Hello! My name is Lonna. I’m a writer. My daughters told their teacher that their Mommy’s a writer so it must be true. Seriously proud moment there. Halloween is my favorite holiday. I am obsessed with polka dots. I am an expert parallel parker and I play a mean game of jacks.
I love to write, except when I hate to write, and I am so happy that I found out about the amazing opportunity that is Pitch Wars. I have spent a lot of time, I mean a lot of time revising, editing, slicing, dicing, adding and subtracting and I would love the chance to get some fresh new eyes looking at my work. That old truth that you can’t see what needs to be fixed in your own work is so true. How else could I have been on my fifth edit before I realized I used the same word twice in two sentences? I mean, really. I can definitely use help with showing versus telling, active versus passive voice, head hopping, and making sure that my story isn’t an unqualified bore. As a writer what I fear most is indifference and being called self-indulgent.
I am an incredibly hard worker and I will never balk at criticism or shut down in the face of constructive feedback. I am an eager student and I will not only be open to suggestions and commands, I will go out of my way to make sure I understand what is being suggested or commanded, so I can do it better next time. I make a conscious effort to practice gratitude at all times. I strive to have a positive attitude and an open mind. My life’s philosophy is to never wish anything away.
I have been a writer for a very long time. Like, most-of-my-life long time. I wrote my first story when I was six, about a little girl who stops to help an elephant who hurt his elbow when he fell off his skateboard. It was called “The Hurt Funnybone.” Boy, was I surprised and embarrassed when my classmates laughed and laughed at my title. Peasants! When I was a high school freshman I entered a “scary story” contest my local newspaper was running. My story was called “All in a Day’s Work,” after a phrase in a Sidney Sheldon book, thank you very much, and I thought I was all that when I won second place in my age group.
What Else I Do
I am an archaeologist with about two decades of professional museum work under my belt. I worked at the Smithsonian for more than ten years (some of those years in anthropology and others in public affairs) and I have put in more than my share of volunteer and paid hours at a number of historic house museums—my first love. I’ve been a tour guide, educator, and curator, done first-person historical interpretation, demonstrated needlework, butter making and hearth cooking, but I was never able to master spinning and weaving. Lately I am a mom and a preschool teacher.
I have a unique perspective for writing historical fiction because I know lots about actual history! Here is Elizabeth Hager (it’s really me) in her husband’s frontier trading post (historic house museum) in 1739 (but really 1992):
GIFs? What GIFs?
Giff? Jiff? I have no idea. I am not technically savvy at all. The fact that I have a blog is a minor miracle. That I am on Twitter is still a source of amazement to me. Computers were not a big part of my childhood. I wrote my high school, college, and first semester of graduate school papers on an IBM Actionwriter-One typewriter. I first used e-mail around 1995. I am a hopeless romantic, lover of history and used to wear Laura Ashley dresses with petticoats under them and cameos pinned to the oh-so-modest necklines. I was brought kicking and screaming into the digital age and I’m still not sure I’m happy to be here. And is it even called that anymore?
Books I Love
I grew up in a house filled, and I do mean filled, with books and I am a voracious reader. My favorite children’s books are Miss Suzy by Miriam Young, Leaf Magic by Margaret Mahy, The Secret of the Sachem’s Tree by F.N. Monjo, Teeny-Tiny and the Witch Woman by Barbara K. Walter and Nate the Great and the Lost List by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat. I love children’s books so much that I often write about them on my blog.
When I got a little older my favorites included My Side of the Mountain by Jean George, The Changeling by Zilpha Keatley Snyder, The House of Dies Drear by Virginia Hamilton, Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell, Homecoming and Dicey’s Song by Cynthia Voigt and The Ghost of Windy Hill by Clyde Robert Bulla.
Adult books I love include The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, The Warlord Chronicles by Bernard Cornwell, The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, Cannery Row by John Steinbeck and Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.
TV? Not Me!
I don’t have time for TV, but after stopping to watch Andrew Davies’ War and Peace earlier this year I make it a point to see BBC’s The Musketeers whenever I can. Because Tom Burke. Right?
My Book. My Book. (I typed that twice because it looks so very lovely!)
River Farm is an historical romance. A beautiful young indentured servant and wealthy doctor living on an idyllic Virginia farm fall in love on the eve of the American Revolution. Their love must survive the ravages of war, and triumph over the battles they are fighting in their own hearts.
Catherine Abbott arrives in the Virginia colony in 1774. Recently orphaned and reeling from a suitor’s betrayal she is determined to build a new life. As an indentured servant for hire she unwittingly draws the attention of a dangerous man with a frightening reputation. When the wealthy and handsome doctor, James Craig, rescues her from this situation they discover an overwhelming mutual attraction. Catherine falls hopelessly in love but the doctor, himself the victim of a difficult past and haunted by his memories of the battlefields of the American Revolution, cannot make a commitment. Together they must survive the return of Catherine’s dangerous admirer, overcome the ravages of war, and triumph over their personal demons before they can find true happiness. With appearances by George Washington, the irresistible romance of Colonial dancing and holiday celebrations, glimpses of Continental Army encampments along the banks of the Delaware and at Valley Forge, and a Potomac River setting of dazzling natural beauty, River Farm is the story of one couple’s winding and unlikely path to love.
That’s the name of the last chapter of Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, another book I absolutely adore. This is where I should just wrap everything up. Okay. This was my Pitch Wars bio. If you’ve made it this far, thank you so much for reading. If you’re a mentor, I would be honored if you would pick me. If you’re a potential mentee, I wish you the best of luck in this competition and with your writing. I’d love to hear from you if you’d like to be friends. You can find me right here on my blog, on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/lonnaseibertwriter and on Twitter @lonnaseibert
Please visit http://www.lanapattinson.com/pitchwars-2016-pimpmybio/ to see all the mentee-hopeful bios!