Pimp My Bio: Pitch Wars 2017

This is my first year entering Pitch Wars and I could not be more excited (or nervous!).

First things first, my book! My MS is a YA contemporary romance called SEEING STARS

Seventeen-year-old Arianna Gold’s life seems perfect, but underneath the façade of popularity, she’s hiding her real life: a set of neglectful and abusive parents, and her depression and anxiety which led to a prior suicide attempt. When people look at Arianna, they see a future singer or the football star’s girlfriend, but when August Stone, the school’s number one nerd, discovers the truth, he threatens not only her self-constructed image, but her heart. It would be easier to just ignore him, but Arianna needs his help to pass algebra and graduate so that she can get out of Connecticut to pursue her dreams.

 

August Stone is a boy genius: top of the class, bound for the Ivy Leagues and a career in astronomy (planetary science, to be exact). And that means he has no place in Arianna’s circle—especially around her jealous, hot-headed boyfriend; even when it becomes dangerous. Though he could blow her cover, she can’t stay away from him. He sees her the way no one else does, for the girl she really is, not the one she pretends to be.

August quickly becomes the only person she can trust with her secrets, but as their relationship grows from strictly mandated, to friends, to something more, so do the risks involved. His father makes it clear he thinks August is throwing away his future to be with a girl that isn’t good enough for him and she could lose the comfort and safety of her perfectly constructed world. She knows that it’s fake, but it’s all she has. And she’s scared that losing it could make her mental health spiral again.

SEEING STARS (complete at 52,000 words) is a contemporary YA with an alternating timeline: telling the story of how two teens from very different families form an unlikely and ill-fated romance and how that goes on to affect their futures. It is a story of sex, love, nerds and the lifelong battle of mental illness and absent parents that will appeal to fans of Rainbow Rowell and Jennifer Niven.

 

About Me:

My name is Eliza Turrill and I have a BA in English and Writing as well as a publishing certification from Denver Publishing Institute. I have had poetry published in my undergraduate literary magazine, Neon, and won an honorable mention for one of the poems.

By day I am a writer/editor for a large health system in IL and co-run their Internal Communications. By night, I am also a writer and video game nerd. (Carpal tunnel couldn’t stop me!)

I grew up in a small New England town similar to where this novel takes place, and have dealt with my own personal struggles with mental health. I can certainly lend authority to this tricky, yet important subject. I am also a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community. Ari is queer (refers to her sexuality as fluid), but this novel mainly deals with hetero relationships.

I created a Pinterest board that captures the spirit, people, fashion and settings that go with Seeing Stars. You can find it here. This board can be further curated as a promotional tool and interactive companion for the novel.

Here are some songs that inspired, or fit the mood of this novel:

  • Tracy Chapman- Fast Car
  • Kesha- Praying
  • Halsey- Colors, Drive, Gasoline (pretty much the whole badlands novel. I picture Ari’s music with the rawness of Halsey and the commercial appeal of T Swift).
  • Taylor Swift- Red (seriously, I must have listened to this song 100000 times over the course of this journey), Wildest Dreams, 1989 album.
  • Ben Folds Five- Brick
  • Mariah Carey- You’ll Always Be My Baby
  • The Verve Pipe- The Freshman
  • Coldplay- Fix You
  • CCR- Fortunate Son (Because they both like CCR)
  • Grizzly Bear- Slow Life
  • Vampire Weekend- Pretty much all of their songs.
  • Miley Cyrus- Malibu
  • Dave Matthews Band- Crash Into Me
  • Train- Drops of Jupiter (Though Augie hates it for its inconsistencies)
  • Counting Crows- Colorblind
  • The Killers- All These Things That I’ve Done
  • Matchbox 20- Bright Lights
  • Pink- Don’t Let Me Get Me/18 Wheeler

You can find me here: Twitter, Instagram, portfolio, LinkedIn, Goodreads.

Here is a picture of my beautiful cat and faithful writing buddy, Bella:

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My favorite books/authors include (but certainly not limited to):

  • Nicola Yoon
  • S. Jae Jones- Wintersong
  • Rainbow Rowell
  • Sarah J. Maas
  • VE Schwab
  • JK Rowling
  • Judy Blume- Summer Sisters
  • Janet Fitch
  • Ernest Cline- Ready Player One
  • Deborah Harkness- All Souls Trilogy
  • Jennifer Niven- All the Bright Places
  • Amy Zhang- Falling Into Place
  • Gabrielle Zevin- The Storied Life of AJ Fikry
  • Sylvia Plath- The Bell Jar

To sum it up: SEEING STARS is a gritty YA: dealing with themes of sex, drugs, bullying, mental health and family dysfunction. (It also has an alternating timeline–claps hands).It shows that mental illness is not just something you beat or get over, but that it’s a part of you and involves peaks and valleys. Ari is flawed and does not just “get better”, but learns ways to improve through therapy positivity and self-awareness. They both succeed, and are stronger, despite their obstacles.

