I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA and currently live in Lancaster County, PA with my husband, our two children and a cat (who has moved with us across the country, twice). My seventeen years outside of the Keystone state took me to Fairfax, VA; New York City; College Park, MD and Los Angeles, CA.
All I have ever wanted to do is write, but I have done a number of other things in the service of feeding, clothing and sheltering my family. My favorite job was scooping ice cream when I was 16 years old. Currently I work in the admission office at a private school. I also volunteer at Lancaster's Historic Central Market and I co-founded Write Now Lancaster, a monthly working group for writers pursuing publication.
My poems have previously been published in Loyalhanna Review and Crossing Limits: African Americans and American Jews. I have also blogged for AllTheWayYA.
-- I overuse ellipses, exclamation points, dashes, colons and parentheses!
-- I underuse commas.
(Don't worry, I'm working on both of the above and have an expert copyeditor in the family ... who does happen to be on vacation at the moment...)
-- I can't spell, sing or dance.
-- I'm in love with Facebook, but I'm flirting with Twitter and Instagram.
-- I'm the daughter of a hall of fame running coach, but I taught myself to run at age thirty-five.
-- I'm the daughter of a caterer but my husband does all the cooking.
-- I enjoy telling stories live on stage (sort of like The Moth) and you can see them here. (The kernel of the idea for my PitchWars manuscript can be found in one of those stories!)
-- I know how to cut an apple perfectly (all my friends say this is my best quality).
Girl by Blake Nelson
The Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
The New Yorker
(and more recently...)
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Me and Earl and The Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
Eddie and The Cruisers
The Princess Bride
Kicking and Screaming (Noah Bumbach, not Will Ferrell)
La Haine (Sadly as important now as when I first saw it in 1996.)
Homicide: Life on the Streets
Beverly Hills, 90210 (The original)
The Muppet Show
Belle & Sebastian
Long Lake Creative Arts Camp, The Adirondacks
Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Arts, Erie PA
Lumberville, Bucks County, PA
Grand Central Station, NYC
Brooklyn Bridge/Brooklyn Promenade, NYC
My PitchWars Manuscript...
When sixteen-year-old Alice Burton loses twenty-three pounds, she thinks her biggest worry will be finding something to wear. But then her dad gambles away the tuition for her elite private school, his friend, pro-athlete Karl Bean makes unwanted sexual advances towards her, and she falls for twenty-something Chris Thompson. Pushed into an adult world of secrets and serious consequences, Alice must find a way to protect her body, her tuition money, her future, and her heart.
Set in Pittsburgh in the 1990s, SO MUCH MORE THAN EVERYTHING will appeal to fans of Sarah Dessen who crave the grit and intensity of Blake Neslon.
Why Pick Me...
-- I've been taking constructive criticism on my writing in a workshop setting since I was a young teen.
-- I know how I respond to criticism, and I have learned that if a suggestion initially upsets me, it's probably exactly the thing I need to do.
-- I am willing to do almost anything to make this book better because I believe in it. It's been through several CPs and Betas and now it's ready for the eye of a pro!
-- I'm capable of great things; I just need your help to get this book to the next level.
-- Although my kids claim I don't have a sense of humor, adults find me amusing. (I think the fact that I don't like fart jokes really colors my kids' opinions of me.)
I can be reached via email at JamieBethC139 (at) gmail (dot) com and I'm on Twitter @Jamie_Beth_S.