Cuyler Creech, GILDED FEVER
Ever read the first page of a manuscript and know, without a doubt, that the writer had something special? The tension, the set-up, the literary prose all merging together to create the most beautifully written prose you have ever read? That’s what I saw when I picked up GILDED FEVER, and it only got better as I turned the page.
GILDED FEVER: Being the only girl in a gold mining camp is dangerous, but helping a savage destroy her father's mining claim may cost Annie Duvall her life.
Little Bit about Cuyler:
Cuyler Creech is 20 years-old and lives in Weatherford, Texas with his parents, two brothers, one sister, and a slew of pets. He is a writer and reviewer for the blog: Teen Librarian's Toolbox. He is a bookaholic, a dino-nerd, and a crafter of worlds. He has many friends who are published authors, and hopes one day to join the ranks. His work has been read by his author hero, Jonathan Maberry, who says he "has an excellent sense of style and pace, solid characters, and his use of descriptive language is lush." (Cuyler still freaks out about it when he thinks about it). He has also had several of his reviews published. When Cuyler isn't writing or reading, you can find him playing with his little brother, Skeet, who has Down Syndrome and Autism, and loving every minute of it. He is a student Occupational Therapist Assistant, and is an advocate for children with special-needs. If he could have either a cat or a dog, he would get a T-Rex.
*And he has a goat; we must not forget the goats, Cuyler!
Why did you enter Pitchwars?
So this is my ritual: I go to work, come home, watch a little Adventure Time (I am by no means anything that signifies an adult, just sayin'), then when it's time to wind down and go to bed, I mess around on Twitter for a little bit. I won't divulge to you the people I stalk (seriously, why are there so many AWESOME authors out there?), but that's how I came across #PitchWars. The curious hashtag immediately tickled my interest. So I looked into it.
Rules: Must have finished MS.
Oh lookie here, a finished MS just chillin' on my computer.
So WHY did I enter #PitchWars? Here's the thing. When you're trying to climb up that trepidatory mountain we call traditional publishing, you take every opportunity available to you. That means going to book festivals, visiting conferences, making friends with said previously-stalked awesome authors, and entering contests. You glean something invaluable from each of these, and that gets you one more step up Mt. Publishing.
So, for me, #PitchWars was another opportunity to make me a better writer and help push me up that mountain. So I took it.
What did you find most valuable about the process?
Holy crap. You guys. You guys don't even know the awesomesauceness that is Trisha. She's like shiny MS furniture polish (or would that would be "word" polish?). Hashtag "my mentor is better than your mentor". She took my MS to a whole new level. I entered #PitchWars thinking my MS wasn't too shabby. Ha, no. It was like she had literary microscopic vision and knew exactly what my story needed for an extra boost. She's taught me how to be a better writer, and for that I can't be thankful enough. Trisha deserves the biggest hug ever. And more cookies. (Still trying to send you that snow shovel in the mail. Post Office still requests a $100 and the blood of a virgin).
*Awesomesauce? I have been called a lot of things, but that is a first! And the $100 I will spot you, the blood of a virgin….yeah, still looking for that. It will be awhile J
What is the most unexpected thing (good or bad) that came from Pitchwars?
Ha, this is a funny one. So I'm from Texas. The great state of I-can't-freaking-make-up-my-mind-about-what-kind-of-weather-we're-going-to-have. The week before #PitchWars started, my mom had surgery. The family stayed at my grandparents' house so her rehab therapist would be local. So I crafted my query, chose which four possible-mentors I wanted to sub to, and sent everything in when the submission window opened. Reveal day came, and Trisha, my awesomesauce mentor, chose me as first alternate. You can ask my family; I happy-danced for hours.
This is when Satan basically decided to intercede.
Texas chose to have the biggest icestorm it's had in years. Like, we're talking in DECADES. We couldn't leave the house for days at first. By time we mustered up enough bravery to travel a few miles to the grocery store to stock up on food, the shelves were empty and people were freaking out. It felt like the precursor to a zombie apocalypse. But the zombies could wait, because the beginning of #PitchWars was now upon me. I'd been picked, I had a mentor willing to take a look at my work, life was good. All I had to do was send in my MS, right?
*INCORRECT BUZZER SOUND HERE*
*INCORRECT BUZZER SOUND HERE*
Wrong. We were iced in for a total of two and a half weeks. And my MS was not on my laptop, but my desktop. At home. On the other side of a bajillion miles of ice. But Trisha was a good sport. She put up with me and waited. And waited. And waited. Honestly guys, I'm surprised she didn't drop me after a couple of days. But she didn't, and I have a shiny, polished MS because of her. *pets shiny MS*
*Scratching my head wondering why I never got to see a video of said happy-dance
Any advice for writers thinking of entering Pitchwars in the future?
CHECK. YOUR. WEATHER. REPORT. Make sure there's not a fricken Icepocalypse headed your way and you have your MS readily available to you. Also, have fun and send your mentors cookies. And perhaps a snow shovel should they ever need one.