I want to show young women that they deserve all the love and happiness in the world and that THEY’RE WORTH IT! For the nerds and popular kids and everyone in between who struggle with mental health, but still dream of the stars. I’m looking for a mentor that is totally behind this and can help me with conflict. The voice, romance and pacing are strong: this book has had many beta readers and polishes but I am so ready to get my hands dirty and get into the trenches bringing this book to the best it can be. I’m definitely a hard worker!

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My Year in Books

Hello All,

Every year I participate in the Goodreads reading challenge. I thought it would be fun to share “My Year in Books”. Here are some statistics:

Total Books Read: 27

Total Pages Read: 10,134

Average Length: 375 pages

Shortest Book: 211 pages: A Wrinkle in Time (my first time reading this classic!)

Longest Book: 626 pages: A Court of Mist and Fury (who else is seriously excited for ACOWAR? I can’t contain myself.)

Most Popular Book Read: Eleanor & Park

Average Rating: 4 stars. What can I say? I read a lot of great books this year.

Overall, it was a great year. I read my first Gaiman (The Graveyard Book), I got into VE Schwab, who I adore, Sarah J Maas and Jennifer Niven. I would say my favorite books were All the Bright Places which was incredibly written, heart-wrenching and honest, as well as A Court of Mist and Fury and The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry. If you’re someone like me and strong characters are the most important part of a book to you, I recommend all of the above.

What were some of your favorites, or least favorite books you read in 2016? Did you hit your goal? I missed mine by 3 books! What books are you looking forward to in 2017?

Happy reading!

Author of the Month: V.E. Schwab

Hey guys,

So I’ve read three V.E Schwab (Victoria Schwab) books this year and I did not do any reviews for them. I felt that I should give her a special shoutout.

 

 

These are the books I’ve read from her. I want to start by saying that she is a phenomenal writer with great powers of world-building and character development/characterization. Tor is her publisher which also says a great deal about her.

Of the three, Vicious was my favorite. “Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human.” Ugh. Amazing. This book is totally and completely morally ambiguous and I love that. For most of the book these characters are pretty gray. Who is a villain? How does one define a villain? I am gravitated to exploring these questions and the characters were well developed.

The other two books are the first two in her Shades of Magic trilogy. I didn’t find the characters as alluring as they were in Vicious. But, if you are a big fan of fantasy, there is a magic system and it takes place in a fantastical world, whereas Vicious was set in our good ol’ normal planet. Shades of Magic is set in 4 different parallel Londons: Red, Gray, Black and White London and only Kell can travel between the 4 worlds (or is he the only one?).

Overall, I would definitely recommend checking out her work, even if you aren’t a big fantasy fan. If not, I would say to start with Vicious to get a taste of her writing style. You won’t be disappointed!

 

Happy International Women’s Day!

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Happy International Women’s Day!

I realized that the majority of my shelves are filled with female authors 🙂 Who are some of your favorite female authors?

(Not pictured: Amy Poehler’s book, which I read her narration of, and Frankenstein which I forgot! Boo.)

Happy NaNoWriMo!

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Are any of you participating in NaNoWriMo?! Now’s the time to start that novel you’ve been thinking about! This is my first year doing it and I’m pretty excited.

 

Also, some house keeping stuff. I’ve been reading some classics like The Bell Jar, The Hobbit and Lolita but I haven’t been writing reviews for stuff like that as I figure a lot of you may have already read them. But let me know if you’d like to see that!

 

21 YA Movie Adaptions that Failed

21 Failed YA Movie Adaptions

I didn’t even know some of these existed! (Like Eragon). I also feel like Holes did pretty well, at least among the age it was aimed at. Which of these have you seen and liked or disliked? Also, what are your favorite book to movie adaptions? I’d go so far as to say The Hunger Games and Interview with the Vampire were better than the books. I also think that the Harry Potter movies stand well on their own as separate from the books, they are both phenomenal.

My Apologizes/Updates

Hello bibliophiles!

I want to apologize for being less active than I was when I first started the blog. I have recently been very active on the job hunt and I had two interviews this week. So far I have accepted an offer as a writer/proofreader at Grubhub and I am waiting to hear back from a textbook publisher for an editorial position. Regardless, this means that I will be working full time and will have less time for reading and posting reviews and news. But I promise to still do my best! Just expect to see a little bit less from me and know that I haven’t given up! Thanks guys 🙂