles to access a fantasy of another place or era, like taking that feeling of being in a story world out into the real world with you. And hats are mostly about me and the sun not getting along, and partly about me and my hair not getting along, and mostly just a convenience thing TBH.

  • and on that note, I adore historic sites. And museums. Although I get annoyed when the crowds are too big because a) hyper introvert and b) I just want to soak in the atmosphere and pretend to be from whenever and wherever the site originated. I love aquariums for sort of the same reason. Zero desire to go in or on the water, but I love pretending to be underwater without getting wet. And also marine mammals are adorable. I want to write a YA were-seal fantasy. Well, actually I want to write an X-Men meets fairytale creatures fantasy with a selkie trying to survive high school, lol. But were-seal sounds cooler. ;D I mean, imagine being a 15-year-old girl whose super power involves being furry and large and awkward on land. You’d feel like the world’s biggest klutz, and everyone else would think you were adorable. Oh the drama.

  • hyper-emotive, over-the-top media like teen shows (Shadowhunters, Supernatural, Vampire Diaries), kid movies and anime/manga are so up my alley. I’m all about the escapism, but bonus points if it’s dark, or works in incisive social commentary without feeling depressing or breaking the story world. But, like, happy stuff’s ok too. Howl’s Moving Castle is the ultimate animated film of all time and I will brook no debate on this subject. Tarzan & Mulan do ok too ;D OK, tbh any Disney or Miyazaki show makes the cut, lol. I’m equally on board with demon hunting and shiny princesses on a mission. Speaking of which, I really want to do a Tarzan inspired Celtic princess crossover world-hopping quest fantasy. But like, with jungle cats instead of gorillas.

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer gets its own bullet point b/c although it’s an over-the-top teen show, it’s also my go-to brain candy. I seriously run this in the background any time I get the chance. Buffy’s got me through hours of chores, programming and some of my more tedious freelancing. Firefly’s pretty great too.

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