Wow, so I guess I really am doing this! Consider this blog post my statement of intent: I, Jenna DeVillier, promise to have my latest round of revision finished by 17 August, and will be entering it into Pitch Wars the following day.
[Edit: I actually submitted on Friday, 15 August! Because I’m a rebel, that’s why]
Hi there, fellow mentees, potential mentors, and anyone else who may come across this. As I said, my name is Jenna DeVillier. I am a senior in college, and I live in New Orleans, Louisiana, with four siblings, two parents, two Chihuahuas, and a fat rabbit.
The way I came to the plot for my project, Soulreader, wasn’t a clear-cut path. My initial idea came about a year ago, when I saw the cover for Colton Dixon’s album. A vague character idea sprang to mind from that – a vampire hunter named Xavier Peters. Possibly he falls in love with a female vampire and questions his purpose?
I had no real ideas. And then, of course, I learned that vampires? Not in so much anymore.
But I knew Colton Dixon’s face had to be a character.
I kind of forgot about it until September, when I decided to force myself to sit down and draft a novel. I had written two novels already, rough drafts in NaNoWriMo 2011 and 2012, that I never touched again.
I wanted to plot this one out thoroughly and revise it. I was determined.
So, from September to October, I plotted and wrote the first draft of Soulreader, the embryo of what was to become the book it is now (titled Blood on My Hands drafts 4-5, then back to the original title! Writers are CRAAAAAZY, people). I sent it out to my long-suffering beta readers (seriously: these ladies have been through so much with me. They deserve all the awards! Visit their blogs here, here, and here. The lovely Ashley Morrison does not have a blog, it seems).
So yeah, that was my first draft. Let’s just say it wasn’t that great. I had a general idea, and some things haven’t changed much from that first draft, but a lot has. I cut characters, I have a brand new ending 5 chapters, and I have rewritten that damn first chapter at least 3 times. All to get to where I am today (draft 5, if you wanted to know. Eesh). And, while I’m still nervous about how good the book is, I think I’m ready to participate in Pitch Wars. I was planning on querying at the end of the month anyway, when I finish this revision.
So, that’s my long-winded spiel about Soulreader! I like it a lot, and I hope the mentors I’ve chosen do, too! I’ve been writing off and on since I was a tiny-Jenna, and I’ve never found anything else I want to do more. I write for my school’s literary magazine, this awesome Doctor Who online news site called The Gallifrey Times (yes, I am a mega-nerd, why?), and my short fiction earned me a place in the Berkeley summer creative writing intensive program last summer!
So, mentors: I hope you pick me because I’m not afraid of revisions, but I want to have a good time in the contest, too! No matter what happens. Thank you for all that you do!
If you want to learn more about the crazy-fun-times that is Pitch Wars, go here!
For a list of other mentee bios, go here!