#PitchWars Mentee Bio! #PimpMyBio (C’mon guys, there are Fallout gifs)

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I’ve seen all these gif filled Author Bios going around, so I figured I’d get on that list as well! Having a place where I can really dig deep into my creative identity is a good opportunity, because query letters and the story itself only say so much. It’s important to know if you and your mentor/mentee will connect on a personal level and that you think on the same wavelength.

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Who am I? Michelle Iannantuono, native Charlestonian of the Palmetto State, INTJ and real life Tina Belcher. I’ve been writing since I was six. I’m a chemist by day and own a videography business by night, because I really want to be a filmmaker. Therefore, film has probably had a bigger influence on me than fiction has, and you can see that in the cinematic style of my work.

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What stories do I enjoy? I like books with a fantastic, adventurous spirit. Popcorn stories that aren’t afraid to have depth. Deep stories that aren’t afraid to be popcorny. Stories that exist for the world’s enjoyment instead of the author’s ego. Stories that show me a villain I see myself in, and make me wonder if I’m a good person.

As you can tell by the gifs, I am a huge Fallout 4 fan. Other games I’ve enjoyed are Life Is Strange, Heavy Rain, Hitman, Portal, Oxenfree, Her Story, and Red Dead Redemption. For books, my favorite series is still Artemis Fowl, I will always be a Harry Potter kid, House of Leaves was brilliant, and Gillian Flynn is my goddess. TV wise, I’m a sucker for Game of Thrones, Lost, Heroes, Community, The IT Crowd, Bob’s Burgers, and Harper’s Island. I never miss an episode of Last Week Tonight. Favorite movies include Inception, The Fifth Element, Clue, the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Fast and Furious franchise (hey, it’s got heart!), and National Treasure (no, I can’t quote every line, what are you talking about >.>)

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What do I write? Primarily speculative, but gods, everything. I’ve written fantasy thrillers. I’ve got a cerebral Nolan-esque sci fi epic in the works. I’ve self published erotica. I’ve got a political satire coming for NaNoWriMo. I’ve got some postmodernism coming for The Three Day Novel contest. I’m shopping around literary, creative nonfiction…just everything.  I definitely have things that are hard sells for me, like crime novels, historical, westerns, traditional romance…but I could also give you an example of books or films I’ve loved in all of those categories. Like I said, I enjoy stories that are cinematic above all else and have an overt emotional core.

My Editing Styles/Philosophies/Whatever: I want a CP I can talk to for three hours about all the things we can tear down and rebuild and improve. I’ve been through over 10 betas for Paradisa at this point and it’s been a good exercise in teaching me what makes for a good author/editor relationship (and in some cases what makes a bad one.) For me, it’s not about whether you’re hands on or hands off as much as whether you “get” the big picture and really want to make the story the best that it can be. If you want it to be a completely different thing, then we’re not on the same page (my father wanted Paradisa to be an omnisciently narrated thriller about an emotionless, single white male protagonist. He just couldn’t let that go. Not a good beta for this project). Personally, I do like to be given a lot of commentary though. I want to know what’s going on in your head. I also like to give a lot of commentary as a CP, because I really get my hands in and dissect fiction. And if that sounds like you, well…

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More about Paradisa and why I wrote it: Paradisa entertains the idea that all mythologies are true, and that deities from all faiths cohabitate in another realm. I love mythology, especially of the Joseph Campbell tradition, and took a lot of religious studies courses in college. Myth unifies us as a species, and provide an interesting way for us as humans to conceptualize and interpret the world. But Paradisa posits that gods need humans as much as we need them, and their strength and immortality can be outweighed by our free will and value for life. Additionally, Paradisa stars a diverse cast of strong women, POC, an LGBT protagonist, a disabled protagonist, and voices from cultures all over the world. We live in the 21st century and should reflect a modern world when we write.

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Anything Else? Honestly, I am just super glad to be able to participate in #PitchWars this year. It’s a step in the right direction – putting myself out there, getting experience, building this career of mine. Even if I don’t get picked, hopefully some valuable feedback will come of it. And if I do get picked, then it could make my life incredibly different (for the good!).

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Thanks for checking me out! Feel free to follow my blog or follow my twitter @Ladytuono.