Monday, July 25, 2016

Katrina DeLallo's Bio

See this? This... This is mine! My PitchWars mentee bio... intro... thingy. (What's it called, again?) Oh yeah. #pimpmybio. EEEK!

I'm Katrina. Sometimes Kat. Other times, Cat. Sometimes Kit Shelle. Sometime Kit-Kat. Pretty much anything goes, nickname-wise. I've heard basically every derivative out there.

And I'm excited to submit my YA Fantasy, DRAGONFIRE, the first in a trilogy, in the 2016 #PitchWars contest!!! (Extra exclamations for extra enthusiasm!)

Actually, I'm nervous, but shhhh, that's our secret, mmkay?

Now for a robust greeting!!!

Right, that's out of the way.

Um... so apparently, I don't know what I'm good at? Or what makes me an interesting human being. Or why my novel is better than their novels. *What is speak?* Help!

I can make things out of polymer clay. Once upon a time (four months ago), I made a wicked cool Stitch and Angel cake topper for my brother and sister-in-law's wedding. Epic, right?

I'm also pretty decent at black and white drawings. I've never had a lesson. I mostly ogled my older sister's drawings, then ogled Trina Schart Hyman's illustrations, and started drawing horses obsessively for years, graduated into unicorns and fantasy, and finally started drawing the characters of my novels. But I can't do colour. I don't know what it is. I pick up a crayon, a marker, a coloured pencil, paint, and my brain goes "What is draw? How art?!?" and I put down the crayon/marker/coloured pencil/paint and walk away.
Random Cool Wizard Dude

I have a pretty okay voice. I've taken classes at a community college - nothing noteworthy, but I have a goodish mezzo-soprano range, and once I sang Susan Boyle's version of Wild Horses so well I had the class IN TEARS!!! Well, mostly. There were some hardhearted troglodytes in the back who didn't seem impressed.

I am a queen of quotations, be it movies, music and books. For real. It has been said my sisters and I rarely have an original thought between us, but we can rock the *insert random quote into the conversation HERE* vibe. We're pretty cool that way. We also talk with our hands. (Taboo is quite an interesting game to play when you're not allowed to use gestures).

I can still mostly sing the entire Phantom of the Opera musical by heart. Michael Crawford, Sarah Brightman and Steve Barton are my peeps.

I am a good cook!!! I love Italian when I make it myself - I don't usually go out and order it (unless it is a white sauce something or pesto something). But I prefer the taste and texture of MY red sauces and MY pizza and MY spaghetti, so I don't usually do red-sauce meals when I eat out. I also make a mean chicken enchilada. (When I say mean, I mean MEAN! Like, spicy mean. Sometimes, I may or may not kill my sister's taste buds with spice. Sorry, not sorry.)

I have been writing for awhile. I remember getting a journal for Christmas when I was five, and writing a sort of Laura Ingalls-esque story in it. The MC was ancient, as I recall - seven going on eight. So old. The next story was a random one I wrote between the ages of nine and twelve, about a girl who gets miniaturized and makes friends with the (very weird) insects and bugs and random critters in her garden in order to get back home and properly resized - sort of Alice in Wonderland, featuring garden life. I took a writing test in high school that was put out by the Institute of Children's Literature, took two courses from them over the space of four years, learned from Orson Scott Card that fantasy writers have a hard time breaking out into magazine pieces, and have been creating world-sized novels ever since.

I write first drafts of novels into notebooks. For some reason, the bright white light of a computer screen paralyzes my brain. I can only copy the story into the computer AFTER it's been written on paper. I also like fountain pens. And Poppin pens. And empty notebooks.

I can draw maps.

I work in medical transcription three days a week. The other two days, I do stuff in a flower shop. Mostly deliveries, mostly paperwork, sometimes corsages and boutonnieres for weddings. Trust me, transcription is way less stressful. (But I AM a bit shy. Why phone someone when you can shoot them an email? You feel me? Medical transcription, I get to work at home and not worry about irate customers or ringing phones, and instead concentrate on transforming a doctor's dictation into an accurate, typewritten report.)

I live in America, and use mostly British spelling. I have also been thought to be native Canadian, Scottish, or Hawaiian, but no one has ever thought I was born and raised Californian.

