#PimpMyBio for #PitchWars 2016

Okay, anything I write with two hashtags in the title already has me thrown off a bit, but here we go. There won’t be any GIFs- forgive me! As a consolation prize, here’s a picture of Mister Biscuit, who I met last week on the side of a busy highway, living in a drainpipe. So far, he’s pretty cool. 13838305_10157161316005641_1260384669_o


I’m not too proud to admit I was an avid viewer of Pimp My Ride. I’m both low brow and high brow, a working class kid in a white collar adult’s body. Unlike many writers, I did not start writing as a child or have my own neighborhood newspaper or hand print my novels in 3rd grade. (I love those stories!) I think I only took two English courses in college: American Women Poets and African-American Lit of the 60’s. I was, however, a voracious reader in a time and place – the poor, rural deep South of the 70’s and 80’s – where there was not much otherwise to do, nor very much intellectual stimulation. So all the books soaked in deep, deep. I credit all those sweaty, bored days on a porch swing with a  book in my hand for giving me any skill I may have at understanding plot or characters or any of the technical stuff.

I’m a former government lawyer/LGBT activist/DNC outreach operative/White House staffer. I’m also the single parent of a smart, cool kid, and the keeper of, well, let’s just say several dogs and cats. I’ve spent my life in public service. All of the highlights are here. One of my proudest points in my bio is that I went to Smith College – because women’s colleges rule!  I made a huge life change last year when I moved to a tiny rural mountain town in the state of West Virginia, to allow me more time to write and more time with my daughter. We live in an historic 1825 log cabin on a hillside with a view of a valley full of cows. It’s as Abraham Lincoln as it sounds. I opened a small natural general store in which I host literary events (#CabinReadsWV on Twitter and Instagram) and live music because it makes me happy and keeps me around writers and creative people as much as possible. I volunteer a lot. I’m an active member of SCBWI, and I love to attend writing conferences. I learn something every time. I meet cool people at every one.

Lastly, I am a very hard-working, focused writer. This is what I’m all about right now. I will dedicate the time and energy on this project to make you proud and happy that you chose me. I need help and I will appreciate you for it.


My middle grade novel EARTHKEEPERS is a contemporary story with elements of magical realism. It features a tough, 12 year old tomboy (although that’s not really my favorite term) MC, lots of animals and a diverse ensemble cast who has a lot to learn from each other in the process of bringing down the bad guys. The settings are, variously, a camp, the forest, a college, a coal train, someone’s grandma’s house, and a cave. You will also find an inciting incident, a climax and a denouement.

It received some really great attention in 2014: being nominated at that year’s SCBWI Los Angeles Conference for the Sue Alexander Most Promising New Work Award and being a runner up in the SCBWI Southern Breeze Chapter’s MG and YA fiction contest judged by Sarah Dotts Barley, editor at Flatiron Books. After that, I took a year long break to make our move to WV and now I’m recommitting myself to seeing it through whatever it needs, and I need your help.


My ideal mentor would help me dig deep into the plot and the dirty details. I want someone to push me and work with me to uncover whatever it is that I  unconsciously may be holding back. Because I feel it, but can’t see it yet. I want to open it all up, turn it over and put it back together in a way that is richer, more inviting, stronger, dynamic. I know you can help me do this, and I will trust your input. Writing is a gift that I’ve been given later in life than most people, and I treat it as such. I can’t wait to meet you, and hear what you think.

Here’s Mister Biscuit taking a nap. Thanks for stopping by, and now go check out all the other folks who pimped their bio! -Vicki






Origami, More-igami



CABIN READS episode 2!  It all went down with the arrival yesterday of debut picture book author and all around great human being, Dori Kleber. She visited our little WV town to read her much-lauded book MORE-IGAMI, followed by a craft session where she taught about twenty little ones and their parents how to make a hopping origami frog. Dori happens to be the perfect person for this  because she’s an amazing teacher and instructor, and she has more patience than about 125 of me put together. Thanks for the visit, Dori!




Last night I launched CABIN READS, a recurring WV literary event here in my new hometown of Wardensville. Situated between North Mountain and the Cacapon River, our region is a stunning example of West Virginia’s best. Our first event was hosting a reading by the six authors of the LOST RIVER WRITER’S RETREAT. We heard heartfelt poetry, hilarious middle grade, compelling nonfiction, historical crime fiction, and riveting adult fiction. I love writers. I love how clever they are when they’re reading their work or when they’re choosing their stories over dinner. Thank you Retreat Founder John Copenhaver,  DeMisty D. BellingerJessica Hendry NelsonNoah StetzerKara Waite and pictured, Kate Hattemer. Our next CABIN READS event will be with my SCBWI friend and critique partner and debut PB author Dori Kleber. The schedule can be found right here.



Bats Welcome Here.

This is National Bat Week! The first ever. Why? Because bats need our help.

Don’t take my word for it. Listen to the experts. And the movie stars. AND BATMAN HIMSELF.

So,  go follow and support Save the Bats, a “public action campaign aimed at preventing the decline of this important and beloved animal in our ecosystem.” Thank you,  Organization for Bat Conservation, for your great work.