17 January 2014

Pitch Wars Team Magic Spotlight: Toni De Palma

The agent round of Pitch Wars is almost upon us, and I can't wait to introduce the fabulous Team Magic manuscripts to the world! These fabulous folks can really write, and I've been blown away by both the quality of their work, and the level of commitment my fabulous Team Magic people have put into polishing up their manuscripts over the past several weeks. But it's not time to reveal their pitches yet. You'll have to wait a few more days for the magic. In the meantime, I'd like to introduce you to the amazing members of Team Magic. 

We'll start with alternate #2: Toni De Palma,
whose second YA novel, THE DEVIL'S TEMPTATION, will release in March. (Toni also has two middle grade novels out now. Her first MG novel, UNDER THE BANYAN TREE, was selected as a Kirkus New Voices Pick!) Please welcome Toni De Palma!!

I was intrigued by Toni's pitch for MIRACLE MEGGIE, and I could tell immediately that she was a talented writer. I requested additional pages for her manuscript, and after reading the first three chapters, I couldn't stop wondering how Meggie's story played out. I selected Toni for Team Magic so I'd have a chance to read the rest.

What inspired you to write this novel?
The notion that we create our reality has always appealed to me. In fact, there was a time in my life when I lived in the self help section of the bookstore pouring over books like The Secret and Wayne Dyer’s books. So when the story of a little girl whose sister is born prematurely planted itself in my brain, exploring how we process grief and learn to move beyond that seemed to fit this theme.

Why did you want to go through the torture be a contestant in Pitch Wars?

Ha! Ha! I feel nothing but lucky to have been chosen. Though I’ve published without an agent, I threw myself into the process to see what would happen to my book (and to my career) if I had the support of a great agent. Just as Meggie learns, we don’t always control the details of life, but how we choose to react to life can be quite powerful. So whatever happens in Pitch Wars, I’ve learned a great deal and met some really nice people along the way. 

What was your favorite book of 2013? Which book are you most excited to read in 2014?

I loved Counting by 7’s by Holly Goldberg Sloan. Besides being a great story, I was fascinated by how she balanced the different points of view. And I ADORED Eleanor and Park! I’m looking forward to Rainbow Rowell’s new book.

What are the top 3 songs on your manuscript play list?
"Imagine" by John Lennon
"Moon River" by Andy Williams
and, of course, "Wrecking Ball" by Miley Cyrus :)

We’re all about magic and positive thinking here on Team Magic. Tell us about your most magical experience of 2013 (other than being picked for Pitch Wars, of course).

Nothing compares to just sitting on the couch, enjoying the sunlight with my dog, Chester, curled up in my lap. Really! He’s pretty magical.

Sounds like it! Thanks so much for stopping by, Toni! I can't wait to share your ms with the world next week! :)

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