I live in Lake Tahoe. Gorgeous, right? Yes, I swim in that water. Yes, I do it without a wet suit. No, I have never gone out on a boat. Yes, it's cold. Yes, it's clear. No, I don't water ski. Basically, my family and I will go the beach, and we will run and dive into the water, and then watch the tourists touch the water with their toes. (We might laugh condescendingly at this point.) Once they feel for themselves how cold the lake is, they stare wonderingly out at us, as though judging and deciding which insane asylum we are headed to.

The summers are beautifully warm (not deathly hot!) with lots of sunshine, the winters are mild most of the time, with snow and lots of sunshine, and spring and fall are both beauteous in their own way. I prefer spring, because next comes summer, but fall IS lovely. And you can SMELL the pine trees. And the air is very clear. It's sharp when you breathe, like mmmmmmm.

I am one of eleven children.

I excel at The Floor Is Lava.


Favourite movies/TV shows:
Hawaii Five-0 (remake, because Steve is HAWT! And Danno is HAWT! And I'm still over here going STEVE AND CATH FOREVER! I hope she comes back for season 7.)
Blue Bloods ('cause, Reagan family. 'Cause Catholic+Irish+Jamie+Danny+Papa Frank = yusssssssss.)
The ENTIRE Marvel Cinematic Universe (particularly Iron Man, Captain America, and freakin' Daredevil, but excluding Jessica Jones *shudder* and Deadpool *double shudder*)
The Lord of the Rings (but not that travesty of The Hobbit Movies, which is basically fan-fiction in all its grisly glory. Blech)
Prison Break (Yay, 2017 sequel!)
Avatar: The Last Airbender
Doctor Who (Primarily 11, who is the freakin' best. My adorable giraffe.)
Bourne movies (including Legacy, and YAY 2016 sequel in four days!)
Pretty much ALL the Disney/Pixar stuffs, particularly Tangled, Sleeping Beauty, Brave, Robin Hood, Monsters Inc, Inside Out, Up, The Rescuers, Wreck-it Ralph, The Great Mouse Detective, Bolt, and How to Train Your Dragon (even though that's NOT Disney or Pixar, but good nonetheless);
On the fence with Grimm. Still waiting to see if Juliette comes back, because Nadalind=No. Silverhardt=YESSSSSSSS!!!!)

Favourite books/authors:
Lord of the Rings/Hobbit (J.R.R. Tolkien, basically - have you read Roverandom? Or the Silmarillion? Or Farmer Giles of Ham?)
Chronicles of Narnia
The Queen's Thief + Queen of Attolia and King of Attolia
Pretty much all the Diana Wynne Jones novels
Pretty much all the Patricia McKillip novels, most notably The Riddlemaster of Hed
Pretty much anything Ally Carter, particularly the Gallagher Girls
The Winner's Curse trilogy
Pretty much anything Jonathon Stroud, particularly Lockwood and Co., with Bartimaeus being my first love
The Last Unicorn.
The Graveyard Book
The Scorpio Races and ONLY the Scorpio Races

Favourite Music:
Musicals (Phantom of the Opera, the Secret Garden, A Tale of Two Cities, The Light in the Piazza,  Jane Eyre, Les Miserables, Finding Neverland, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, Pirates of Penzance)
Josh Groban
Hayley Westenra
Sarah Brightman
Imagine Dragons
Taylor Swift
James Blunt
The Piano Guys
Random mishmash of all kinds of things, including Hurts, OneRepublic, Lifehouse, O.A.R., The Fray, The Script, Jackie Evancho, Air Supply, Nickleback, some Backstreet Boys and some opera. Eclectic, I know.

NOW! About mah novel!

DragonFire Twitter pitch:
Hunted for his elemental power, Dragon must transcend death to save his world's fading magic. QUEEN'S THIEF+LAST AIRBENDER 

Brief Synopsis:

In Elfennol, a world fashioned from fallen stars and its soil infused with the elemental magic known as glede, tarragon is not just a spice. It is also the title of the man with the threefold glede of fire, water and shadow. A man reborn throughout history to be the guardian of the Tân-a-dur, a mystical beast whose fiery breath renews the land's magic, but whose very nature makes it a dangerous ally. Once upon a time, the Tarragon was revered. But rumors battle legends, and now the Tarragon's name is a curse, and to be a gleder is to be under the penalty of death.

