Jay S. Willis
Pitch Wars 2016 Contestant Bio
From an early age, storytelling fascinated me and I wrote my first books in grade school by hand using typing-paper packets stapled together for me by my mother. I’m an avid Dungeons & Dragons role-player (though real life as a parent precludes much gaming time), grew up in the 80’s obsessed with Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark, and my reading and writing interests have always skewed toward Fantasy and Science-Fiction. Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time, Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn and The Way of Kings rank up there as my favorite books alongside David Eddings’s Belgariad and Mallorean.
My goal as an author is to create an engaging and fun body of work to sustain a generation through their life as readers of Fantasy: from intelligent chapter books to sprawling epics.
I received Honorable Mention for a fantasy novella entry in the Writers of the Future writing competition for the second quarter of 2015. My article A Brief History of Real World Magic was recently published on #PitchWars Mentor Dan Koboldt (@DanKoboldt) Science in Sci-fi/Fact in Fiction Blog series.
I’m a graduate of Capital University, having earned a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science there. I also graduated Capital University Law School. I’m a former judge of a family court in southern Ohio, and I’ve been a licensed attorney for 20 years, and currently serve as an assistant prosecuting attorney with a focus on juvenile court and appellate work for the Scioto County Prosecutor’s Office.
Writing is an outlet for me that keeps me sane. I write a LOT in my day job and see a lot of horrible things and people. Writing fantasy allows my brain to escape and create other times, places, and people far different than our own reality. I made the conscious decision two years ago to focus on my writing beyond NaNoWriMo. To that end I completed a few online writing courses with Dave Farland and spent several days in live classes with Dave at GenCon last year. He is a fantastic teacher and his tutelage has been invaluable.
I entered #PitchWars last year with an Adult Fantasy and learned a lot of valuable things. When people say NOT making it to the Agent Round is not a bad thing they are right. I learned some hard lessons and determined my submission from last year still needed a lot of revision and admitted to myself I was overly ambitious and I’m not yet capable of fixing it. Someday I’ll return to that manuscript and conquer it.
This year, I’m entering #PitchWars with a Middle Grade manuscript driven by input from my middle school son when I asked him what he’d like to read about. Those story seeds germinated over time and harvested a full outline while I attended the 2015 GenCon’s Writer’s Symposium. My goal is to gain as much feedback as possible on my manuscript and hopefully make it to the agent round. I’m striving to make Pendulum Arcanum the best it can possibly be to give me the best possible opportunity to get traditionally published. I’m currently researching Literary Agents and Editors to submit my Pendulum Arcanum manuscript to seek publication in the near future.
Checkout the Pitch Wars 2016 Pimp My Bio Contestant Blog Hop.
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