Thursday, August 6, 2015

My #PitchWars Mentee Bio

Yay! It's time for #PitchWars! I've dreamed about entering this contest for a couple years, and now I finally have a manuscript ready to enter.

My name is Rachel Stevenson. My middle name is Anne with an E, and yes, because of Anne of Green Gables. My mom is wonderful like that. I was born in Philadelphia, moved to Williamsport, and then to Greenville, South Carolina, before trekking out here to Oklahoma. I've hosted two #YayYA blog critique hops, and participants went on to be shortlisted in contests like #PitchtoPublication and #PitchSlam.

This is me at the Will Rogers Memorial. I got to go inside his tomb and in the closed-off downstairs. It was awesome.

But there are many sides to me. Historical dance me.

Playwright me. I've won three awards here in Tulsa for short plays that were performed live. In total, I've won ten writing awards in the past three years.


Literary nerd me! With my CP being Enjolras and Marius. Because. We made a Disney Princess video on Youtube that has 90k views and a Les Mis one that doesn't. If you want to see me imitating Mulan/Rapunzel and Russell Crowe/Aaron Tveit, check them out.


And then there's sports fanatic me! I binge-watch the Olympics, March Madness, and the World Series. Go Yankees!

Pepsi over Coke, cats over dogs, Mac over PC, white over black, cake over ice cream (unless it's Haagen-Das).

Favorite authors: N.D. Wilson, Leo Tolstoy, Susan Cooper, C.S. Lewis, Shannon Messenger, Cornelia Funke, Jane Austen, J.R.R. Tolkien, Maggie Stiefvater. Basically I love classics and fantasy.

Favorite books: That Hideous Strength (Lewis), War and Peace (Tolstoy), The Dark is Rising (Cooper), The Book Thief  (Zusak). Full list is here.

Favorite movies: Hugo, Sense and Sensibility (1995), The Fellowship of the Ring, The Book Thief, The Hundred-Foot Journey, The King's Speech, Cinderella (2015), Tangled, Meet the Robinsons, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, War and Peace (1956), My Fair Lady, Chariots of Fire.

FANDOMS: Les Miserables (ENJOLRAS), Star Wars (Kit Fisto is my favorite Jedi), Keeper of the Lost Cities (TEAM FITZ), Rise of the Brave Tangled Dragons (I don't not ship Jelsa, ever), Jane Austen (Colonel Brandon forever!)


I also love photography (I've won awards for this, too), baking (I will make you poundcake or chocolate cake or blueberry cake or whatever-you-want cake, mentors), hosting massive parties, classical music, any 50's fashion (red lipstick and big skirts forever), dressing up (I've been Mary Poppins, Princess Leia, Eowyn, to name a few) and just general nerdiness. 

I call myself a fun-loving, extroverted geek in heels and say class before sass. I'm an ENTJ, but my motto is that it only takes a few seconds to brighten someone's day. That said, I like to hear things how they are, so, my dear mentors, please tell me like it is! I'm a realistic worker with an optimistic outlook. When given a goal, I work toward it until it's achieved without ever thinking of quitting. I'm not afraid to ask questions, and like to approach the publishing world with friendly professionalism (albeit with some behind-the-scenes fun!)

I have a Youtube channel for writing here. I'm kind of behind on it. Sorry, viewers *sheepish smile*

If you want to read about HOW I write, check out this blogpost here! :D

I own a cat named Joash Rutherford (not Josh, Joash). He's part-dog and my big 16-pound beebee who loves LOTR soundtrack almost more than I do.

I'm starting college this fall at Geneva to get a degree in Secondary History Education. I LOVE Napoleonic History. Also Ancient Western Europe, Church, Irish, Russian, Renaissance... never mind, all history. If you want to know anything about historical fashion, I'm your girl. I was critting for someone once (I give out a lot of smiley-face filled critiques) and gave them a hard time about their main character's dress as being anachronistic. Sorry, not sorry :D

So as you can see, I love fantasy and historical. That is why I absolutely love writing upper YA historical fantasy, which is what genre belongs to my #PitchWars entry, THE RED AND THE SCARLET.