Sixteen-year-old Dragon is a thief by profession, courier by necessity, and gleder by birth. Adopted son of a blacksmith, and possessing a rare ability over three separate elements, Dragon lives in a city where gleders like him are ruthlessly hunted. He dreams of escaping to a land where magic is still protected.

But then a mysterious girl enters his life,with triple gledes as unique as his own, and he is pulled towards their intertwined destiny. One in which the Tân-a-dur is not merely a creature of legend, but the key to renewing Elfennol’s fading magic. With an ancient voice waking in his head, Dragon must make a choice: flee and renounce his claim on the Tân-a-dur, or welcome death and trial to become the creature’s new Tarragon.

10 Reasons why you should pick me.
  1. I'm pretty awesome. Really. My sense of humour tends toward sarcasm and random quotes. I also provide cyber cookies to lift a mood.
  2. I was home schooled, so I'm excellent at managing my time.
  3. I am really good at communicating via email!!!! I am rather introverted and shy, so my idea of a party is to binge on Netflix and eat cake (or ice cream. Or chocolate. Something sweet, anyway). My idea of a nice day off is to go the beach with my sisters (or on a hike, or someplace pretty where there can be a picnic later) and sit with notebooks and music and books and write and listen to music and read as the mood takes me. (I don't like phones. Were it up to me, people would only ever have contact to others via fax and email. Video chats = ninth circle of hell.)
  4. I'm not afraid of tackling revisions, especially if I'm having concerns over a scene that doesn't seem to be working or contributing to the story. (I prefer notebooks, so a lot of time revisions occur on notebooks, then get integrated into the computer.)
  5. I was once complimented as being the queen of revision at an SCBWI conference I attended back in 2012, after an intense round-table critique session where I was encourage to rewrite chapter one. The rewritten chapter is what prompted the praise. (I am a member of SCBWI, by the way, and that is still one of the best compliments I have received EVER).
  6. I got three non-YA fantasy readers to beta-read my YA fantasy in its entirety, and they all were hooked. Which was pretty rewarding, I gotta say.
  7. I have a solid group of CPs - we get along super well and are all very positive and supportive of each other.
  8. I'm a volunteer judge for Miranda Paul's Rate Your Story blog, and that has been incredibly helpful in improving my editing eye and finding what resonates with me and what doesn't.
  9. I like to draw my ideas down, because visualization is everything. If I can't see my world, I can't see to write, so I do character sketches as needed, or find Pinterest things that make me go, THIS. This is my world.
  10. I take every comment seriously, but I'm not afraid to stand my ground if I think something needs to stay the way it is. I'll listen and consider, but if my gut feeling says NO, I say NO and that's that. But I WILL do whatever it takes to polish my work, because I want to write for the rest of my life. I want my words to last and make an impact on others. I want my stories to make other people aspire to dream.
So that's that. Pick me! Pick me!

Huge thanks to Brenda Drake for hosting #PitchWars, and Lana Pattinson for hosting #pimpmybio!

Check out the other mentees' bios here! (But don't pick them, 'kay? Pick meeeeeeee!)

God bless!


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Day Five - FREE DAY!

Because I get to do what I want, I'm going to post awesome clips/pictures of my favourite scenes from each of the MCU movies. (Since Ant-Man appeared in Civil War, he is added to the roster.)

Technically, Captain America should be the first of the films to watch, but I'm going to treat it as a "flashback" movie and stick it before the Avengers, because when Cap wakes up, a lot of the events in the first two Iron Man movies, the Hulk, and Thor have already taken place.

(Because I tend to love ALL the scenes from the movies, I'll limit myself to a total of five per movie - I'll aim for three, but I can go up to five. Does that seem fair? Thank you s' much.)

Iron Man 1:

When he's freakin' blacksmithing in captivity!!!

Since I've already fangirled over the part when Yinsen saves Tony, I'm not going to post that. Instead, I'll skip forward to the entire Gulmira scene, where Tony takes out a fleet of bad guys.

