Pitch Wars 2017: #PIMPMYBIO

My WIP: BLOOD TIDE, Adult Horror

This is my entry for #PimpMyBio for Pitch Wars. Thanks to Lana Pattinson for hosting the blog hop.

Thanks also to Brenda Drake, the mentors, and everyone else who’s providing all of us with this amazing opportunity. I made it to the agent round of Pitch Madness with another WIP earlier this year, and I know that whatever happens with your WIP, you’ve already won by meeting a lot of great writers and getting help with queries, synopses, and your story.

About my WIP:

A couple of years ago, my husband and I took an anniversary trip to the beach. I’d watched the latest episode of American Horror Story the night before, and as I walked along the water, I started playing “What if?” What if Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk completely lost their ever-loving minds and said “OK, Nicole—we’re turning the next season of AHS over to you. Show us what you got.”

What if? 

I started thinking about something Lovecraftian. Something that took place in the past in a tiny shoreside town. There were terrible things in the ocean, creatures that posed a constant threat to the people living in that little town. And a very strange, intimidating woman lived there too, and she was the only thing standing between the townspeople and those creatures. But she didn’t work for free, and perhaps the townspeople were getting tired of paying a high price for her services.

At that point I thought “Hold on. Screw AHS—this is a great idea. I’m keeping it.” (I’m sure Messrs. Murphy and Falchuk will deal with their disappointment, probably by crying it out on their great big piles of money.)

The next year, I turned those ideas and several others into BLOOD TIDE, an adult horror novel.

In 1913, Henry Hamilton has gone missing and his sister Sorrow travels to Tidepool, Maryland, the last place he’s known to have visited before his disappearance. The townspeople aren’t forthcoming about what they might know about Henry, and yet they don’t want to let her go home to Baltimore. When she discovers the truth about what’s happening there and why, she learns that getting justice for her brother will doom everyone in Tidepool. And that’s assuming that the town’s inhabitants—human and otherwise— will allow Sorrow to leave the place with her life.

Why I’d Be A Good Mentee: I’m ready to work. I know that intensive revisions are part of the PW process; that’s why I entered!

I may need to swallow hard a few times when I first get critical feedback, but I’ll get over it and get to work. I’ve learned that the feedback that’s hardest for me to hear is often the most useful.

And I don’t have Golden Word syndrome. I may ask questions if I’m not clear on what an issue is, but that doesn’t mean I won’t make the change. I might defend a choice I made, but I’ll try to have a reason other than “But I don’t wanna.”

I love this book. I want other people to love it too, and I know I’m not going to get there without a lot of help.

About Me:

I’m Nicole. Hi there!

There are two things you should know about me right off the bat: I love to write, and I love horror and dark fantasy. When I was eight, I wrote Star Wars fanfic, even though the Internet didn’t exist back then and I had no clue that what I wrote was called “fanfic.”

One summer, I read a cousin’s battered copy of “Dracula.” I fell hard for Christopher Lee and Bela Lugosi when I saw the film adaptations of the novel. And when I stumbled across my first Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe stories, that was it. I will read fiction in almost all genres, but nothing gets me more excited than discovering a new (to me) and wonderfully spooky horror novel.

I’m a regular contributor to the Weekly Knob, which is a prompt-based weekly writing challenge. If you asked me which of my Knob stories is my favorite, I’d tell you that it’s a three-way tie between Mr. Bent’s Strange Talent, A Time to Come Clean, and A Little Girl and a Big Guitar. I also write 50 Word Horror Stories for the Writing Cooperative’s 52-Week Writing Challenge.

Although my to-be-read pile is always high enough to be life-threatening, I will add to it with anything from Cherie Priest, Neil Gaiman, Joe Hill, Erin Morgenstern, or J.K. Rowling.

(Addendum 2022: J.K. Rowling is no longer on that list. I find her attitude towards trans people absolutely abhorrent, and haven’t spent a penny on any of her works in years.)

In my non-writing life, I’ve been a web editor, an editorial assistant, and a Jeopardy contestant. I would love to add “published novelist” to that list.

Nicole with Alex Trebek in 2011.


Good luck, everyone!

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