Okay, Pitch Wars. Let’s Do This!

The 42nd Queen Book 1

Time to #BoostMyBio.

                    

Give me a second to Jedi Mind Trick you, Scarlet Witch style… and we’re good.

I’m Kathy. I write science fiction, fantasy, and horror for young adults

Imagine a dark chocolate truffle with a Byadgi chili center. That’s me. Sweet on the outside, ready to burn on the inside. I’m drawn to stories that poke at the ugly parts of life and the darkness inside each of us. Monsters. Villains. Ruined heroes. Doomed heroes. We shudder to see inside each of them a shattered reflection of ourselves. 

Allow me to show you who I am as a writer, a human being, and your potential mentee. Let’s go ahead and lay all the bones on the autopsy table to have a look, shall we, Mr. Grissom? See what we’re dealing with?

 

Initial Observations:

I’m a wife, mother, teacher of high school biology. I identify as a gender fluid (she/they), bisexual, Buddhist. A feminist, a humanist, a promoter of compassion and living life to the fullest. A lover of dogs and cats. I live in Salem, Massachusetts. I knit, hike, and am usually reading/listening to three books at a time. And, of course, I write.

 

On Closer Inspection:

I cut my teeth and sharpened my claws on dark tales. When I was five, my mother read the entire Hobbit and LOTR trilogy to me as my bedtime stories, with original Brother’s Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson fairy tales mixed in. That leaves a mark (an excellent mark IMO. #MomLove4ever!) Ever since, I’ve been fascinated with the close kinship of good and evil, the fuzziness of right and wrong.

MagnetoI’m not a member of any Hogwart’s House; the sorting hat wouldn’t have me. Jessica JonesBesides, I live in the Comic Book Universe. Marvel, not DC (though Batman Begins and The Dark Knight were both amazing. And Michelle Pfeiffer? Best Catwoman ever). 

If I were a super hero? No, no, no, I’m a villain. All the way. Magneto probably. Or, I maybe I’m an anti-hero. Jessica Jones, or the Hulk. 

 

Influences:

Authors whose style and stories I love:
  • Stephen King
  • Rick Yancey
  • Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Victoria (V.E.) Schwab
  • Chuck Wendig
  • Leigh Bardugo
  • Mackenzie Lee
  • Marjorie Liu
  • Phillip Pullman
  • Tamora Pierce
  • Anne McCaffrey
  • Neil Gaiman

 

Books I love and will read again and again!
  • Firestarter by Stephen King Firestarter by Stephen King
  • Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz (but only in the daytime with all the lights turned on.)
  • Dune by Frank Herbert
  • The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkein
  • The Dirk and Steele series by Margorie Liu
  • The entire How to Train Your Dragon series by Cressida Cowell
  • I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells
  • World War Z by Max Brooks
  • FEED by M. T. Anderson
  • Dragon Song by Anne McCaffrey
  • The Power by Naomi Alderman
  • Small Gods by Terri Pratchett
  • The Shades of Magic trilogy by V. E. Schwab
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  • The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury 

 

My Pitch Wars Manuscript!

 

The 42nd Queen (complete at 82,000 words)

AND I DARKEN meets THE GODFATHER, set in a hyper-feminist world ruled by psychics.

 And I Darken Movie The Godfather

In this story, you’ll find:
  • Mother-daughter-sister conflict
  • Political espionage
  • Love, friendship, sacrifice, betrayal
  • Unflinching Female agency  
  • A blurred line between hero and villain
  • Telepaths, Telekinetics, Pyrokinetics, and Empaths

 

The Main Character:

This YA dark fantasy is the villain origin story of 17-year-old Daphne Gohalliann, a powerful empath and second daughter of the Queen. It’s not easy carrying the weight of her family’s pedigree on her shoulders. The expectations of continuing the family line are crushing her.

 

The Premise:

Twelve hundred years ago, the Goddess Agrotera freed women from the tyranny of men when she blessed a single woman with psychic abilities. That gift has passed to every daughter since. Telepathy, telekinesis, pyrokinesis, and empathy. The sons of the bloodline carry Agrotera’s gift, but they cannot use it.    

Three dominant families now vie for power, but only Daphne’s mother can boast and unbroken female line of descent from the First Mother. Recently, though, whispers of a question grow louder. Is House Gohalliann’s bloodline so much purer that no other House can rule?

 

The 42nd Queen Book 1

The Stakes:

When Daphne offers mercy to the dying son of an enemy, she endangers her mother’s control of the throne and is plunged into the center of a dangerous power struggle. She’ll have to choose between committing an unspeakable act to protect her sister’s inheritance or starting a war to save herself.

 

Complications:

Daphne’s sister needs a daughter before she can ascend to the throne.  She’s hell bent on getting one, but in case she produces a son, she wants Daphne knocked up, too. So long as the baby in her arms is a girl, who cares which sister is the mother? Daphne has no interest in cooperating, but refusal won’t be tolerated, so she enlists the help of her cousin and her best friend and hatches a plan to run away.

What follows are a series of try-fail cycles that place Daphne on a slippery moral slope as she tries to evade detection and get away. As plans unravel and stakes rise, Daphne’s understanding of right and wrong will be tested. She’ll have to be stronger than everyone else if she’s to be free.

 

Am I Ready for Pitch Wars?  

Meaning, can I handle the intensity of it? The time commitment? The challenge?

First semester work load
Life as a Lesley WFYPer

If it’s any measure, I just graduated from the Writing for Young People Program at Lesley University (WFYP) thereby earning my MFA in Creative Writing!  During that time, I was mentored by children’s authors Tracey Baptiste, Michelle Knudsen, Susan Goodman, Chris LynchJason Reynolds was my thesis reader. I am battle tested, my friend. I eat stress for breakfast!

Actually, I’m pretty chill, but I do thrive on challenge, and I’m no stranger to hard work. I’ll make a great mentee for you, and if you’re up for what I’m offering, we’ll have a blast whipping this story into something special.  So, what do you say? Wanna take a ride?

 

Deepest thanks, future mentor (written with optimism), for taking the time to check out my Bio. You can follow me on Instagram (@KatherineKarchWrites) and on Twitter (@SalemChickens).

 

Feel free to poke around the rest of my site, too, if you’d like. I won’t mind. Happy writing, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

Comments

  1. Post
    Author
    Kathy

    Thanks. Writing it was a blast. Gave me a chance to dig into and explore gender-associated power structures while also delving into concepts like family politics, the human tendency to justify immoral actions, and the idea of happiness and free will.

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