This scene, where Pepper has to replace the Arc Reactor...

When Dummy saves Tony...

When his arc reactor flickers back on after Pepper calls his name...

Iron Man 2:

When he tries to be sweet and brings Pepper
strawberries, forgetting she's allergic to them.

When he rediscovers the Vibranium element that will not only make his
arc reactor more powerful, but will also stop it from poisoning him...

When Pepper finds out he was dying...

Tony and Rhodey's Bro Battle against the Hammer-Drones. :)

The Incredible Hulk:
(I have only watched The Incredible Hulk once, and this was after I'd seen The Avengers and had embraced Mark Ruffalo in the role of the Hulk. So, I didn't much care for Ed Norton as the Hulk, but he had some cute vulnerable scenes, and the movie overall had some good parts.)

The way he tries to control his blood pressure, so he doesn't go critical...

This pretty epic chase scene...

And that's really about it. (It wasn't my most favouritest Marvel movie in the whole wide world.)


When Darcy Tazes Thor...

This entire scene. :)

When Thor breaks the Bifrost to stop Loki from destroying Jotunheim...

Captain America: The First Avenger:

When Steve Rogers leaps on that grenade!!!

When Steve gives zero cares about orders and goes on an op
that saves hundreds of POWs - including Bucky...

This scene after he loses Bucky and he's trying to get drunk...

When he gives zero cares about Red Skull...

When he has to put the ship in the water. :(

The Avengers:

Ugh! There are too many good scenes in the Avengers! I'll do my best to only choose five of the best... even though I could pretty much post the entire movie and say, "I loved it all!" But the best scenes, IMHO:

When this old man refused to kneel to Loki...

When Natasha "re-calibrates" Hawkeye...

When Coulson DIES!!!


When Tony flies the nuke into the portal...:'(

Iron Man 3:

Every time Tony has a panic attack :(

This totally sweet scene...

When he loses Jarvis...

When he demonstrates some pretty sick moves in this fight...

When he saves Pepper and calls her "Honey." :)

Thor: The Dark World:

Frigga's Funeral.


Followed closely by THIS SCENE!!

Thor's grief at Loki's death...


Captain America: The Winter Soldier:

This start to a beautiful friendship...

Pretty much every time Steve speaks...

This entire fight scene, but especially that knife flip. :)


This Steve epicness...

Avengers: Age of Ultron:

Adorable Steve Rogers being adorable...

Tony, reminding me so much of myself here... :)

When Bruce and Natasha were suddenly PERFECT together...

Clint in this scene: "Nobody would know."

When Quicksilver saves Hawkeye...


When Scott gets out of prison...

When he introduces himself to the Falcon...

When these guys come roaring to Scott's aid,
only to be faced with a phalanx of cops...

When he goes subatomic to save his daughter...

Captain America:  Civil War:

 This movie had more scenes that broke my heart than probably any other MCU movie out there. I think it's because Steve and Tony are my GUYS, and having them angry at each other was the hardest thing in the world. Steve is the man who is already on the moral high ground and who we aspire to become, and Tony is the man who gives us the hope of attaining that moral high ground by conquering ourselves more and more each day. I couldn't stand to see them fighting.

So this is more a collection of favourite bro scenes/scenes that broke my heart (there are more pictures here because there were too many good ones NOT to post...):

This scene, when Tony and Steve were still BESTIES!! :(

Peggy's funeral...

When freakin' Zemo reactivates Bucky, and he goes on a rampage...

When lines are drawn...
"I'm trying to keep you from tearing the Avengers apart!"
"You did that when you signed."

Bucky not believing his worth...


When Rhodey gets hurt...:(

When Steve and Bucky take cover behind the shield. :)

When Tony sees this footage...
 Which understandably incenses him...
...Which leads to this awful scene, where Steve is forced to fight a friend to save a friend.

This very epic, but very heartbreaking moment...

And finally, the last scene, where hopefully the healing has
started and they can find a way back to their friendship.

And that's all for now, folks! I hope that put you back in the mood to rewatch all the Avengers movies (in order, of course!) and get totally caught up in the character development again.

Until next time, that's a wrap!

God bless!


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