The Red and the Scarlet's Wordle. It's changed since I made it, thanks to revisions :D

To be honest, it was hard to label TRATS. It takes place in our world in 1811 on a fictional continent. Someone told me, "You can't do that! You can only have either your fake world or our real world." My response was:

And so I have my fictional continent with its Slavic/Asian culture and all that awesomeness. I wasn't sure if I could label it historical fantasy, but when I explained the whole thing to a couple editors and an agent, they said it was the best option.

TRATS's comp titles are LES MISERABLES meets MULAN with a POC mercenary Anne of Green Gables for the heroine. It'll also appeal to all you THE WRATH AND THE DAWN, JONATHAN STRANGE, and SHADOW AND BONE fans. It has bounty-hunters, swoon-worthy heroes, a swoon-worthy antagonist, cannon battles, tsunami, female pirates, dances, Chinese water torture, diversity, comets, secret cults, exploding fireworks factories, brilliant musicians, sword fights, gun duels, socially-awkward spies, blue ships, cotton mill riots, books, Beethoven concerts... okay, I'll stop :D 

Inspiration pics for my MC Fyr and a cartoon I drew of her 

If TRATS was chocolate, it'd be that 80% cocoa kind: bitter and dark and rich and sweet. It features sometimes-unlikeable and dramatic heroine Fyr, her little wannabe composer brother, a rude but dashing bounty-hunter, and the handsome politician Fyr wants dead. I hope this pricks your interest :D

Aforementioned handsome politician's inspiration pic (he should be smiling and in 1800s garb) and a cartoon of aforementioned bounty-hunter

My strengths in writing are world building, intense emotional scenes, imagery, voice, variation in word choice, and the main character's arc. My biggest weaknesses (which I am currently revising as much as possible out of my MS and hope to scrub even further out with a mentor's eagle eyes) are filtering, long sentences, and head-hopping (I'm getting a lot better at NOT doing this one, though). I'm aware of my weaknesses and am working hard to make them strengths! 

Well, that's all for now. If you've been in other contests with me back when I was subbing a different MS, you know I like to party it up on Twitter and start games and questionnaire threads. So undoubtedly, you'll see me around! Cheers!

(And mentors, please consider me?) 


  1. One question, who is Jelsa? I get that it is a ship but not much else. (Is it "who-knows-who and Elsa?)

    1. Jack Frost from Rise of the Guardians :D

    2. Ok, not familiar with that one. I am more of a Harry Potter, LOTR, and Percy Jackson/HoO fandom follower, (People of the PJO community, I never ship Perachel, EVER! ; ) )

  2. Interesting coincidence; just yesterday I was checking out some of your older posts, and I wished I could know more about you. Then, BLAM-OH! This comes out. Great timing :D!
    And, I was totally right when I said you sounded like an awesome person.

    (Oh, and, on an un-related topic, when you go to put a GIF on a blog post, do you upload it through the video attachment, or through the picture attachment? I'd like to know for future blog posts of my own.)

    1. LOL thanks and thanks for reading!! :D

      And GIFs are uploaded through the picture attachment :D

    2. You're welcome, and thanks :)!!!!!!!!!!!1

  3. Great bio, and good luck with #PitchWars!

  4. Great bio, Rachel! And I think TRATS sounds amazing! Best of luck with #PitchWars. I'm hoping to have my mentee bio up tomorrow or Friday. :)

    1. Thanks so much!! :D You too, and I'll be looking for yours!! :D

  5. Always happy to see your name in a contest! :) Good luck, Rachel!

    1. You too, Bronwyn!! :D Thanks for reading!!

  6. Always nice to meet another Yankee fan! I'm a #PitchWars newbie, myself. Your MS sounds great. Best of luck!

    1. Yay, go Yanks!! :D And thank you so much!! :D You too!

  7. Yay!!!!! Another Colonel Brandon fan!!!!